Young people move more and more frequently in social networks like facebook or Twitter. And they leave traces there in the form of postings, comments, photos and videos. Can that later at the Job Search a Problem be?

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Personnel search specifically in the net?

What many young people Internet-Users do not think: when looking for a job later and Application could this be their undoing, because HR managers are now using the Internet in a targeted manner to find out about Candidate to inform.

But that's also the reason to think in good time about how to use the Internet specifically for his career planning.

Traces in the WEB - career tool or boomerang?

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98 percent of all 12 to 19 year olds regularly use the internet. And 85 percent of them are at least rarely active in social networks, 72 percent daily or several times a week. The most popular is the “SchülerVZ” with 42 percent, but the 18-19 year olds prefer the “StudiVZ”. This is followed in the popularity scale by “who-knows-who”, localists”, “MySpace”, “Kwick” and MeinVZ. This is shown by the study “Youth, Information, (Multi-) Media” (JIM for short), which the Media Education Research Association Southwest has been conducting annually since 1998.

And it also shows how unobtrusive the young people on the Internet deal with personal data and information. About 80 Percent of Internet users have posted information about their likes or hobbies. Also your own eMailAddress is visible on the Internet at more than 35 percent. And more than two-thirds have uploaded photos or films online. Particularly precarious: 54 percent of respondents have this data unprotected and accessible to all Internet users, stand on the net.

Nobody knows who reads this

This is a problem because nobody knows exactly who is accessing this information - and what they are doing with it. This can have serious consequences: 42 percent of Internet users state that videos or photos on which they were depicted have been posted online without their consent. A quarter reported that there was already anger among friends due to Internet entries. 14 percent have already done something wrong or insulting on the Internet. In contact with real cyberBullying a quarter of Internet users have come so far. Every third girl and every second boy can tell that someone from their circle of friends has already been beaten up on the Internet.

But even data that you don't make public at all, but only release to your friends, are not exposed to discovery for sure. Because, as numerous cases in the past have shown, the Online-Networks are not protected against hacker attacks. The Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology was able to prove this in a study. And the researchers also showed that every normal user actually manages to get data and photos that the user actually thought were safely locked away.

Years later, problems can arise

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Even years later, youthful sins can lead to problems on the Internet that many people don't even think about today. Of course, potential employers have long since discovered the Internet as a source of information: According to a study by the Careerbuilder job exchange, 22 percent are already using the Internet to obtain information. And they don't just check whether the specified qualifications vote, the applicant has spoken badly about former employers or has a criminal past: 41 percent of employers are looking for specific information about alcohol and drug use, and another 40 percent are looking for discrediting photos.

Because the old data in the network are usually preserved. Even those who delete their profile in online networks probably have not eliminated all forum entries, links and photos. With special face recognition software even photos can be assigned, if they do not carry a name. And in archives like, experienced people can also find ancient data. So in terms of career, it's best not to do anything with social networking activities?

Continue to be active in social networks

Thorsten zu Jacobsmühlen, the Companys advises on the search for personnel in Web 2.0 and blogs regularly on the subject is different Opinions:

“Even in the age of Web 2.0, it must be personal in the end Curriculum vitaewhich Appear, Background and, if available, convince the experience. But the Internet offers excellent opportunities, especially for job hunting and career planning. But you should know how to use it to your advantage and what to avoid at all costs. This has become so important that in England, for example, primary school children are already being taught how to use social media.”

Above all, there are more and more search services available to employers, which provide more and more detailed search results about applicants: These are first of all search engines like Google or special blog search engines like Technocrati, with which long-forgotten entries in forums or ancient blog comments can still be traced. In addition, there are special personal search engines such as 123People or Yasni, which unite all information about a person clearly on one page. Search services like Spokeo make it possible to search not only all social networks all the way to Twitter, but also video and photo services like Youtube and Flickr. And with zabasearch, public documents such as birth dates and even convictions can be unearthed in the US - a trend that sooner or later will also affect Germany.

