Day 1(ish) of the Social Media Project

Well, it really isn't day 1 but it just sounded like a good title. Journeys should always start with a Day 1. The last post was a preface.

A portion of my time... I mean focus... today was mostly on LinkedIn. Of all the social media tools suggested for recruitment purposes I see the most value in LinkedIn without any hesitations.

My hesitation - I am struggling with the idea that as corporations use these social media tools for professional purposes those of us that have used these sites in high school, college (and beyond) will feel like we have to censor ourselves for fear of having our private lives used against us in terms of recruitment and selection.

I like the idea of having a site that is dedicated to building a professional profile versus sites that were dedicated to being social turning into semi-professional sites. For example, I joined LinkedIn and naturally was excited as colleagues, classmates and associations requested connections. On the other hand, the day that my boss friend requested me my stomach tightened in anxiety. Immediately I scoured through my pictures, deleting anything that seemed inappropriate, then once I felt that my profile would meet BCBSM standards I began accepted friend requests from coworkers. My leader is super cool but I still felt like "If she can find me on facebook, so can her boss and so can x, y or z and they may not be as accepting."

Another example, I spent way too much time today considering whether or not I should link my personal blog to my LinkedIn profile.

My recruiter side of my sees the value in researching top candidates via google searches but another side (maybe the wild-child student with crazy pictures on myspace and facebook lol) feels a little threatened.

Lets just pretend I had some pictures of me on myspace intoxicated (Remember, I said lets pretend...) and someone stumbled upon that account, someone lets say who was considering offering me a position and then decided "No" because of these pictures. Is that fair? I mean, should recruiters & organizations really be judging peoples qualifications based on their private lives? Just because someone enjoys life on the weekends doesn't mean they don't work hard from 9-5.

Using social media as a screening tool seems unethical to me. I have a feeling people are on both sides of the fence on that one.


My question, from a candidate perspective, is as you enter the job market do you censor any/all of your profiles to make sure you don't end up losing out on opportunities?

From a recruitment tool perspective - I am investigating the use of Boolean syntax to "break" into the advanced search capabilities of LinkedIn. My coworker and I are beginning to get the hang of the syntax and how it works with Google. We are attempting to create easy to use/adjust templates for our recruitment team. http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/ has been our primary resource but I've noticed blogs/information on this website and ERE as well. I am really excited about this actually. I'm a little bit of an inner IT geek.

The catch seems to be understanding boolean and various search engines well enough to adjust the syntax based on the engine.

The next question is - does using boolean search really produce many more candidates than more traditional searches? And, can we translate the concept into an easy copy-past template for recruiters on the team that can pretty much only copy/paste.

Also - Day 1(ish) - RecruitingBlogs is not a blocked website at my company. This is amazing because everything is a blocked website at my company. My leader has to request special access every time I find a site I'd like to investigate. I'm sure IT was rolling their eyes when the twitter request came through.

My other lesson learned today - don't be surprised and/or shocked when you pick up the phone and hear the voice of a person from a blogging site on the other side. It was a humbling and flattering experience.

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