Social Networking Profiles Sinking Your Job Search?

7 tips to prevent bad social networking profiles from turning off a potential employer.

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by Meridith Levinson, CIO.com - Social networking is a key component of today's job searches because job seekers want to be where hiring managers can find them, and increasingly, hiring managers are cruising social networking websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter to source and vet candidates.

[ Facebook Quick Tip: Clean Up Your News Feed ]

From 2008 to 2009, the number of hiring managers using social networking websites to screen job seekers more than doubled from 22% to 45%, according to yearly surveys from CareerBuilder. Put another way, nearly one in two hiring managers uses social media to recruit or screen candidates for jobs today.

The problem is that many people's social profiles aren't up to snuff.

CareerBuilder's numbers suggest that job seekers' online presences may be hampering their job searches. More than a third of hiring managers (35%) immediately screened out candidates based on what they found on candidates' social networking profiles. Only 18% of hiring managers polled by CareerBuilder last year said they were encouraged to hire a candidate due to his or her online presence.

Tim Schoonover, chairman of OI Partners a provider of outplacement, executive coaching and leadership development services, says CareerBuilders' findings indicate that job seekers need to use social networking websites more effectively in their job searches.

"We need to sharpen our skills and pay attention to how these sites work to get the most out of them," he says.

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