Social media is where its at when you are looking for a job. Companies look to these sites for information on potential job candidates, in addition to promoting their own companies. For this reason, it is important that you make sure you have a professional presence on these sites, so you don't get overlooked for an open position.
The three most popular social media sites are: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They all have a purpose that can be used most effectively to package your skills. Yet, the platforms are very different and need to be used properly. You can do more damage than good if you don't pay attention to what you post on them.
Here are some tips for using these sites:
Facebook is the favorite choice to correspond with frequency about your life. It is an addictive site that gives you an opportunity to comment and post whatever is on your mind, along with placing photos of your activities. This makes it a very powerful site that needs to be monitored closely. You need to use this site with caution when posting photos of your personal activities. Make sure to only share your very personal activities with your friends, not the open market. One risque photo could hurt your chances of getting a job.
LinkedIn is my favorite site for developing business relationships. It should be used only for business. Make sure to develop your profile as you would your resume. Companies look to your LinkedIn page as a guidepost for hiring. Carefully screen who enters your network. If you don't know a person or they have no relation to what you do for your career, don't let them into your network. Many people purposely hook up with you, so they can get to other people. Protect your network like you would your own Rolodex.
Twitter is a great tool for disseminating information to a wide spectrum of people. The results are immediate and easy to post. Use this site if you want to share a topic or comment, but make sure it represents who you are and your brand. Don't over post on one topic. People will get bored with you.
Most importantly, never say anything false, or make unfounded accusations about anyone on these sites. It can come back to haunt you and taint your own credibility. Always be professional when you use these social media sites. After all, they are a reflection of who you are!