Executive Careers Blog

Jobseekers: Tame The Online Social Networking

One of my most popular workshop topics is how to use social media in your job search.

A high majority of recruiters use online social networks, such as LinkedIn, to find candidates (I used online networks extensively when I recruited), so jobseekers absolutely need to take advantage of these tools.

However, there are so many options and they are all so time-consuming that jobseekers risk being overwhelmed.

Make a choice and go deep. Rather than spending a little time here and there on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Doostang, blogging, or building a personal website, decide what you want to accomplish, research your options to see what best suits your objectives, and devote the bulk of your time there.

Place an overall time limit on your online search activities. A thorough job search encompasses many different activities, including research, expanding your network, following up with your existing network, updating your contact database, troubleshooting your search and more. Online networking is helpful for research, networking and maintaining contact information so it is worth a substantive time commitment but not all of your time.

Offline networking etiquette still applies. The most successful networkers online share much in common with successful networkers offline. Be respectful of people’s time. Write engaging (and grammatically correct) business communication. Ask intelligent questions. Focus on giving and helping others. Remember that online social media is one tool in the broad umbrella of networking, and common sense networking etiquette still applies.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of a career coaching firm for Gen Y professionals. Formerly in corporate recruiting and retained search, Caroline has recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citibank, Disney ABC, Oliver Wyman, Pfizer, and Time Inc. She currently writes career columns for Portfolio.com and Vault.com and teaches Professional Development at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

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