The traditional job search is no more. With an employment market that is more competitive than ever, sending your resume into the abyss of a job search engine or “digital recruiting” site such as Monster.com can be hit or miss, as you are competing with countless other individuals just to get to the company’s inbox. More and more, social networking sites are becoming the job search tool of choice.
Facebook.com was originally intended as a social network for students at the college and university levels. No more. Unlike Myspace, which is a virtual free-for-all, with Facebook you must be a member of a specific network that connects you with other individuals who also belong. So, it can really allow you to connect with your current colleagues in a professional way given your membership within the same network. Because of its nature, however, prior knowledge of your “Facebook friends” seems almost required. It is, then, great for fostering relationships that balance professionalism and your personal life, but a bit less conducive to acquiring the attention of prospective employers as a job seeker.
Then there is the latest social network and microblog to explode onto the scene, Twitter. It can be a fairly powerful professional networking tool. It affords you access to other professionals in your field, offering you a first-hand glimpse into their professional mindset. Twitter offers a venue for you, as a professional, to demonstrate your expertise and share information in short, witty snippets. When used correctly, it can be leveraged as an effective networking tool.
While the previous three sites see themselves as social networks for life, which may include business, LinkedIn sees itself as a social networking tool for business. Registered users maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in their field, individuals called connections. Such connectivity can be used to find jobs, people, and business opportunities recommended by someone in one’s contact network. Because it is professionally driven, LinkedIn eliminates the potential for distraction that revelation of too-personal information might cause.
In conclusion, it is imperative to try to open every door possible and spend time each day identifying new and energetic means to expand your job search. Most of the time it’s free advertising, so don’t pass up the opportunity to join the thousands of people who are already involved in this wave of reaching others on both a personal and professional level.