9) Join a Group
Join a discussion group on LinkedIn, Yahoo!groups, or Ning to hobnob with people who know this employer better than you do. Follow the conversation and chime in with your own questions to learn what’s working and not working, what customers are saying, and what the industry is doing. A job interview isn’t a one-sided process—your résumé is your most valuable asset, and you can’t afford to damage it by working in second-rate enterprises. Do your research, and accept your next offer with confidence. (Liz Ryan is an expert on the new-millennium workplace and a former Fortune 500 HR executive.)

Social Networking Sites

(1) Use Social Networking Sites to Find Jobs : Career Networking and Business Networking Sites

Social networking is an increasingly important tool that freelancers are using to get jobs. And ‘no’, I’m not speaking of MySpace or YouTube specifically. There are a lot of social networking sites that are built specifically for professional relationships and connections. The point of these sort of sites are to make ‘real’ online connections with other people who can help you professionally. The premise is very simple. You know people and so do other people. The more people you meet online, the larger your network grows. For example, your online friends might know about a friend of a friend who needs your services. There are three basic ways the freelancers find jobs through social networking sites. The first is to actively look for jobs on those sites that are geared towards letting you do that. The second is to post profiles on numerous social networking sites and let clients find you. And the third is to network with people extensively on the sites in order to make enough connections that word of mouth will lead you to work and work to you. The smart freelancer will make use of all three methods of finding freelance jobs through social networking sites.

(2) POST A COMPLETE USER PROFILE

If you are serious about trying to network with others on a social networking community, then you will need to post a complete profile. You should also make sure that you’ve posted a complete profile that accurately shows your skills so that the clients and employers can find you easily. Employers these days know that freelancers are on these sites so they regularly look for consultants on these sites. If you have a profile which shows off your talents, links to a high quality website / portfolio, you behave professionally, and you participate on a daily (or at least bi-weekly) basis, your hard work will pay off.

(3) ACTIVELY NETWORK

Finally, freelancers seeking to find jobs through social networking sites should maximize their time on the site by doing what the site is intended for: networking. The best way to do this is to join groups on your social networking sites that are related to the areas in which you freelance. Become friends with people in these groups, update them regularly about their work and show an interest in what they do. When these people come across a job that they know would be perfect for you, they’ll pass it along. Grow your network and you’ll grow your opportunities for getting jobs through this kind of word-of-mouth.

Social networking sites are all about meeting people. You will use them to meet potential employers of freelance projects and you will also use them to meet other freelancers. By networking with a variety of different people on the sites, in both a professional and a casual manner, you multiply the number of times that you can get referred for a freelance job. Many freelancers are finding that this kind of networking works wonders for them in a way that networking in the “real world” has not.

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Use the RIGHT Social Networking Sites for Freelance Professionals
First and foremost, you want to use social networking sites that will put you in direct touch with people who are looking for jobs. The best way to do this is to use sites that are specifically designed for professional networking. Look for sites that tend to be friendly towards freelancers. You can browse the site for people in your area of expertise and let them know through a message on the site that you are available for work should they ever need someone. You should also make use of the job boards on some social networking sites to see if anyone on there is searching for a freelancer.

What Are Some Social Networking Sites That I Should Use?
AllFreelanceWork.com
Doostang
LinkedIn
FaceBook
Xing
85 Broads
Networking for Professionals
HubSpot
LimeExchange
Ecademy
Ryze
Fast Pitch Networking
Yorz
Bright Circles
NetParty
Meetin
MyWorkster
Alumni
Tribe
Ziggs
Yahoo KickStart!
MeetUp Work and Careers

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR DESIGNERS
Graphic Design Community
Sphinn
Pixel Groovy
Behance
Coroflot
DesignerID
DesignRelated
Developers Niche
DeviantArt
Flickr

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR ARTISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, ETC
Flickr

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR SEOers AND SOCIAL NETWORK PROFESSIONALS
Sphinn

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR WRITERS
FictionPress
Inked In
MyGoodEbook
My Creative Intent
Readerville
StoryLink
Urbis
Writertopia
Writing.com

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR FILMMAKERS, ANIMATORS, 3D ARTISTS etc
3DVia
Animation Army
CGHub
MeshBox
Social Animation Network
StoryLink
TriggerStreet

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR TECHIES
SnetBase
Tweako

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR MUSICIANS
iLike
LastFM
MySpace
Pandora
PureVolume
Ruckus

OTHERS
Ning
YouTube
MySpace
Friendster
Squidoo
StumbleUpon
Twitter