Monday, August 18, 2008

Social Networking as a Reference?

I've always believed that it's a small world within the circles in which we live. Being in IT, here in the Detroit area, you cannot help but come across former colleagues at some point. As a result, you should never burn a bridge, or assume you will not come across a specific individual at some point in the future. As social networking sites gain popularity, which are occasionally used as a source of referencing, that world just gets a little smaller. Some sites feature references or recommendations as part of your profile, but as this article points out, don't assume that those recommendations suffice as an employment reference. Just because you recommend Joe and he recommends you, that doesn't mean that a potential hiring manager will not dig a lot deeper. The article mentions that hiring managers use common online contacts to backdoor reference candidates. The truth is, that practice has been done for years. The hiring manager knows someone that used to work at the same company as you and they make a phone call to see if you work and play well with the other kids. They're not only calling your formal reference to ask those questions. The social networking sites just make it easier as your contacts are out there for people to see.

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