Using Social Networking to Enhance Your Career Prospects

There’s a very good column today in today’s Wall Street Journal that discusses the benefits of using social networking tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn to market your talents and capabilities:

Except in the case of bulk hiring positions, employers and recruiters are Googling candidates’ names as well as searching on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, according to Mr. Schawbel. “This is done primarily to ensure the integrity and behavior of candidates and to make their resume piles smaller,” he says.

Kate Ruddon, vice president of talent acquisition at Activision, says that she uses sites like LinkedIn early in the recruiting process. She and her staff use social-networking sites to obtain background on a candidate’s work experience, area of expertise and education. “We utilize a number of professional networking sites and search sites like Google for the purposes of conducting research on a particular candidate, like press information,” she says. “Has the candidate spoken at industry events? Have they received any awards or public recognition? Additionally, we conduct research from multiple sites on specific companies we are targeting to recruit from.”

I am increasingly using my page as my online resume and set of references/recommendations, as it’s easy to keep up to date, it’s accessible by a wide variety of professionals, and it allows me to incorporate lots of good biographical information that I can’t easily summarize in a resume or curriculum vitae.  It’s also part of my email signature which aids people in finding out more about me when I first communicate with them.

What is your experience with using social networking and other Web 2.0 tools as part of your career strategy?