LinkedIn may be the first site that springs to mind when considering online professional networking, but a recent article in the Dallas Business Journal cautions us from putting too much personal information online. Social networking sites are great for gaining exposure in a public forum but there are risks to consider before making your posts visible to a wide audience. If you don’t want your current employer to discover that you are pursuing other professional opportunities, make sure you are only posting to confidential sites. Dana Manciagli offers several ways to make sure that only the right people know about your job search such as only using personal email addresses or phone numbers and not telling anyone at work, on Facebook or Twitter that you are looking for a job because you never know when it might slip out.
If you don’t want to share information about your job search publically, there are “unsocial” networking sites that can expand your career search while keeping your information private. One such site is Netshare.com, a site that provides networking for job seekers at the executive level. The site offers a more intimate platform where members can participate in member-only networking groups and educational opportunities. Finding smaller networks can help target your efforts more specifically to your industry or position and connect you to opportunities that may make the difference in advancing your career.
Utilizing larger sites like LinkedIn is an excellent way to gain visibility, build your personal brand and to maintain a public presence. But for information you would rather keep private, it may be in your best interest to pursue smaller networks to supplement your job search.