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Unless you get an introduction or know their e-mail address, you cannot connect to strangers on LinkedIn. "This is why you should accept everyone as a LinkedIn contact who asks you," says Schawbel.
The more first first-level contacts you have, the more opportunities you get to connect with other people. "It only helps you. A person with only five LinkedIn contacts looks bad, but a person with 5,000 looks really good," advises Schawbel.
Now. If these suggestions for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all sound like networking by another name, that's because they are.
And, as technology makes it easier to reach out and touch people on social media, job hunting will become more of a networking game and less of an impersonal process of zapping out resumes by email or on web sites.
Those faceless, automated tactics don't work, according to Schawbel. "Especially because the amount of resumes recruiters receive is astronomical. You will not be found in that sea of clutter."
Short term, the faster you form relationships at employers, the faster you can be employed. Long term, the more relationships you have, the stronger your job security will be.
Either way, success in your career ultimately results from one thing only: other people.
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit MyNewJobHunt.com.