Social Networking in Your Nursing Job Search

Almost one in three hiring managers now use social networking sites as part of their screening process. This gives your Facebook page new significance! Used correctly, social networking can give you one more outlet to showcase your qualifications. But if you use it carelessly, social networking can get you shown quickly to the virtual door. A good rule of thumb to follow when you are in the middle of a job search is this: don't put anything on your page or in your profile that you wouldn't want an employer to see or know. What may be fun to share with friends can raise red flags for prospective employers. So steer clear of:
  • Claims of drinking or using drugs
  • Negative remarks about a previous company, patient or fellow employee
  • Proof of misleading qualifications.
  • Discriminatory remarks related to race, gender, religion, etc.
  • Unprofessional screen name
  • Mention of criminal behavior
  • Publicizing confidential information from previous employers
Be sure to include any and all information that makes a positive impression on employers, such as:
  • Any information that supports your background listed on a resume or job application.
  • Comments from references
  • Proof of a wide range of interests
  • Awards and accomplishments
  • A creative, well written profile.
To make your social networking site work for you, remove any content that might send the wrong message to a potential employer. Pictures of your drunken weekend with friends would fall into that category! A photo history of your volunteer activities would make a better impression. Update your profile regularly, particularly if you have had professional or academic awards or accomplishments. Monitor comments on your site. Or better still, block comments until you land a job. Join groups and accept friends cautiously, as their comments and connections will reflect on you.

Another way to keep your professional and personal life separate is to use career related sites such as LinkedIn.com for your job search. Or set up a profile and page on one of the social networking sites designed just for healthcare workers. Medicalmingle.com and healthcarekey.com are social networking sites targeted to healthcare workers.

Use your social networking site to show off your communications skills. Watch your grammar, spelling and style. Write your profile like your job depends upon it. Because it just might.

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