Looking for jobs can be a monotonous task for many, but with the use of social media, it doesn't have to be.
We live in an age where more people own smartphones than they do health insurance, and as figures show, more people are turning to social media sites to seek job opportunities.
But for those who are new to the process, don't worry, we reached out to 25 highly-experienced career experts who have shared their three recommended social media websites for job hunting.
Although many of us prefer certain social media platforms to others, many have their benefits in terms of finding job opportunities, whether you're a university graduate or somebody looking to further their current position.
So without further ado, let's take a look at what the experts have to offer...
Penelope Trunk - penelopetrunk.com
Lars Schmidt - Amplify Talent
Anna Runyan - Classy Career Girl
I would say LinkedIn, definitely. But, you have to really use it! Join groups, direct message people, request informational interviews, etc.
Aside from that, start your own blog to demonstrate you have expertise in the area you are looking to find work. That's my own personal experience and it has been amazing.
Finally, don't use a social network. Shake hands with people, challenge yourself to meet new people face-to-face, reconnect with an old friend over coffee. You never know opportunities might arise.
Laurence Hebberd - The Undercover Recruiter
Alexandra Levit - alexandralevit.com
Bryce Christiansen – MyCareertopia.com
1. LinkedIn. This is still the cream of the crop for job searching social networks.
When you build a social network from the ground up around people’s careers, networks, and the companies that hire them, it’s going to be tough to beat. One of the advantages LinkedIn has is the opportunity it gives you to speak with an employee of a potential company you want to work for.
If you make it to an offer stage but still feel hesitant about taking the job, use LinkedIn to find the person who had it before you, a co-worker you’d be on the same team as, or someone else who can give you some insights on what it’s really like to work for “x” company.
Reach out to them and share that you’re currently being considered for the job and would like to get their input on the position. The fact that LinkedIn gives you the capability to do your own private investigating into a position makes it my top pick for this reason alone.
2. Facebook. More and more companies are turning to Facebook to acquire talent.
Facebook has become a data center collecting information on millions of users, including their age, jobs, education, and location. . If you’re an employer, wouldn’t it be great to target a specific demographic for an open position?
Well, savvy companies are picking up on this and targeting “sponsored posts” towards people they feel would be qualified for the position. It’s for this reason I recommend getting on Facebook, liking companies you want to work for, and getting your profile up to speed.
3. Twitter. If you want to work for a larger organization, you’ll probably find they have a twitter account just for hiring.
Following them on Twitter can give you instant notifications of possible jobs you might qualify for. It’s a little less effective for building relationships than LinkedIn, and probably less likely you’ll be targeted for a job opening, but it still can’t hurt to pay attention to Twitter if you’re laser focused on getting a job at a specific company.
Marianne Cantwell - Free Range Humans
These days more and more people are looking to create their own careers as their own boss rather than looking for someone to hire them. If this is you and you are joining the ranks of "free range humans" social media is your friend when it comes to getting hired by clients or forming collaborations.
I see people have a lot of success on Facebook both with the simple step of announcing what they are doing (remember you never know who your friends know!) and also by proving they know their stuff through answering questions posted in Facebook Groups.
There are an increasing number of groups on Facebook across many industries: identify somewhere people who are or who may know potential clients may be, and be on the lookout for how you can offer helpful guidance within that group. this doesn't mean giving away all your expertise or working for free, it means being visible and getting on people's radar by being a name who give some guidance that others see as useful.
That means you will be high on the "call" list when someone needs your services so make sure they know you are available for hire and how to reach you!
That means ensuring that you’re "about" section in your profile says what you do and links to either your business's Facebook page or your website.
The second network to be on is Twitter. This is effective for meeting others in your field. You can now reach and get into conversations with anyone thanks to Twitter and it's by far the easiest social network to do this on!
Worry less about what you are tweeting and more about replying and engaging with others - these relationships can more offline and lead to valuable collaborations or support as you grow.
For example I know someone who met a "competitor" on Twitter, got to know them, met in person and ended up launching products and working together in ways that got her more clients than she ever imagined! I credit Twitter relationships with many things in my free range career - including the seeds that led to my book deal.
It's about much more than tweeting your lunch, get to know who is on there and say hello.
The third social network I recommend - is whatever is most relevant for your clients! This is different for each person.
Someone selling at a market stall will probably want to be on Instagram as that is so visual, while someone working with corporate clients may want to add in LinkedIn.
However think carefully before adding a third social network: I find more solo free rangers do better doing one or two social networks well, rather than tearing their hair out worrying about trying to be all things to all people!
It's not about how many places you are present on it’s about how you use it, so choose what works for you.
