Social Networking Emerges As Job-Hunting Tool: Page 2

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Cathers, who previously worked as an IT recruiter in Boston, says he was happy in that job but wanted to relocate back to New York. He knew social networking sites would be valuable in helping him “find the optimal job in a bad market.” Like Kerr and Gardere, Cathers says the handful of recommendations he got from people he previously worked for “adds an extra layer of validation to what you say.”

Besides getting recommendations, he advises others looking for work to make sure their profile and all their links and sub pages display information people would feel comfortable and proud to show to an employer.

Prepping for Interviews

Out-of-work Project Manager Sandra Herforth, who found her last job on LinkedIn, spends a lot of time perusing social networking sites even though she isn’t all that optimistic she’ll find something there.

“With the market the way it is I’m not having any success with people responding any longer. It’s been a waste of time,’’ says Herforth, of Newton, Mass., who lost her job last July. Yet, she still sees value in using the more business-oriented sites “as a tool to prepare for interviews,” when she is given an interviewer’s title beforehand, so she can find that person’s profile and learn more about their background and what might resonate with them.

Herforth says she can also glean where a company’s “knowledge weaknesses” are so she can discuss in the interview something that might be relevant to that position and where she can bring value. “Everyone’s looking to solve something so I’m looking to fill in those areas where it’s obvious” the management team has holes. “You have to differentiate yourself.”

Kerr concurs that social networking sites are critical for someone who is job hunting, or thinking about changing jobs. “Social networking is the 21st century. It’s how you look for a job and how you find a job,’’ she says.


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