Using the Web for Targeted Networking

By: Amanda Ray Filed under: Gaming & Technology

April 22, 2012

When searching for a new career opportunity, the traditional method of “pounding the pavement” has gone virtual. Companies are posting employment opportunities on their websites, and are also utilizing social networking tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to spread the message. To find the right job, use an integrated approach of social media, job search sites, and targeted industry research.

Social networking sites act as an introductory service, providing people the opportunity to meet industry professionals through their own list of contacts. In this way, social and professional networking platforms make it easy for job seekers to connect with former colleagues, while at the same time, granting them access to a person’s current position, previous employment and most importantly, their network of contacts.

“Using a site like LinkedIn, you can see the industry groups and professional associations that another user belongs to,” says Amber Kostik, Career Services Advisor at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco. “You can look at a professional’s past experience, and that can give you an idea of what your dream company is looking for.”

Another tool is using job search websites like Monster or CareerBuilder, although it oftentimes proves more effective to specifically target companies you would like to work for. Individually targeting these companies helps define your career focus and allows you to customize your resume and cover letter to meet their company vision.

Job search websites can be a resource on many levels, including offering comparable job descriptions to ones that you have researched while targeting specific companies. This proves helpful in understanding what requirements and skill sets might be needed for a certain job. Another resource is recruiter listings, which include specific information about the company. When you come across a too-good-to-be-true listing but don’t meet all the listed qualifications, apply anyway. Recruiters list qualifications of their “ideal candidate”, but there is always room for negotiation if you can get your foot in the door. Also, look for niche positions, as these listings often receive fewer applicants, meaning you are more likely to be seen.

“These web focused tactics are key aspects when looking for job opportunities.  To be successful in finding work you must tie them all together” says Nathan Small, Career Services Advisor at The Art Institute of California— Hollywood. “When identifying your strengths and looking for work, you must take it one step at a time but continue to hold onto things that motivate you to achieve your goals.”

By using this combination of social media, job search sites and targeted industry research, your network can grow exponentially. This offers many more ways to not only locate specific job opportunities, but also provides you with direct connections to people that you can reach out to for personal recommendations, additional information, and insight into specific opportunities. Using these tools will not only improve your job search, but most importantly, your feet will thank you.

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