Carry out positive reputation management

“Anyone who thinks they can avert the danger by holding back creates another, much bigger problem: they forego the possibility of being positive about themselves I aufmerksam and thereby convince potential employers of his good reputation on the internet, ”

declares to Jacobsmühlen and makes clearthat employers are in no way concerned with discrediting someone:

“Above all, employers want to know how applicants behave on the web. An applicant who gossips in networks about classmates, teachers or fellow students may also do so about colleagues or the Executive to do. No company wants to risk that, because you have to put a lot of emphasis on your own company reputation! "

For these reasons, as part of the application process in almost all companies, applicants who selection come, screened. And not only in top positions, but even potential interns. No industry has been exempt from this for a long time now:

“Many people think that the internet is only used for job applications IT– or the media industry in communication professions or executive floors. But now even medium-sized craft businesses are looking for their web vita when selecting their apprentices.”

Info Box: What to look for to protect your online reputation?

Gain experience on the internet

Johannes Lenz from the recruitment consultancy AlmaMater, which specializes in graduates, also finds it important to try things on the internet and gain experience that will be useful on the future career path:

“The new social media such as Facebook, Xing or Twitter are becoming increasingly important. It is therefore an advantage if you are familiar with it when you start your career and continue to develop your skills. "

But of course the Internet also harbors dangers, explains Lenz, who is responsible for online editing and onlineMarketing responsible. According to Lenz, young people in particular have to resist the temptation to focus too much on themselves through a large reach, because that could have negative consequences. It is therefore important to use the Internet in a targeted manner and to handle your own data responsibly and to set limits from the outset on how much you want to reveal:

“You should think carefully about who you want to reach with your content - otherwise they are the wrong people. The more openly I handle my data, the more dangerous it is. For example, if you only want to get in touch with your friends, you should make sure that you can only release data in a targeted manner on the network. You should also hide your profile from search engines. ”

Use social networks specifically for your career

If you want to use social networks specifically for your career, you have various options: For example, by drawing attention to yourself with forum posts, comments or your own blog on a specific topic. In addition, you can present your previous experience on platforms such as LinkedIn or Xing, which are specially designed for careers. But also in networks like Facebook or studiVZ, which are more geared towards private exchanges, you can do a lot for your career: For example, the profiles here also offer the option of including photos, links, slideshows or entire application videos.

Because especially in connection with image, sound and video, the Web 2.0 offers many more options than the mere application on paper or per eMail: You can, for example, present yourself in different jobs or life situations and thus show your previous experiences - of course in addition to the conventional CV. In this way, future employers can get a comprehensive picture of the company Personality make an applicant. You can also score points with videos or slide shows because this form of application is not yet standard. The prerequisite, however, is that it is really professionally done.

All in all, it is important to spread desirable information about yourself in various online profiles and then network, as Johannes Lenz emphasizes. In this way, potential employers who google for an applicant would mainly get the positive information Eye prick Anyone can decide for themselves what those are checkby regularly googling his own name. It is important that the viewer sees something that is as uniform as possible, as Lenz explains:

“The different profiles should contain the same information as far as possible via networking. For example, if you indicate special interests or internships in a profile, you should ensure that this is also visible in all other profiles. It is also important that in all activities authentic and looks serious – especially with the Choice of the online name. Targeted networking and authenticity increases the likelihood of attracting attention in Web 2.0.”

Positive in the social network

Positive Getting noticed on the internet – that's exactly what Sabrina Panknin has achieved: The press spokeswoman for the social media service provider Ethority found her dream job via the Twitter community. Panknin had after her Study of cultural sciences in the "classic" PR area, is also concerned with the possibilities of Web 2.0. Therefore, she knew that more and more companies and thus also potential employers are using the possibilities of social networks. And that's exactly what she wanted for a professional one change use.

