Social networks, you probably know dozens of them. Each has its pros and cons, everything will depend on what you look for as post and sector. When you talk about professional social networks, you think directly of LinkedIn and Viadeo. And you're right. We can also quote Wizbii which is the first professional social network for student. You can also find quite a lot of job offers in start-up on AngelList which is more recent (platform created in 2010).
Social networks are increasingly used more and more by candidates and companies. Of course there is Facebook with the numerous pages and groups dedicated to the recruitment and the connection between candidates and companies (ex: Jobs & Stages in Start-up). But there is also Twitter which is very used with hashtags allowing to link its research with the sector of activity and / or skills (ex: #CDI #Fintech # PHP ...). Being rather active on Instagram, I see quite a few companies posting their offers with nice pictures.
It is the fact to marketing yourself, putting oneself forward as we will do for a service. This is important to stand out from the competition. This is possible due to several channels, including social networks.
Highlight your work: side projects or professional experiences, display everything that seems relevant to your LinkedIn profile. From your past projects, you expose your skills learned and acquired. Today, soft skills are required by companies and are truly decisive. Especially for sales profiles which, after their studies, have almost all the same diplomas. It is ultimately the personality and intrinsic qualities that will make the difference.
Obviously, you have to be able to adapt to different types of network. LinkedIn ≠ Facebook and many people have not yet understood. By sharing unsuitable content, you risk losing your network that will remove you or lack of interest (eg: people sharing photos of their private life / holidays / baptism on Linkedin yes yes, I really saw !)
Sharing interesting content, related to your industry and the position you are targeting. This will lead contacts from the relevant industry on your profile whom may contact you (ex: I am looking for a job in the sports sector so I will share the latest news and innovations in this sector). In addition, if you focus on LinkedIn, there is a ranking system relative to the views. And then, like on Facebook and Twitter, the likes and the shares will make appear your publications on pages not necessarily in contact with you.
Social networks are a great solution to develop your network and especially to keep in touch. So yes you can add everyone on LinkedIn to try to approach the employees of the company you are targeting. But why not also add every person you meet at a trade show in order to keep in touch? You will be able to follow their activity but they will also see what you become and when you listen to opportunity.
Then today, let's face it, we're all hyper connected. Being active on social networks is also a way to be joined easily and quickly: a little tweet, InMail or MP and the trick is played!