When it comes to your career, social media can be a major asset – or a major hindrance. If leveraged correctly, you can use your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles to highlight your assets as a job candidate.

During the Career Center's April webinar, "Social Media for the Job Search," we highlighted some of the most important things you should – and shouldn't – be doing with your social profiles on these three networks.

Alert Your Network:

Your network can only help you if they know you are looking for a job! Requesting assistance is simple if you're out of work, as you'll be able to broadcast a message to all of your connections or followers. A simple message, like the example below, should do the trick. Your next step will be to reach out to key contacts directly, such as people in your industry, mentors, or former classmates or colleagues. LinkedIn and Twitter works best for this.

If you're currently employed, leveraging your network will likely be trickier, as you likely don't want your co-workers or boss to know that you're looking for a new role. Rather than broadcasting a message to your entire network, start reaching out to key contacts directly.  This is the best way to leverage your network under the radar.

Utilize Your Network And Expand It:

Are you having trouble finding someone who works at your target company? Use LinkedIn to search for someone at that company and once you find the right fit, you have a few options:

  • If the person at the target company is a 2nd connection, ask the connection you share with them to make an introduction. You're more likely to quickly start a conversation with the desired connection if an introduction comes from a mutual friend.
  • If the person at the target company is a 3rd connection, your only option is to use an "InMail" to start a conversation. This feature will allow you to send a short message with your contact information.

Make Personal Accounts Private:

More companies are looking into the social media activities of potential hires and sometimes the most unexpected things can turn off a potential employer – or upset a current employer. Protect yourself and make sure your personal accounts are private.

Social Media As A Research Tool:

Social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are filled with beneficial information. From the ability to monitor job postings, connect with hiring managers, network with peers, and much more, social media networks are invaluable during the job search.

Watch our archived webinar for more tips on networking and research, as well as directions on how to make your social media accounts private.

Daniel Sloan's digital marketing expertise goes back more than a decade, starting out in the music industry where he oversaw public relations, social media, artist management, and radio promotion. He earned his MBA from the University of California, Irvine, focusing on marketing and international business. In his current role at Trident he drives the content management strategy, handling public relations, webinars, social media, and blogging.