Need a job? Fire up the coffee maker, put on your most comfortable pair of pajamas and get to networking!

If ever there has been a time when job seekers are looking for that extra avenue to an interview, that time is the present. Unemployment is creeping up, so what can you do to make the contacts you will need to succeed? Job site forums are so 2007! Nowadays social networking is king.

A story from the NBC television show Good Morning America gives several great tips for turning your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account into your own personal headhunter. You can see the clip at Yahoo by following this link:

http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4745205/12672687

The interview is just a tad over three and a half minutes long, but in that time it touches on several key points. First, notice how the host asks the question, “How does it work?” while the guest quickly retorts that it is not the how but the why that is important. And the answer? Well, watch the clip — but if you have ever embarked on a long job hunt, you probably already know the answer. (Think volume, think information, think results.)

Volume

OK, to jump on this bandwagon, you are first going to have to accept that while finding a job is your ultimate goal, the best way to achieve this goal is by making contacts. So stop looking over those tired old job forums and want ad pages and get to posting, blogging and tweeting. The clip tells the story of a public relations worker who was out of work. She sent a quick tweet to her followers asking for help. One of her followers promply tweeted, “My friend is a PR superstar looking for a new job.” An interview and new job quickly followed. The sheer number of people (and later, jobs) you can reach with social networking is exponential when you can count on your followers to give you that plug.

Information

Social networking sites allow you to stay “in the know”. Each of them will allow you to track jobs, companies and individuals in different ways — something you can really use to your advantage. Twitter will send you the thoughts of the CEO (and perhaps the person who will someday be interviewing you) several times per day. LinkedIn can get you an email recommendation, if you can get just one contact in common with your target contact. Facebook is an invaluable resource when looking for info about individuals (read people who can help you get hired.) Even “games” such as Second Life are being used to conduct interviews and make introductions.

Results

Finally, social networking is the future of job search because it works! If the Twitter PR story mentioned above is not enough to convince you, just get on the site and look for yourself. A search for “job Madrid” yielded 9 tweets over the past week including, “Busco trabajo con universitarios extranjeros (studyabroad) en Madrid. Sugerencias? / Looking for a study abroad job in Madrid. Any ideas?” and “looking for a job in Communications in Madrid or Barcelona”, as well as several offers! A search under “Spain translator” yielded several tweets I would like to have seen over the past several months. Hmmmmm, perhaps it’s high time for a career change! “Bogging job Spain” gives me no hits, so I guess I’ll be sticking around for a while, but in the meantime…

I’d like to know:

(1) What are some other good ways to make contacts/find a job on the internet?

(2) Have you personally used social networking when looking for a job? How effective was it for you?

(3) Do you have a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account? If so, please feel free to post your info here so we can add you as a contact!