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How Social Media Can Help (or Hurt) Your Job Search

Do's and don'ts on using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Twitter

On Twitter, you post personal thoughts, current news and anything else you hope will be intriguing, all in no more than 140 characters. These messages are known as tweets. They go out to your network of followers, who could be friends or complete strangers.

Of all the social networks, Twitter is probably the least helpful in a job search. Still, it can help you stay up to date on what people, companies and organizations in your occupational field are doing.

  • Don't tweet first and think later. You are what you tweet. An employer can search and find what you've posted. "If you wouldn't want it on page one of your daily newspaper, don't tweet it," Silverberg advises.
  • Do follow leaders in your field, potential employers, your college career center, your college alumni office and career advice sites. Using the site's search function, get career tips and learn about potential employers and developments in your field.
  • Do make your Twitter profile count. You have only 160 characters to work with in a profile, so be creative and to the point. "It's the first impression people will get about you," Silverberg says.
  • Do connect with TweetMyJobs and sign up for its free services. You can choose the cities and job titles you're most interested in, and these will be tweeted to you as they appear. The postings are immediate, so you'll hear about a job before other social platforms will likely have it.
  • Do establish yourself as an expert in your area of interest by tweeting about its latest articles, news and research. If fashion is your thing, tweet out your best tips to followers.
  • Don't create separate Twitter accounts for personal and professional use. It could get confusing and cause you to send a tweet from the wrong account. And from a practical standpoint, you want anyone who finds you to see who you are, from all standpoints. If you're a busy mom who happens to work for a Fortune 500 company, talk about it.
  • Do put a disclaimer in your Twitter bio and profile that your views are your own, not your current employer's.

Next: Should you delete your personal website or blog? »

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