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Getting a Job Through Your Social Network?

“Social networks” have always been a part of our lives, from family and friends to coworkers and professors. In the world of web 2.0, social networks have taken on a new shape with the advent of sites like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Our social networks are now more easily accessible than ever before, and one of the more practical applications of today’s technology is the job search process.

An online poll conducted by the Washington Post of more than 500 users of the site Internships.com found that social networking played a key role in an individual’s search for a job or internship. More than a third of those surveyed reported they had posted a general note on their Facebook wall announcing they were looking for work, and 47% sent similar news in a Facebook message to at least 10 friends. Nearly 80 percent said they would be comfortable with an employer reaching out to them through social media.

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Whether you are actively or passively seeking a job, there are advantages to using social media. Here are just a few:

Personal referrals: Personal connections are invaluable, and the referral is one of the easiest, most effective ways to get your resume to the right person. CareerXroads, a consulting firm, found that recruiters made one hire for every 10 referrals they received, compared to online job boards where recruiters reported looking at an average of 219 applications per position.

Targeted communities: Social media tools allow us to network within specific professional communities. With these tools we can share news, learn about the industry, build influence and establish relationships with others in the same industry. Over time, this may lead to a potential employment opportunity. One of the best ways to get a company to notice you is to follow its corporate Twitter feed, subscribe to its blogs and become its Facebook fan. It doesn’t hurt to talk positively about it through your own social media channels.

Office culture sneak-peek: Actively conversing, sharing and engaging through social media can help lift the HR corporate veil to reveal a company’s true corporate culture. If you feel like you fit in, your job will likely be more satisfying.

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