With Labor Day 2011 being yesterday, new data regarding job creation for the United States was released. Result: the unemployment rate stayed the same as no measurable number of new jobs were added to the economy. Though the news could have been worse as, at the very least unemployment rates didn’t rise, this zero growth is discouraging for people seeking to find a job ina still bad economy.
So, how does one go about finding work in the digital age?
As the times change, the way to finding a job changes, too. Gone are the days of mailing resumes out to prospective employers and in are the days of applying online. Now, social networking websites are starting to come into play when finding a job. Knowing people helps one find work. So, theoretically, the more people you know, the greater the chances of one of your Internet “friends” telling you about a job opening somewhere.
For anyone looking for a job, professional-looking head shots on social networking websites are a must as, while many things about finding a job have changed in the digital era, the old idea that first impressions are lasting ones hasn’t evolved at all. So, what does this mean? First of all, no spur-of the moment self portraits at a local night club with a blurred finger in the corner of the frame, no disheveled hair, no T-shirts with smart comments on them, and basically no anything that makes you look unprofessional.
As for what is good, being well-groomed is an absolute must. Combed hair, modest makeup (ladies) and well trimmed facial hair if you have some (guys) are good rules to go by. A for clothes, business casual should work for everything except the most professional job seekers. After all, over-dressing a bit never hurt anyone. Lastly, avoid using flash, especially if you wear glasses as the flash bulb can make for some serious glare against eye wear. Background? A plain, neutral-colored wall should suffice.
Now this brings us to the other side of the coin: what not to post online.
For anyone with an ounce of common sense, unflattering, potentially embarrassing pictures, as well as rants against current or previous employers are big no-nos. Also, be sure to know who your friends really are, as others can post embarrassing pictures of you online, too. No real friend would snap an unflattering image of someone else without asking that person’s permission first.
As for the much touted “privacy” settings, forget them. Should you and a friend have a falling-out tomorrow, that person still has access to your pictures that you want to keep everyone with Internet access from seeing. So what’s to stop that person from downloading the pictures and then spreading them all over the Internet?
Pictures have gotten people fired, arrested, and driven from political office. Bottom line: keep any unflattering pictures to yourself, or even better, don’t pose for any at all. No pictures, no problem because, in 2011, pictures can not only be worth a thousand words, but perhaps thousands of dollars, too, so make sure you project a positive image to the world, potential employers included.
For more info:
Potential employers are watching you
One in five employers use social network sites when hiring people
Getting fired over social networking
How Facebook can get you fired
How to not let Facebook or Myspace get you fired
The difficulty of removing Internet content
Digital pictures are the tattoos of the Internet
How to ungoogle yourself
Just for fun
What if this had happened before the election? Judge for yourself.