Social networking and job search tips
Concentrate your networking and job search efforts on professional
networking sites such as LinkedIn rather than social networking
sites such as Facebook and Twitter. However, if you choose to use
social networking sites in your job search, follow these tips:
- Consider anything put online as public.
- Make sure all of your social networking
methods, such as Facebook, Twitter, and
Pinterest, are up-to-date and consistent with
each other before starting a job search or
personal branding campaign using social media.
- Employers do not have the right to require
you to provide logins and passwords to your
social media accounts.
- Use privacy controls to make sure employers
cannot access your account, but consider
anything put on the Internet as public.
- Government organizations that require a
security clearance (CIA, FBI, etc.) are able to
access Facebook accounts (despite privacy
controls). Social networking sites are
considered open source intelligence.
- ‘Like’ organizations, but remember that the
organization is then able to see your public
profile. If you fan an organization, engage with
it by adding feedback to discussion forums and
asking questions in order to demonstrate your
knowledge of and interest in the organization.
- Even when using privacy controls, keep your
Facebook content clean. Do not have
inappropriate photos on your account, such as
drinking, risqué attire, etc. Do not have
inappropriate comments on your account, such as
drinking, drug use, foul language,
discriminatory comments about people or
organizations, or negative comments about an
employer, co-worker, or professor.
- Do not join groups about inappropriate
topics, such as drinking too much, being late to
work, procrastinating, partying too much, etc.
- Monitor what your friends are writing on
your wall and tagged photos of yourself.
- Use Facebook to provide a positive
impression of your personal and professional
interests. Use correct grammar and spelling.
- Highlight community service, rewards,
achievements, and interests.
- If an employer ‘friends’ you after an
interview, direct the person to your LinkedIn
profile instead. Respond by letting the employer
know that your Facebook profile is for friends
and personal acquaintances, and LinkedIn is for
- Unless you are keeping your account entirely
professional, you need to have two accounts: a
personal account that is private with
invitation-only followers, and a professional
account that is public.
- For your professional account, use your real
name for your handle. For your personal account,
do not use your real name.
- Upload a professional photo of yourself onto
- Write a brief bio about yourself that
describes your strengths and professional
interests, so people will know who you are.
- Create your complete profile (photo and bio)
before following others.
- Have a baseline understanding of the
industry before using Twitter, so you’ll be able
to write informed tweets and comments.
- Follow industry leaders, organizations in
which you are interested, and professional
- Link Twitter to your LinkedIn page.
- Don’t worry about who is following you; use
Twitter to follow others.
- If you tweet, avoid abbreviating and "text
- What to tweet, if you tweet:
- Ask for help or advice about
- Recommend web resources,
blog posts, videos, books, other
- Link to photos of
- Tweet about your own website
- Retweet comments, links,
- Thank people who respond to
- Check out the Pinterest boards of target
organizations to learn more about their culture.
- Have separate boards for personal and
professional interests; use your real name for
your professional board.
- Use Pinterest to create a visual resume or
portfolio to showcase your education, work
experience, awards, and accomplishments. You’ll
need to have pictures to demonstrate these
- Pin your resume to your board.
- Although photographs are key to Pinterest,
it is also important to use the textbox to
complement and describe photos.
Wake Forest University's
Office of Career and Professional Development