Using Social Networks for Your Job Search

With social networks expanding beyond the reach of teenagers and college students, creating and utilizing professional contacts is become easier and daunting at the same time. The key is to know how to separate the grain from the chaff. In other words, when you’re using networks such as TwitterLinkedIn or even Facebook, begin with researching and following people in your industry.

Websites such as Twitter allow the option of creating lists that you can follow; therefore staying current with the industry becomes quite easy. However, for professional purposes, LinkedIn is probably the best place to begin because you can tap into your own network contacts, which can include your friends, employers and school networks.

Here are some tips for Social Networks

1. Stay current

While it’s important to stay abreast of developing trends in your field, it’s also important to keep your own online persona active. If you’re in the market and looking for work, keep yourself in the public eye. You can’t be considered if people don’t know you’re around.

2. Keep your status updates relevant to your job search

This part of networking is rather flexible. We all tend to connect with friends and family on online social networks, so, as far as possible, keep your status updates related to your quest for employment and career. Mentioning your efforts to expand your qualifications is also noteworthy.

3. Establish boundaries for social networking against professional networking

The last tip is actually a great segue for this one. Yes, we all interact with friends and family on social networks, especially on LinkedIn and Facebook , but an online presence is very easy to track and research. Therefore, establishing boundaries between social and professional networking becomes essential. The best rule of thumb with boundaries is: “If you don’t want your mother to see it, then don’t post it.”

4. Don’t complain about your employer, internship, professor or colleagues. You never know when that could come back to haunt you

A quick internet search will show you a lot of stories of people who have vented about their employers and colleagues online only to regret it with drastic steps taken against them. Yes, it’s possible to lose your job over letting out a little steam in the public sphere. So hold yourself back when the temptation to whine is high.

5. Limit the number of photos posted

Being active online means considering the repercussions of every step taken. College students tend to post pictures of parties and drinking nights, which don’t reflect very well in the public sphere and they hinder the prospects of future employment. A future employer may not be willing to develop a generous opinion of you or your professionalism after stumbling across a photo-journal of a wild, drunk night of yours.



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