To be sure, the Web can also thwart your job search if you're not careful in how you use it. "Whatever you put on a profile or networking site sends an impression of who you are. It becomes part of your personal brand identity," says Lauren Doliva, a partner at executive-search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. in San Francisco. "The key is to be thoughtful about the content you are conveying and what others might assume as a result of reading or seeing it."
Also bear in mind that any information you post online is likely to remain in cyberspace indefinitely. "This is a broadcast medium where you may not really have control over who sees, reads or shares the information," says Ms. Doliva.
If social networking just isn't for you, another way to build a Web presence and boost your odds of being found by recruiters is to write a blog on a topic related to your career interests, says Ms. Doliva. "A blog can demonstrate your thinking on a given topic," she says. "In effect, it's a series of white papers."
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Write to Elizabeth Garone at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question for the careers columnists, be sure to put Career Q&A in your subject line.