Social media is a hot topic in the employment world. It has opened doors for job seekers like never before, and employers are discovering it’s an effective recruiting tool as well. According to a Jobvite survey, 89% of U.S. companies had plans to recruit employees through social media in 2011—and this number continues to grow. Sufficient to say, social media is redefining the way job seekers and employers connect!

Let’s look at some the biggest ways social media is impacting the job search process:

Gaining Exposure
From LinkedIn to Facebook, to Twitter and Pinterest, social media has enabled job seekers to gain the attention of industry professionals and employers well before they ever step into an interview. With so much exposure, it’s becoming exceedingly important that your social media profiles are supporting your professional initiatives. When they do, you are shining a spotlight on yourself that can cause doors of opportunity to swing open before you!

Expanding Your Network
With social media, your ability to connect with industry professionals and build your network is virtually boundless. While all social networks can be helpful in networking, LinkedIn is the leader in this category offering job seekers a variety of tools to identify key contacts, collaborate with industry groups and expand their network. In addition, some companies fill positions exclusively through LinkedIn, offering job seekers a direct connection to employers seeking their unique skills.

Promoting Your Accomplishments
Social media has given job seekers a platform to promote their professional accomplishments that supersedes anything you could fit on a resume. With Facebook and Twitter, you can share the latest accolades with your network through a simple post or tweet; LinkedIn profiles offer you a more formal place to promote your professional successes; and, Pinterest enables you to pin your accomplishments (such as a resume, work samples or creative infographics) to a board that others can view.

The job search process has changed—radically. Social media has given workers and employers a whole new way to discover each other and draw conclusions. Make sure your social presence is working for you!