Social Networking Do’s and Don’ts

Experts weigh in on the do’s and don’ts of using social media to look for your next job.

DO maintain your accounts. Update daily, if possible. (But DON’T update so much that your posts become white noise.)

DO share articles, videos, blog posts and other content that people in your target industry, or at your target organization(s), will find useful.

DO promote yourself. Share your accomplishments, articles you’ve written, professional challenges you’ve overcome, etc. (But DON’T come across as a braggart. It’s a fine line.)

DO engage your peers, both current and future. Ask and answer questions, join conversations and groups, comment on others’ updates, retweet, etc.

DO remember whom you are “talking” to. On Facebook, for example, you are sharing information with everyone that you have added as a friend. On Twitter you are sharing information with everyone… period. Twitter is a public network.

DO check – and be sure you completely understand – privacy settings.

DO present yourself with consistency. “Ensure your LinkedIn profile, Twitter bio and Facebook page show the same job histories and expertise,” said Nicholas E. Kinports of innovation agency Maddock Douglas. “Cross-check against your printed resume and personal [business] card[s] – do all materials tell the same story?”

DOnetwork in fertile soil,” said Dale Kramer Cohen, co-founder of IvyLife, a business networking community for Ivy League-affiliated professionals. That is, make sure you are interacting in trusted communities.

DON’T share too much information (TMI), especially information of a personal nature.

DON’T neglect to proofread your social media posts as carefully as you would your resume. “Just as it is important to have a resume free of errors, the same is true of any public writing that an employer may see,” said Chris Laggini, vice-president of human resources for DLT Solutions, a value-added reseller of IT products and services. “Do your wall posts on Facebook consistently have spelling errors? The recruiter may see that as carelessness or illiteracy.”

DON’T forget that people may have a different sense of humor. “What you may think is funny may sound obnoxious to others,” said Karina Goldrajch, CMO and co-founder of GenMobi Technologies.