The Dos and Don’ts of the Social Media Job Search

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You’ve probably heard that you can’t find a job in today’s highly connected world without the use of social media. But social media for the job search goes beyond setting and forgetting a LinkedIn profile. In order to make the most of these online networking tools you need to follow some important internet rules. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts of the social media job search.

Don’t

  • Forget to lock down your privacy settings. Many people prefer to focus on the professional aspects of LinkedIn and the personal aspects of Facebook. If you do separate your online life this way be sure to set your Facebook privacy settings to the highest level so prospective employers can’t see everything you post to this social media site.
  • Choose inappropriate profile photos. Even with the highest privacy settings on Facebook your profile photos are still public when someone searches for your profile. For this reason, use caution when selecting your profile photos. Always maintain a professional image even if you want to project part of your personal life.
  • Allow your friends to post unprofessional comments. One aspect of social media that many people don’t take into consideration is comments from friends. You can’t really control what your friends say or how they say it, but you can keep them from affecting your career by monitoring comments on your social media.
  • Speak badly about your boss or coworkers. The 140 character microblogging capabilities of Twitter allow users to share a lot of information in a small space. The problem is, far too many twitter uses do not edit their thoughts before they hit the “Tweet” button. Never post negative thoughts about your coworkers or your manager. These are public and can impact your career in the long run.

Do

  • Create an online brand and relevant profiles. Social media is becoming a calling card for professionals across all industries. You want to ensure that your message is the same on all platforms. Create a website that can act as a professional portfolio, add a blog, and create social media profiles that match your overall branding and message.
  • Use social media to connect with professionals in your space. Social media works a lot like face to face networking. Opportunities won’t be handed to you so you have to put yourself in a position to find them. On LinkedIn, connect with professionals in your area and your industry. On Facebook, follow the company pages that interest you from a professional perspective.
  • Engage on social media in a professional and productive way. One of the biggest mistakes the job seekers make when it comes to social media is not engaging. So many professionals treat a LinkedIn profile as they might view a resume and create an account but never utilize it. To be seen by potential employer you need to engage with them and others online in a productive way.
  • Prove that you’re a resource in your industry. Finally, part of a successful online job search is to position yourself as a leader in your chosen field. The best way to do this is to develop a blog where you can write about your expertise with an online audience. You can then share these blog posts on your social media platforms so other professionals can see your value.

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