3 Mistakes You Should Never Make When You Use Social Media for Your Job Search

3 Mistakes You Should Never Make When You Use Social Media for Your Job Search

Social media can be an advantage for you if you are searching for your next career move; it can also be disastrous! You can make a positive impression in your job search before you ever go on an interview OR you can lose the option to interview because of your social media footprint.

How can you leave footprints on the web? It’s a reality many people ignore. It’s too easy to get overly comfortable on social platforms and say something that shouldn’t be said in public or upload images that are too personal or provocative. It’s news when Congressmen lose jobs; you may end up losing your job opportunities too.

Don’t make these mistakes!

Mistake #1: Compromising your current job security while you are employed. To go undetected, you need to do the following:

  • Be strategically visible (learn all about privacy settings).
  • Learn about how to stay off the feed (settings, privacy controls).
  • Be conveniently flexible. In addition to being found and seen by the right career stakeholders, you will want to make it easy for them to reach out to you. Learn how to modify your contact settings so people can find you and see what types of contact you would welcome.
  • Don’t openly advertise your job search.
  • Never job search at work. Don’t tell anyone, don’t work on your job search at work (even at lunch), and don’t use your work email in social media – ever.

Mistake #2: Typos, grammar errors, misspellings. Yes, your social media communications are another writing sample for prospective employers. If they see errors, they will assume that is how you would write if you were working for them. So show them a sample of your best work, and even have your communications edited if necessary. Sorry, no excuse for English being your second language, either! 

Mistake #3: Each of the top social media tools requires a slightly different protocol or “netiquette:” 

1. LinkedIn

  • Not having a purpose or not understanding why you are on LinkedIn. Have a reason and build a plan to reach your goals.
  • Failure to participate. If you do not participate consistently, you will not find success.
  • Presenting an incomplete picture.
  • Failure to build credibility.
  • Bad photo choice.
  • Not securing recommendations.

2. Facebook

  • Clean up your presence: use Bing and Google to search for your name to see what comes up. Maintain a professional, but fun, Facebook profile.
  • Major mistakes include:
    • Inappropriate pictures.
    • Complaining about your current job or current boss or prior jobs and bosses.
    • Posting conflicting information from that on your résumé.
    • Statuses you wouldn’t want your boss to see.
    • Losing by association: not understanding your security settings. Watch what your friends post!

3. Twitter

  • The word “expert,” “maven,” or “guru” in your title is bragging and meaningless for job seekers.
  • Not following back. If someone follows you, do him or her the courtesy of following back.
  • Recycling rather than repurposing content. It’s fine to repeatedly reference the same blog post over time in your tweets, but avoid continually rehashing the exact same text.
  • Not re-tweeting others’ content—tweeting your own company’s content is a great idea, but make sure you also re-tweet content from other people and other companies that is relevant to your audience.