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Top 10 social media tips for the job hunt

Social media can be an excellent way to find a job – if you do it right.

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"You’ve got to make sure that if you’re looking for a job, you tell people. You can’t be a silent agent or a secret agent kind of person," Esse says. "It’s kind of like dating. If you sit in the corner, you’re probably not going to find many dates."

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6. Be careful.

You probably don't need editor Susan Joyce to tell you that job seekers and current employees have undermined themselves using social media. Still, before you go charging off into the great unknown, here's a further word to the wise.

Ms. Joyce relates a tale where an employee of a large government contractor received a top secret security clearance and promptly tweeted about it.

"Clearances are sensitive things and he tweeted out to the world, and that just struck me as marginally suicidal," Joyce says. "It was the last tweet I ever saw from the guy."

If you already have a presence in social media, give it a good scrub.

"I would advise that you sanitize everything that [any employer] could come into contact with from a social media standpoint," Warborg says. "If your grandmother wouldn’t think it’s a good idea to post that, don’t do it."

Remember: Google never forgets.

"Once you put it out there, it’s there. And that’s why you need to be careful," Joyce says.

5. Get organized.

After a while, you're going to be dealing with a ton of information.

"I see Twitter as … bigger than all the encyclopedias ever thrown together. The Library of Congress on the floor disorganized," Joyce says."But if you find people you trust and you follow them, you can learn some amazing things."

Make a routine of checking your various social media platforms. Better still, keep them organized by utilizing list functions.

"I have a list I keep adding to of recruiters who are recruiting directly on LinkedIn," Joyce says. "Last summer there were 50, now there's 205."

On Twitter, list functions can also help separate different groups of people. But what makes all the difference is using a program like TweetDeck to be able to sort the information as it comes in. By allowing you to view more than one column of information at a time – either an ongoing search for a particular topic, a field devoted to a particular list, or keeping tabs on individual Twitter feeds – the fire hose of Twitter information is kept manageable.

4. Team up

While job seekers in the same industry have strong incentives not to pass along the hottest job tips, there's still much to learn from fellow searchers and employment professionals alike.

First, Esse suggests, use searches for Twitter hash tags and Facebook fan or interest pages to find people who are both active and interested in your field. Take a look through large blog sites like WordPress or Blogger for impassioned and insightful individuals. After establishing contact with them through following, friending, or leaving comments on their page, engage them with your own questions.

In a tough economy, a social media edge might be all the difference.