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Top 10 social media tips for the job hunt

Social media can be an excellent way to find a job – if you do it right.

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Ask the people "who are taking time to tweet and to blog and to maybe update on other pages like Facebook, what their [job search] strategies are that may or may not be working."

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In addition, find people with similar interests who might not have an obvious employment angle.

"I would go out and follow people that are in my industry or even people that are tweeting about specific topics," Esse says.

3. Be interesting

On LinkedIn, your straightforward purpose is networking in a fairly traditional model. But if your LinkedIn contacts look you up on Facebook or Twitter (or those fields bring opportunity in-and-of themselves), you'll want to show a potential employer that you're both engaged in your industry and have an interesting perspective to share.

Companies "are looking to see how involved a candidate is beyond a basic resume and cover letter, whether that be an application or something appropriate and really out there using social media to add some benefit to a discussion, to research, to the ongoing growth of knowledge within that industry," Fitch says.

This doesn't mean spewing tons of industry-related news onto your Facebook or Twitter feed on an hourly basis, Joyce points out. Instead, dive into Twitter with the mantra of finding interesting people to follow both inside and outside your intended job field. That way, you're both expanding your knowledge of the world and pursuing employment.

They are connections that may not bear immediate fruit, but you never know. "It’s expanded my universe enormously," Joyce says. "I know a whole lot more people."

2. Strategize

While a YouTube résumé may be hip in some fields, in others it may give recruiters a reason to take a pass on you.

"Sometimes those tools, even from a skill-set standpoint, give them one more reason to turn you down even before they talk to you," Esse says. "If I talked to them first and I heard they had the skills I wanted, I might look at it later."

The point? Keep the ethos of the company you're targeting at the front of your mind. Watch how they interact with inquiries on Twitter. Use the experiences of your contacts for clues about how to proceed.

There's a point somewhere amidst dull, zealous, immature, and overeager that a good profile on Twitter or Facebook must strike. Whereas some fields, like marketing, might like strong personality in their prospective employees, trending toward a conservative approach insulates you from making the faux pas you might not even realize.

Someone who posts that "he hates XYZ sports team, maybe that’s my favorite team, I’ll go find someone else. It’s just not giving someone a reason to turn you down before you’re even in the game," Esse says.

1. Manage your expectations.

"It’s still new," Esse says. "And I think there’s a lot more buzz than maybe there was true life results so far."

Still, Warborg estimates that "low double-digits" of job seekers are finding new employment through social media, although no definite data is available on the subject.

It's not a magic bullet by any means. But if done right, it can pay big dividends.

"It’s generally failry low effort, high yield in that what you present online and the efforts you make to connect to people can be good for a small amount of time invested," Warborg says.

In a tough economy, a social media edge might be all the difference.