Social network sites can do more than entertain us, they can actually help people find employment. And even those who have good jobs can benefit from being apart of a social network site; they can grow their contact list and create content related to one’s training.

The following popular social networking sites can be very helpful tools when trying to advance one’s career:

LinkedIn: the largest professional social network. Creating a profile on LinkedIn allows the user to display their resume, interests, and career objectives. Past employers are able to “recommend” someone who worked for them in the past.

Recruiters and human resource professionals are able to view users’ skills sets; there is a chance they will reach out to LinkedIn members if there is a job opportunity that fits their specific abilities. This is also a helpful place to follow news on one’s favorite businesses and industries. Additionally, LinkedIn posts job openings for members to look at.

Xing: it is similar to LinkedIn. Xing has been very successful in Germany, although it is being used in other countries as well. With more than 11 million users, Xing is giving Linkedin some competition. It allows professionals to connect and engage with each other.

Twitter: a social networking sites with a limitation: 140 characters. Twitter is unique in its use of fewer words. It is a great tool to share and follow interesting content. It is easy for users to “follow” companies, organizations, and individual people that they like. “Retweeting” comments by people can be a great way to show interest in the topic or company they represent.

Also, sometimes companies or individuals will post job openings on Twitter.

Facebook: It is possible to use this popular social media site, with its more than 500 million users, in a professional way. It is important that the user is careful with their privacy settings.

Users shouldn’t display too many personal photos or comments; However it is possible to use Facebook for both personal and professional use if the user is mindful.

Google +: This new social networking site consolidates social networks with other platforms. Google + combines the content sharing and viral quality of Twitters with Facebook’s communication format; with more characters and “like” buttons and commenting options. Also, creating “circles” on Google + is a simple way to organize your content and control who sees your information.

One of the most important things to remember when using any of these sites to advance oneself professionally, is to display a conservative and appropriate photo. It’s also important to not be a pest. Sending too many private messages to someone could scare them away instead of making them interested in you as a potential employee.

Users should try to adapt to the different types of social sites they are using. While each has its specific rules and etiquette, the strategy of engaging with companies and presenting oneself professionally applies to each site when searching for a job.

With today’s weak economy, it’s necessary to be patient when searching for a job. Being resourceful is also key. Getting a presence on all the different platforms can be helpful; maximizing one’s presence and connections to others.

There are other ways to use the web to advance professionally that doesn’t involve social network sites. Creating and updating a blog can be a great way to present yourself, your skills, and your interests. Blogger and WordPress are popular blog platforms.