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Leveraging Social Media in Your Job Search

Table of Contents  
  1. Social Networks for Job Search:

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Many of us belong to social networks, but most of us do not think of them in terms of business or work. There are a few social networks that focus on business and careers.  LinkedIn is one of those sites (and the most popular by far).  Business social network sites are geared towards anyone who wants to build connections across business and industry contacts, regardless of career or industry.

The benefits of business social networks have been well-proven. Business social network sites allow you to either reconnect or stay connected to current and past friends, college alumni, industry contacts, coworkers, and former colleagues.  LinkedIn is a great place to leverage connections especially when trying to find a job (see 5 Tips for Creating a Professional LinkedIn Profile).  What many job seekers do not realize is that most of the popular social networks can also be leveraged as job search networks.

LinkedIn – According to Wikipedia, Linkedin is “a business- social networking site founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003 mainly used for professional networking“.  This site is the “gold standard” for business and career social networking.  There were more than 500 million registered users across well over 100 industries on Linkedin.  The site allows users to link to colleagues from current and past employers, schools, and any other group that may be defined.

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One of the features I like best is the “degrees of separation”. The site will show you how you may know someone through an existing connection.  Linked has job search functions as well as formats that allow you to showcase your background. Clearly the “best in class” from what I’ve seen.

Meettheboss – This site has not been around as long as  I can tell and seems to be focused on Financial Services (a way to differentiate from other sites).  One item I do not like is that it forces you to add your company website URL as part of the registration. Two issues with this.  First, you may not want to advertise the company you work for, and second, what happens if your company is small and does not have a website (yes, there are still companies without websites!)?  Unlike Linkedin, there does not seem to be a way to search for people you may know.  The interface is nice, but the site looks thin on functionality. I will keep an eye on this site to see how it fairs, but I’m not sure I get it yet. – This is not a typo.  Facebook is also a great site to help with your job search. Even though Facebook is mostly used as a general social network, 54% of employers leverage Facebook to find job candidates (see Using Facebook to Find Your Next Job). In fact, according to JobVite, 67% of job seekers who use social media for job search use Facebook as a resource. The best way to leverage Facebook for your job search is to include your professional (and school) history in your profile.  This will help employers find you. Posting industry (or career) related content will help as well. – Who would have thought that Twitter could be leveraged for job search? When I first joined Twitter, Twitter was fairly new and very limited in the way it was used. Times have changed, and Twitter has become a great way to search for a job and get job leads. Why you may ask, would you want to use Twitter in your job search? Well for one, you get information “real-time” in many cases. One of the more important theories of job search is to “get there first” as this gives you the best chance.

Clearly, the value of any of these sites is determined by the number of people and companies leveraging them for job search (finding candidates and finding jobs).  Leveraging social networks for job search has become very popular. While new sites pop up from time to time, you will get better results sticking to the most popular sites. Most people should focus on one or two of these sites, spending the rest of their job search time leveraging other sources (see The Four Legs of Job Search).

Career Tip of the Day: Tweet Your Way to a New Job – Twitter for Job Search

Suggested Reading: Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness 

The LinkedIn Code: Unlock The Largest Online Business Social Network

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