Twitter Job Hunt Mistakes to Avoid

Don't Tweet in Anger

Tweeting in the heat of the moment when a colleague's rubbed you the wrong way -- another common offense -- is akin to drunk-dialing an ex, only far more public.

Case in point: In February, a marketing professional used Twitter to vent about her frustration with a technology reporter who got snippy when she didn't return his call right away.

The tweet made by the marketing pro:

"Reporter to me 'When the media calls you, you jump, OK!?' Why, when you called me and I'm not selling? Newspapers will get what they deserve"

Apparently having a bad day, the reporter in question unleashed a string of public, expletive-laden Twitter replies to the marketing pro -- not privately, but for all the Twitterverse to see. Here's one I can print: "how about you stop blasting personal conversations on twitter and call me back. what the hell is wrong with you."

As you might expect, the blogosphere lapped up the digital diatribe. So much so that Canada's National Post newspaper, which the potty-mouthed reporter worked for, issued a public apology on his behalf. The reporter wasn't canned; he'd already quit for a position elsewhere.

Moral of the story: You can delete your Twitter posts after a public meltdown, but you can't hide. Like herpes, the Internet is forever.

Do Read Before You Tweet

If you've been reading up on how to attract potential employers on Twitter, you know that one of the smartest moves you can make is to post links to tips and news items about your industry.

Establish yourself as an expert, the thinking goes, and you're bound to impress any hiring managers paying attention.

But last week a fly emerged in this first-to-link-to-breaking-news ointment:

Tech humor site posted an announcement about Twitter unveiling a set of paid premium accounts. Anyone who read beyond the headline would have realized the BBspot post was a farce, as it contained gags like this:

"Users in any tier will be able to purchase an EmbellishTwit add-on for $100/year, which directs tweets to a well-educated offshore employee who will embellish tweets. For example, 'Just had a whole wheat bagel and coffee for breakfast,' becomes 'Just got in from clubbing all night and Heidi Klum is spreading brie on a baguette just flown in on the Concord for my breakfast.'"

Yet a Twitter search on the term "premium Twitter accounts" shows the Twitterverse abuzz with users mistaking the gag for actual news.

"I have to wonder if we Twitterers are all in such a rush to be first to pass on a news story that we've lost the ability to actually absorb what we read," wrote ITworld blogger Peter Smith in a post called "Does Twitter make us dumb, or just lazy?"

"Making one mistake like being taken in by a joke post can undo a lot of reputation building," Smith said in an e-mail interview.

The bottom 140-character line?

"Twitter is an open platform, where everything you say can be used to help build or destroy your brand in minutes," said Schawbel, the author of "Me 2.0."

"Of course, you can send private direct messages, but for the most part you're messaging everyone who is following you and your tweets appear in search engines, so it's important to put your best foot forward all the time."

Certainly better than putting your foot in your mouth.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

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