Monday, March 21, 2011

Keep that social network profile updated

Priyanka Joshi

Shruti Marathe, an MBA from Symbiosis College, created her business networking profile on LinkedIn two months after she completed her course. “I wrote about my college projects in details and even had work recommendations posted by seniors, who guided me during my internship,” she recalls. Within a few days, Marathe got a call from a company, National Instruments, to come for an interview. “Soon, I had two offer letters in my hand,” recalls Marathe, now working as a sales executive with the Star group.

Social media and career networking portals have become imperative for first-time jobseekers. Whether it’s through blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, people are seeking potential employers through alternative online sources. Take, for example, professionals like Nikhita Arora, who works with Madison Media. She bagged her existing job via LinkedIn. “I maintained my profile on career networking sites like ApnaCircle and LinkedIn. During college, we were repeatedly told how recruiters use social media to hire freshers,” she says. Arora, who had moved to New Delhi for another job, was interviewed by her existing company CEO after he reviewed her LinkedIn profile; he offered a new job in Mumbai within 24 hours of talking to her. Now, she uses her LinkedIn profile to initiate business meetings with contacts she has made online.

The reason why India’s 80-million internet base is turning to social networks to find employment is in numbers. Sites like Facebook have a little over 15 million members from India and LinkedIn claims to have more than nine million professionals from India networking on its site. Twitter has 145 million registered users globally. It is only natural for prospective employers and recruiting agencies to scan these sites to gather detailed profiles while hiring college graduates. For the employees, web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the newest way to extend the social circle and tap into jobs that aren’t usually advertised.

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