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On this page: Joshua Waldman shares his thoughts on the less formal use of languge in social media.

Levels of Language in Social Media

While most people imagine a very formal job search language for resumes and cover letters, writing on social media can be much more casual, more authentic, and more narrative.

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Consider this major shift in language when using social media: that the very best LinkedIn profiles are written in the first person. I’ve heard many stories of people shifting this one element and getting fabulous results online.

As a terrible speller myself, it always irks me to hear how picky many employers are with typos and spelling errors. What a shallow judge of character.

[Editors note: Or, a good judge of careless work habits, speaking as a poor speller, myself.]

But the reality is that on your more formal job search documents, résumé, email inquiry (cover letter) or job application, spelling and grammatical mistakes can ruin your chances.

Luckily, you don’t have to be so uptight when writing for social media. Especially when you are sending out posts. And, social media combined with widespread use of texting has created language additions and modifications, like BTW, LOL, OMG, and many more.

Most people understand that there is a fine balance between the timeliness of the post (getting it out fast) and the quality of the post (how it is written). The more you post, the better your digital literacy; you will be able to post faster with more quality posts- only with practice.

Getting Started in Social Media

At first, however, you may feel the urge to hold onto your words like a mother reluctant to let their first-born drive off to college for the first time. It’s natural.

Here are some tips to help you with your first posts:

As you gain experience, it will be easier, but it pays to be careful even when you have years of experience.  Don't be thoughtless about what you post publicly (or even privately in some networks). 

Bottom Line

What you make visible in social media will be viewed as representative of your personality and your potential as an employee.  Picture the hiring manager at your ideal employer reading everything you publish on social media.

© Copyright Joshua Waldman, 2013. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

About this author...

Joshua Waldman, author of Job Searching with Social Media For Dummies, is a recognized expert on Social Media Career Advancement.  Joshua Waldman is also a speaker and trainer specializing in helping people re-gain control of their careers in today’s economic and technology climate.Connect with Joshua on his website, and on social media through Twitter (@JoshuaWaldman), LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, and his Career Enlightenment Channel on YouTube.