Felix Tarcomnicu - ResumeOK
When you are looking for a job, LinkedIn is the right social media network. This is a place where professionals can find the best job positions, and apply with a click of a button.
Alternately, you can use Twitter and search for hashtags like #job . Nowadays, many jobs are published on social media and if you are quick enough, you might get a huge advantage.
Last but not least, Facebook can also be helpful to search for new jobs. You can use the same hashtags as you've used for Twitter.
Siofra Pratt - Social Talent
I would first begin with LinkedIn. 96% of all recruiters are using LinkedIn and naturally most of them will be posting regular job ads on their profiles. Job seekers should spend time networking on LinkedIn and connecting with recruiters in order to take advantage of this.
Next I would use Twitter and specifically hashtags on Twitter. Most recruiters these days are using hashtags to make their job postings more find-able. If you're looking for a job in Sales try #sales or #salesjobs. #jobfairy is very popular in Ireland. #Londonjobs will find jobs being advertised in London etc.
Finally, I would use Facebook. Follow the company page of companies you would be interested in working for and keep an eye on their updates.
Hannah Morgan - Career Sherpa
Leverage LinkedIn as Your Online Portfolio.
LinkedIn is the go-to source for recruiters and hiring managers. Take your profile to the next level. Consider it your online portfolio. Uploading your traditional text resume into LinkedIn is a no-brainer. But don’t stop there.
Think about including samples of your work: a flow chart or process map, summary report, technical instructions or website you designed.
You could create a presentation filled with customer testimonials, upload an infographic resume, or any other document you feel is worthy of public recognition. But before you embed the plain old Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, give them some additional exposure.
Slip Your Documents into SlideShare.
SlideShare is a free service which let’s you upload and share files via the web.
It is also a social network, which allows you to follow other users, comment on uploaded content and share across other social networks. The main benefit for you is that it makes your files public and searchable on the Internet.
Twitter is a much better networking tool than LinkedIn! It’s also better for job search and online visibility.
Did you know: 36% of Twitter users are on the site every day vs. 13% of LinkedIn users logging in daily. (Pew Research)
If you’ve ever been frustrated when your invitation to connect on LinkedIn gets ignored, Twitter could be the work around.
Twitter is an open network and therefore can serve as a better platform for connecting and engaging. Plus, being active on Twitter helps people find you when Googling your name.
Nick Corcodilos - Ask The Headhunter
I think the best social network is your friends. Talking to them is much higher value when job hunting than using electronic media, and meeting with them is higher value than talking via phone. Everyone you link to more casually is very low value.
I think use of social networks to find/fill jobs is one of the main sources of the “talent shortage” employers claim they face. If I were job hunting, there’s not one “social network” I’d use.
The mere existence of a talent shortage today is strong evidence that the “networks” are failing employers and job seekers alike.
Want a job? Go actually hang out with people who do the work you want to do.
Allison Cheston - Career Connector
LinkedIn: Absolutely the most important network for career and job search, LinkedIn offers superb functionality for researching companies and people in your target profession. The ability to see others' career trajectories--their backgrounds, interests and paths--enables job seekers to get a snapshot of what it takes to succeed. And you can reach out to individuals for informational chats via LinkedIn.
It’s very important to upgrade to the business service to enhance the LinkedIn experience during your job search.
Twitter: Twitter is great for reaching out informally to individuals at your target companies and for following those companies to find out about their challenges and opportunities. If you're a blogger Twitter is a great way to share posts and generate followers.
Facebook: Generally speaking I don't think Facebook is the ideal place to job search--it is too personal. However, you can like a company's page and glean some information there, but it is very secondary to LinkedIn and Twitter.
Adam O’Kane - CareerHMO
For job searching, three networks stand out - LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
You need a LinkedIn because that's what decision makers will be checking first if they're interested in you. Your profile should be full a paint a picture of you as a professional.
You can also use LinkedIn to network with professional contacts, or at companies where you'd like to work. Finally, LinkedIn enables you to "follow" companies so you can stay up-to-date and know what's happening.
Facebook is the biggest social network in the world, and we think of it as keeping up with friends and family.
Our networks on Facebook tend to be stronger than our networks on LinkedIn, and while it's not angled as a professional social network, we can see where friends work and use Facebook Messenger to easily communicate with friends about potential opportunities.
Twitter is the best social network to follow the things you're interested in. It's real-time nature ensures that you get the most up to date news, and making a connection with someone is easier there than anywhere else.
Twitter search (http://twitter.com/search) also lets you search for phrases or words that could lead you to a job.
By searching for a company that you're interested in, you get a sense of what people are saying about it and can use that information to give yourself an edge.
Lisa Chatroop - Good.co
It's no secret that most employers Google potential candidates before hiring them.
