10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search

Everyone’s talking about using social media for job-hunting. But how, exactly, should you do that? Alexis Grant of U.S. News shows 10 smart and strategic ways to network your way into a job using three popular online tools: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

1. Let people know you’re looking. Whether on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, let your friends and followers know that you’re looking for a job. Even better, tell them what type of job you’re looking for. They may not know of any openings right now, but if they know you’re available, they’ll think of you when a position opens up. That will help you hear about openings before they’re listed on popular job boards.

2. Don’t be afraid to network on Facebook.
Facebook may be for fun, but don’t make the mistake of overlooking your network there, especially if you already have hundreds of friends. Facebook can sometimes be more useful for job hunting than LinkedIn, because friends who know you personally have more of a stake in helping you. They want you to succeed—so use that to your advantage.

3. Make sure your Facebook profile is private. Much of your Facebook profile is public by default, and you probably don’t want a potential employer browsing your personal updates. Under Account, then Privacy Settings, choose “Friends Only.” That way, an employer who Googles you won’t be able to see the details of your profile, your photos, or your personal status updates.

4. Find information about hiring managers. Before you submit your resume, look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn and Twitter. (If he’s smart, he’ll make his Facebook profile private.) LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds are gold mines of information on individuals. Knowing more about the person who’s hiring can help you tailor your cover letter to their needs and desires.

5. Hyperlink your resume. Add the URL for your Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile to your contact information on your resume. (But don’t add your Facebook profile, since that’s private.) Not only does this offer the employer another way of getting in touch with you and seeing how you interact online, it also shows that you’re social media-savvy, a skill valued by many employers.

6. Be strategic with Facebook lists. Facebook’s list feature allows you to continue building your network without worrying about professional contacts seeing your personal updates. Under Account, then Friends, create a new list, and customize your privacy settings so professional friends can only see what you want them to see. That way your close friends can still keep up with your photos and personal updates.

7. Create the connections you need to get the job. It’s all about who you know, right? Don’t just use the connections you already have. Figure out who you need to know to land a certain job—likely the hiring manager—and make that connection, whether by getting them to follow you on Twitter by retweeting their tweets, or growing your LinkedIn network until they become a third-degree connection. Twitter in particular offers opportunity to connect with professionals who might not otherwise give you the time of day.

8. Get Google on your side. If don’t like what pops up when you Google yourself (because you know an employer will Google you), create a LinkedIn profile. Fill out your profile completely and become active on the network. That will help push your profile to the top of Google’s search results, which means a potential employer will see what you want them to see.

9. Join industry chats on Twitter. Look for chats that revolve around your industry, or better yet, the industry you want to work in. Joining online conversations helps you keep up-to-date on the industry, meet helpful contacts, and showcase your expertise in your field. You may also want to network with other job seekers through weekly conversations like #jobhuntchat or #careerchat (see also: hashtag)

10. Seek out job-search advice. All three of these networks are great places to find advice on job-hunting and mingle with other job seekers. Join LinkedIn groups that focus on job search. Follow career experts on Twitter, and “like” their pages on Facebook. That way you’ll get tips for your search even when you’re not looking for them.

- As seen in U.S. News Brought to you by the NetLingo Blog

Cybersex: It's about narcissism

Cybersex: Will it make monogamy obsolete? Internet connectivity and online porn have opened new ways to engage in extramarital adventures.

He never touched another woman, and claims to be happily married—yet for years he’s been conducting virtual affairs through Facebook, Twitter, and texting. Just how unusual is Anthony Weiner, New York’s scandal-plagued Democratic congressman? asked Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon.com. Not very. In a brave new world of online porn and instant Internet connectivity, millions of other men and, yes, women are exploring the “countless new avenues” for extramarital adventures. Like it or not, “technology has forever changed the landscape of intimacy and fidelity,” and is now forcing us to reassess our traditional concepts of monogamy. Does sexting count as adultery? Or are these virtual dalliances with strangers we’ll never meet just a harmless form of online entertainment?

These are questions we’re just now beginning to consider, said Andrew Sullivan in TheDailyBeast.com. For the first time in human history, the Internet enables people to create an alternative sexual reality where they can exist as “a body without a head (or a mind), a pair of strained underpants,” or even as an avatar with a whole new identity. “We haven’t quite figured out how to square this with our other lives.” In the past, infidelity was fraught with the possibility of destructive consequences, including sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Not so if you “cheat” through an online sex chat or a pornographic webcam. These activities are so wildly popular, especially among people under 35, because they allow otherwise monogamous individuals to let off some steam. What’s so terrible about that? said Jessica Bennett, also in TheDailyBeast.com. A recent survey found that 65 percent of women “and a whopping 80 percent of men” say they’d cheat if they knew they wouldn’t get caught. It’s simply unreasonable to expect one person to fulfill your every need, sexual or otherwise, through decades of marriage. Cybersex is just one of the many ways modern couples are seeking a little extra on the side. “That doesn’t mean the end of marriage,” but it may mean that we have to revise the rules.

