Streams are like your Facebook news feed and again it’s up to you as to what your friends and contacts see. You can choose to share with particular Circles, your extended Circles or share publicly. If you choose to post publicly, those who have added you to their Circles will see your posts and it will also appear in search results. You can also have the option to edit your posts once they are published, which is not an option on other social media sites.
Just be aware, though, that if you post something and it’s re-shared, your friends in that Circle will be able to see the post even if the original post was not shared with them. That is unless you click the down arrow button in your post and specifically “disable re-share.” You can also edit posts you’ve made, unlike on Facebook or Twitter.
When a friend posts something in a stream, you can tell who it was shared with. By clicking to the right of the timestamp, you can tell if it was shared publicly, with an extended Circle or to a small group of people. You can see exactly who got the post and who will see your comments, if you choose to comment.
As with any of your posts, you can have control over who sees your photos and which photos they’ll be able to access. This way, a potential employer will never see the photos of you doing Jell-O shots at your neighbor’s barbeque. You can, however, grant them access to the photos of you in your professional life and the more appropriate business-like photos.
Sparks is a feed of current news stories that are related to interests that you select. This is a great way to keep up on industry news and companies that you are focusing on for your job search. It’s a central place where you can keep abreast of current happenings with companies before your job interview.
Hangouts is Google+’s version of group video chat. While this is a fun way to connect with your friends, it can also 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. While the kinks are still being worked out, this feature has the potential to be another avenue for the future of job interviewing.
Google+ is still developing its company-specific pages, so it’s best to research a company on other services at this time. And although Google+ has made the privacy of their users a priority, it’s still evolving and they are still beta-testing their product. So, there may be more changes along the way.
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 as much as possible. 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.