Social media is a great tool to use when searching for a job. It can connect you with important contacts, allow you to demonstrate professionalism through your profile, and help you research a company’s culture instead of just its business statistics.

While social media shouldn’t be your only job hunting resource, it’s an invaluable way to research a company. Official company sites may post news and business updates, but social media pages are more likely to feature news that has to do with company culture, such as picnic photos. Fan pages also allow you to see how the business interacts with consumers.

After you’ve landed an interview, use LinkedIn and other social sites to view your interviewer’s job history and background. This can help you tailor specific questions and adjust your interview presentation accordingly. Proving you have done your research will show that you’re a valuable candidate.

Social media is even changing the way companies recruit college graduates. This recent article from USAToday.com says that nearly 28 percent of college students plan to seek employment using LinkedIn, up from last year by 5 percent. Campus visits with paper pamphlets are going down, and social media presence is rising.

When candidates reach the offer stage, it’s now common practice for them to reach out to current or former employees to ask for advice on negotiation. Even quick email conversations can help candidates get a clearer picture of what it’s really like to work somewhere, get a scope of work assignments, and get tips on salary ranges.

Using social media might help you land the job you want, but it could also help you to negotiate a better bottom line!