If you believe in social networking's potential in helping your job search (and you should), then last week's announcement from LinkedIn and Twitter is welcome news. LinkedIn, often thought of as the Facebook for business professionals, has entered an information-sharing partnership with Twitter, the application that allows you to send, or "tweet," instant messages to your friends' computers or mobile devices.
Here are the essentials of the agreement:
- When LinkedIn users want to share information, such as an article, comment, updated resume, or changes to their profiles, they can tweet the message to their Twitter followers.
- Similarly, Twitter users can tweet messages to their LinkedIn connections from any Twitter service or tool.
Twitter emerges as the bigger winner in this agreement because it stands to gain more legitimacy as an online communications tool for professionals, and shed some of the criticism it receives as a place to transmit mundane information to the world in 140 characters or less.
LinkedIn's gain? Providing more immediate updates for its members who would otherwise have to log in to their email or wait for weekly email digests to field questions, replies, and job leads.
If you're a Twitter user and take advantage of this deal, the potential downside is that you'll have to pay more attention to keeping your tweets in a professional tone. If you're used to tweeting about how many shots you downed at Happy Hour or what you really thought about the referee who blew that crucial call in last night's football game, you might need to think twice about how you communicate with your LinkedIn network.
We've heard and read plenty of warnings on the drawbacks of mixing personal and career-related information on social networks. With more employers trolling the web for any data they can get on potential hires, everyone who wants to advance in their careers will get the message and become more careful when they communicate online.
Do you use LinkedIn or Twitter? Or both? Does either help your job search? Tell us about your experiences.
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