Social media is the flavor of the month right now. Everybody seems to have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever new site pops up. But can you really "like" or "tweet" your way to a new nonprofit job?
It's important to keep in mind that social networking should only be used as a compliment to traditional networking but, having said that, it can definitely help you with your job search. One of the best things about social media is that it makes researching an organization much easier. Reading the company website is useful, but only social media will give you the best idea of the company culture. Look at pictures of recent company outings and see how representatives interact with their followers to get a better idea of how you would fit in at the organization.
I mentioned above how social networking should be used in conjunction with traditional networking. There is no better example of this than using social media to get in touch with former colleagues or old friends. By making a simple status update on Facebook or sending a tweet on Twitter, all of your contacts will know that you are looking a job. Who knows, one of your friends may know someone at an organization you are looking to join.
Once you get a job interview, you can utilize social media sources to learn more about your interviewer. Knowing this person's background will help you customize your talking points and come prepared with better interview questions. It can also make for some good small talk, which can never be underestimated. For example, you could discover that your interviewer graduated from the same school as you. Even if you don't get the job, the interviewer may be motivated to help a fellow alumni.
How do you use social media in your job search? Tell us your experiences in the comments section.