HR departments and recruiters are watching you on Linkedin and other social networks. That’s an opportunity and a warning.
My new employer, I suspect, found me on Linkedin. They wanted something pretty specific: a CISSP type who could fill in as a sysadmin and technical writer. They found me, then lured me away with an offer I would have been a fool to refuse.
The lesson: Make sure your Linkedin profile is complete and professional. Shy away from saying controversial things, accept invitations from recruiters and HR types, and provide complete descriptions of your capabilities–remember, there’s no need to worry about the two-page limit online. If you’ve worked with 8 different variants of Unix, you might as well mention them all, so people who search only for AIX or Tru64 find you.
The warning: They’re going to assume that if you post questionable things to your social networking profiles, the controversy will spill over into the workplace. That doesn’t always happen, but when there are more applicants than job openings, any reason for weeding out applicants will suffice and there’s more to that than, say, the cleanliness of their car.