7 Ways to Use Social Networking to Land Your Next Job

Facebook and other sites can give you an edge over other candidates.

When I was looking for my first full-time job about six years ago, I didn’t really consider tapping my personal networks online. Friendster and MySpace -- the big names in social media at the time -- were just vehicles for sharing pictures and finding out what old friends were up to (without having to actually talk to them). And that newfangled thing called Facebook, which still required a college e-mail account to join, just seemed redundant.

But today, you’re falling woefully behind in the race for open jobs if you’re not plugged into various social-networking sites. Facebook, for example, has exploded with more than 400 million active users, each of whom averages 130 friends. That’s a whole lot of people who could help with your job hunt. LinkedIn, with more than 70 million members, offers a more professional networking platform for you to post your résumé and connect with former and current co-workers. And many other sites, including Twitter, can also help you find employment. Wherever you surf, here are seven tips on how you can work the social-networking scene to land your next (or first) job:

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Stacy Rapacon
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rapacon joined Kiplinger in October 2007 as a reporter with Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and became an online editor for Kiplinger.com in June 2010. She previously served as editor of the "Starting Out" column, focusing on personal finance advice for people in their twenties and thirties.

Before joining Kiplinger, Rapacon worked as a senior research associate at b2b publishing house Judy Diamond Associates. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the George Washington University.