Original post by GIANNA NERI via liquidprint

Even though unemployment rates have begun to decrease, finding a job in the professional world is still a long, difficult process. While the journey can be dismal at times, there are shifts in today’s job searching methods that may be the light at the end of the tunnel for the unemployed. For one, social media’s revolutionary effect on online interaction has made companies reevaluate how they’re recruiting employees. In fact, through a poll conducted by, it is reported that 29% of job seekers today are using social media as their main job searching tool and that 45% of companies plan on investing more money into social recruiting for 2012. With all of the social media available out there today, though, where should job seekers begin?

The most obvious first choice is LinkedIn, a network built to connect professionals throughout the world. LinkedIn’s “Jobs” tab allows members to create job searches much like a job board but by also including people in your network that currently work with the companies, which allows job seekers to take one step further. Members can search companies they’re interested in, find employees of those companies–like the hiring manager–,and contact those people directly, possibly giving them a leg up on the competition who is merely emailing in a resume with no sincere connection. LinkedIn also has a “Groups” tab. By joining relevant groups, members can take part in discussions and polls that might gain them positive recognition. Members can also choose to receive regular emails from these groups, which usually include job postings by other members.

Facebook has added some applications similar to LinkedIn that provide many of the same benefits. BranchOut and BeKnown are the two most prevalent right now. Job seekers should also navigate to companies’ pages where job listings might also be found. If not, interacting with companies you’re interested in can bode well for your professional image.