Helpful tips for LinkedIn and Facebook

Have you ever wondered what employers look at with respect to searching a candidate and seeking the “best fit” for a given role? The answer often leads to discussion of two of the hottest social media exchanges utilized for career searches, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The first, LinkedIn, is a professional network where those interested in connecting, communicating and sharing ideas and thoughts come together to engage, exchange and communicate skills, career networks and a variety of other possibilities. Here are some helpful hints for a LinkedIn account: 

  • Keep it up to date, concise and reflective of your skills and attributes.  It is a great opportunity to show others who might not otherwise know you, all that you have done and can do in the work environment.
  • Upload a professional photo in the view box – it’s a nice first impression.
  • Be selective in making connections; they basically have access to your “social rolodex” when you connect.

Facebook is another vehicle used for connecting via a social exchange. Some issues arise more often with Facebook than LinkedIn because many times Facebook blurs the line between social, professional and personal attributes of a potential job seeker. Here are some helpful hints for your Facebook account: 

  • Keep your Facebook private, don’t share your password with employers and be cautious about “friending” co-workers or your manager. This could potentially create an indirect avenue for access. 
  • Be aware that if your profile is public, anyone on Facebook can view your profile. All that is needed would be to search for a name. So, technically you don’t have to be a friend to view a Facebook profile. 
  • Don't discuss your work, colleagues or any trade secrets or other items that should be held in confidence. 
  • Know your boundaries. Express yourself through your Facebook as you would want the world to view you. HIMSS mentors always suggest erring on the side of a cautious and conservative approach.

You can stand out and express yourself through these excellent and innovative approaches to socialization, but just remember that both of these venues represent you. People often hear about you well before they meet you.  So you want that first impression to be impactful and representative of you and what you are as a person and potential co-worker or employee.

Overall, be passionate about your career path and strive to make a difference and learn, learn, learn. Technology is only the enabler; individuals will be the “transformers” of health IT in the years to come.

Helen Figge is senior director of Career Services at HIMSS.