Social media continues to explode as retailers regularly run hashtag promotions on Twitter. Small businesses provide real-time customer service via Facebook. Even schools participate in social networking and set up online discussion groups for classes or extracurricular activities.

If you’re back on the job market, online social networking can serve as an excellent resource. After all, networking means making connections, and that is the crux of a job search.

Think All Things LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional networking social media platform. Online job sites help you get started because they submit one job application online to many different employers. Even if you get a lead via a job search site, the evaluator may check LinkedIn looking for more information. Some even take applications directly from the site using the Apply with LinkedIn plug-in.

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Job searchers can put their best foot forward on their profile page at no charge with the Creative Portfolio Display app. It will take your information and apply it to a dynamic design geared to catch the eye of an employer.

Make Networking Friends a Search App

Use a people search application like Wink to find networking contacts on social media sites. Once you have the names of key figures in a company you are interested in working with, use the app to locate employees on social media sites. Many top-level executives maintain a professional social media account on mainstream sites, especially LinkedIn. This way you get to know them a little bit and, even more importantly, let them get to know you. Mashable reports 80 percent of jobs are filled via networking.

Post a Multimedia Resume

Consider developing a dynamic multimedia resume to post on your blog and social media pages. You can use slide presentation software such as PowerPoint and then upload the work via lites like SlideShare.net. Mashable offers an intriguing example of a powerful online resume posted using this application.

Train to Become a Social Media Expert

Kids nowadays seem to be born computer savvy, but it is a learning process for most of us. Even if you go online every day to socialize, it is worth the effort to go through some training and improve your networking skills. Social Media Today offers a free podcast titled appropriately “How to Use Social Media to Get a Job.” This one-hour course walks you through the necessary steps with the help of some top recruiters.

Guard your Online Reputation

Reputation is everything in the business world. The problem with online reputations is they don’t just involve things you do or say on the Internet. TechRepublic recommends you monitor Internet traffic that uses your name too. Tools such as the Whos Talkin iGoogle Gadget let you find out what people are saying about you via social media. Whos Talkin offers both the iGoogle Gadget and a browser plug, so you can stay informed.

Promote Yourself with Social Media

You are attempting to sell a product to potential employers – yourself. Social media sites offer targeted advertisement systems to get the word out about your product. Facebook, Google, LinkedIn – they all have banner advertising systems that allow you to focus on specific industries, locations and job profiles such as a Fortune 500 executive. For pennies per ad, you can grab the attention of someone who is looking to hire and impress them with your gall and ingenuity.

Creative Commons image by TheSeafarer

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