Finding a job is a numbers game: getting your info in front of as many people who could conceivably help you get a job as possible. That's why sites such as monster, careerbuilder, and linkedin are helpful. Millions of people search them to find the right employers and employees.
Unfortunately, job seekers who post on those sites unavoidably start out with one strike against them. Employers tend to think, "If he's so good, why does he have to post his resume?"
Social networking sites such as myspace.com, facebook.com, friendster.com, and match.com offer the job seeker an advantage: they're not explicitly for job seekers. Even many highly successful careerists want to enhance their social life, and online social sites are today's popular way to do it.
So, if in the course of social networking, an employer finds a person whose profile mentions their career capabilities and that they might be open to a good new job, that employer may be more positively predisposed to that person than if found on a job site. Finding a potential employee that way also makes the employer feel like he's discovered a treasure rather than having been sold a bill of goods, which is how many employers feel about job applicants' resumes and cover letters.
Here are ways to make the most of social networking sites. I'll use myspace.com as an example because it's wildly popular, but the principles also apply to other social networking sites.
1. In the "About Me" section of your profile, first present your social and avocational self. Then, toss in something like, "I'm also passionate about my work as a marketing researcher in the video game industry." That's all the bait you need to dangle. If someone in a position to hire a marketing researcher comes across your profile, attracted to your picture or personal aspects of your profile, then reads about your career passion, and happens to need someone like you, you may well have instantly become the inside candidate.
Don't write more than a sentence or two about your professional life. Longer than that gives your ploy away.
In the "I'd like to meetů" section, first describe the sort of friend and/or romantic partner you'd like. Then, in just a sentence say something like, "I am also open to finding an employer who'd love a crackerjack marketing researcher."
2. In the avocational questions (for example, your favorite heroes), answer truthfully but you needn't necessarily mention that your hero is your girlfriend who just overcame her addiction to heroin.
3. Include a photo both of your professional-looking and after-work self. Be careful in choosing the latter. Dancing half nude with a brewski in each hand may not create the right impression.
4..Use the site's search function to start online conversations with as many potential employers as possible. Only after a couple of social-only exchanges, and ideally, after they ask about your worklife, should you drop that hint that you might be open to a cool new job.
5. Build up a "friends" list by inviting your friends to join myspace and by using the site's search functions. Post "bulletins," especially those that might impress potential employers for example, somewhere you're speaking, or that you'd be happy to email people copies of something you just wrote.
6. Get involved in the groups and forums likely to be frequented by your target employer.
This article talked about how to use social networking sites to get a job, but don't be so focused on that that you don't use them to have fun. They really are.