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Social Media Savvy

Your online presence is very important throughout your career, but it's especially important when you're in a job search. Privacy settings are the right place to start, but never underestimate the chances that inappropriate photos and comments may make it to the screen of a potential employer or a connection you may need for a job. Be smart about what you post.

Follow these tips to elevate your networking to the next level.

• Make your profile private. Even if you clean up your status updates and photos, you never know what kind of opinion a potential employer will form based on what they read into your posts. Be careful about "liking" controversial posts, sites or photos.

• Don't be afraid to let people know you're looking for a job. Your Facebook friends are likely to be more eager to help you than Twitter followers or LinkedIn contacts. Be specific about what sort of job you're looking for and how your education, training and work experience relate.

• Be strategic with your lists. Facebook's List feature allows you to continue building your network without worrying about professional contacts seeing your personal updates.

• Customize your privacy settings so work-related friends can see only what you want them to see while your close friends can still keep up with your photos and personal updates.

• Follow strong companies in industries of interest to you to learn more about them.

• Engage in industry chats to connect with people in your targeted field.

• Retweet news and updates from companies and people you admire.

• Find jobs using hashtags. Hashtags are words with a # prefix. For example, the hashtag #job will show you the results of every tweet that a user categorized with #job hashtag. Recruiters use keywords and hashtag searches through the Twitter search function to find potential candidates for open positions.

• Keep your updates public. You need an open profile so other users can search for your tweets and easily find you.

• Join and participate in LinkedIn groups. But don't just join a group and watch the feed; join in the conversations.

• Endorse those you respect; it gives them a compliment, reminds them of you and gets your name out there.

• Include your LinkedIn profile contact on your resume. Use it as a hyperlink when sending your resume electronically.

• Look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn before your interview to increase your comfort level and prepare for conversations that may arise.

Blog for jobs
Blogging about your career interests, can demonstrate your knowledge and passion to a potential employer. Keep it professional and you might attract a reader who's hiring.