Reporting on a recent national survey by social media analytics firm Jobvine, Read Write Web today highlighted some very interesting facts for new and current job seekers.

New data suggest that More than 15% of job seekers get hired through social networks.  Take a moment to reflect on that – that's 1 in 6 people!  Whereas relics like MySpace made their reputations on being a fun venue for relaxation and networking, the past few years have seen such a huge spike in interest about the power of social media that the top 97% of Fortune 500 companies now maintain a Facebook profile (and to a lesser degree, G+ and Twitter) deeply ingrained in their business strategy, product placements, and (now more evidently) the job search process in general. 

One in 6 people owing their jobs to social media: that's not a fad – that's serious business.

The data indicate that the more active you are on such networks, the more likely your chances of getting hired.

Job seekers with more than 150 contacts on any single social network are considered

Job seekers with more than 150 contacts on any single social network are considered "super social" and have a better chance of finding work, period.

And this makes common-sense sense, as well – how often are you actually able to convey your entire, dynamic personality in a single job interview?  Many factors – from preparation, to planning, to wardrobe choices, to personality conflicts, to simply being stuck in traffic, can all throw an otherwise positive interview out the window, as interviewers have so little information about you to digest off the bat.

But mix in a candidate with some social networking presence, and expertise, and suddenly the prospective employer can discover a much deeper, more complete picture of the applicant.  (Clearly, this also allows for undesirable candidates to be weeded out at an early stage – so make sure to keep your privacy controls locked down if you also use social networks to communicate non-professionally!)  Things like your professional interests, work experience, and especially your personal passions, can shine through on such pages, if maintained and introduced thoughtfully – and many potential employers are more concerned to see that you are a functional, healthy, intelligent person than concerned with how you perform on a somewhat arbitrary 30 minute interview.

The study and the article conclude that the candidate who is more well represented online is almost certainly the correct person for the job!  Take that advice to heart, and begin today – yes, even before you leave school – approaching your social networks like they're part of your life, and even career, for the long haul.  The hard work you put in now, to form relationships with other industry professionals-to-be, will pay huge dividends further down the line, as you step into the job market.  Check out our compendium of nifty social media links, tips, and tricks.

Looking for a job now? Don't miss our current internship and job listings – there are a TON of great ones currently looking for students, especially for interterm and Spring semesters, and the Chapman Ad Club is hosting a panel tonight with students who've gone through the internship and paid-job process.

[ Oh, and a plug for my own hired-through-social-media job: don't forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Flickr, and More! ]