- Check out LinkedIn JobsInsider, a browser companion that informs job-seekers of inside connections they have to employers when they browse major Internet job boards.
- Recommend people on LinkedIn and ask your contacts to recommend you.
- Participate in discussion forums and boards in your career field.
- See if professional organizations in your field offer social-networking tools.
- If you once worked for a large company, you may find a social-networking venue for alumni of that employer.
- Seek out folks in your virtual networks who are local and get together with them face-to-face. You can search most networks by location; on Twitter, tools such as TwellowHood can assist. Location searching is also helpful if you plan to relocate. You can also seek out location-based social networks. Here’s a list of them compiled by Claudio Schapsis.
- Always offer help to those with whom you connect and thank your contacts for their assistance and advice.
- Realize that even on sites with good privacy settings, your profiles may be less private than you think, and be careful about what you say and post on social-networking venues.
- Invite your real-world contacts to join your networks, and invited contacts from one venue to join your network on other venues.
Dan Schawbel mentions a couple of new twists in using social-network techniques. One is to search for people with whom to network, people who could be or lead to your “in” with a given employer. Schawbel says to identify the top companies you’d like to work for, use search engines to find people who work in those organizations, and then connect with each person directly. (See the people search engines listed here. Rusty Weston, a commenter to the blog ReadWriteWeb, concurs with Schawbel’s suggestion: “Job boards are passive approaches, but social networks give you the option of reaching out to hiring managers or recruiters at companies you’re targeting for employment. It works.”
Schawbel’s other innovative suggestion is to run “job-wanted” ads on Google AdWords and Facebook Social Ads. Willy Franzen of OneDayOneJob outlines the process for running Facebook Social Ads and also offers success stories from those who’ve tried it here. Franzen notes that “you can run a campaign on a few dollars a day. A $100 investment would allow you to run a huge campaign over the course of a few weeks or even a month. You can get a free $100 Facebook advertising credit by signing up for the Visa Business Network application on Facebook.” Franzen has not tried the Google AdWords method because Google “doesn’t let you target specific companies like Facebook does. Targeting geographic areas performs pretty poorly, so I figured AdWords wouldn’t work too well for grabbing people’s attention like this.”