Earlier this month, news broke that Microsoft CIO Tony Scott had left the company.
But it wasn’t Microsoft that made the announcement. It leaked first on LinkedIn. Scott updated his LinkedIn profile to list his employment dates as February 2008 to May 2013, and that update was visible—and broadcast—to everyone.
Social media expert and author of “Social Media in Business” Steve Nicholls says that using social media to announce your departure is a necessary step, but also one that you need to approach carefully.
Here are four tips for doing it the right way.
DO finalize details with your company first. Nicholls says that as soon as you and your company have wrapped up the details of your departure, you can announce it to your networks over social media.
“It’s very important to make sure all decisions, such as resignations or new employment, have been made official between you and the company before announcing anything at all on any social media platform,” Nicholls says.
DON’T say too much. It’s not necessary to explain your reasons for leaving or the details of your new job, Nicholls says.
“Giving too much information on such big decisions could lead to intricate situations,” Nicholls says. “It’s a matter of balancing what needs and needn’t be said.”
[Want more LinkedIn tips, tricks and analysis? Check out CIO.com’s Guide to LinkedIn.]
DO cover your bases. Nicholls says it’s important to make sure you update your professional information across all your social profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and especially LinkedIn.
“Update your social media accounts by adding your new job details, including the position that you now hold, the company name and your key responsibilities in your new organization,” Nicholls says. “Your account details online define who you are. Updating and changing them accordingly is important for your network to identify your new position and skills.
DO connect with new colleagues. Connecting virtually with new colleagues is a good way to get to know your team—and let them get to know you—before you start, Nicholls says.
“Connecting with future colleagues before actually starting to work with them can provide a virtual space to get to know your environment, familiarize with colleagues and perhaps even get introduced to some key issues within the company,” Nicholls says. “This can facilitate your entry to the new organization.”
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and social business for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at email@example.com