Are you using social media in the hopes that you’ll land a job? Are you simply looking for the Tweets that mention a job is available? Well, that’s certainly one obvious way to generate leads. But that approach is jumping ahead to the end goal. Just like in hockey, you only score a goal as a result of successful strategies. It should be the same in your job search that utilizes social media.
What strategies are you using with social media? Hopefully it’s more than just searching #jobs on Twitter.

Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, is still in its infancy for growing as a recruiting source. The big two sources continue to be referrals and career sites/job boards. Together, these make up 62% of external hiring sources, according to a February 2010 study by CareerXroads.

Getting referrals is one potential benefit of social media. But it won’t happen overnight for you.
On sites like Twitter and Facebook, you are unlikely to connect directly with the head of human resources of an organization or company. These people are usually too busy to be Tweeting all day. But don’t let that deter your efforts.

Remember that often used line: social media is about relationship building. No matter who you are following or interacting with on Twitter or Facebook, you are always in a position to build relationships.

Sure, you may not be retweeting, chatting, or direct messaging with the head of human resources of a company. But, you are still interacting with an employee of a company or organization. And these people talk with co-workers. Possibly, they’ll talk about you. Successful Tweeters make people talk about them when they’re offline too.

Never forget that building a relationship takes time. Don’t follow someone today, and ask about a job tomorrow. That’s not relationship building. It won’t earn you a referral either.

Take your time. Get to know the people you are engaged with on social media. If you are job hunting, target 40 to 60 organizations or companies on social networks. Then, start building those relationships we often talk about. If you build successful relationships, it can pay off with a direct message that a job is available or about to come up.

You should have no trouble finding target organizations or companies. Sixty-five per cent of companies plan to increase the use of social media in 2010, according to a Watson Wyatt Communication ROI study.

Just remember this fact too: 75% of recruiters and HR professionals now frequently check online sources to research applicants, and 70% of recruiters and HR professionals say they have rejected applicants after searching online sources, according to a Microsoft’s study, Online Reputation in a Connected World.