Miriam Salpeter, the author of Social Networking for Career Success, shares three of the worst online habits of job hunters.

By Real Simple
Updated August 01, 2013
Illustration of woman holding laptop with her face on the screen
Credit: Serge Bloch

1. Don’t Overdo it on the Self-Promotion

When it comes to posts on your blog and updates on your social media accounts, remember not to make it all about you. By all means you can tout your latest achievement, but balance it with just as many shout-outs that celebrate what other people are doing. You’ll appear less egotistical—and be more interesting to follow as well.

2. Don’t Be Lazy and Fall Back on the Generic Invitation

To make a good impression, make an effort to personalize your messages. “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is far from unique and won’t inspire people to connect with you. When you go to friend or link up with someone you know, whether it’s a close pal, or someone you’ve just met at a cocktail party or conference, take a minute to include a friendly note reminding the person how you met, which will make them more likely to accept your request, or even strike up a conversation.

3. Don’t Overshare—Especially With Photographs

There’s nothing wrong with posting snapshots from your beach vacation on Facebook and showing some “personality.” But you should be careful about which of your “friends” can see them. Showing the lighter side of your personality isn’t appropriate for every field. Some photos are best kept private. And you don’t need to tell the world everything you’re thinking. Before you post something online, consider if you’d want a future employer or colleague to view it. Even if you think you’re posting something to a select group, someone may pass it along. Be mindful of this and think twice.