Accelerate Your Job Search with Social Media

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC –

Associate, London, UK
Business Analyst, Chicago, IL
Portfolio Consultant, New York, NY
Online Marketing Analyst, Waltham, MA
Risk Arbitrage Analyst, New York, NY

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If you haven’t noticed, social media has “grown up.” It’s one of the most effective ways to get your qualifications and resume in front of as many corporate eyes as possible. In addition to helping you expand the reach of your search, social media is also cost effective, measured only by the time you invest. Social media accelerates your job search exponentially, helping you reach far more people than traditional networking.

If you think about the concepts of branding and marketing yourself, social media is the ultimate tool for building your brand. You select what you want to highlight for potential employers and you control what values are emphasized in your social media presence. Think of social media as a huge networking opportunity and your online profile doubles as your calling card and your resume! Gaining more exposure creates additional opportunities. Social media is the key to opening the door to the hidden job market.

Engaging in a quick Internet search can yield hundreds of social networks, online communities, blogs, websites, and discussion groups for job seekers. In addition to posting on job boards and working with recruiters, social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can significantly accelerate your job search. In case you aren’t convinced about the importance of social media in your job search, let’s examine a few specific benefits:

  1. Use of social media sites demonstrates your knowledge, skill, and familiarity with the capabilities of this current technology.
  2. Social media helps create your personal “brand.” You will become “known” to the individuals who read your profile without ever having submitted a formal resume.
  3. Social media is the ultimate networking tool, putting you in touch with individuals who are in a position to make hiring decisions about jobs that may never get posted. Better yet, an interest connection might be spurred to create a job for you based on your unique qualifications.
  4. Any of these sites can help you gain information about companies or industries of interest to you, making you an even more valuable candidate as you expand your knowledge and become known for your contributions.

Once you create a profile for yourself, you have to pay attention to it. You can’t expect the world to immediately come looking for you! The more active you are in social media networks, the more you establish a positive reputation for yourself. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Building a professional network takes time.

You may want to avoid personal chit-chat entirely on any of your professional contact networks. It becomes all too tempting to post unflattering photos or unprofessional opinions about old bosses, especially if you don’t feel as though anyone is watching your Facebook page anyway. Make sure you are patient and professional while building up your network. When an employer decides to take action, you can be certain the hiring manager will run a Google search or review your social media pages. You don’t want an offhand comment or angry post to come back and haunt you later. Be smart and make your profiles and tweets work for you!

Most sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, each have different limits on the amount of information and the format in which you post. LinkedIn is designed primarily for professional contact, so you have sections for education, work experience, and your intent for setting up the profile.

Twitter has the most restrictive space limits. At 140 characters, you may not think you can say much about yourself. But if you think of your texting habits, considerable information can in fact be included in very little space. This space becomes even more valuable than the traditional resume space. Provide contact information and a few keywords that define your response to the discussion, your professional skills, or current professional trends.

Finally, there is Facebook. Most people think of Facebook as a personal site, but if you research a bit, you will see just how many businesses are using Facebook to strengthen their online presence as well. Have you been asked to “friend” a corporation?  Those requests are a testament to the power of Facebook for professional use and profit. Put its power to work for you by focusing on your credentials rather than your leisure activities. Include memberships in professional associations, a professional summary, pertinent work experience, or cutting edge professional development activities.

As part of job sites, LinkedIn, and Facebook, be sure to take advantage of the Groups areas to target contacts in your industry and demonstrate expertise. Be an active participant in discussions. Support other members and build relationships. The online community can be an integral part of your network and accelerate your job search exponentially.

As noted, maintaining a social media network takes just as much effort, consideration, and attention as face-to-face networking. Once you have your profile established, take some time to explore additional features of the sites and reach out to others. Experiment with social media and watch your job search take off!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Doostang Partners With 85 Broads

Doostang is pleased to announce our expanded partnership with acclaimed women’s network 85 Broads! Here is the full press release, published on this morning.


NEW YORK, NY – November 9, 2010: Doostang, the leading online career community for elite talent, announced today an expanded partnership with 85 Broads, an exclusive global women’s network of innovative, trailblazing women who share a passion for excellence in their personal and professional lives. The expanded partnership enables members of 85 Broads to gain access to Doostang’s Premium Jobs and Resume Review Services at significantly reduced rates.

