Job hunting? Use social networks to make crucial connections

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can do much more than just let you blow off some steam

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Page 2
Page 2 of 7

Lyris, Carlson's new employer, has a corporate presence on Facebook and is "all over Twitter," Carlson said. He said the company has multiple people posting on Twitter, but Lyris does it in a way that establishes a corporate identity that shares information with a common voice but doesn't allow Tweets from the entire company. "I thought that was pretty well done," he said.

Carlson, who studied computer science in college, describes himself as a longtime Internet geek, which helped him in his job search. Specifically, he had experience in working with "new media" at Yahoo and was familiar with social networking sites and other tools. "I think there was a level of awareness that I took into the process that certainly helped me," he said.

Get to know the hiring manager

Natalie Wilson doesn't have that technical of a background, but she is another new hire thanks to social-networking tools. She was part of the recent massive Circuit City layoff in Richmond, Va., where the failed electronics store chain was headquartered. She had worked for the company for 24 years, most recently as a business analyst.

Now, she is about to start her new role as a technical analyst for third-party logistics reporting at a Fortune 500 company in Richmond that she didn't wish to name. LinkedIn was vital to her success. "It's really worked out well," Wilson said of using the site.

She had started her LinkedIn account about a year ago, but didn't update it much. After the layoff, she went back to it and concentrated on improving her profile.

She garnered 35 recommendations from former co-workers and posted them on LinkedIn and used LinkedIn contacts to help her get an edge over other candidates.

According to recruiters and other careers professionals, that is the No. 1 way to land a job in the current economic climate. You must make yourself stand out from the pack, and the best way to do that is to get connected to someone working at the company you're targeting.

"That's the greatest value" of LinkedIn, said Harry Urschel, owner of the staffing and recruiting company e-Executives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. "If you're applying for positions posted online, you're one of hundreds of others that are doing the same thing. And even if you're a great fit for a job, it's incredibly hard to get noticed because you just fall into a database or you're in a sea of other resumes they have on their desk."

But if you can make direct contact with the hiring manager or someone else in your target company who might be in the same department or area you're interested in and who can put you in touch with the right people, "you're miles ahead of every other candidate that's just applying," he said.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Page 2
Page 2 of 7
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon