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Using Social Networks

Social networking websites are free online services that allow you and all the people you know—and all the people they know—to connect with each other online. Using a social networking website can be a good way to stay in touch with part of your network.

Social networking websites allow you to:

  • create a personal profile that functions like a home page
  • post images, notes or articles to the people in your network who use the same site. You can also invite others to join your network
  • receive news, messages and images from the people in your network and invitations to join other people’s networks
  • contact a person you don’t know through someone you both know.

Even though it’s virtual, a social networking website is still a community. It works on trust, the same way an offline network does. Invite only people you know and trust into your network. Because security and confidentiality are always an issue online, be sure to review the privacy policy of any website before you register.

Check out these social networking websites:

Using a Social Networking Website

  • Make sure your profile page and postings are appropriate. Future and current employers may be able to read your profile.
  • If you’re currently employed, remember that your employer may access the website. Keep your work search confidential by asking your contacts for advice and information, not directly for work or job leads.
  • If you’re not currently employed, tell your contacts you’re looking for work. Tell them about your skills and accomplishments.
  • Join groups or networks on the website that reflect your interests, both professional and recreational, to expand your network.
  • Use site features to support your work search, such as creating a professional profile, posting a resumé or tagging your skills using keywords.
  • Change the privacy settings to control who has access to specific areas of your profile. It’s a good idea to allow only close friends to access your instant messaging (IM) and comment on your blog entries.
  • Be a resource for the people in your network. Tell your contacts about opportunities or events that will interest them.
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