It is wonderful that there are so many networking groups around for the unemployed. These groups offer wonderful support and ideas. They also offer great opportunities to meet new people whom you instantly have something in common (job search). These groups offer the opportunity to meet people from other industries and backgrounds you may not have interacted with before. All this is good.
You know the old saying, everything in moderation. That's where I am going next. Use these networking groups to support your job search, however, don't stop there. Join professional associations related to your desired new occupation. Become involved in volunteer work that will allow you to use your talent.
Beyond job seeker networking groups, there are GROUPS on LinkedIn. It is also important to have a mix of professional interests represented here. What I mean is, join and participate in groups that have something to do with your next career move.
Recently, I was looking at a LinkedIn profile of someone who belonged to almost 50 groups (50 is the maximum you can belong to). More than half of the groups this woman was affiliated with were "job search related". She was missing an opportunity to interact and develop relationships targeted towards her next goal.
Part of social media and networking is becoming known as an expert. I don't think anyone wants to become known as being an expert job seeker! I don't want to bash these forums, they are important, but...everything in moderation. Networking is networking. I have always been an advocate of networking with the unemployed. They are very empathetic and probably more in tune with the job market than those that are employed. However...there is an element of marketing involved in job search as well.
Know your audience. Cater to them.
Post status updates related to your industry or occupation more than what job seeker related events you are attending or other details about your search.
These 4 P's have to do with promoting you! The talents and skills and knowledge you bring to the table. You want to be sought after for your demonstrated knowledge. Using social media is a way to get the message out there and share what you know about your new career, NOT JOB SEARCH (unless you want to become a job search coach).
As you use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for your search, consider sharing information that demonstrates your knowledge more than what you had for breakfast or other "off-brand" information.
Find trade publications or industry newsletters to read. Then you can share interesting articles from those. Here are some resources to find on-line content:SmartBriefAllTop