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Many people today are on at least one social networking site such as LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Friendster even Twitter. Most people have joined these sites for one of two reasons: to get in touch with friends and family, or to network.  Many people make the mistake in thinking that if you are on Facebook or MySpace for social reasons that it won't impact your professional life. That may have been true before social networking began to flourish as a component of business Internet strategies, but it is not the case now.


Fast forward to 2014 where recruiters consistently turn to social networking technology to find qualified candidates to fill employment vacancies. Normally, they don't seek out candidates from social sites like Twitter or MySpace, but instead look at the business networking sites, such as LinkedIn, which is the most effective source for creating profitable business relationships, clients and customers.


Young adults make the mistake of posting graphic or obscene comments on their profiles not realizing that when they go out to get a job and their potential employer Google's a search on them, those sexy or x-rated photos or vulgar comments could prevent them from being considered for employment.


There is one very important secret to finding the ideal job at the company that you really want to work for and that is to get on the inside. The best jobs, meaning the better paying jobs and the more prestigious jobs, are not posted on job boards. They are going to be shared within the company or posted on a co-worker's Facebook page or Twitter account.


You can also use the job boards or online classified ads such as Indeed and Craigslist. Each of these has their own set of pluses and minuses. On both you will find a large variety of job postings, this is a plus. However on Indeed you will be redirected to another site (separate from Indeed) where you will need to upload your resume and fill out their forms, this is a minus. It can be very time consuming and one can wonder whether or not their resume actually gets in front of a real person. Blue Sky teaches job seekers how to use LinkedIn to find a new position.


Craigslists offers numerous ads for jobs. The drawback here is that you don't always know who you are applying to. Sometimes job ads will give you the company name and contact information but many times they are anonymous postings requesting your resume if the job sounds like something you are interested in. Both sites are good places to look for a job, there are a number of people that have found their ideal job using these services. Golden rule, if it sounds too good to be true, then it most likely is.


Social Networking Sites Designed to Help You Get a Job - There are social networking sites that are actually designed to help you find a job. One such site is Plaxo. - http://www.plaxo.com/ "Your Address Book for Life."  Plaxo is very similar to LinkedIn, you can sign up, create your profile, put in your contact information and list your social media links (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace). You can even share photos and send e-cards here. Plaxo helps you find a job because it stores your address book and it keeps track of all your contact information including a map showing you where those contacts live. Plaxo is also integrated with Comcast's Simply Hired (http://www.simplyhired.com/) which is a job aggregator site. That means that this site will search all of the job boards and company career pages to bring to you a list of possible jobs that meet your skills and location.


Jobster would be another highly useful social networking site that more job seekers should pay attention to. http://www.jobster.com.  Jobster puts you in contact with the people that are looking to hire you.  You can actually connect with employers, not recruiters or resume pages. Yes, you can upload your resume; you can showcase links and even upload a video resume if you have one. Jobster allows you to network with the potential employers.


For those that are in college and looking for a job there is a social networking site designed exclusively for you. http://www.myworkster.com/ "Please introduce me to some important people."  MyWorkster is a sister site to Indeed that only allows college students to register and network with potential employers.  If you are not currently attending college you will not be able to use this service.  However, if you are, this is an excellent site that will help you get your foot in the door with companies that are looking to hire you.


There is a fine line to walk when it comes to promoting yourself. You want to express your strong points without sounding too arrogant.  This is where a third-party comes in handy--someone who can give you a reference or recommendation.  Having a professional blog or (impartial) website that a recruiter can visit will help cast you in a positive light and highlight other positive aspects of your personality.  When prospective employers see that you are well liked, your ratings go up and your chances for getting hired increase tremendously.


If you are serious about having the professional career you have always dreamed of then perhaps its time you learn the importance of an online presence and the value of social networking sites.  Searching job boards and classified ads in your local paper will only take you so far.


Build a positive image online, network with those that you want to work with... and land your dream job.

Getting "connected" is a very important aspect of job hunting and equally important is portraying a positive online persona. The question is then, why have you taken the time to build an online persona? For most of us the answer is to connect.

ARTICLES | BY ULA NERAK

Social Networking for Work

APRIL 1, 2014

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