Social networking sites were originally created to connect people, but today’s sites do so much more. Everyone knows that successful careers are built on who you know. So, whether you’re looking for a new job or just wanting to move up in your field, these ten sites can help you move forward.

LinkedIn – The site for professional connections, leads, and jobs. These are all business people, and that’s what you’re looking for. Making connections is an essential part of any career, and, should you find yourself looking to change companies, start a new career, or simply move up in your field, you want a wide range of people to help you achieve your goal.
Facebook – The go-to site for everyone now, Facebook overtook MySpace as the most popular social networking site and caters to millions of users. The ability to make connections and renew acquaintances allows Facebook users to connect with current co-workers and potential employers they may never have come across in the real world. Be careful of what you post and who you friend though, employers will check you out. Join groups that show what kind of worker you are, and avoid things that could reflect negatively.
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Twitter – Tweeting what you are knowledgeable about just may get you noticed. You’d be surprised how many ‘lurkers’ there are on Twitter, and some of those people may be looking for the next big thing in your field. By following groups and individuals in the field you are in, or one you are interested in, you can garner all sorts of useful information. People can pack a lot in a tweet.
Classmates – Reunite with old friends and teachers, bond with classmates you never knew in school, and make new connections worldwide. After all, you never know where your friends have ended up. It could be that the class clown is now a CEO and in despite need of some trustworthy employees. You could be just what he’s looking for.
DeviantART – For those in more creative fields, this site may be the answer for you. Allowing users to post their artwork and original designs, DeviantART provides a medium for artists of all kinds to reach potential employers, gallery owners, and buyers.
MyLife – Similar to Classmates, MyLife helps to reunite former friends, relatives, and loved ones. The added benefit is that you can search for yourself and see what other people will see when they look for you. This will help you to control and edit your web presence, the contents of which could affect your future.
LiveJournal – Another ‘artsy’ site, LiveJournal appeals to the writer/blogger-type artist, which is great exposure for such a private field. Connecting to communities and showing off your skills could help move you forward. You never know who’ll be reading.
MySpace – Ah, the old version of Facebook. Sad to say, MySpace has lost its appeal for many, but it is still the tried and true for some companies. Keep it updated and pertinent; you might be surprised by who is still there.
Perfspot – The perfect spot for college grads and young professionals, Perfspot is poised to be the new ‘it’ thing in social networking. Connect with other young professionals and share tips, job offers, and info.
Ecademy – A membership organization for entrepreneurs and small business owners, this site is not free, but it offers help on how to effectively use social networking in your business. Use this site to grow your small business, or just learn how to use social networking to strengthen your ties to the community.

In this increasingly digital age, everyone has a web presence, whether they know it or not. Be aware of what you look like to others online and how that affects your marketability. Use social networking to your advantage, like it was intended to be. And whatever you do, don’t forget- what gets put online, stays online. Forever.

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