Tips on Using Social Media for Your Job Search

29 04 2009

With the rapidly growing use of social networking for job search, we’ll be using the KIT List blog to share ideas on how to best use these powerful tools. My friend, MB Deans, whom I’ve known for years through Women In Consulting, has become an expert in advising job seekers on how to effectively navigate the waters of social media. I’ve asked MB to give our KIT List community a few pointers:

Between December, 2008 and January, 2009, traffic on LinkedIn grew by 22% in the US, while time spent on the site doubled. linkedin-logo1In spite of the furor over Facebook’s Terms of Service agreements, more professionals are using Facebook than ever before. Twitter, a microblog, is gaining popularity as a tool to help job seekers. The lines between social use of Web 2.0 and business or professional uses are blurring, especially as more and more people turn to technology to help them find jobs. Recruiters have used LinkedIn to research job candidates for a long time, but in 2007, 15% of the recruiters hiring college grads used Facebook to check into their backgrounds. twitter_logoSavvy companies use Twitter more and more to attract, research and recruit new employees. But the rules are still evolving and etiquette isn’t always clear. While these tools are very different from each other, there are some common-sense guidelines that can help you navigate these new waters successfully.

Seven Important Rules to Follow

1. Start first with LinkedIn. If you don’t know where to begin and Web 2.0 is all Greek to you, start with the granddaddy, LinkedIn. Create a free account and enter profile information.

2. If you’re an active online networker, assume the entire world is watching. Once those annoying party photos are posted you have no way of knowing who might have seen them. If you wouldn’t want to explain it to your boss, a prospective employer or your mom…

3. Be interesting. Post links or retweet information you found intriguing, entertaining and/or useful. Share generously and you shall be rewarded.

4. Set clear boundaries between your professional and personal lives. Make sure security settings are appropriate to protect personal information.

5. Don’t give away more information than you’re comfortable with. Listen to that little voice in your head. If you’re not sure you should post something — don’t do it!

6. Figure out and follow the etiquette of the group(s) you’ve joined. Lurk for a while until you understand the unwritten rules of how people communicate. Post carefully and be willing to take feedback gracefully if you violate group norms.

7. Always act professionally. Always. You know those old email rules warning you that no one can see your face, ready your body language, or hear the tone of your voice? They’re especially true in the instant-response world of social networking. Always take the high road.

8. Check what the world sees and hears about you. Search for yourself by name in Facebook and on Twitter, and see what comes up. While there’s no going back, do clean up what you can.


Top 5 Things Guaranteed to Turn Off Your Audience

1. Making it all about you. Nobody (outside of your mother and maybe your closest friend) cares what you ate for breakfast, whether the baby spit up last night, or whether your new puppy demolished your apartment.

2. Stalking someone else on line. Don’t harass someone; if they’re not interested in connecting with you, move on.

3. Broadcasting strong or controversial opinions to an audience you don’t know. In spite of the fact that you can watch worldwide tweets scroll down your screen in the writers’ native languages, you don’t know who’s out there reading. And it’s a small world.

4. Misrepresenting yourself. Another downside to having a global audience: the darnedest people will find you at the darnedest times. Claim something that’s not rightfully yours and you’ve damaged your credibility to all.

5. Posting inappropriate information about someone else. Listen to that little voice in your ear: could you explain it to your grandmother?


MB Deans leads a team of coaches and writers who support professionals in career transition. Douglas Partners stays current with the latest job search tools and trends, and has recently created a popular series of workshops teaching individuals how to successfully use LinkedIn, social networking and Web 2.0 tools to build their business and career options. As an adjunct advisor with Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, MB works with graduate students helping them prepare for their careers.



Twitter: emmbee2



6 responses

21 06 2010

The above thought is smart and doesn’t require any further addition. It’s perfect thought from my side
job search


21 06 2010

wow that’s great.
job search


26 11 2009
Dan Ruchman

I just discovered this blogpost. It’s as relevant and elegantly stated today as when it was first posted 7 months ago. MB Dean — thanks! My few key takeaways:

1) MB refers to LinkedIn as the “granddaddy” of social media. A true statement, but wow — do you realize what that’s saying, to refer to something less than 10 years old as the granddaddy? This media is changing fast, and it behooves us all to keep up!

2) Again regarding LinkedIn: if she’s advising that you start with the granddaddy, there another subtle but powerful message here: quality on the internet has as much beneficent staying power as quality in the traditional world. If you put something out on the web that’s good, it will stay.

3) UNlike the traditional world, if you put something ugly out there on the internet, that will also stay. The internet can be like a diamond — and diamonds are forever!

4) Be interesting, be generous, and BE PROFESSIONAL. When you put something out on the ‘net, you’re branding yourself. Brand ye well!

MB, thanks for a great article!


30 04 2009
Peter Denyer

Twitter can be an interesting supplement to your job search. Companies like EMC are posting job opportunities ( i.e. EMCCareers)
Follow organizations like JobAngels, Indeed, Jobshouts, simplyhired, StartUpHire, and twithire. I’m sure there are many more.

Use Twitter’s Search capability to aggregate a search and file the results into a folder in your mail, or elsewhere, using the RSS feed capability. Much easier than simply reading posts in Twitters User Interface.

I see Twitter becoming more and more relevant once folks figure out, as was related in the article, that the more content you give, the more you will receive.


30 04 2009
John Dean

Very sound statements. Bottom line…use common sense. Best statement in the entire article…BE PROFESSIONAL.


29 04 2009
Elaine Starling

What an outstanding article! MB Deans is the best for executives in transition. This is a very timely topic. Check out the article in the May issue of More Magazine “Mastering the New Job Hunt” on page 86.

I so appreciate all the great advice and support provided by the KIT List.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: