Social Media Networking

It is no secret that the most effective way to find a job is through networking. That used to mean going to parties, showing up to industry events, and even scheduling lunches with friends of friends. Now, thanks to modern technology, you can network from anywhere – even at home in your pajamas. Virtual networks make it easier than ever for us to stay connected to friends, relatives, former classmates and business contacts.

Facebook is the most ubiquitous social network, with more than 1.2 billion users worldwide. Just last week, Pew Research Center published an article showing that 57 percent of adults and 73 percent of teens in America use Facebook, and most of them log in every day. Even if you don’t use Facebook yourself, chances are better than 50/50 that you live in a household with someone who does.

Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and other popular sites also offer large communities and different ways to interact. For sharing photos and keeping up with friends, these social sites do the job remarkably well. For business purposes, however, you may not feel comfortable allowing coworkers and potential employers to see your profile that includes personal statements or private photos that you do not want to connect to your professional persona.

There are many resources for best practices in using social media in your job search. Keep in mind that each network includes privacy settings, but sometimes it can be daunting to control what potential employers can see.

LinkedIn offers a separate online presence for your work life. It has become the largest network for connecting professionally with friends and business contacts, and the numbers continue to increase. The LinkedIn user base grew to 259 million in 2013, which was a 38 percent surge in just one year. The site has become an indispensable tool for HR professionals and hiring managers in a variety of industries.

If you aren’t sure where to start with LinkedIn, you can start with our post about creating a more professional profile. If you aren’t ready to tackle that on your own, you could benefit from JFCS’s upcoming LinkedIn workshop on February 16 and 23.

What experiences have you had with social media? Which is your favorite network? Leave a comment to let us know.

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