Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media to Find a Job
Social Media has many great advantages when it comes to your job search, but the boundaries between personal and professional communication can sometimes provide a challenge. What is the appropriate amount of communication via social media vs. invading a potential employer’s private sphere? Below are some guidelines for how to use social media to communicate with potential employers without crossing that line.
Don’t send potential employers or hiring managers friend requests on Facebook, even if you just wanted to send them a private message. Personal Facebook pages are just that: personal. Particularly if you haven’t joined a company yet, don’t assume it’s appropriate to be part of anybody’s personal life, or that they want to share their Facebook page with you.
Do send connection requests on LinkedIn. This social network is made for professional networking, so go ahead and send the LinkedIn connection request after your interview. Make sure you personalize this request and not just use the generic LinkedIn message. Reference your meeting or interview as the reason you are requesting the connection. It helps solidify you in their memory, as well as reminding them of the opportunity to view your profile and see your complete experience. Go ahead and drop a quick note via LinkedIn direct message, too, to thank them for their time.
Don’t follow potential employers on Twitter or Instagram unless their accounts are obviously business accounts. It’s appropriate to follow a potential employer on Twitter if their account is clearly used for professional reasons, but if it’s a personal account and the tweets or photos are about their weekend, their kids, or sports and news and hobbies, it’s better to remain at a professional distance.
Do make sure your social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram – are well kept. Part of your presence online revolves around image, and visual communication is as important as verbal. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, refrain from posting alcohol, partying, or any illegal behavior related photos to Facebook and Instagram – and if your Twitter account is personal, protect your tweets.
Overall, keep in mind that social media can be a pitfall, but it can also be a tremendous asset. Using LinkedIn properly and ensuring that your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are not disqualifiers help set you up for the second interview, and potentially a job offer.