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Social Networking + Job Search = Success?

Career Exploration The Hiring Process The Local Job Market

Question: Everyone seems to be talking about social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. They say that this is the latest thing in job search, and that it's getting difficult to find a job if you aren't on those sites. Is that true?

Answer: It becomes more true every day. More and more employers are abandoning the big job boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.) for sites like LinkedIn. They can search for candidates who use keywords for their industry and who market themselves well, and save time and effort wading through hundreds of resumes of people who really aren't very well qualified.

It also makes it easy to find those who are passively job hunting: people who have reasonable jobs, but who keep an eye out for new opportunities. LinkedIn is the best social networking site to use for professional purposes. It's said that 80% of employers use LinkedIn as part of their recruiting strategy. They can search thousands of profiles by keyword and location to find people with the qualifications they want. LinkedIn also provides references for candidates who have already been tentatively selected and interviewed.

Twitter is a good site to display your expertise and your writing skills. Twitter users post very short messages (no more than 140 characters) and often link to websites or blogs to support their opinions. They also follow (read the posts of) experts in their field to gain information and expertise of their own.

Facebook is the most popular social networking site for keeping up with your family and friends. People you know are on Facebook, waiting to hear from you. While Facebook tends to be less professional and job-search oriented than LinkedIn, any networking you do will be helpful for your job search.

Want to know more? The Business and Employment Center has a new seminar called Social Networking for Your Job Search. Students will start a LinkedIn account, look at Twitter and Facebook, and have some time for guided play with them. Check the FCWS Calendar of Events for the date and time, and come join the social network.