It seems like everyone has a Facebook profile, a My Space page, or a Twitter account these days. Most people use these solely for social contact and networking, to keep in touch with friends, family and former colleagues. There are ways to take advantage of these sites when you’re job hunting. Since many jobs, some reports say up to 70%, are found through networking, using some of these social networking sites to find a job makes perfect sense. Social networking sites can be an effective part of your job search.
Many companies and corporate recruiters will search professional networking sites looking for candidates for positions they have open. Having a complete profile is important; it can be one of the ways employers find you. Use keywords and related information in your profile. Have a real and professional looking photo of you, not a cartoon character, for your profile picture. Post links to your blog or a website that contains samples of your work so companies and recruiters can quickly see what you’re about and what your skills are. Make sure your profile is clean and looks professional. Even though you may use it primarily for a social tool, making it appealing to prospective employers can pay off when they find you and your profile. It’s also important to have a complete profile before you start to do any searches or contact/follow anyone.
Searching and finding other people is the whole purpose of these networking sites. You can use them to find other people from companies you are interested in working for using the search tools. You can also search for corporate groups and pages that are in your field. You can join groups related to your career and look through the members and people and contact them. This is where the value of these networking sites comes in. These groups will connect you with others in your field that you can network with. You can meet people you have never had access to before, and knowing more people increases your chances of finding a job.
Use your friends! Write postings that indicate you’re looking for a job and in what field. Chances are someone knows someone who can introduce you or refer you or recommend you. You might even know someone who knows of available positions that they can give you the information on.
Check the job boards on the sites. Most of these networking sites have job search boards or marketplace information where job postings and information can be found. Check it regularly for anything new that might fit what you’re looking for.
Don’t join more networking sites than you can keep up with. And don’t spend all of your time on these sites; remember to keep some time for job hunting the old fashioned way. Use the social networking sites to your advantage. After all, it’s not what you know it’s who you know!