Social Networking and Job Search

by Colley, Beth Friday, April 16, 2010
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I have referenced Linkedin and methods on how to use social networking for your job search. I’d like to take some time to emphasize how important utilizing these tools are to your job search. Recently I invited some recruiters to sit down with job seekers as part of a job club that I lead in the Annapolis, MD area. There was a small group of us and we were very fortunate to be able to speak candidly about what they look for in resumes and their various recruiting methods and philosophies.

Here are a few things that they shared:

1) They are diligently using LinkedIn and Facebook as an avenue for recruiting.

For anyone who is in an active or passive job search and wants to be found, get a Linkedin profile and get on Facebook. More importantly than just getting on those sites, is to actively engage in the site. There are hundreds of groups on Linkedin specific to job seekers, industries, and companies. Recruiters aren’t just looking at people’s profiles, they are looking at group activity. If you are posting some great questions or are providing good responses to questions in a group, recruiters will take notice. I do hear some valid objections from some job seekers about using Linkedin. I’ll try to address them in another entry.

2) If you’re interested in a specific company, see if they have a Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin Account.

Ok, I haven’t mentioned Twitter, not exactly my favorite site, but I’m not going to ignore its power or following. Many companies who understand the power of social networking are on these big three. Check to see if a company in which you are interested has an account on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. If they do, join their group, become a fan, or become a follower. They post job openings on these sites. Recruiters who are using these sites want to see you there. They want to see a little more beyond the resume. In using social networking for job search, just make sure there’s nothing posted on your page that you wouldn’t want your grandmother seeing. If you’re good in that arena, then you should be good for the job search arena.

3) Employers value the free exposure from these sites and you should too.

Most everyone has been required to “cut back” due to less cash flow in recent years and we know all too well that businesses fall into that category. If they didn’t fall into the category, you wouldn’t be so hard up for a job. Social networking, and Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter have helped recruiters feel as though they’ve hit the jackpot. It’s free for them to use these sites. Yes they can choose to pay for advanced features and some do, but the cost comparison is minimal compared to subscription costs to major job boards. They can market themselves and their products/services, attract a loyal following, and use these sites as a recruiting tool. It just makes sense.

These sites are free to you as well. I’m not knocking certain “subscription based” sites that attract six figure earners, but one job seeker in my job club mentioned, he’s finding good job leads on LinkedIn that are not included in the sites to which I am alluding.

4) If you’ve been resisting, get on the social networking band wagon.

Who knows what the next latest and greatest thing will be to arrive on the next platform. I can expect that at some point down the road, something will come along that leaves our current social networking forms in the dust. Until then, social networking is not going away, more and more businesses are leveraging its value, so get on board. Whether you’re in a serious job search, passive job search, or not looking at all, if you want to be considered for any jobs at all, get on the social networking band wagon. After all, this may be the one way that the perfect job DOES actually end up in your “in box”.