Social Media Status while Job Hunting – Do's and Don'ts

So you’re looking for a job yea? Be careful what you post. Your prospective employers are watching you!

Social Media

Job Search Blogging

How about job seekers? Do you think having a blog or social media space can affect your job search? It most certainly could. People post on Twitter that they party till the late hours of the night on work nights, or how they have done nothing at all at work that day. Not a profile that would thrill most employers.

Privacy Issues

Should prospective employers be reading your personal information? Well… you put it on the internet for all to see. So during the time of job seeking, be careful of what you post. And turn off your privacy settings. This is very important. If you have your blog or social media links on your CV, the employer will look at it. And if not, some employers will Google your name till something comes up. So basically, the people you least expect, and those that you certainly don’t want reading it, may find it.

Facebook, Web Site, and Blog Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t include a link on your resume to any site which includes inappropriate content that is not appropriate for a business audience.
  • Be very careful what you put online. If you have a MySpace or Facebook account, people you won’t want to be reading your profile may be able to access it, even if you think nobody will read it. Make your account private, so only your friends can access it. Be extra careful, and don’t post anything that you don’t want a prospective employer (or your mom!) to read. So make sure you setup your privacy settings on your social media accounts so that only your social media friends can see your profile and status updates!
  • Do consider creating a personal web site or blog, if you’re unemployed, specifically related to your job search including your resume, samples, your portfolio, and certifications. Include only professional and academic information. Or use your profile on sites like LinkedIn to promote your experience.
  • Don’t list your blog on your CV unless it’s relevant to the career field / position that you are interviewing for. For example, if you are seeking employment as a Chef and you have a personal Chef Blog, include it. If you have a blog about your dog, don’t.
  • Consider starting a blog related to your career interests. If you, for example, are interested in a career in Facilities Management, consider blogging about industry trends, news and related topics.
  • Write a job search blog. There’s a trend toward job seekers blogging to track their job search and market their skills. A job search blog can help with your job search and give you exposure, but, again, consider who else might read it before you start blogging.
  • Post in haste, repent in leisure. Remember that a hastily written blog post critical of your job or detailing your wild night with a hot date can be read today, regardless of when it was posted. You may not even remember posting it, but, a potential employer will certainly keep it mind.
  • Do be careful what you write. Keep in mind that just about anything that is online can be read by someone – or everyone. If you don’t want the world to read what you’ve posted, make sure they can’t. Don’t put it online or post it anonymously.

How to Blog Safely

Use a Pseudonym and Don’t Give Away Any Identifying Details When opening a social media account or blog account for personal reasons, give a fake name. You can’t be searched on Google under your real name if you’re not listed.

  • Use Anonymous Technologies. There are a number of technical solutions for the blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. If you are worried that your blog-hosting service may be logging your unique IP address and thus tracking what computer you’re blogging from, you can use the anonymous network Tor to edit your blog. Tor routes your Internet traffic through what’s called an “overlay network” that hides your IP address. More importantly, Tor makes it difficult for snoops on the Internet to follow the path your data takes and trace it back to you.
  • Use Ping Servers. If you want to protect your privacy while getting news out quickly, try using ping servers to broadcast your blog entry for you. Pingomatic ( is a tool that allows you to do this by broadcasting to a lot of news venues at once, while making you untraceable. The program will send out notice (a “ping”) about your blog entry to several blog search engines like Feedster and Technorati. Once those sites list your entry ñ which is usually within a few minutes you can take the entry down. Thus the news gets out rapidly and its source can evaporate within half an hour. This protects the speaker while also helping the blog entry reach people fast.
  • Limit Your Audience. Many blogging services, including LiveJournal, allow you to designate individual posts or your entire blog as available only to those who have the password, or to people whom you’ve designated as friends. If your blog’s main goal is to communicate to friends and family, and you want to avoid any collateral damage to your privacy, consider using such a feature. If you host your own blog, you can also set it up to be password-protected, or to be visible only to people looking at it from certain computers.
  • Don’t Be Searchable on Google. If you want to exclude most major search engines like Google from including your blog in search results; you can create a special file that tells these search services to ignore your domain. The file is called robots.txt, or a Robots Text File. You can also use it to exclude search engines from gaining access to certain parts of your blog. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, you can use the “Robots Text File Generator” tool for free at Web Tool Central. However, it’s important to remember that search engines like Google may choose to ignore a robots.txt file, thus making your blog easily searchable. There are many tools and tricks for making your blog less searchable, without relying on robots.txt.
  • Register Your Domain Name Anonymously. Even if you don’t give your real name or personal information in your blog, people can look up the WHOIS records for your domain name and find out who you are. If you don’t want anyone to do this, consider registering your domain name anonymously.

What you should be on

You have probably have signed on to LinkedIn way back when and haven’t used it since. Now is the time to get reacquainted with the platform.

While the user interface has changed, the key functionality of your profile being the centrepiece of your existence has not. Linkedin has become a powerful career networking tool.

Now get the word out on Linkedin

Once you’re all set up with the above, chances are you’ll want to get the word out to your network about your job search. The easiest way to do this is to send out a Status Update to your network, but before doing so, make sure your privacy settings are set so that the whole world doesn’t see what should be information for your network only. You can also message everyone within LinkedIn who you are connected to, but can only send out a message to 50 connections at one time.

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