Social media sites put a new spin on an old job hunting tactic – networking for both candidates and employers alike. Getting the word out used to require a number of calls and emails to friends and colleagues. Now, a simple Facebook status update, blog post, or Twitter can let thousands of people know if you are job hunting or hiring.

But the efficiency of social networks has its drawbacks. Hiring managers regularly use the internet to research potential hires. Seemingly innocuous comments on a blog, a photo from your college days, or a feed of websites you recommend may not always be seen in a positive light by an employer.

Savvy candidates search for themselves on the web before embarking on a new job hunt. Clean up of one’s online persona can even be outsourced to companies that specialize in this unique task.

Social media puts even more pressure on workers with Federal security clearance to balance privacy versus the desire to see and be seen on the web. Publicly publishing one’s clearance level, or even the fact that you possess a clearance, goes against government policy for secrecy. Cleared job hunters can post their resumes on restricted access sites like to maintain privacy.

With global communication being just a mouse click away, job seekers should make the most of social networks, but understand the full impact on their careers.

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Evan H. Lesser is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Before founding ClearanceJobs, Mr. Lesser managed technical projects with CACI for the U.S. Navy's Science and Technology directorate at the Pentagon, and for the Joint Technology Panel on Electronic Warfare. Previously, he worked for Boeing on its Reserve Component Automation System program for the U.S. Army in metro Washington, DC. Mr. Lesser has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Georgia in Athens, and lives and works in the Atlanta metropolitan area.