As a job seeker, your digital footprint becomes an integral part of your personal brand, and the more positive information you offer about yourself online, the better.
One of the best ways to demonstrate enthusiasm for your career and industry expertise is by acting as a "thought leader" on relevant social media platforms.
Any time I've found myself on the job market, I've utilized the following social media platforms to help build my brand and make industry connections:
LinkedIn: This is a no-brainer. If you don't have a profile on LinkedIn, you need to create one ASAP. Not only is it a great way to highlight your expertise, but it's also one of the best ways to get found by recruiters in your industry.
Twitter: Many people undermine the power of Twitter. I've actually made many great industry connections on the platform, several of which have led to job offers or client introductions. The quickest way to make professional connections on Twitter is to participate in tweet chats. Two of my favorites are #CultureChat and #JobSearchChat.
Quora / Q&A Sites: Q&A sites are an excellent way to share (and promote!) your industry expertise. While Quora is undoubtedly one of the most popular Q&A sites, there are also many industry-specific sites such as Stack Overflow, Hacker News and RocketLawyer.
When answering Quora posts, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost, your answers must be insightful, thoughtful and not spammy. Second, it’s important to spend your time commenting on posts that are relevant to your industry. Finally, ensure that your account is fleshed out and features your full name, industry, and links to your blog or social profiles.
Penny Gardner - Career Addict
Job hunting today is most successful through networking and referrals which is why keeping up to date on different social media platforms is essential.
We’re all too aware how the big names such as Facebook and Twitter play a role in finding employment, however, there are more up and coming sites that are proving to be just as valuable.
Although this isn’t new, it has to be at the top of my go-to sites to use when looking for a job. As it is so popular, there are thousands of businesses and professionals who use it on daily basis.
Caliber is a relatively new social media app, and is incredibly useful for networking with professionals in your industry. You can sync your LinkedIn contacts to it and 'chat' with them, or seek out new connections in your field. Caliber is essentially the friendlier, informal LinkedIn.
Meetup is a great way to organise 'meets' offline with people in your industry or area of expertise in your local area, making it that much easier to network face to face and access the hidden jobs market!
Donna Svei - Avid Careerist
LinkedIn is a must do for almost everyone.
Next, job seekers should look for nicheworks in their industry and profession. AvidCareerist offers a starter list here:
We list twelve nicheworks in the original post. Readers have added many more in the comments section. If a job seeker doesn't find a fit there, then they can:
1. Look for online networking opportunities in their industry's trade association(s).
2. Look for online networking opportunities in relevant professional associations.
3. Post a question on Quora.com to identify relevant networks. It might read like this:
"I'm a retail store manager in the fast moving consumer goods industry. I'm looking for online networks and other sites I can join to connect with, and learn from, people in similar roles."
Finally, I recommend the oldest social network -- everyone they know in real life.
Mary Elizabeth Bradford - maryelizabethbradford.com
There is only one I recommend for my executive clients and that is LinkedIn.
Two main things can be accomplished on LinkedIn as an executive.
The first is creating a keyword optimized profile that positions you correctly for opportunities you want to attract.
The second is developing a strong network connected to companies and recruiters you would like to be found by.
There are a couple very good ways to do this.
In other words, if you are not in someone’s first, second or third degree network, someone using LinkedIn search feature or recruiter app – can’t find you. You won’t come up in their search results.
Dorothy Tannahill-Moran - Introvert Whisperer
My go-to pick for Job Seekers I work with is and remains to be LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the only social network that was specifically designed to support business connections. One very big business connection is sourcing and hiring the best talent and if you’re a job seeker, you want to be found and recruited.
LinkedIn has the obvious things like job listings but it goes much further. Based on elements in your profile like your work history and endorsed skills, Linked In will make recommendations to you of positions it deems a match. Laziness at its best.
It doesn’t end there because if you find a posted position, it will show you the people in your connections that are somehow connected to the company with the position. This sets you up to enlist your connections to make the all-important referral – which is job seekers gold.
AnnMarie McIlwain - Career Fuel
I think the newer, more rad social networks like Vine and Instagram can be a great match for younger grads to show their talents.
Moreover, these mediums are visual which separates a candidate from all that resume and cover letter put-you-to-sleep copy.
Creating a clever way to get noticed on these mediums that ties to the company of interest could be the social juice a young candidate needs to get an interview. See this piece on Mashable for proof.
Darcy Eikenberg - Red Cape Revolution
For most professionals, the three most important social media networks to use while searching for your next opportunity are LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn.
First, make sure your profile is complete, including a smiling picture. Choose your words to reflect who you want to be in your next job. As long as it's true, it's up to you what you emphasize.
Second, invite more people you know to connect. Companies don’t hire people—people hire people. Customize your invitation by starting from their profile. Don’t use LinkedIn’s shortcut buttons.
