LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, personal blogs… in an age where access to information is plentiful, it’s important to take advantage of the tools at hand and use them to develop your next opportunity. On the one hand, this increased level of societal interconnectedness has spurred business through highly accessible networking channels; on the other hand, all of the information is up for grabs. With what appears to be limitless social media options, your level of accessibility to your next employer is greater than it ever has been before. So how do you effectively use these different mediums to your advantage? The recruiters at Xtreme weigh in.

LinkedIn truly is the newest and best “big thing” that has come crashing onto the job market. Not only does it provide easy access to your credentials for anyone who’s interested, it also acts as a job board, connects individuals who work in the same field or are looking for opportunities, and most importantly, builds networks and relationships that may lead to your next career opportunity. Here are a couple of tips on how to take full advantage of the modern rolodex and get the most out of LinkedIn:

  • Keep it personal. Only connect with people on LinkedIn that you’ve worked with or talked to. The idea is to build a network you’re comfortable reaching out to.
  • It is okay to decline requests. Many people are simply trying to increase their connections, but building a network of complete strangers will not help your career. Only connect with people you know or have talked to. In this case, quality really is better than quantity.
  • After you develop your network, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask your connections to make an introduction. You may not personally know the hiring manager of your dream job, but someone you know might. Don’t be afraid of using your network once you cultivate it.
  • If you’re actively looking for a job, be transparent. At the very least, include “seeking new opportunities” in your LinkedIn summary to let recruiters using LinkedIn know you’re open to discussing new roles.
  • Consider upgrading to LinkedIn Premium. LinkedIn Premium offers more networking options such as the ability to send direct InMail to people outside of your network, an increased number of saved searches and profiles per search, and the ability to see full profiles of every LinkedIn member, to name a few. If you’re actively looking for a job, LinkedIn Premium offers you the tools you need to build a stronger network faster, which more than likely will result in a new opportunity.
  • Search for companies as well as positions. Often times the best jobs are the ones not posted. By searching for companies you want to work for, you can ask for introductions through your network to someone in HR at that company and find your perfect niche.

The most important thing to remember about Facebook is that it’s a social networking site. This is not the place to develop your professional network but instead is a great opportunity to learn more about a company’s activities beyond their professional function.

  • Use Facebook to find out what activities and groups companies you’re interested in are involved with. This will give you some insight to the office atmosphere and personality of the employees who work there.
  • While not a professional site, your Facebook page is still a representation of you. Be conscious about your posts and be sure that you’re comfortable with anyone viewing what you’re posting. You can also increase the security on page to keep your social life more private.

Twitter is a great place to keep tabs on companies by following their tweets. Companies will not only post activity, but they will also post jobs and hash tag opportunities which you can then follow up about, referencing your source in a more professional setting.

Social media is a great way to improve your visibility and relay your aspirations and needs to potential employers and recruiters, as well as keep track of when they’re looking for their next talented resource. Embrace and take advantage of the changing networking mediums and you’ll find yourself with a new opportunity in no time.

Topics: Staffing & Hiring, careers, job hunting, job search, recruiting, social recruiting

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Leah is a Project Manager at Xtreme Consulting. When she's not geeking out with Visio and process flows, she can be found hiking the PNW trails with her dog or baking cookies while watching "Friends".