“As a global network founded to enable women to achieve, excel, and meet their personal and professional goals, 85 Broads is committed to maintaining a standard of excellence at every stage of a woman’s career,” said Janet Hanson, CEO and Founder of 85 Broads. “An important part of that commitment, especially given today’s challenging job market, is providing our members with the best career opportunities. We are extremely pleased to expand our partnership with Doostang in order to help our members develop their careers.”

To take advantage of the partnership, 85 Broads members simply register for Doostang’s premium services at Doing so will automatically entitle members to special discounts and resume review services not available to the general public.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with such a widely respected community of accomplished women, many of whom will undoubtedly reach the career heights achieved by Janet Hanson during her 14 years at Goldman Sachs.” said Chuck Taylor, CEO of Doostang. “We look forward to providing these incredibly talented professionals with the kind of career possibilities consistent with the 85 Broads’ mission.”

Doostang’s premium jobs consist of thousands of desirable positions at leading finance and investment houses, consulting firms, media companies, and technology startups. With over 750,000 community members, Doostang helps candidates unlock the power of their inside connections to the employment opportunities they are seeking. Doostang is specifically targeted to high-achieving students and graduates of leading academic institutions, such as the members of 85 Broads.

About Doostang:

Doostang is an online career advancement network that connects elite professionals with the most desirable jobs. Founded in 2005, Doostang has quickly become home to the nation’s most talented and ambitious professionals and, in turn, attracted the attention of prestigious leading employers. Today more than a 750,000 professionals from top universities and business schools, or 1 in 4 recent graduates from the top 30 Universities, are members of Doostang. Companies currently using Doostang to recruit talent include top-tier employers Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Google, Time Warner and Facebook.

Doostang is a privately-held company, backed by Shasta Ventures and some of Silicon Valley’s luminaries including Andy Rachleff, Co-founder of Benchmark Capital. Doostang is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. For more information, please visit

Doostang Press: 85 Broads Send Their Love to Mareza

Some kind words from Janet Hanson, CEO and founder of 85 Broads, about Doostang founder Mareza Larizadeh on today’s 85 Broads blog:

Mareza Larizadeh — Superstar Founder of Doostang

Here’s why I’m so lucky to know so many superstar young women through 85 Broads. In 2005, Stacey Borden interned with us in Greenwich. She was the President of Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business (HUWIB) and her energy and enthusiasm were absolutely off the charts.

Stacey just completed her first year at Harvard Business School and is working on launching ChickRx, a fantastic new site with great medical info and content for savvy young women.

When I wanted to reach out to the top folks at Doostang, I emailed Stacey who I remembered knew some of the guys who had founded the company. Stacey connected me to one of her Harvard friends who connected me to Mareza.

Every so often you meet someone who is an absolute visionary. Mareza is that and then some. He is also, without doubt, one of the nicest guys on the planet! I hope his mother is reading this as I know she would agree with me!

Given that he’s both a Stanford U. and a Stanford GSB grad and lives in the Valley, he could have been… well… completely full of himself. The fact that he isn’t but could be is what makes him one of the coolest guys on the planet.

We are really enjoying figuring out all the cool ways Doostang and 85 Broads can partner together. STAY TUNED!

Just another example at how networking can be such an influential tool throughout your career! That’s what we’re all about here at Doostang – opening up opportunities by creating connections.

Doostang announced its partnership with internationally recognized women’s network 85 Broads earlier this summer. The collaboration has granted 85 Broads members access to jobs that are specifically targeted to high-achieving graduates of leading academic institutions. Thanks to Janet Hanson and her team at 85 Broads for helping to make this partnership so successful!

The Doostang Team

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We recently announced Doostang‘s partnership with 85 Broads, a global network of 20,000 trailblazing women who are inspired, empowered, and connected worldwide.

This week, we were honored to speak with 85 Broads CEO and Founder, Janet Hanson. Janet is much more than the brains behind 85 Broads. She’s a Columbia MBA, the first woman in Goldman Sachs’ history promoted to sales management, founder of a $3B asset management fund, a published author, philanthropist, mother and more.

When someone like Janet talks careers, it’s a good idea to listen. Read on.

Tell us about 85 Broads and why you started it.

