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The "Do's and Dont's" of Social Media

With more than 1-billion users on Facebook today, social media is a major part of our society. It's a great tool, but it can also hurt people searching for jobs. Michelle Kingston spoke with local experts and an ASU student to find out how to use social media to your benefit.
Angelo State University senior Besspher Mannah is ready for his first post-college job interview. He has suits and ties, a business and marketing degree on the way and multiple  social media sites -- a huge factor in the hiring process today.

"You have to think about how you want to be viewed. What is the image -- the reputation -- you want to have?" he said.

Besspher's image is professional. He has his own website, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to name a few -- all with non-incriminating photos.

"Why would you put a picture of you drinking and beer, partying?" he said. "We have employers looking at things like those. Just that alone can keep you from a job opportunity."

A recent CareerBuilder survey found 39-percent of employers use social networking sites when researching job candidates. Of those, 43-percent said they found information that factored into not hiring a candidate.

"Students can literally make or break their careers through social media these days," Dr. Karen Shumway, an ASU professor, said. "We know we have students who were not hired for jobs because of what they had on their, for example, Facebook page, or what they may have twittered."

Angelo State's College of Business teaches proper etiquette online -- how to monitor and maintain social media sites and use them effectively.

"We try to teach them that when you put something out there on the internet, it's literally like putting a big huge bulletin board or billboard or neon sign out on Houston Harte here and saying i did this," Shumway said.

So put photos and statuses out there that you want people to see -- that show friends, family and businesses who you are.

"Connect with more people, connect with groups who are going to be helpful in your career," Mannah said. "Create a LinkedIn, put your resume on there. Just create a professional profile as a whole. It's all about you. It's all about branding. It's all about marketing...You. Who you are."

Michelle Kingston, KLST News.
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