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Job Seekers Using Social Networking Sites

By CityTownInfo.com Staff

April 2, 2009

Laid-off workers are utilizing social networking Web sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to search for new employment.

The Los Angeles Times reports that according to David Hahn, LinkedIn Corp.'s director of product management, job searches on the site rose 51 percent in February over December, while the number of job applicants doubled in the last six months. Even people who are employed are worried about layoffs and are adding connections and getting recommendations, Hahn said.

"As people are feeling less secure and more concerned about their careers, they are really investing in their professional network," he told the LA Times.

When Guang-Yu Xu was laid off from an engineering position at a Silicon Valley Internet company, he updated his LinkedIn job status from "current" to "past." He soon heard from Robert Greene, one of the more than 530,000 recruiters who review LinkedIn for potential job candidates. Consequently, Xu received three job offers within a few weeks.

Similarly, when Joel Franusic was laid off from his computer systems job at PBwiki, a company that creates collaborative websites called wikis, he posted his resume and a message on Twitter and Facebook. "Laid off from PBwiki and looking for my next adventure!" he wrote. He got a job lead and interview within two hours, and within two days he received an offer from a software company.

Experts counsel job-seekers to exercise caution when posting on social networking sites. For example, ABC News advises Twitter users to avoid mocking colleagues or "tweeting" in anger.

"I've mocked my paper's online typos on Twitter and been chastised for it," said Steve, a copyeditor at a newspaper in the Greater Seattle area. When he made fun of some of his colleagues, one coworker forwarded his tweets around the newsroom. As a result, his supervisor reprimanded him.

"He was right, of course," admitted Steve. "I didn't understand the boomerang effect of Twitter before these incidents."

Nevertheless, many recognize social networking sites as a valuable tool for aiding job-searchers. ABC News notes that LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are "potential gold mines for putting people in touch. Plus, they offer easy ways to track the industry, companies and executives you're interested in pursuing. Bonus: All three are free to use."

In a related story, the Examiner reports on a more recent Internet aid for those seeking employment: TwitterJobSearch.com, a search engine that lists job opportunities through Twitter updates. Instead of following countless of employer and recruiter Twitter accounts, one can search for a job by keyword and see the results from those looking to fill the job.

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