I set out to solve a problem. When I left Goldman Sachs in 1993, I was leaving the world I had known and loved for 14 years to stay at home with my two young children. I wanted to know what the markets were doing, I wanted to be “in the game” but instead I was at home wishing I wasn’t. I founded 85 Broads (which is a humorous play on Goldman’s street address in Manhattan) to re-establish a connection between women who were “alumnae” of the firm with women who were still in the building.

You have had a very successful career in finance. Can you elaborate on your decision to go into that field, and give us perspective on that choice?

I won the career lottery after I graduated from Columbia Business School at the age of 24 – I became an associate in the Fixed Income Division at Goldman Sachs – it was just an amazing time to be at the firm. Being in Fixed Income Sales played to my competitive strengths- I thrived because I was challenged every single day to push myself. It was incredibly hard work but it was also incredibly rewarding.

The 2 year investment banking stint as we know it isn’t a pervasive option for top grads today. What advice do you have for members who are facing this tumultuous job market early in their careers?

My best advice: be willing to really push yourself – whether you’re doing a 2 year stint with Teach For America or 2 years as a banking analyst, this is how young people can truly differentiate themselves. If you can figure out how to live and breathe the company’s “mission,” you will earn the respect of the people who hired you and invested in you. And lastly, when you’re young, if you do nothing else, figure out how to leverage your college alumni network. That is the single best resource you have and it’s free.

Like you, many of our members have elected to further their education with an MBA. How can top MBAs get the most out of their investment in today’s tough environment?

I was extremely young when I went to Columbia. I am sure I was the dumbest person there. But I was an extraordinarily good networker. Business school is a great investment if you’re not just there to go to class and get a degree. You have to apply for case competitions, you have to spend time with your professors, you have to become best friends with the folks in Career Services, and you have to go to every lecture and networking event that you possibly can. That is the only way to earn a high enough ROI on taking yourself out of the work force for two years and earning no money.

Women have made strides in business thanks to trailblazers like you. What advice would you give to the high-achieving women on Doostang who hold career success as a core value?

We have a favorite expression: “read the ending first.” Being driven in your career is great as long as you have your eye on what else will be critical to your happiness 5 or 10 years down the road. I left Goldman Sachs when I was 35 because I had no social life whatsoever. I was on track to be made a partner within a year or two. I left the firm just as my career was going into high gear so that I could concentrate on how to be in a successful relationship as well as have a successful career. Five months after I left, I came back to Goldman in a part-time job in Personnel. My friends thought I was absolutely insane. But less than a year later, I married Jeff Hanson, who I worked with in Personnel. Even though he wasn’t a “big hitter” by Goldman standards, he was brilliant and fun and we built an amazing life together. I left Goldman Sachs because I didn’t just want to be someone’s rich aunt, I wanted to have a family AND a successful career. My approach was a bit unconventional but it worked – Meredith and Chris Hanson are the loves of my life. They are the reason I’m still happily “in the game.”

Bottom line, I had the guts to know that to be happy I needed a successful career AND a great family. That is not work/life balance. That is work/life optimization.

What are some common mistakes you’ve observed in interacting with top grads just starting out, as well as the hiring managers who recruit them?

It is critical to figure out how to relate to young people – the smartest thing a hiring manager can do is solicit candid feedback from the young people they hire. These kids are absolutely whip smart. They are the best educated, best traveled generation ever. And they learn fast so it’s imperative for managers to keep them intellectually engaged and motivated. That is their single biggest challenge.

In a recent interview for the Huffington Post, you talk about “Reading the ending first” in job search. What does this mean for our members who are actively looking for new opportunities?

It means acquire real skills which will make you eminently more qualified. If I was a young person today I would want to have killer computer skills so that I could analyze data and information better and faster. That doesn’t mean you have to be a programmer. It means knowing how to use technology to your greatest advantage. Anyone over 40 years old is probably not that familiar with how to use SEO or the newest social media tools which could give their companies or organizations a real competitive advantage. Young people, if they’re smart, will use this “edge” to make themselves invaluable in any career path. Older people are at a severe disadvantage which young people can exploit (in a nice way). That is a co-mentoring opportunity if there ever was one.

What role can and should the online world play in young professionals’ lives?

Accessing critical, timely information online can make the difference between career success and failure. There is a ton of information on the internet that can help you get up the career curve faster. It just requires an inordinate amount of discipline to stay focused on extrapolating data and information in a way that makes you a value-added team player. I work with a brilliant team of young people who are absolute pros – that is because they understand how to apply technology in a way that makes running our global network look easy. Believe me, it isn’t easy which tells you how highly skilled these folks really are.

