Social media tools promise rewards at the same time they threaten risk for human resources professionals. And, like the rest of us, they struggle with the fire hose of new tools  and approaches that seem to come out every day.

This summer I presented to the Society for Human Resources Professionals, outlining some of the tools, resources, techniques and opportunities available to HR professionals. A majority of the practitioners in the room have personally set up LinkedIn profiles and nearly all had Facebook pages.

It has been the case at many groups I’ve spoken to that most professionals are uncomfortable using Facebook for business, instead reserving it for family and friends. I’m not going to rant about either of the two responses I’ve commonly seen about using Facebook professionally. The reasons for keeping a Facebook profile are salient and real. Namely, if you connect to your children via Facebook and want to maintain family privacy, if you want to keep a professional image of yourself in front of bosses, co-workers, and subordinates, and if you mainly use Facebook to play games these are all viable reasons to keep your network walled off.

Social networking for Human Resources professionals handout

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