CARLSBAD, Calif. and RICHARDSON, Texas, July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Google+ has joined Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and BeKnown as the latest social media tool in the job seeker's arsenal. According to a new report on CareerCast.com, Google+ allows you to keep your social life separate from your professional life and is a great way to connect with potential employers and find job leads. However, this hot new tool is still in beta so it's only available by invitation from people who have already joined.
If you're lucky enough to score an early invite, Google+, unlike other social media sites, allows you to control which parts of your profile each of your connections sees.
"Through the use of 'Circles,' Google+ allows you to choose who sees each of your posts, photos, and videos," explains Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com. "You can also add potential employers and contacts to your circles without needing them to 'friend' you back."
Another highlight of Google+ is the ability to edit your posts once they are published. Even one of the site's drawbacks – your newsfeeds or "Streams" can be re-shared with friends outside your circle – can be overcome with a tool that allows you to disable re-sharing of posts.
"Hangouts" is Google+'s version of group video chat, which can potentially be very useful for long-distance interviews. Being able to do a video interview with a recruiter or hiring manager from the comfort of your home can be a huge savings and timesaver.
The "Sparks" feature of Google+ is a feed of current news stories related to interests that you select.
"Keeping abreast of company and industry news is a great way to find leads and research employers before an interview," says Mr. Lee.
Google+ is still developing its company-specific pages, so for now, it's best to research a company on other services. For job seekers, the bottom line is that no matter what social media network you are using, make sure you maintain control of your brand across the Internet. Take some time to surf the web and see what a potential employer might find about you. Not taking control of your brand could cost you in a big way.
For more information or to read the full report, visit http://www.careercast.com/career-news/how-google-plus-can-help-your-job-search.