Optimizing Online Networking

Sakina writes:

Is it a good idea to network online and if so are there sites out there that you would recommended?

The Career Doctor responds:
Online social networking is unquestionably important. I would characterize this type of networking as excellent supplemental networking.

The two mistakes I see are spending too much time networking online at the expense of the more effective face-to-face networking and failing to eliminate or counteract “digital dirt” negative or controversial information about you that employers may uncover when they search for you. Digital dirt can especially be a problem for younger job-seekers who post risque photos of themselves or discuss sex substance use politics and other dicey topics online.

I offer Hansen’s Social Media Formula:

Your own Web site with your name as domain name: yourname.com (or LinkedIn profile)
+ Twitter + Facebook + LinkedIn (if not used in place of Web site) + up to 3 more social networks