Social Networking for Job Seekers
I recently had the honor of presenting a seminar to local job seekers in my home town of Tampa Bay. I presented five strategies for social networking that I truly believe can turbo charge a job search. Here’s a summary of the five strategies I presented.
Develop the Mindset of a Triathlete
Triathletes are elite athletes. Most are amateur, which means they juggle work and family while training for triathlons. What makes triathletes so special is their devotion and discipline to their training. The mental side of their sport is as important as their physical game plan. A job seeker would be well served to study the mindset of triathletes and adopt it. Having a documented plan, an accountability coach and a commitment to working on techniques are all part of the mindset of a triathlete.
Social Networking Basics
For many people social networking basics are, well, just that….basics. But, for many some of the basics are surprisingly overlooked. Simple things like having a profile picture in all your social networking accounts…Having your profile in LinkedIn completely filled out, not just partially filled out. Seeking new connections on an ongoing basis (as in everyday). And, following companies of interest and making recommendations of people you’ve worked with in the past. Too many people (surprisingly) think that just having a LinkedIn profile constitutes social networking. I advise job seekers to update their LinkedIn status every day. And, I advise job seekers to develop their professional and social credibility through social networking.
Advanced Social Networking
For those who have their basics covered, I offered several tips to accelerate their job search. First, I urge all job seekers to actively engage with like minded people in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. I emphasized being active in all three social networking platforms. Overwhelmingly, many job seekers only think of LinkedIn as the social network of choice. I advised that connecting with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook should also be part of the plan. Friending people on Facebook who are business colleagues and building lists so you can segment your notes between personal and business relationships is advisable. Following companies of interest on their business (fan) page and engaging with those companies is advisable. Sharing your expertise on Facebook and Twitter is also advisable. And, selectively promoting others across all three social networks to build relationships is advisable. Another tip I offer is to seek out and attempt to connect with influential people in their industry. Then, don’t hit on them. Rather, let your content paint a picture of you. Post intelligent comments about their content. All in all, the concept of building both your professional and social credibility is one that many job seekers have not considered. But based on feedback I received from many seminar attendees, they got it.
Become an Entrepreneur in Your Job Search
For some job seekers, their industry is in decline and demand for their skills are just not enough in comparison to supply. Regardless, all job seekers are advised to become entrepreneurial. In fact, I go a step further and suggest job seekers should become opportunistic. I advise job seekers to pursue an area of interest outside their work history and create a blog, write an e-book, a physical book, produce video or podcast or all of the above. Essentially, I advise job seekers to monetize their passion by becoming content creators and using the availability of affiliate marketing aggregators or Google Adsense to monetize their content. In many cases, this can result in redefining the meaning of a “J O B” for job seekers.
Good Enough Isn’t
For too many people, a habitual routine of a job search plan can create the illusion of a good job search plan. In a tight economy where competition is so fierce, it’s often not good enough. I shared the results of a recent survey from Cross Tab that shows that 84% of U.S. recruiters believe that your online reputation is critical to your job search. I advise job seekers to commit to producing ten pieces of intelligent content per week and sharing it with their network. I advise job seekers to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to build both their professional and their social credibility. I advise to set up a dashboard through an RSS reader to get fed relevant content from blogs and research queries. I advise job seekers to “mine” people’s profiles and company profiles in LinkedIn to uncover golden nuggets of insights about people, new connections and job opportunities.
Download a copy of my presentation on Social Networking for Job Seekers.