First, by way of background, I have been in and around the recruitment industry since 1993. With over 200 executive search assignments under my belt and the fact that every single career opportunity I have had has been relationship-driven as opposed to ad-driven, I have a deep appreciation for the power of the network.
The best executive search occurs by actively sourcing the best candidates for the job, whatever the work situation.
So, along come these social networking sites. I have been messing around and have put considerable time into LinkedIn, it seeming to be the most relevant for me.
I am impressed. And, I have those goose bumps that I get when faced with something that seems to be a profound improvement or change on the way things were done before.
Recommendations: Go figure out which service is for you. And use it. It does take some work, if you are truly going to benefit, but what worthwhile is easy in life.
So far, I am most impressed with LinkedIn (which has a distinctly management+ level to it), but there are others. For finding work, building your brand, building your online resume and collecting endorsements, looking for deals for your business, sourcing employees.
This is truly one of those ground-breaking innovations.