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Since the mid-2000s, social media have surpassed job boards as tools for hiring managers to source and select job candidates. A solid 94 percent of employers in a 2013 survey said they were using or planning to use social media as a key aspect of their recruitment strategies.

It’s no longer question of whether you should use social media in your job search, but how to maximize its effectiveness.

LinkedIn Continues to Lead the Way

Now starting its 12th year, LinkedIn remains the number-one social network for job searches. Its business-oriented platform provides the largest online network for marketing yourself and expanding your network of connections.

Have a complete, robust profile. The more relevant information you include, the better. A completed LinkedIn profile makes you 40 percent more likely to receive a job opportunity. Include your major accomplishments, experiences, education, skills, honors and any other professional achievements you would incorporate into your resume or an interview.

  • Request recommendations. Turn to your most credible connections. It’s best to ask for their recommendations in person before sending the generic LinkedIn form.
  • Grow your network. Start making connections as soon as your profile is complete. Import your address book. Connect to friends, family, alumni and past and present colleagues and supervisors. Try to add at least one new person a week to your network. But remember: Quality is more important than quantity. You want a large network, but don’t invite strangers or people you only vaguely know – and don’t be offended if they deny your requests.
  • Join groups. Add value to discussions. Share your view or link to a relevant article or video.
  • Use LinkedIn Jobs. It suggests open positions that align with your interests and allows you to search jobs based on different categories. You also can see how you’re linked to the person who posted the job opening.

Don’t Hesitate to Network on Facebook

Facebook may be best known as the most “social” of all the social networks, but don’t overlook your professional network on this site. These contacts may even be more helpful, because friends who know you personally have more of a stake in helping you succeed.

  • Make sure your Facebook profile is private. Much of it is public by default and you probably don’t want potential employers to browse your personal updates. Under Account, then Privacy Settings, choose Friends Only. That way, if an employer should Google you, they won’t be able to see details of your profile, your photos, or your personal status updates.

Find Information on Hiring Managers

Before you submit your resume, look up HR and hiring managers on LinkedIn and Twitter. (If they’re smart, they’ve made their Facebook profiles private.)

  • Twitter feeds can be information gold mines. Knowing more about a person can help you tailor your cover letter to their needs and be better prepared to break the ice and converse naturally with them in an interview. It also supports that you’ve done your research and it’s a great professional courtesy to know a little bit about your interviewer.

The professional recruiters at PrideStaff Modesto can help ensure that you not only search, but succeed as you take your career to the next level in 2015. Read our related posts or contact our experienced team of recruiters today to learn more.

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