If you think online sex isn’t “real,” said William Saletan in Slate.com, you’re fooling yourself. The Internet creates an illusion of anonymity among its users, making them think of online affairs as a “kind of a game disconnected from reality.” That was the rationalization Weiner himself used to excuse his “sexting”; as he said in his defense, “I never met these women. I never really had much desire to.” But what he called his “communications” turned into real online relationships, rife with intimate exchanges and sexual expression, which he pursued addictively and recklessly. Weiner’s pregnant wife is now heartsick, and his career is in tatters. Sounds pretty real to me.

But what a strange kind of reality it is, said Ross Douthat in The New York Times. As Weiner has reminded us, cybersex isn’t about relationships at all, or even about sex. It’s about narcissism—in its most “desperate and adolescent” form. You don’t tweet photos of your penis or artsy shots of your gym-sculpted pecs because you’re fascinated with the women on the other end. You send them because you’re fascinated with...yourself. Narcissism, of course, existed long before Facebook and Twitter, but social media serve “as a hall of mirrors in which it flourishes as never before.” In this obsessive new realm, the real thrill comes not from talking dirty but from the chance to say, over and over: “Look at me! Look at meeeee!”

- As seen in The Week

Is Facebook's 'like' button spying on you?

The Facebook "like" and Twitter "tweet" buttons that appear on so many websites do a lot more than just help you share content with friends...

The ubiquitous Facebook "like" and Twitter "tweet" buttons let web users share content with their friends and followers, but, unbeknownst to most, they also let the social media sites track users — even when people don't click on them, according to a study done for The Wall Street Journal. Here, a guide to the buttons and the privacy concerns they raise:

What do these buttons do?
Their primary function is to let users share items from across the web with their social networks. But they also place cookies on a user's computer that allow Facebook and Twitter to know when a user visits a specific page. If you visit any web page with a "like" button on it, Facebook knows about it. And the buttons "could link users' browsing habits to their social networking profile, which often contains their name," says Amir Efrati in The Wall Street Journal.

And it tracks you even if you don't click the buttons?
Yes. As long as you've logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month, your data is collected, even if you don't click the button. The tracking stops only when a user "explicitly logs out of their Facebook or Twitter accounts," says Efrati in the Journal.

How common are these widgets now?
The Facebook and Twitter buttons "have been added to millions of web pages in the past year," says Efrati. Facebook's widget appears on one-third of the 1,000 most-visited websites in the world, while buttons from Google and Twitter are on one-quarter and one-fifth of those sites, respectively.

Is Facebook using this data?
Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other "widget-makers" say they don't use the data to track users. And they say that the data is "anonymized" so that it can't be traced back to specific users. Facebook says it only uses the data to power targeted ads. The social network stores the data for three months, which is "substantially longer than the two weeks Google stores similar information," says Lee Mathews at Geek.com. Twitter says it doesn't use the data and deletes it "quickly."

What can be done to minimize this tracking?
"If you’re worried" about it, you should "log out of these sites after you’re done checking your email, tweeting, poking, or what have you," says Kashmir Hill in Forbes. "Yeah, you'll have to re-enter your password more often," says Linda Sharps at The Stir, "but it seems like you can have either convenience or privacy these days — not both."

- As seen in The Week
Brought to you by the NetLingo Blog

Talk is Cheap: Five VoIP-Powered Services

As seen in Conde Nast Traveler, Alex Pasquariello reports on the five most popular VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) powered services. Which one is for you?

1) For old-school travelers who still use hotel-room phones, the best way to call is using VoIP calling cards, including www.axvoice.com/plans/calling-card.html, Pingo.com, Enjoyprepaid.com, and Comfi.com. What do you need? A landline and a card or online account loaded with pre-paid credit.

The fundamentals of the classic calling card remain: Pick up a landline, dial a toll-free local access number, enter a PIN and an account number, and reach out and touch someone. What's new is that your entire call—whether to a landline or a mobile number—is routed over the Web, which translates into super-low rates.

Cost: Varies by destinations but ranges from 5 cents to 50 cents per minute.

Drawbacks: VoIP calling card services are available from a limited number of countries. Connection fees can offset the great rates.

2) For tech-savvy travelers who want voice and video chat, the best way to call is Skype. What do you need? A laptop, Android phone, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

A pioneer in VoIP applications, Skype remains the go-to service for travelers who are wired and who have consistent Wi-Fi access. Skype's mobile app, designed to work with the new generation of camera-enabled iPhone and Android devices, means you can leave the laptop at home. Voice and video chat to other Skype users is picture- and pitch-perfect.

