In today’s ultra-competitive job market, it is very important to use all advantages available and make one’s self stand out from the other applicants. Social media and networking can a very useful tool in locating a job or promoting a resume, but if used incorrectly, it can be quite detrimental. By harnessing your own personal social network, you can find a great job by bringing the information to your door instead of searching out for it.
Websites like FaceBook and LinkedIn are excellent ways to let your friends, families and professional connections know that you are searching for a job. Using a site like this to spam everyone in your contact listing with requests for a job will not build goodwill or promote references or referrals. However, by reaching out on an individual basis to selected contacts can yield positive results. When sending these emails or making phone calls, it is important to recognize that you are asking someone to use their time and energy to help you find a job and they deserve a personalized contact instead of a mass message. Though re-connecting with someone to let them know you are on the market can be helpful, it is much more effective to ask for specific information. For instance, examine your network to see if there is anyone who works in your field or for a company you would like to work for and reach out to them for information about any opportunities they are aware of. You can also use a social network to build connections with new people. A friend of a friend may be the best introduction you can receive when that person has a well-suited opportunity.
Some job-seekers have also found success by making their resume or a version of their resume available for public viewing on their social networking site profile. This will allow acquaintances who are interested in possibly referring them for a position, but would like to know more learn this information without needing to specifically request it. By posting this information, it will also indicate that you are open and accepting of offers and referrals.
Finally, all corporate HR departments and recruiters will search the internet for information about potential candidates. That means that if your FaceBook wall is full of complaints about a current or former employer, this social network could be extremely damaging. This is doubly true if your search is beginning on a social network, since potential employers may have access to more information than a typical public user. This is yet another reason that it is always a good idea to only share things on the internet that you would not mind if everyone you knew found out.