Every day I meet with talented sales professionals who ask me what other resources should I be utilizing in supplementing my job search?
There are a handful of social networking websites on the net but Linkedin will give you the most leverage in a professional setting. As sales professionals we all know that networking is the most important trait we have in building a pipeline and closing business. This couldn't be more similar in your job search. Beyond the ability to network and build connections, you have access to hundreds of thousands of blogs. Start reading and start commenting on blogs. Start building relationships with these sales professionals by commenting on their blogs. Typically, if you frequently comment on blogs your name becomes highly recognized by the blogger and the organization that publishes it. You can build credibility by making frequent and topical comments regarding their posts. Why should you do this? People buy from people they like, they also hire people they like. Find a VP of Sales, a Director, a manager who works for a company that you have interest in and start building relationships by contributing to their blogs.
Joining LinkedIn and commenting on blogs are great starting points but how do you take your conversations to the next level? Well there is a wonderful sales tool called jigsaw that is an online business card networking site that has over 12.8 million contacts online. You can use their service in two different ways: you can purchase the contacts on a per-card basis or you can add to the community and receive free points. Think of it as a "put in"/"take out" system. You can access direct contact information and then pick up the phone and call the decision maker.
Too many people think the start to a job search starts with HR and submitting your resume online. If you break your job search down and compare it to the sales process you will realize that the hiring manager, director, or VP has the actual pain. They have an open seat or an underperforming rep that is holding the team from their goals and ultimately the commissions or over rides. Pick up the phone and start pitching your background. None knows your story better than you do, right?