Third, post regular updates. It’s a great way to stay in front of your connections and add value to their life at work.
Faizan Patankar - Career Geek
1. LinkedIn - still the king of social networks for career management and advancement. It gives a very pro image of individuals on the network and it's job search and Pulse functionality make career moves a lot more integrated journey. It's a great product with some great individuals and recruiters open to communication.
2. Twitter - Twitter is like the open-source cousin of LinkedIn. You can look for jobs on Twitter but they tend to focus on early careers like out-of-college, internships and freelance / work from home opportunities. Nonetheless don't underestimate the communicative power of Twitter and if you provide value, more often than not someone will notice and get in touch.
3. Google plus - Personally it is very difficult to chose between Facebook / Google plus or non-traditional social networks (like tumblr) for job search. It's not unheard of to have tumblr blogs focusing on small stories / craft to eventually lead to a book deal or being hired. But G + is definitely a developer friendly network. I've heard stories of developers sharing their resources and moving across companies depending upon who has seen their work. Facebook - I just don't rate it highly enough for job search.
Matt Krumrie - Resumes by Matt
The three I recommend are common - LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
LinkedIn allows users to connect with professionals in their industry. But what's more important is, it allows them to reach out and connect with recruiters, HR professionals and key decision-makers. This connection opportunity alone is what makes LinkedIn a great resource.
Twitter is an extension of the opportunity to follow and connect via social channels. You can follow anyone. If you want a job at a certain company, follow them, and see who is also following them. Following and interacting with influential decision makers and leaders can help grow your personal brand and make the informal connections and conversation that can lead to formal networking opportunities and/or face-to-face meetings.
Facebook is under-utilized in the job search because so many people are afraid they will be judged by airing the fact they are job searching or looking for a new job by putting it out there on Facebook. But people genuinely do want to help. If you have 500 Facebook friends, chances are you don't know where everyone of those connections work.
Maybe that old classmate is the head of technology with a company you would like to work for. Maybe the wife of that neighbor you haven't seen since you were a kid is a public relations professional looking to hire in her agency. If you have 500 connections and put that out there, you are opening it up to more people because they may know of an opening or a company hiring within their network.
Be sure to clean up the Facebook page though before embarking on a job search. That person who may eventually interview could see your profile and be judging you before even deciding to bring you in for an interview.
All three have benefits. Use them correctly and wisely to get ahead.
Mary Rosenbaum - Your Career by Design
My caveat on all of the following is - Social networks are only effective if you convert those online relationships you develop into offline relationships. And these relationships work if they are two-sided - you must try to help others any way you can so they will want to help you. Networking is work.
My go to network would be LinkedIn: LinkedIn provides you with access to people and companies outside your own network. Joining a variety of industry and professional groups enables you to learn about the current issues, and find people who might be able to help you.
In many cases you will find that some of these people are connected to your connections or are part of groups to which you belong and therefore, approachable. And most importantly, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for recruiters when searching out candidates. Having a completed profile that more than adequately details your background and your personal brand is a great way to be found.
Facebook provides you with an opportunity to tap "low hanging fruit". We ofen overlook people we know or have known throughout our lives who are in a position to help us. If they are friends on Facebook then the odds are you can reach out to them for help without feeling uncomfortable.
Twitter would be the third network I would recommend. It's not as easy to navigate but it is an excellent source of what's going on inside companies. By using hashtags you can identify conversations you want to be a part of, meet others who are thought leaders on those topics and develop relationships with them. Contributing content here develops credibility as well as visibility - two things you need in order to obtain the help you want.
Mark McClung - MyDailyMark
1. Twitter: When researching a company it is important to get candid feedback on what they are really like. Search Twitter for mentions to see what the general public and consumers are saying about the company. If you find a large, passionate fan base talking freely about the company, you are on the right track.
2. LinkedIn: After you submit a resume, the company will instantly look you up on all social channels. You should do the same with their employees. Take a look at the companies profile and employees in the department you are interested in. You should be able to tell what the company values in employees by who already works there.
3. MySpace: If the company is not into music and they are still active on MySpace, it is safe to assume they are not going to adapt well to change....
Blair Carney - Career Squared
In terms of utilizing social networks for a job search, LinkedIn is the most important resource. LinkedIn will match the criteria you have available in your profile to posted job positions. You can also connect with employees of specific companies, and create a great resume for anyone to see.
Facebook is good in regards to word-of-mouth opportunities, for example, a friend writing a post explaining that their company has openings.
Twitter can give you up-to-the-minute information if companies have recently posted openings, which can help if a position is popular. While Facebook and Twitter are useful, LinkedIn has no competition when it comes to job searching.