One of the best ways to jumpstart your career is by talking to people and finding out more about careers and job openings through word of mouth. In fact, the vast majority of people get their jobs through networking, and the Internet has exploded as a tool through which you can network with other professionals and learn more about careers and job openings. The Internet provides countless ways for you to connect and “talk” with folks.
Job-seekers like online networking sites because they can build their list of contacts and learn about opportunities. They can capitalize on a finding by CareerXroads that employee referrals generate 10 times more hires than the largest online job board. Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Stacy Teicher described a LinkedIn user whose every request for referrals had led to either a meeting or an interview.
Another reason to network online is to raise your visibility to employers and recruiters, who cite such networks as LinkedIn, and the people search engine, ZoomInfo, because they can learn about prospective candidates, as well as find out who else knows these prospects. They can approach candidates through contacts both parties trust.
Jobster, is particularly geared to recruiters and employers in that they can use the network to reach out to working professionals who provide referrals. To use Jobster, you must be referred through an email invitation from someone already using the service.
Social Networking on Steroids
Social networking — and we’re now also using the broader term social media — is exploding. A 2007 survey conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity revealed that 65 percent of business professionals are clicking and connecting via personal and professional social networking Web sites, with 35 percent of them reporting they use networks to assist them in finding a job. LinkedIn, Yahoo! 360, and MySpace were the surveyed professionals’ favorites.