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Tips for Professional Social Networking

February 2, 2011

With the constant increase in the number of social networking users, it is becoming a great tool for networking. Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter make it easier to stay connected, find job listings and stay on top of what is happening in your industry. Here’s a few tips for making professional social networking easier and more effective:

Build your personal brand: Make sure that the social media platforms you choose to use create a cohesive brand for yourself. Use a professional name and avoid adding nicknames to your Facebook or Twitter handle. Keep it simple and keep it consistent across the board.

Keep it clean: The content you add to your private social media site is public domain. Only upload or tag pictures that show you in a positive light. Think of how you want a future employer to view you. If the content is questionable, it’s usually best not to post it.

Content: Not only do you need to keep the content clean, you need to be aware of what information you are posting. Post content relevant to you job search or career.

Connect: Become a part of the social networks that reflect your passions and career goal. Join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that you are proud of (this might help find more possible connections as well!). Additionally, join professional groups online to stay up-to-date with job and networking opportunities and professional workshops.

Be Involved: Post status updates to let people know what you are doing and participate in discussion boards, but be aware of how much you’re posting. You want to stay on your connections’ radar, but you don’t want to annoy them.  

Relationships: Use social media to build relationships and stay connected. LinkedIn shows users how they are connected to other users. Take advantage of this to get connected with others in your industry or company you are interested in. Think of ways to reach out to people in your network and don’t just contact them when you need a favor.

Spell check is your friend: Use spell check to avoid appearing ignorant or careless. Try to communicate like a professional.

Say thank you: Many people forget this step, but if someone does something nice for you online, say thank you. When someone connects you with one of their friends or answers your questions, show your gratitude.

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