Having a professional online presence is more important than ever in relation to the job market. Social media can be a very effective tool for promoting yourself and highlighting your strengths and talents.
Developing an online brand via applications such as Twitter, Blogger, and Linkedin is relatively easy and show potential employers that you are engaged and productive, often as a preface to the job interview. For example, creating a blog or online portfolio to display your previous experience/projects in a given field can foster a good impression and give you a leg up on the competition, while also exhibiting computer proficiency.
However, keep in mind that work and play content should be separated online; for example, your Linkedin profile is a much less appropriate place to share vacation photos than a personal Facebook account.
While engagement with all of these platforms is not necessary, complete absence from social media can look suspicious when (not if) those in charge of hiring Google your name. Since researching potential employees via search engines and Facebook is now common practice, it is important to think about what you post and/or adjust the privacy settings on your accounts. Employers even pay attention to details such as what are your interests, which groups you follow, and where you have been commenting. Don’t assume that just because you don’t lead them there does not mean they won’t find it. Like all social media, simply being online is not enough. If you are going to do it, you have to do it well.