Online social networking isn't just a way of keeping track of your boyfriend on his recent trip to Vegas, or finding hilarious videos posted by your friends. It could help you get a job.
A recent survey has found that 83 percent of companies polled use social networking sites to recruit new employees, and a majority of those who do utilize the Mountain View-based LinkedIn.
LinkedIn was built specifically for professional networking and is headquartered on Stierlin Court in Mountain View. The poll indicates that 78 percent of the respondents use the service, while only 55 percent and 45 percent use Facebook and Twitter, respectively, for recruitment.
Anne Murguia is vice president of marketing for Jobvite, the Burlingame company that published the survey. JobVite makes recruiting software and helps companies find qualified candidates using social networks.
Murguia said more than 600 people responded to the survey. Of those respondents, 75 percent were from employers, 14 percent were from recruitment agencies, and 11 percent were self-employed or independent contractors.
According to Murguia, being active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can significantly improve someone's chances of being discovered and hired by a company. But, she said, it is important to use each social network differently to obtain the best results.
"Each network has its own characteristics and usage patterns," she said, "and you should make yourself findable there. Itís important to provide profile information on each social network that will help a recruiter find you for open jobs in your field or area of interest."
Filling out all relative employment information on Facebook, staying active on LinkedIn and posting thoughtful status updates and tweets will all raise the likely hood of being found.
"When you are updating your profile, 'SEO yourself,'" Murguia said. "Write about your work history in words that a recruiter would use to search for someone with your skills. But remember this is your individual profile; use language, examples and results that bring your profile alive. And donít forget to include links to your blog, portfolio or other examples of your work."
So, don't feel bad if you keep getting sucked back into Facebook or Twitter while looking for a job. Just post something thoughtful. It can't hurt.