Social media useful to find a job

Twitter is useful for more than just short missives. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Twitter is useful for more than just short missives. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Social media is useful for people seeking employment.

Twitter on Wednesday revealed that more employers are using the micro-blogging platform as part of their recruiting process.

"Following businesses not only helps keep job seekers up-to-date on their announcements, but also gives an insight into the their culture," Twitter said in a statement.

Twitter has steadily been evolving its platform from a 160-character text based messaging service to a serious competitor to social networking giant Facebook.

Beyond following brands, job seekers are able to use hash tags in their tweets to highlight particular topics or create lists with grouped Twitter users around a distinct interest.

Be careful

However, the key is to engage with people and brands that may boost a prospective employee.

"Using Twitter can boost a candidate's personal brand by allowing them to create meaningful content to show people who they are and what they care about," Twitter said.

But while using social media may be attractive, users have to be careful that they do not sabotage their employment opportunities with inappropriate comments.

"I think that social media users need to wise up a little; they need to become a little bit more sensible as digital citizens," social media consultant for Afrosocialmedia Samantha Fleming told Fin24 recently.

Content in poor taste can result in someone being unemployable as companies may not want to be associated with the negative reputation.

While a prospective employer may find it difficult to access your Facebook profile (assuming you have privacy settings) the public nature of Twitter lends itself to higher levels of scrutiny.

"An employer would be allowed to look at an employee (or prospective employee's) Facebook profile at arm's length as their privacy settings determine the type of information that exists about them in the public domain," specialist technology attorney Russel Luck told Fin24.

Trevor Noah

Recently, comedian Trevor Noah faced criticism when over tweets he was announced as the new host of the Daily Show.

It would be difficult for prospective employees to show that their applications were declined because of social media utterances.

"In practice, employers seldom disclose to employees why they were not selected for a particular position. A candidate has the right to equality which includes the right not to be discriminated against 'unfairly'.

"If they can show that they were not employed based on 'unfair discrimination' (rather than 'fair discrimination') then they would be entitled to legal recourse," said Luck.

Have you used social media to find a job? Tell us about your experience.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

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