With a weak job market and unemployment numbers stagnant, finding a job can be difficult, especially for a student or recent graduate.  Don’t fret!  Finding a job is entirely manageable.  While you print out resumes and attend job fairs, here are some tips on how you can expand your social network and find the job of your dreams.

  • ·          Keep a Positive Attitude

So what you don’t have a job?  So what you have been looking for over six months and haven’t heard a single response from a recruiter after you e-mailed them your resume?  This is life.  The good news is now you have an opportunity to change things and start doing things differently.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for soliciting your resume, but most of the time this does not work because the hiring manager does not know you.  This is why networking is so important: you are working to meet people and offer mutual career assistance. That is basically what networking is.  But note the term ‘working.’  This means you need to work if you want to develop a strong connections base.  Like public speaking, writing, marketing and music, networking is an art, but it is surely something that can be refined, practiced and improved on a weekly basis.

  • ·          Use Facebook

I cannot stress how important social networking is when it comes to finding a job.  People use social networking for friends, family and dating, but there is very little discussion about using social networking for jobs.  These days, everyone is on Facebook.  It would be much better to meet that company recruiter on a social networking site than at a job fair, where hundreds of other people are competing with you for that recruiter’s time.  Many of these recruiters also post their job information on their profile.  Most people have not fully tapped into Facebook’s networking power.  Now is your chance to do so.

So, what can you do?  The first thing you need to do is clean up your profile.  Any photos that are considered inappropriate should be deleted, since employers often check facebook profiles even if you don’t meet them on the website.  The second thing you need to do is emphasize your strong points on your profile.  Expand your job descriptions section and even put snippets of your resume onto your profile.  If you want to make your profile private and not open it up to the world, you can create a second ‘professional’ profile that you use in your networking ventures.  The good thing about social networking is that you can make new business connections in the comfort of your own home.  Check out your mutual friends and see if they work in a management position.  If not, then add some new facebook friends who can help you out with your career.  Ask them how they like their job and more information about their company.  If you hit things off, a phone call or an in person meeting can follow.

  • ·          Have Patience

The one thing you must have during this process is patience.  Some people you approach may not be interested in speaking with you.  Take solace in the fact that there are plenty of warm, successful people in this world who not only want to hear from you, but want to help you out.  If you do this on a consistent basis, there is a really good chance you will find the job of your dreams using a keyboard, determination and hard work.

Andrew Bruskin was president of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ National Leadership Council from 2007-2008 and has been president of its Alumni Advisory Board since 2010.  He is chairman of the board of directors of Ecnaillá Groupe and will be working for a law firm in New York City upon graduating William & Mary Law School. For questions or comments, he can be reached at andrew.bruskin@gmail.com and, of course, on Facebook.