Job seekers slow on social websites

THE increasing popularity of social networking websites has yet to leave its mark on job seekers in Australia, with nearly half of respondents to a new survey saying it does not help their career development. In a survey of 776 job seekers, recruitment company Hays found almost one in two respondents said the social websites did not help advance their career. One in three respondents said the sites helped to keep up with contacts, however only one in five said the sites helped them to find out about jobs. Hays senior regional director Perth, Jane McNeill, said claims social networking sites aided career development seemed to be unfounded. “Almost half of those currently job seeking still prefer to keep their social media sites for just that – social interaction – rather than as a tool to assist in their professional job search,” she said. “But while candidates still want to keep their social life and their professional life very separate, the potential does remain to use social media to a job seeker’s advantage. Ms McNeill added that people might be unsure which site to use or advance their career – Facebook, LinkedIn or micro-blog site Twitter, for example – or might start a blog themselves. “What’s important though is not where you start, but how you communicate,” she said. “If you decide to use social media as part of your job search, then our advice is to remember it is just another way to market yourself. “Like an online job board or emailing your resume to a recruiter, you need to keep your communications professional and focused on your skills and experience.” However, she cautions job seekers need to be careful of what they write with employers increasingly using the social media sites as a reference checking tool.

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