Can Social Media Get You a Job?

A straightforward guide to using online networking in your job search.

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If you’re job hunting, you may be tired of everyone telling you to network, network, network.

Sorry. But it’s a fact: networking is the no. 1 way to find a job. And now, thanks to a new invention you may have heard of, “the Internet,” you have a bigger and better way to network:

Social media

Social media exponentially increases your connections and contacts. According to Jobvite’s Dan Finnigan, “Social networking is an enhanced, real-time version of networking. By getting involved in social media, you’ll learn about job opportunities you would never find offline.”

So come on in, the water’s fine. Here’s how to get started:

• Get a professional-sounding E-mail address for all your job-hunting activities.

• Get a businesslike photo taken.

• Stake out some Internet real estate to serve as a “landing page.” This can be a blog, a Web site, or your LinkedIn profile (see below). Why do you need a landing page? So people (i.e., potential employers) who are interested, can easily find out more about you.

• Start building your profiles on these social media sites, in this order: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Your profiles should link to your landing page.

• Join the conversation(s). Develop a “voice” that is consistent, professional, and distinctive.

• And most important: Give before you get. In social media, the trick is to avoid sounding obviously self-promotional. Offer insight, advice, comments, resources. Be upbeat, smart, and courteous.

Social media is just a new way of doing an old thing--building relationships with people who are in a position to help you.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com.

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