“First I have my profile in Business-Network Xing polished so that the CV there is meaningful and up to date. I've also included a recent, professional photo."

says Sabrina Panknin. The Success was not long in coming: she received two requests from HR professionals. However, since nothing came of it, Panknin decided to take action himself – via Twitter. Among other things, she began to write short reports on the subject of PR and social media in order to draw attention to her specialist skills. She also posted a job application and also noted in her short biography that she was looking for a job. These activities fell Dr. Benedict Koehler, Digital Director Strategy and Research of ethority, on:

“He contacted me via my XING profile linked on Twitter, I sent my application documents in the traditional way, and was then promoted to job interview invited – and got the job,”

reports Panknin, whose success can be explained quite simply by the fact that she deliberately considered which network she uses for what purpose: she uses the Xing business network, for example, purely for work. For private contacts, however, she has Facebookwhere she is primarily networked with friends and colleagues. At studiVZ, however, she was never active herself, but she still gained experience with the network:

“I once asked to take a party photo of me there. Most people react very well when asked to do so. Because unfortunately, some photos, if taken out of context, can give a negative impression - even if the original situation was completely harmless. ”

This is how career planning goes on the net

Sabrina Panknin's example shows how important it is in career planning 2.0 not just to passively create an online profile draw up and then wait for a job offer. Rather, it's about becoming active yourself - including in unusual ways: The microblogging service Twitter, for example, was originally intended for the exchange of private short messages of up to 140 characters in length. There are now numerous large companies that use Twitter for marketing and recruiting. There is even a separate job search engine for Twitter,, and it even works on the iPhone. The benefits of Twitter for Sabrina Panknin are on the Hand:

"You look at your tweets and can read a piece of personality from them - unlike, for example, XING, where only one can find a prepared CV."

But it is also important in all online activities to keep an eye on what employers look for when looking for applicants or want to screen them. Because long since limit yourself HR and employers no longer just have to type their name into the search engine and see what the result is, but also search specifically for information in social networks.

Jan Kirchner and Alexander Fedossov and their personnel consultancy atenta have been looking for IT and Executives for the tech-savvy SME specialized in Hamburg - a niche area in which they have no choice but to search online networks Candidates to look for, as Jan Kirchner explains:

“For highly specialized specialists, we look around in industry forums on the Internet, make hollow recommendations and then address people specifically via social networks. So if you are well-versed in a special field, it is good to participate in appropriate groups online at an early stage. ”

According to Kirchner, the so-called business networks are particularly suitable for the search for personnel. The user profiles on Xing, for example, usually contain detailed information Vocational Training, career, experiences, interests and similar characteristic features of the respective person and can be searched or located using different search methods. This way the two can Headhunter very fast find out whether someone technically fits into the desired position. But also in more private networks like Facebook Kirchner and Fedossov have already found what they are looking for - even if not all profiles are publicly accessible here.

“If we were already on the track of a specific person whose name and professional activity we had found, for example, by searching in a web forum or a professional network, we were able to provide information on the professional activity, educational institutions visited, in addition to personal information on some user profiles. Find educational qualifications and professionally motivated interests that allow good conclusions to be drawn as to whether the candidate was suitable or not. ”

Kirchner and Fedossov put together the profile of an applicant from various pieces of the mosaic throughout the network. As Kirchner explains, it is always the little things that make up the overall picture: It is true that professional qualifications, training and professional experience are always the decisive factors for or against a candidate. But especially with wobbly candidates, sports, hobbies and social affairs are also mentioned Commitment as the HR consultant explains:

“How we view a candidate depends, of course, on the network: the standards in a business network are very different from those in a private network. But here too, of course, the normal rules of conduct and courtesy are required. Nasty comments, for example, immediately throw every applicant out of the race! ”

Since the sound often makes the music, Kirchner and Fedossov also use weblogs as a means of searching for applicants: on the one hand, they specifically search for bloggers with certain professions. On the other hand, they also search for thematically relevant articles to find out about them Article to approach interesting people.

“You can find out a lot about the authors, especially through blog posts. Such articles give an attentive reader insightful clues to the author's way of thinking, expression and educational background! ”

explains Kirchner and has two final tips for anyone who wants to use the Web 2.0 specifically for their future career:

“Anyone who wants to make a positive impression shouldn't just register in some network and then see what happens. Rather, he must get in touch with others, discuss and so his Competencies and show off your personality! But: Always think before you post what you post!”

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