If you think LinkedIn is the only social networking site to job hunt, you may be mistaken. Susan Vitale, CMO of iCIMS, a talent acquisition technology company, says job seekers are often remiss in excluding popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"There are misconceptions that job seekers should be leaning toward LinkedIn to find jobs," Vitale says. "But for companies that are more progressive, they think outside LinkedIn and have been very successful in filling positions."
To attract headhunters and be the first to know about open positions, you need to think outside the LinkedIn box, she says. Here's a look at five ways you can job hunt on both popular and lesser-known social networks.
1. Follow Companies on Facebook
If there's a company you want to work for, be sure you "like" them on Facebook, Vitale says. When new job positions open, many companies will post it on their Facebook page, or have a tab dedicated entirely to open positions.
"Companies tend to leverage Facebook to share jobs online through microsites or a tab within their company page," Vitale says. "Anyone who follows that brand on Facebook will be the first to know if something opens up," she says.
[For more tips, tricks and details on Facebook, check out CIO.com's Ultimate Facebook Guide.]
2. SEO Your Facebook Profile
When Facebook's new search tool, Graph, was introduced earlier this year, some people worried about its privacy implications. Facebook Graph does make it easier for others to find public information about you—bad if you dont understand your privacy settings, but potentially good if you're in the market for a new job.
"I think it will take some time for recruiting to catch on to Facebook, but I know some recruiters who will be all over it," Vitale says. One example: A quick search of "People interested in Java who live in San Francisco" returns more than 1,000 Facebook profiles.
As more recruiters turn to Facebook to find talent, it's important that you update your profile with relevant information, Vitale says. Be sure to update your education section, previous job experience, skill sets and languages you speak.
"The more relevant information you pump into your profile, the better off you'll be," she says.
3. Search Hashtags on Twitter
Not many people consider searching Twitter when they're looking for a new job, Vitale says. But you should.
"Twitter isn't just to tweet and share your thoughts," she says. "Technologists want to be with a progressive company, and these companies will often post open jobs on Twitter with appropriate hashtags that are easy to search."
Start by searching hashtags related to your industry and location with "#jobs" or "#jobsearch," Vitale recommends. Try a few iterations of that search until you discover some leads.
[For more tips on job hunting, check out CIO.com's Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn.]
Another plus to job searching on Twitter: It can be easier to find and connect with someone at that company, she says.
"Searching for jobs on Twitter means you literally have the most up-to-date job listings since they're posted in real-time. If you find a job you're interested in, reach out to whoever tweeted it," Vitale says. "You have an advantage there because posts aren't as anonymous as they are on job boards or LinkedIn."
4. Be Active on Quora, Squidoo
Question and answer site Quora and community interest page Squidoo are two sites that recruiters frequent looking for talent, Vitale says. If you're not part of these communities, you should start investing time in them.
"These sites are a great way to brand yourself as a subject expert, showcase your talent and show off your interests," Vitale says. "Recruiters can get a sense of who you are here—whether you're a good candidate for a Ruby on Rails job because you've answered a bunch of questions and are ranked high."
5. Don't Neglect Google+
"Some people think Google+ is a flash in the pan, others are all over it," Vitale says. Because of Google+'s integration with its search engine, Vitale says it's important to maintain a profile on its social network.
"When recruiters are looking for talent they go to Google first because it's so easy to find people and resumes and associated sites," she says. "Because Google ranks Google+ profile pages high, it's important to fill out yours with updated information and optimize it for your job hunt."
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and social business for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at email@example.com