85 Broads promotes events/”offline” networking in addition to serving as online resource. Can you speak to the role of “Rolodex”- building through professional associations, alumni networking, etc?

That’s a no-brainer. You can’t be an effective leader if you don’t have presence. Why? Because it’s impossible to command a person’s respect or attention if you have difficulty speaking “live.”

Figuring out how to master the art of conversation is critical, not just in business but in life.

What does career management mean to you?

I will always be grateful to Nancy Reagan. When she was First Lady, she was asked by the press how she would tell young people to steer clear of drugs. Her answer: “just say no.” She was derided in the press for that rather simplistic response but guess what – saying “no” is actually one of the most important skills you need to master in order to have any semblance of happiness – particularly as you get older and are likely juggling career and family responsibilities. Jeff and I launched Milestone Capital so we could spend more time with our kids and have complete control of our own destiny. We worked like absolute dogs but we never looked back. In 2004, I left Milestone and went to work for Lehman Brothers to hedge our downside risk if our business started to falter. But as everyone knows, stuff happens. That and there are no guarantees in life. If I had it to do all over again, I would have banked a lot more of my income from Goldman which would given me many more options down the road.

Anything else you’d like to add?

One of the most essential ingredients to success long term is “partner optimization.”

If you pick the right partner to marry and the right people to team up with, you are way ahead of the game. The 85 Broads partnership with Doostang is an absolute win/win because our values and goals are aligned. That is what always makes all the difference!

85 Broads is an internationally respected global network of over 20,000 trailblazing women who are inspired, empowered, and connected. The “founding members” of 85 Broads were women who worked for Goldman Sachs at 85 Broad Street, the investment banking firm’s NYC headquarters. Over the past decade, 85 Broads expanded its membership to include women who are alumnae and students of the world’s leading colleges, universities, and graduate schools worldwide. Their members are located in 82 countries around the world and work for thousands of for-profit companies and not-for-profit organizations.  To join and for more information visit their website: http://www.85broads .

We couldn’t agree more with Janet and we are thrilled to be partnering with such a highly esteemed community of women.

Have a wonderful day,

Team Doostang

Doostang Partners with 85 Broads, Giving Ambitious, Career Focused Women Access to Outstanding Jobs

The news of our recent partnership with acclaimed women’s network 85 Broads has hit the web!  Here is the full press release, published on this morning.

Premier Women’s Network Partners With Leading Career Website

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – July 9, 2009) - , Doostang, the principal online career website for highly sought after professionals, announced today its collaboration with 85 Broads, a unique community of innovative, pioneering women who share a passion for excellence in their personal and professional lives.

“As a global network founded to enable women to achieve, excel, and meet their personal and professional goals, 85 Broads is committed to maintaining a standard of excellence at every stage of a woman’s career,” said Janet Hanson, CEO and Founder of 85 Broads. “An important part of that commitment, especially given today’s challenging job market, is providing our members with the best career opportunities. We are extremely pleased to partner with Doostang in order to help our members develop their careers.”


The Partnership enables members of 85 Broads to gain access to Doostang’s Premium Jobs at significantly reduced rates. Doostang has over 30,000 in demand jobs on its website, of which over 7,000 are Premium Jobs — hard to come by positions at leading finance and investment houses, consulting firms, media companies, and technology startups. These Premium Jobs are specifically targeted to high-achieving graduates of leading academic institutions.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with such a widely respected community of accomplished women, many of whom will no doubt reach the career heights set by Janet Hanson during her 14 years at Goldman Sachs,” said Mareza Larizadeh, Founder of Doostang. “We also look forward to providing its members with the kind of choice career possibilities consistent with the 85 Broads’ mission.”

Members of 85 Broads can take advantage of the Doostang partnership by visiting

About 85 Broads:

Founded in 1997 by Janet Hanson, the first woman in Goldman Sachs’ history to be promoted to sales management, 85 Broads is a globally recognized network of trailblazing, career-minded, multigenerational women graduates and students of the world’s leading undergraduate universities and graduate schools.

With over 20,000 members and representatives from 82 countries, it has become a leading resource for women interested in using their talent and leadership savvy to affect professional, educational, economic, and cultural change for all women globally.