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How to Use Social Networking for Your Business

Business and other organizations are using social networking to reach people. Here, Anne E. Schwartz, spokesperson for the Milwaukee Police Department, posts an update to the department's Twitter account. See more popular Web site pictures.
AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger

Have you ever wondered why you never received so much as a phone interview when you thought for sure you were qualified enough to at least garner a call? Before you question yourself too much, check out your MySpace and Facebook pages. Believe it or not, businesses use your personalized social networking Web pages to gauge whether or not to pursue you as a viable employee candidate. Like it or not, companies will pull out all the stops in order to hire good employees, and businesses will make hiring decisions based on impression. If you have photos all over your online profile depicting you as a social butterfly, drinks in hand, chances are a prospective employer will close your page and file your resume in the trash can.

Searching for a job can be a job in itself. The Internet is a great tool for job hunting, but it has also made competing for a job much more challenging. Twenty years ago, motivated job seekers would use face-to-face tactics and personal communication skills to gain an upper edge on the competition. But the Internet forces you to use different tactics. To even get yourself noticed, you now have to send out scannable resumes with catchy keywords as companies use computer programs to sort through qualified candidates at a mind-boggling pace. You simply have to dig deeper to find job opportunities and networking is more important than ever. In fact, online social networking has become a popular outlet for job opportunities.

Not only do companies scan social networking sites to get a feel for a job candidate, but they'll often keep an eye on employees' social networking profiles, especially if job performance becomes stagnant. But companies can use social networking for more than just keeping tabs on future and current employees. Read on to see how social networking can also impact the bottom line and even help news media break stories like the Hudson River airplane crash.