Joining the Right Social Networks for a Job Search

“Which are the best social networks to use for job search?” That’s a good question with no clear-cut answer, as it depends on your definition of “best.” There are an overwhelmingly large number of social networks, and new ones being created weekly. Examples include business social network sites, more socially-oriented networks sites, photo and music sharing social network sites, dating social network sites, highly vertical professional social network sites, and social network aggregation sites.

Each one is slightly different. And none have the same type of social network members. But just because there are many social networks, it doesn’t mean that you need to join a large number of them.

To avoid information overload, start by focusing on just one or two networks. Facebook and LinkedIn are two great choices. Once you become familiar with these two main networks, the transition to any other network will be an easy one. You will already have your content in place, so it is just a matter of making a few tweaks to accommodate the social network specifics.

Due to its focus and Fortune 500 pedigree, LinkedIn is a tremendous channel to leverage in your people-search. Bear in mind, though, that you can only connect directly to people in your own personal network. No introduction is needed; just send them an ‘invitation’). To safeguard its unique niche, respect its members’ time, and eliminate potential spamming, or UCE (unsolicited commercial email), LinkedIn does not allow you to connect to people beyond your personal network.

Connecting to the contacts of one of your personal network acquaintances is highly recommended to vastly expand your personal network. These are individuals who are one time or two times removed from your personal network. You will need an “introduction” to be made on your behalf by your acquaintance to their contact. This helps to maintain the high quality of LinkedIn’s online network.

LinkedIn’s features include a profile page that is customizable by addi