Social media primer for job seekers

As a member of the Career Collective blogging community of resume writers and career coaches, this post is one of many this month discussing how to use social media in a job search. I encourage you to visit other members’ responses linked at the end of my post and follow our hashtag on Twitter all month long: #careercollective.

Not sure your way around a tweet or a post?  Do you know how to “like” a post? Fear not, each of us was one day a social media newbie. The good news is it’s easy to pick one to get started and then join in with another once you’re ready. The unchartered waters won’t be that scary, and the upside is that your social media activity positively helps your search engine results when your name is Googled during your job search.

What follows are some do’s and don’ts for social media newbies:

DO vary your posts between the different platforms for those contacts of yours who are in more than one of your networks.

DO mention your job search on Facebook, but only occasionally. As Facebook is going to contain your most personal network, please don’t inundate your family and friends with every detail of your job search, but DO post what type of position you are searching for in case someone in your network can assist you.

DO use one picture (head and shoulders, please) across all platforms for consistent branding and familiarity.

DO follow your target companies on Twitter as well as career professionals, thought leaders and subject matter experts in your field.

DO consider starting your own blog to establish yourself as a subject matter expert, value-added professional, or thought leader in your space.

DON’T post, tweet, or share anything questionable, inappropriate, or off-color. It’s not worth the risk, and your online activity can never really be deleted. Keep your professional reputation in tact by keeping things clean. That does not mean that you can’t share personal anecdotes, funny stories, or success. Just remember to keep everything clean.

DON’T be intimidated by Twitter. Remember, there are two aspects of being on Twitter – tweeting your own content, and reading and benefiting from others’ tweeted material. The single biggest piece of Twitter advice I can offer someone starting out is to download TweetDeck as your Twitter application. TweetDeck allows you to set up groups or establish searches according to key word phrases. The results are shared on your screen in column format. In my experience, it’s been much more user friendly than the standard Twitter account home page.

DON’T just retweet, “like” or share other people’s material. It’s important to develop a mix of posting original content and participating in the community aspect of social media. Add something to the conversation!

and finally…
DON’T wait any longer to get started. Just do it! Several career professionals agree that the order of ease among social media platforms when starting out is:  LinkedIn, Facebook, and tied for third, Twitter, and blogging.

Read along for more advice from my esteemed fellow memebrs of the Career Collective:

Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana

You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen

How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman

Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW

How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman

Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy

Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland

We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee

Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan

Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal

Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa

How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers

Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni

Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllness

HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist

Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice

Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords

Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach


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