Best Social Media Sites for Job Searching

Maximize Your Job Search on Social Media

Young woman home office
••• filadendron / Getty Images

Networking is one of the most important components of job searching. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Some surveys report even higher numbers. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, at least 84% of employers are using social media as a recruitment tool, with an additional 9% planning to do so.

With the internet buzzing with social media, there are similarly many ways to use social media to network, and eventually to find a job.

Not only can you find a job with this medium, you can also create and cultivate a professional brand using social networking sites, building a strategic online presence to help with your job searching and career building.

Courting passive candidates (thosenot actively seeking employment) was the main reason for employers tapping social media. Use these top social and professional networking sites below to enhance your career and boost your jobsearch.

Social Networking Sites for Job Seekers

With 562 million current users, LinkedIn is considered the top spot for people looking for work. However, many users don't take the necessary steps to maximize their chances, including optimizing their profile, creating their network, joining groups, incorporating work samples, and accumulating recommendations and endorsements. Make sure that you reach out to first, second, and third-degree connections for information, advice, and introductions to hiring managers. Join professional groups related to your interests and contribute to discussions to enhance your visibility as a potential candidate.

LinkedIn is also a great resource for accessing job postings. The search results include a listing of jobs that correspond to your interests and also a list of individuals in your network who might be able to refer you to relevant jobs. Alumni from your college who are working at the employers advertising jobs will also be noted on your results list.

Many employers will place job advertisements on Facebook.You can find these opportunities by searching for “Jobs on Facebook” in the search window on the site. However, the greatest value of Facebook is the opportunity to solicit the assistance of your contacts with your job search. Ask if your contacts are aware of any jobs related to your interests and also request that your friends provide referrals to any people whom they know in your field for advice and information relevant to your job transition. Join groups of people with common interests and network with them. Be careful how you proceed if you are currently employed and have Facebook contacts who might report your activity to your employer.

Instagram is a good way to establish your personal brand while demonstrating your social media skills and enhancing your overall digital savvy. It's also a smart way to glean information and insights about a company where you might want to work.

Did an employee post a pic of "massage Mondays" and you're a corporate masseuse? Does a company showcase a "Fajita Fridays" special and you're a Mexican chef? Instagram is a great way to see inside a company to demonstrate later how you'd be a good fit. Instagram also provides a vehicle for you to post visual representations related to your professional or academic projects.

Active Twitter users can develop and promote their professional brand by posting information of interest to individuals in their field. One benefit of Twitter is the free-flowing communication that allows you to talk directly to recruiters and hiring managers without the need to submit a resume first. Search for #recruiters and other keywords related to your industry.

However, while Twitter is an excellent networking tool, you need to support your efforts with a blog or LinkedIn profile. No one will hire you simply based on a Twitter profile — to start, they'll need a link providing them with more information about you.

YouTube is an excellent vehicle for incorporating video samples of your work, as well as evidence of your communication skills or personality into your job search. Of course, musicians, actors, teachers, consultants, and trainers have used the site for years to promote their skills. Many other jobseekers can benefit from creating a video profile that showcases their persona and demonstrates their career-related skills. 

Examples might include an "elevator pitch" summarizing your interests and assets targeted towards a career field of interest or a brief show-and-tell regarding a successful academic or work project.  

YouTube touts a user base of over one billion individuals. Jobseekers can post videos on YouTube to attract the attention of employers or link YouTube videos to their job search communications or other social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook. 

Pinterest claims over 250 million active monthly users. The site will be most useful for creative types like interior decorators, artists, and graphic designers who can post visual representations of their work. The site is heavily trafficked by women, so professionals like contractors who wish to promote their services to women are likely to accrue the greatest benefit from the site.