Job Seeker’s New Year Resolution: Network!
2013 brings with it fresh energy, determination and of course New Year’s resolutions. For those of us looking for a job, the end of the “holiday” period signals a return to pounding the pavement. How many of us have not heard, “Get back to me after the New Year?” That time is now.
Where do we start? Networking is critical. And a key way to network is through social media.
Here is a practical guide to networking, 2013-style:
(1) Linked In: LinkedIn is the professional networking medium. If you are not on, get on. Once on, join as many groups as you can. As you do, scroll through the contacts. Do you know any? Don’t be shy. Connect with them and tell them what you are looking for. Jog their memory by reminding them how you know them. Share mutual contacts and perhaps a common professional experience. While Linked In is a professional network there is nothing wrong with sharing something personal when appropriate, as in “Regards to your Dad” or “My sister was in your class at Stonybrook.”
LinkedIn has many savvy features. If you are interested in a specific company, connect to them through a company search. LinkedIn now has Bloglink and Twitterlink, which allow you to link recent blog and twitter posts to your profile. It also has nifty status update capabilities, as well as a way that you can actively strut your stuff through a professional headline. Here’s an actual sample from Ed Han, New York City: “Wordsmith with proven ability to translate business objectives into communications strategies and tactics.” You get the idea.
(2) Facebook: While more a social medium than Linked In, Facebook can be a valuable source of job networking connections. Remember that your friends generally trust and like you, and trustworthiness and likeability are important features to look for in a potential employee. On a practical level, job seekers have found posting notes on Facebook to be more effective than sending updates, since notes tend to stay on the screen longer. It is also helpful to tag references to friends on Facebook in your blog posts, which will spread your message across a wider network of contacts.
(3) Twitter: Twitter connects a wide universe of strangers based on common interests. It is thus the ideal tool to expand and reach beyond your circle of professional (Linked In) and social (Facebook) contacts. The best way to capitalize on Twitter as a job search tool is to use your real name as your Twitter handle (rather than a fictitious moniker), and to be pro-active in reaching out to people who may lead you to a job. Don’t be shy. Share what you are looking for. Tweet about your search and your interests. Put your message out there and you will be rewarded with followers and tweets. Research about those you are following and those following you is critical to maximizing effective use of Twitter as medium for effective networking. The number and versatility of Twitter search tools is dazzling. Find the one that is right for you and start tweeting.
Were these suggestions helpful? Let us know. May this be a happy and prosperous year for all!
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