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Career Watch: Making the most of social media in your job hunt

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Going Beyond LinkedIn for Jobs

Too many job seekers think LinkedIn is the only social media tool that can lead to a new job, says Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS, a talent acquisition technology company. In a recent CIO magazine article, she suggested five ways you can hunt for jobs on both popular and lesser-known social networks.

1. 'Like' Companies on Facebook

When new positions become available, many companies post them on their Facebook pages. "Anyone who follows that brand on Facebook will be the first to know if something opens up," Vitale says.

2. SEO Your Facebook Profile

Facebook's new search tool, Graph, makes it easier for others to find public information about you, and that could be a good thing if you're in the market for a new job.

3. Search Hashtags on Twitter

"Progressive companies will often post open jobs on Twitter with appropriate hashtags that are easy to search," Vitale says. And those job listings are posted in real time.

4. Be Active on Quora and Squidoo

Being active on question-and-answer site Quora and community interest page Squidoo is "a great way to brand yourself as a subject expert, showcase your talent and show off your interests," Vitale says.

5. Don't Neglect Google+

Ignoring Google's social network is a mistake, since the site is tightly integrated with the popular search engine. "Because Google ranks Google+ profile pages high," says Vitale, "it's important to fill out yours with updated information and optimize it for your job hunt."

-- Kristin Burnham

But LinkedIn Still Means Business

LinkedIn seems to be used by far more recruiters than other platforms. Here are the percentages of recruiters who use three popular networks:

" LinkedIn: 97%

" Twitter: 27%

" Facebook: 22%

Source: 2013 North American Social Recruiting Activity Report from recruitment software provider Bullhorn based on the activity of over 160,000 recruiters using its tools

Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader: Gary Hensley

The director of IT at Clif Bar and Co. answers questions about the value of certifications and transitioning to the security field.

Are certifications worthwhile? Which ones are most valuable for someone just embarking on a career in IT? Yes, certifications can be very worthwhile. When recruiting for IT talent 10 years ago, I weighted a four-year degree much heavier than certifications, but times have changed. Although a business degree is an excellent foundation for IT business analysts, technical certifications can provide a solid foundation for network, systems and help desk positions. For those just embarking on an IT career, priority should be given to the most common mainstream technologies. Microsoft has several entry-level MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certifications focusing on server, networking, security and desktop operating systems. For networking professionals, CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) continues its long standing as a solid credential. Server virtualization is a hot topic, and VMware offers VCP (VMware Certified Professional) for people who implement and maintain VMware-powered virtual environments.

After doing desktop support for five years, I am ready for a change and am considering the security field. What would help me make this transition? If your desire is to grow into the security field in your current company, it might make sense to discuss your development goals with your manager and possibly the manager in charge of systems security. Mentoring under your own security professionals is probably the most pragmatic approach to transitioning into a new role. Hopefully, your company encourages career broadening within IT. In addition, pursuing certification may be worthwhile. A respected advanced credential for IT security professionals is CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), but this may be out of scale for those entering this profession for the first time. There are many other security certifications offered through security vendors, associations and universities that may be worth a look to prepare for the transition.

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