network.jpgHow many times do I have to say it…network, network, network.

Networking is how you find a job today folks. You’re in trouble if you’re just sending out resumes and waiting for a reply. (OK, maybe a tiny group of you out there have landed a job recently by doing this, but it’s not the norm.)

Everyone else needs to take out their socialization hat and start shaking some hands, real and virtual hands.

A recent study adds fuel to the Internet social/professional networking fire for job seekers.

Staffing company Robert Half International surveyed 150 top dogs at large companies and found 62 percent of those polled believe sites like LinkedIn will be a useful tool for them in the next three years, and 35 percent said social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace will also be a resource for them.

Executives were asked, “Which of the following technology tools do you believe will be most useful in your firm’s recruiting efforts in the next three years?”:

· Professional networking sites: 62%
· Social networking sites: 35%
· Video resumes: 20%
· Second Life: 7%
· None of these: 15%
· Other/don’t know: 10%

“Maintaining and developing professional contacts has always been a vital job search strategy, and networking websites are another vehicle for doing so,” said Max Messmer, Robert Half International’s CEO and author of Job Hunting For Dummies®, 2nd Edition. “Networking sites can be used to identify new career opportunities, create online profiles that highlight one’s skills and experience, and build a roster of business contacts over time.”

I know quite a few people that have yet to join any of these sites and I always tell them, “do it now!”

I know, there are some issues with these sites. They have technological glitches, and often you get tons off useless emails, or dumb trivia games your friends want you to play. But it’s time to join the cyber networking party already.

I’ve written before about how hiring managers want a known entity these days, especially during tough economic times. They want a recommendation, or at least some sort of connection to you. What better way that finding someone they know in your LinkedIn or Facebook contact list?

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