A Social Media Job Primer

There’s no question that social networking sites are growing in popularity over some more traditional methods to connect with old friends, find new friends, search for jobs and establish business contacts. We’ve seen social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn rise in popularity in the past few years. Even U.S. Senators were seen twittering on President Obama’s nationally televised speech.

In our current economy, there’s been a lot on the news about people using social networking sites to find jobs and meet important decision makers in the hiring process. There are countless numbers of networking sites available, and each can help you in different ways. You might be wondering, “which sites are best for my job search?”

To help you figure out which social networking site is best for your job search, here are some benefits of some popular sites.

LinkedIn – Maybe one of the more popular sites to conduct a job search, LinkedIn helps you focus on specific companies and targets your job search. You can learn all you need to know about companies. You can also search the company name to find out who currently works there or was formerly employed by the organization. Building your own professional network on LinkedIn will allow you to learn more about your contacts, communicate with decision makers of companies you’re interested in, and share your own work history online. To get the most out of your job search on LinkedIn, check out Guy Kawasaki’s Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job.

Plaxo – This social network site, popular with post-college professionals, resembles LinkedIn but has some differences. On Plaxo, in addition to a profile with a bio that includes your contact information, you can create a “pulse stream,” a list of the social media sites you’re connected to. Plaxo also has an address book that allows you to keep track of all your contact information and a map showing where your contacts live. It’s partnered with Simply Hired, a job search engine that aggregates all company and job site searches into one convenient place. It also has a calendar function to organize your meetings, events, and tasks. 

Twitter – Twitter allows you to share up-to-date information on what you’re doing in 140 characters or less. You can use this social network to talk directly to hiring managers. Make sure you fill out your profile with information relevant to your job history and mention the types of positions you’re looking for. Then, use the link section to promote your other social networking site such as your LinkedIn profile, online résumé, professional blog, or online portfolio. You can only provide one link, so be selective, and then make sure the page you select has links to all your other relevant professional online links. Because it’s highly specialized, this tool should be used primarily by people who have mastered other social networking sites.

Facebook – Facebook is growing in popularity and can be used to find a job in two main ways: searching the Facebook marketplace and joining groups or fan pages. The Facebook marketplace lists job openings in your network. You will be able to see who listed the job and then message the person directly to submit your résumé. The second way to find jobs on Facebook is to network with people through the groups and fan pages you have joined. Make sure these groups focus on the same interests and industry experience you would like to pursue. Many businesses and organizations have Facebook accounts, making it a little easier for job seekers to get into contact with decision makers and other influential people.

There are plenty more social networking sites available than these, making it a difficult process to choose which site will best benefit your job search. We’ve highlighted some of the most popular – because they are a great way to begin. While you’re building your social network presence, feel free to add Express as a connection on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Job Search Connection to equip your career and keep you up-to-date on all our job search advice! But remember, simply using these sites alone will not guarantee you a job. Broaden your job search beyond the Internet, network with the people around you, and attend job fairs in your community in addition to online networking for the best results. 

If there are any social networking sites that have been successful at helping you find a job, let us know in the comments section below.


  1. Katherine

    So true! I was laid off 3 months ago and was getting really frusterated finding a job. It wasn’t until I was told by two recruiters that my LinkedIn, quite frankly – sucked. I started to do my research and immediately updated my twitter and linkedin and have had a much more positive response. I also found this article, which I found helpful: http://vjournal.com/linkedin-tips.

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