If you lost your job today, after commiserating with pals tonight it might seem enticing to update your social networks with the news. Canfield warns that a blast to Facebook that you’re unemployed and in need of a job can seem desperate and off-putting to both personal friends and potential business contacts. Waldman, on the other hand, has more positive news. In an experiment conducted for his 2011 title Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies, he asked a friend to do exactly that. “He had been out of work for about three months and was getting nowhere,” Waldman recalls. “So he updated his status and made himself vulnerable; he told his entire LinkedIn network he was looking for help.”

Within the next seven days he received nearly 20 messages, and, surprisingly, the only negative comments were from friends who were concerned he might “look desperate.” The other half? Legitimate job leads. “If you’re willing to put yourself on the line,” he says, “It might be worth bucking the status quo and making yourself a little more vulnerable.” This just might be a mistake that pays off.

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