EdShift-Twitter-Chat-229x300On September 15, I had the privilege of participating in a Twitter chat on “using social media to get a job.” Participants included many journalism professors who had spot-on advice for students and other job seekers, and who confirmed some best practices for using Twitter and LinkedIn to find a job.

One professor, Samra Bufkins MJ, APR (@Samjb) stated that she requires all her students to have a LinkedIn profile – and she grades it! Not only that, but she requires them to create a profile both at the beginning of the semester and at the end, hammering in the importance of keeping your LinkedIn profile fresh and up-to-date!

Here are the top 10 pieces of advice I gathered from the chat:

  1. Recruiters and employers are looking for you on LinkedIn. Use keywords that will help you appear in searches, and complete the Skills section which is searched by recruiters (@BrendaBernstein)!
  2. Always post a professional picture of yourself on LinkedIn (no cats or significant others – reserve those for Facebook!).
  3. Build and expand your LinkedIn network in smart ways, choosing the people you want to connect with and whose connections you would want to connect with (@BrendaBernstein). Students can start by reaching out to current and former professors and influentials they meet in their communities (@DarrinDevault). Don’t be afraid to ask for introductions from mutual connections or to interact with people by asking questions and sending compliments (@Samjb, @kingisafink).
  4. Follow organizations and companies that interest you on Twitter and LinkedIn, and connect with key people at companies you want to work for.
  5. Use the Find Alumni feature on LinkedIn (@jmeucci). Alumni can help you get in front of people who might otherwise pass you over (@Samjb).
  6. If you blog, write for student media, or do freelance work, post links to your work on LinkedIn (@Samjb).
  7. Read this article on How to Use Twitter to Find a Job.
  8. If you get somebody’s business card at a conference, connect with them using a personal connect request within 24 hours (@Samjb). (This tweet was hailed as bordering on “Biblical advice” by Jason Meucci (@jmeucci)).
  9. Supporting #5, always make LinkedIn connection requests from your computer, not from your phone, and do it from the person’s actual full profile, not from a list (@BrendaBernstein). That way you can personalize your request. Some professors will not accept any invitations that are not personalized (@DarrinDevault).
  10. Don’t be shy about displaying your accomplishments (@kingisafink).
  11. When engaging in ALL social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., be aware that people could be watching. Be careful what you post!
  12. Teach others how to use social media and you will become better at it yourself (@uw_sjmc). And the more you use it, the better you’ll get!
  13. If you are a student, check out LinkedIn’s student guide to using LinkedIn.
  14. Congratulate people in your network on their new jobs, awards, etc. And wish them a happy birthday! You can find out about these events from your Connections tab on LinkedIn.
  15. Turn real life connections into social media connections, and vice versa (@kingisafink). The online world does not exist in a vacuum!

The above 15 tips speak for themselves. Whether you are a student or seasoned professional, start putting them into practice now! And of course, my book, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile, soon to be released in print, covers more LinkedIn job search tips than could ever be addressed in an hour-long chat session. If you are not on my e-list and haven’t gotten your free excerpt yet, please click here to join!


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