Cost: Free when calling other Skype users; rates from 2.3 cents per minute for calls to landlines and mobiles in 42 countries when you pay as you go, and even lower with a $14 monthly subscription.

Drawbacks: Forgetting to turn off data service when using Skype mobile abroad can quickly lead to sky-high international data charges.

3) For globe-trotting Apple fanboys and girls, the best way to call is Apple FaceTime. What do you need: An iPhone, iPod Touch, or MacBook.

A super-simple Wi-Fi video-chat app available on the latest iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook devices, all of which have cameras and microphones. With a couple of taps, you're connected to your loved ones, and they can see your face via the front-side camera—or switch to the normal camera to chat while you show them the view of your destination.

Cost: Free to other FaceTime users.

Drawbacks: You can only call others who have the latest Apple gizmos, and it doesn't work with data service—you must be in a Wi-Fi zone.

4) For international road warriors, the best way to call is Toktumi Line2. What do you need? An Android phone, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

Wouldn't it be great to have a U.S. number at which all your clients could reach you even when you're abroad? That's what Line2 gives you—along with visual voice mail, so you won't waste time or money taking calls you don't want. When you're in a Wi-Fi zone, the Line2 app effectively adds a second line to your smartphone, allowing people to call you overseas at no extra charge to them.

Cost: The app is just 99 cents, but you'll need to pay $10 a month for a phone number, voice mail, and unlimited calls and texts within the United States; overseas, rates to land and mobile lines start at 2 cents per minute.

Drawbacks: See those under Skype, above.

5) Facebook fanatics, the best way to call is Vonage Mobile App for Facebook. What do you need? An Android phone, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

Vonage's VoIP service has traditionally been marketed as a replacement for home lines, but its mobile partnership with Facebook makes staying in touch on the go as easy as updating your wall. Download the app on your latest-generation iPhone or Android device and it imports contact info for all of your Facebook friends—if they also have the app, you're ready to chat.

Cost: Free to other Facebook friends with the Vonage Mobile App.

Drawbacks: Do you really want everybody you've friended on Facebook to be able to call you on your mobile?

Smart phones may be getting smarter by the minute, but the sound quality on most of them is far from genius. For crystal-clear audio on phone chats or during your in-flight movie, consider packing Etymotic's HF3 in-ear buds (etymotic.com; $179), or go wireless with Nokia's noise-canceling Bluetooth BH-905i headset (nokiausa.com; $300).

- As seen in Conde Nast Traveler
Brought to you by NetLingo.com | Improve Your Internet IQ Blog

Technology and Eroticsm: The Connection

“As our markets discover and respond to what consumers most want, our technology has become extremely adept at creating products that correspond to our fantasy ideal of an erotic relationship, in which the beloved object asks for nothing and gives everything, instantly, and makes us feel all powerful, and doesn’t throw terrible scenes when it’s replaced by an even sexier object and is consigned to a drawer. The ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes—a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts, a world of resistance—with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be a mere extension of the self.” - by Jonathan Franzen in The New York Times

Should parents get to control their kids' Facebook pages?

A California bill would let parents prune what their kids post online. Is this a victory for parents or a strangely heavy-handed law? What do you think...

Facebook is heading for a showdown with parents in California. State legislators are considering a bill that would force social networking sites to change their privacy policies, giving parents the right to prune online information about their children up to age 18. If a mom or dad didn't like a photo or post involving their kid, they could demand that Facebook remove it within 48 hours, or face a $10,000 fine. Is this a sensible way to help parents protect their children?

Some say yes, parents should set the rules: Once a kid turns 13 and becomes old enough to be an authorized Facebook user, "parental authority essentially is meaningless," says Mary Beth Hicks at The Washington Times. Facebook guarantees users' privacy, and essentially tells parents to mind their own business. It's about time we had "a law that reminds social networking companies of the primacy of parents in the lives of their minor children."

But do we really need a heavy-handed law? By all means, parents, keep tabs on what your children are doing online, says Jeanne Sager at The Stir. But don't demand that Facebook do your dirty work. If you want the ability to remove inappropriate pictures, tell your kid to give you his password. "That's all you have to do. Buck up and act like real parents."

Don't forget about kids' rights: This bill is supposed to be about protecting privacy online, says Kashmir Hill at Forbes. But for California teens, it does the opposite. Giving people "more control" over online information isn't always liberating — just ask some of the 16-year-olds who would be affected by this law. "Kids should have some privacy rights too, after all."

- As seen in The Week
Brought to you by the NetLingo Blog