A friend of mine recently landed a new job with a sports news outlet. The employer who hired him followed my friend's sports tweets on Twitter for several months and was very impressed by the sports knowledge he conveyed via his tweets. My friend was called in for an interview and hired a few days later.
As members of the Millennial Generation, college students and recent college grads are constantly being reminded of the dangers of social networking sites. Those warnings are valid. However, if you use social networking sites in a purely professional manner to successfully market yourself like my sporty friend did with his Twitter account, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin can be extremely effective tools during your job hunt.
"Follow" your target companies or individuals who work for your target companies with the hope that they will "follow" you as well. Tweet only about subject matters that relate to the career you are seeking to obtain. Choose a professional photo and be certain to include in your profile that you are currently looking for a job in your given field.
Choose a professional profile picture. Remove all photos, wall postings and any other information that could be seen as unprofessional. If you're on the fence about removing a certain photo or wall post... REMOVE IT! Use your Facebook status as a way to convey that you are on the job hunt and use your "About me" to express your skill set and professional achievements. Fan and friend your target companies and your contacts. Post updates on your wall that relate to the position you are trying to obtain.
As a college student or recent grad, your networking can ALWAYS be improved upon. Linkedin is a great way to grow your contact list. So hop on your laptop and browse through the connections of your current contacts on Linkedin. Chances are you will eventually come across a person who works in your desired field. Reach out to that person by sending them a professional e-mail. Now you just gained a potentially key contact and you didn't even leave your couch.