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On this page: Joshua Waldman shares the 4 common misunderstandings about social media that stand in the way of job search success.

4 Misunderstandings Job Seekers Have About Social Media

Over 80 percent of hiring managers say they use social media to find new talent.

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If that’s where employerss are looking for employees, then that’s where job seekers need to be, right?

If you haven’t made social media the central part of your job search yet, then you may be guilty of one of the following four misunderstandings about using social media.

1. Social media is for kids on cellphones.

Au contraire! Ok, I’m sure this is probably true. After all, roughly half of all emails are read on mobile devices. And some young people can type faster on their phone than my 90 words per minute on the keyboard.

However, not every social media tool is easily used on cellphones, and each has a desktop interface.

More to the point, just because younger folks use social media doesn’t mean it’s a passing trend or exclusive to them.

As a matter of fact, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is people 55 and older, and the average age of a Twitter user is 35.

Every Fortune 500 company has executives with profiles on LinkedIn.

2. Showing my picture will hurt my chances of finding a job.

Look. I’m not going to stand here and pretend that ageism, racism, or sexism aren’t real problems. They are. And it’s too bad that in the 21st century people still have to deal with this.

But by not showing a picture on your profiles, you can do a lot of damage to your chances. It’s like a profile on a dating site that says, “tall, dark and handsome” with no picture. Yeah right!

Many recruiters I’ve spoken with concur on this point. Image-less profiles wind up in the “maybe” pile pretty quickly.

3. I’m not comfortable sharing so much about myself; privacy is important to me.

Privacy has completely changed over the last few years. It’s harder and harder to be disconnected or stay invisible. The more you try, the more you alienate yourself from possibilities and opportunities.

Rather than running away and losing control, it’s much better to feed people the information you want them to know about you.

Remember, there is a far greater chance of having your identity stolen from postal mail than from an online profile. Use some caution and never publish your social security number, date of birth, or mother’s maiden name online. But don’t let fear eliminate your opportunities!

4. I don’t have a lot of time, and I don’t need another distraction.

When email came out, did you also say that you preferred paying for stamps or waiting for inter-office mail? Realize that time management is 100 percent your issue – it’s not the tools you use. When used strategically, your social media profiles and connections will be your most powerful assets throughout your career.

If you are new to using social media, then I would suggest starting off by reading the great LinkedIn articles here on Job-Hunt. LinkedIn is by far the highest leverage tool you have at your disposal. Good luck on your journey to learning all about social media for your career!

© Copyright Joshua Waldman, 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


About this author...

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is a recognized expert on Social Media Career Advancement.  Joshua Waldman is also a speaker and trainer specializing in helping people re-gain control of their careers in today’s economic and technology climate.Connect with Joshua on his website CareerEnlightenment.com, and on social media through Twitter (@JoshuaWaldman), LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, and his Career Enlightenment Channel on YouTube.