More from the 2011 Social Networking Job Search Survey Report
The perception that social networks are purely for use in the personal realm continues to shift. In the 2009 survey, 65% of respondents said they used social sites for professional purposes. The 2011 data puts that number at 85%. But social networks can only help you professionally if you know how to leverage your connections. For some, that may simply mean announcing to your network that you are seeking a new career opportunity and asking for help. One survey respondent said he announced on both LinkedIn and Facebook that he was seeking a career change into medical device sales, and in less than 48 hours he had 6 potential leads.
Professional Networking Tips from Member Usage Statistics
We’ve been able to glean several professional networking tips from this most recent survey. It actually appears that overt job prospecting on social networks is not uncommon. In fact, 70% of respondents said they use social sites for job prospecting. But in order to effectively find jobs on a social site, your network must include connections in your industry. This is why 68% of survey respondents reported using social sites to connect with former and current colleagues. 44% also connect with former and current managers on social networks.
Over half of all respondents belong to professional groups within the social networks. The primary reasons cited for joining groups were to make new industry connections (76%) and look for job leads (77%). Respondents said groups can also be a good source of industry news (53%) and career advice (37%). One survey respondent proudly reported that a group he started on LinkedIn led to a connection with a medical sales recruiter who found him a job.
While LinkedIn was by far the most commonly cited source for job leads, don’t necessarily limit your online networking to the major social networks. One survey respondent cited their online alumni network as the source of several job leads. Local community job networks can also be a great resource.