Face­book, LinkedIn and job hunt­ing pro­to­col

Three ques­tions an­swered and tips on spring clean­ing

The Hamilton Spectator - - CAREERS - DIANE STAFFORD

Q: Should I “friend” my boss on Face­book?

A: It de­pends whether your boss is a real friend, or maybe a rel­a­tive. If your ties pre­date your em­ploy­ment, it’s likely your boss al­ready knows quite a bit about your life. But if your re­la­tion­ship ex­ists solely be­cause of busi­ness, it might be pru­dent to keep at arm’s length on so­cial me­dia.

In­sta­gram photos, Face­book posts and the like might dam­age your work rep­u­ta­tion if your boss doesn’t think like you do po­lit­i­cally or doesn’t ap­prove of your week­end ac­tiv­i­ties.

Em­ploy­ers can al­ways search your dig­i­tal foot­print, but you don’t need to spoon-feed them.

Q: Can my com­pany de­mand that I in­clude their logo or brand state­ment on my LinkedIn pro­file?

A: No. That site is yours to con­trol. Of course, a boss who ab­so­lutely de­mands that could fire you if you refuse. The choice is yours. Q: Should I go to job fairs? A: If you have a lot of time and have ex­hausted other rec­om­mended job-hunt­ing tech­niques, there could be a ben­e­fit to hand­ing your re­sume di­rectly to a com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tive, es­pe­cially if you’re seek­ing en­try-level po­si­tions.

Be­yond that, there’s slim chance it im­proves your hir­ing odds. Most job f air booths are paid for by large em­ploy­ers that have hu­man re­source of­fices. The peo­ple who staff such booths rarely are di­rect hir­ing man­agers.

You might make a good im­pres­sion in face-to-face con­tact that could help your re­sume or ap­pli­ca­tion rise to the top of the pile. But for pro­fes­sional-level jobs, you’d do bet­ter to spend your time in di­rect con­tact with hir­ing man­agers at pro­fes­sional meet­ings.

Q: I’m sup­posed to do a video in­ter­view. Tips?

A: Some large public li­braries have job-re- source de­part­ments that can help with video in­ter­views, as do col­lege and univer­sity ca­reer of­fices. If you’re truly quak­ing, see if you can get a sam­ple run-through. Pro­fes­sional ca­reer coun­sel­lors also can help you prac­tice for a fee.

Broad ad­vice: Take care with your ap­pear­ance. Treat your groom­ing and your choice of clothes as if you were do­ing an in­of­fice in­ter­view.

Sit so that the video cam­era is at your eye level and look into the cam­era; don’t look at the com­puter screen. Try to main­tain eye con­tact with the cam­era (and thus the in­ter­viewer) through­out the in­ter­view. Sit f ar enough away from the cam­era that the in­ter­viewer sees more than just your face and neck.

Fold your hands in your lap — or sit on them — so that ges­tures don’t take fo­cus away from your words.

It’s fine to have notes to con­sult, if needed, but don’t rif­fle through pa­pers. You could even tape notes to your com­puter screen or di­vide your screen to hold your notes in a dig­i­tal file.

But don’t read pre­pared com­ments; you want to look so pre­pared that you don’t need to con­sult notes.


Par­tic­i­pants in a 1999 job expo held in down­town Hamil­ton re­view the job board as they lineup to get in to meet po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers.

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