I previously discussed why an engaged presence on social media networking sites is integral to the success of one’s career search. Potential employers and HR executives often utilize these platforms to validate or gain further information about a candidate that is otherwise not noted on their resume. As a job seeker, you harness the power to maintain an online presence that will provide you with the opportunity to extend your professional network.

Whether you find yourself among the ranks of social media superstars or easing into the fast feeds on your mobile device, understanding what drives engagement and conversations will better serve you in your career search.

Dos

Ensure that your brand message is consistent across all platforms. Your resume and LinkedIn profile must align and the tone should be equally appropriate. There shouldn’t be any discrepancies between the resume you submit during your career search and what’s searchable online.

Upload a profile photo that aligns with the industry in which you work. Marketing careers and creative roles allow more freedom, while accounting and financial professionals are better suited to photos more serious in nature.

Include keywords in your profile that reflect the industry in which you currently work or the position you are seeking. This allows your profile to be included in searches and a professional headline should ultimately reflect what you can offer a potential employer.

Review your privacy settings on all social networking sites. Understand that your online persona is a direct reflection of your candidacy as a professional. If you use Facebook primarily for personal networking, keep a close watch on the photos in which you are tagged and who has access to view them. Executive recruiters and potential employers turn to social media to review candidates’ online activity and may discount your credibility.

Maintain your accounts on a regular basis. Connect and engage on LinkedIn by sharing Influencer Posts, retweet industry updates and start conversations that will leverage your position in the market as a though leader.

Don’ts

Don’t upload a photo that includes other people – LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that serves to leverage your personal brand, use this opportunity to make it count. Equally important is actually uploading a photo. Displaying a Twitter egg or LinkedIn shadow as an avatar isn’t conducive to your success on the platform.

In the same token as remaining engaged and driving conversations online, don’t post updates to your timeline too frequently. Effective networking on social media is driven by the quality of your postings, not necessarily the quantity.

Don’t share too much personal information online or offer insight that you wouldn’t want an executive recruiter or potential employer to see. Keep in mind that you are solely responsible for the content that you publish online, and upon driving your message to an extended network, understand that the information is often irretrievable.

Limit your use of acronyms and abbreviations, and proof-read your updates before posting online. If all your posts are peppered with slang and misspellings, hiring managers will think twice about extending an invitation to interview.

Don’t give up! Building a diverse network across platforms and connecting with decision makers requires consistency and patience. Offer insight and bring value to your network – connections will grow and so too, will your proficiency in social media.

Social media is a continually evolving medium and the platforms ever-changing. While the rules are still being written and the lines of communication often crossed, I’d like to hear your best practices to stand out.

What are your recommendations for job seekers to leverage their presence online?