An issue for job seekers, in this time of being constantly in touch with your connections, is what happens at work? If you are a student or recent graduate, you have been able to message your friends via Facebook on your computer or cell phone, and you're very rarely out of touch for a significant length of time.
There are companies that block access to social networking at work. Surveys report that up to 50% of employers block access to sites like Facebook and MySpace for productivity and security reasons.
Promoting the Use of Facebook at Work
On the other hand, and this is good news for job seekers who are concerned about staying connected, there are companies that promote the use of networking at work. You could have a job where using Facebook is not only approved, it's expected.
In fact, Kyle Arteaga, VP of Corporate Communications at Serena Software which provides change management products and services to countries around the world, says that people will try find to ways to get online, regardless of the parameters the company sets. He believes it's important to support a balanced life, rather than stifling what is part of the daily interaction of many people.
Serena Software takes it one step further. The company uses Facebook as a corporate intranet and personal use of Facebook, along with professional use, is fine.
Using Your Tech Skills to Your Advantage
Christina Johnson is a recent college graduate and a Marketing Coordinator with Serena and she explained to me that her ability to network and to use Facebook and other online technology was considered an asset when she was hired.
Christina's resume includes a list of those technology skills, including social media, web 2.0, and how she learned Dreamweaver by using Google to find information on HTML.
At work, Facebook helps Christina stay in touch with international clients in Asia and Europe, as well as with co-workers. Sharing some of her personal information and photos has contributed to building relationships with those clients. I wondered if Christina considered using Facebook as part of her job to be burdensome or to be an invasion of her personal privacy. It was just the opposite. Christina said, "I like it. I'm comfortable using Facebook. I appreciate the integration and being able to have a personal relationship with my clients."
Decide What to Keep Private
Even though those lines between our professional and our personal lives have become increasingly blurry, there is some information that we may not want to share with our current or future employers. Christina shares tips on how best to do that:
- Be Aware of Who's Looking - When you're using Facebook at work, remember that your colleagues, your boss, your boss's boss, and even the CEO can see your profile.
- Update Your Privacy Settings - If you're job searching or working, change your privacy settings. Select the privacy options you want for each section of your profile and for your contact information. Decide who will be able to see your profile information including photos, posts, contact information, online status, groups, wall, and status updates.
- Choose Your Networks - Decide what information each of your networking contacts can see, and what your friends can see. For example, Christina shares some information only with her friends and other information with her Serena network.