It’s now 2012, a new year and a new start for most people. Many like to begin their new year with a fresh start, a new outlook on life, or even a new job. Over the past few years we have seen trends and fads fade in and out, but one trend for certain that isn’t going anywhere is social networks! Since its start up in 2004, Facebook has continued to grow and become the largest social network with over 800 million active users. If you thought that you could be the few left without a Facebook you should think again.

Twitter has also emerged as a social network powerhouse with over 175 million users. Tweeting, replying, mentioning, and re-tweeting are becoming common words in our everyday language. But what is the significance of these social networks, besides distractions and ways to procrastinate? Well, social networks play a major role in how businesses market and people find jobs. LinkedIn is becoming the online resume for individuals; where they can put their past and present work history, post recommendations, references, network, and reconnect with colleagues, and former employees. With over 135 million users, LinkedIn is becoming a primary search network for job recruiters and active job seekers. It is beginning to replace websites such as Monster and Career Builder, which have been used in the past by candidates.

Google+ is the most recent addition to the social media website craze. Google launched its “+” pages in early June 2011 to a selected few thousand people. Soon after the summer it went public, and almost instantly went from thousands of users to millions. Just recently, in November of 2011 Google+ introduced the Google+ Business Page. This opened the door for even more opportunities for small businesses and recruiters. Adding friends to your “circle” of networks and giving you the ability to reach many by sharing content. Its Google’s “social layer” that adds part social network and part social search. With this we are going to see Google+ users adding business pages of interest to their circle.

Small businesses are opening up their own Facebook business pages and Twitter accounts and are promoting themselves in hopes to get as much exposure as possible. Just by simply following a business or liking their Facebook page, you could land yourself a job. Social media should be your New Year’s resolution! In 2011 alone, 8 million Americans found their current job on Twitter, 10.2 million found a job on LinkedIn, and an astonishing 18.4 million found jobs on Facebook. If that isn’t convincing enough, than I’m not sure what is!

These social media sites have become crucial to most in the business world, whether you are on the consumer or client slide. We are evolving into a technical savvy world, where all of these websites can be accessed with one click of a button. We are living in the “information overload” age so it would only be wise to take full advantage of these social media websites. As a job seeker or even just a candidate, the opportunities within these sites are endless; you wouldn’t want to miss out. You have the ability to network with thousands of people a day; share ideas, pictures, and interests. So why wait? Get on the social network bandwagon and start connecting!