Social networking sites are more and more important these days. Recruiters and business partners look to find more about you, often before they will talk to you in person but almost certainly before they finally commit to the relationship. MySpace and Facebook are the most popular for college and personal uses. LinkedIn is probably the most popular among business users. Individuals post synopses of their resumes and business histories and seek introductions to new prospective partners. In these difficult economic times, it can be a very useful step to finding new work or just staying in touch with old colleagues.

Some folks get themselves in trouble with social networking sites, though. CIO Magazine ran a recent column on LinkedIn Etiquette that should be required reading. The short version is “use common sense”. You’re posting about yourself for the whole world to see. Don’t post anything that will come back to haunt you later.

Recruiters especially don’t like surprises. Make sure that the impression a reader gets from your profile matches what they will find when they meet you in person or talk to your references.

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