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That would be the Jeopardy question to the answer – “This is the social media tool most often used for recruiting.” (In Mr. Trebek’s distinctive baritone)

It is no surprise really that LinkedIn, a professional network, is a good source for those looking for good candidates. It makes sense to connect with people in the industry and to track recommendations and see who might be a good fit. What I find noteworthy is the broader reality that all of social media has become a greater recruiting tool for employers. In a survey conducted in 2010, Jobvite, a social recruiting software company, found that only less than 15% of companies do not use social media for recruiting purposes.

Image courtesy Jobvite

As you can see, LinkedIn tops the charts but Facebook and Twitter get numbers in the 40-50% range and that is very interesting. I also felt personally intrigued by the data that nearly 20% look at blogosphere as a job fair of sorts!

While many of us may take the effort to maintain a professional image on our LinkedIn profiles, will our Facebook accounts bear the same scrutiny? It is a place where many people think of hanging out with friends or family, and yet, your next boss may meet you there for the first time.

What does this mean for those looking for jobs? The reality is that the employers wants a comprehensive picture of a potential candidate and they like getting the LinkedIn version and the Facebook version. They use social media to research candidates. So, the idea is not to make your social network boringly one dimensional but to show some of that personality, that pizazz, which the future employer may want to see. The key is to not slide into the ridiculous or to enter the danger zone of TMI.

Among those surveyed, around 46% said that they are going to increase their spending on social media recruiting. So, all you potential candidates out there, it may be a good idea to read up on managing your personal brand across social networks. And as your mom said all those years ago, be careful about picking your friends!

Have you found a job via social media? Have you recruited via social media? What was your experience? It will be great to hear your insights.

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