5 Ways Social Networking Can Assist Your Job Search
November 1, 2011
The events of the past couple of weeks are a reminder to everyone in radio that no job lasts forever. As a result of this round of layoffs and terminations, this week’s column is devoted to those who have found themselves looking for their next opportunity.
While looking for a job always has its challenges, today’s technology also opens up better lines of communication and opportunities to help you stand out. But you could also be misusing technology and getting passed up as a result.
People are posting information about themselves online and hiring managers are becoming professional lurkers. First impressions are being formed before resumes are being read.
Here are ways to tap into today’s technology to extend your reach, broaden your network/community, and make a solid first impression.
1) Manage your online brand.
Hiring managers want to make a connection with you before they even talk with you. What is your online image? Can they even find you online? What “digital debris” does a Google search (and paid service searches) say about you?
As odd as this may sound, your online brand should not be as an “aggressive” job seeker. Hiring managers are often more attracted to more passive job seekers who focus on sharing solution based content/philanthropy and who have interesting dialogues with people each day as a way to stay engaged. Don’t record your timeline of unemployment; they just don’t see the value in that.
Also, make sure there are no “dead ends.” Everywhere a potential employer goes to check you out, make sure there’s a link to another channel to learn even more about you. (Example: On your Twitter bio, you could link to LinkedIn; on Facebook you could link to a site such as http://about.me where you can tell your story in a simple and visual way.)
2) Build your social community now - if it’s not already built.
As you manage your online brand, your social community/network should also be in place so hiring managers can see that you have actual people interacting with you, sharing your stuff and recommending you. (Get those recommendations on your LinkedIn profile and use actionable words that describe your skill sets.)
It takes time to build a social community. Focus on establishing trust, credibility and relationships with people in order for your network to feel inclined to come to your rescue.
How to start? Find people in radio who already participate with social platforms. Send them an introduction email for a more personal connection. Then add them to your social community, too (e.g.; Follow, subscribe, connect, etc...).
3) Don’t overlook Twitter.
While many hiring managers in radio are not on Twitter, it is still an important utility. Search out people and companies on Twitter and see who they are following. Watch what they tweet about. What matters to them? What do they care about? Use the “@” sign to communicate with them on occasion and make sure your avatar is a professional picture of you.
4) Be mindful on Facebook.
Although privacy is your personal right, when you are looking for a job, it almost becomes an obligation to open up your Facebook wall and allow prospective employers to evaluate whether your personality will fit in with their company culture.
Bad grammar and spelling, over-indulgence in any type behavior/beliefs and passive-aggressive posts about how hiring managers never call back reflect poorly on everyone.
Welcome to today’s new job search world. Again, hiring managers want to lurk so mark certain posts “public” so they can see who you are socially and mark certain posts “private” to maintain that aspect of Facebook you enjoy.
5) Pull potential employers into your social space through philanthropy.
Find a cause to give your time to. Giving back during a time of uncertainty will take your focus off you and onto other’s who need attention. When you show potential employers you’re not self-consumed and you’re aware of the world around you, you widen your opportunity to impress them so they can make a quicker decision about hiring you.
Make sure you’re not pushing yourself on people socially like a bad radio station Facebook post can sometimes do. Rather than posting “Hire Me” and “I need a job,” compose messages such as “Here’s how I can help you.”
Find ways to showcase that you’re the solution. Believe it or not, employers want you to be the answer. They don’t like long hiring searches. Make it easier for them to hire you by showcasing who you are and your skill sets within the second they search you out socially.
Everyone here at AllAccess.com and Jacobs Media is cheering you on. I’ve been where you are and if I can be of any assistance, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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