From almost every article, boss, parent and professor, students all over the country have gotten THE Facebook lecture (you know, the one about making your profile Grandma-friendly). You get it—your Facebook profile is clean…but you’re still unemployed. What gives?
For the 50 percent of 2012 college graduates that landed a job, congratulations! For the other half, it’s time to do what our generation does best: embrace social media. And for high school graduates, it’s never too early to think about protecting your online reputation and connecting to professional networks. Here are online apps that can help you network, actually clean up your online reputation, and hopefully help you out in pursuing your career goals.
BranchOut is a free application on Facebook that has grown into the largest professional networking application on Facebook with more than 25 million registered users and over 400 million professional profiles. It allows users to leverage their Facebook friend networks to find jobs, recruit talent, and strengthen relationships with professional contacts. BranchOut operates the largest job board on Facebook with more than three million jobs and 20,000 internships. It offers a suite of recruiting products for both job seekers and recruiters.
Another professional networking Facebook app is BeKnown by Monster. Your dashboard provides a snapshot of your professional network and keeps you up to date with connections. You can review your network stats, including badges and endorsements you’ve earned and the number of companies you follow. Badges are earned based on your work history, education, size and composition of your professional networks. Endorsements can be given with the option of a “stamp of approval” of the skills on your list or writing a recommendation. BeKnown finds and recommends jobs for you based on your skills and experience and you can find jobs that are posted by people in your network. Companies have profiles with information on products, services, job opportunities, and users can follow the company’s profile page.
Jackalope is meant to help users with the job seeking process. It allows you to log in with your social network of choice and start looking for a job and quickly know who can help. After searching for jobs by keywords, you can filter through the search results by Jacalope Ranking, number of connections, locations, industries or education. Jackalope allows you to reach out to connections and watch a job.
Here’s an online tool that actually ties in to what everyone in our life has been preaching to us about Facebook. NetworkClean is a free social network monitoring service which protects and scans both your personal and business Facebook pages, plus alerts you instantly to inappropriate content, privacy concerns, security issues and more. You can receive alerts for inappropriate content, based on your scan settings, and are able to remove this content instantly to protect your online reputation. After you scan your profile, NetworkClean will tell you your reputation and trends (the tone of my Facebook is “mostly positive”), flagged content, most popular friends, your reputation visualized, and any privacy and security warnings. Flagged content will reveal “aggressive posts,” “alcohol/drug and profanity/derogatory posts,” and “adult content” among others. It currently supports Facebook and will be expanding to many other social networks, including Twitter and LinkedIn.
A play off of NetworkClean, Brandyourself.com is a Do-It-Yourself platform that empowers anyone to improve their own search results. It started when Co-Founder Pete Kistler couldn’t get an internship because he was being mistaken for a drug dealer on Google. BrandYourself allows you to make sure search engines find and rank your most relevant results at the top, improving your personal brand. Besides monitoring what is showing up when you are placed in the world of search engines, you can also find out when people are Googling you and looking you up.
If these online tools aren’t enough for you, there are always more to fall back on. Sites like Jibe.com, SimplyHired.com, Glassdoor.com and professional social network LinkedIn all contribute to the job-seeking process. Good luck!
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin