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Maybe it’s time you tried changing your approach to networking and begin to use social networks to actually network.
You may have noticed more companies becoming active on social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Social networks are multifaceted tools being used to create awareness, promote and build relationships!
Social networks may not be the only solution to your job search woes, but how about increasing awareness of your brand and building new relationships? Will that help?
Networking Isn’t a Once-and-Done Task
People who are serious about managing their careers understand how crucial it is to have a pool of people to interact and share ideas with. This doesn’t just happen overnight. Pick up some of the habits of “power networkers:”
- Build and nurture connections for the future
- Embrace a pay-it-forward mindset
- Offer help
- Show interest in what others are doing and saying
Smart job seekers focus on the needs, wants and desires of others and obsess less over their need to find a job.
Successful networkers know that when they show generosity toward others, it can and usually does come back to help them in the future.
LinkedIn Connections Can Power Your Success
You can use LinkedIn to stay connected with people you’ve worked with, met in-person, met online or stay connected with someone you have something in common with. Savvy networkers realize you can’t just meet someone one time and expect results. The relationship needs to be nurtured. This can be done by monitoring LinkedIn in several ways:
- Congratulate a connection on a new job
- Share a connection’s status update, always giving him or her attribution
- Compliment or give a shout-out to a connection by mentioning his or her name in your status update
- Monitor a group’s discussion feed and look for opportunities to add to the conversation. You may have a different viewpoint, a success story to share or be able to offer help.
Need more help using LinkedIn?
Learn how to update your status on LinkedIn with this how-to article.
And get more ideas on different types of activities you can use on LinkedIn to stay connected.
Facebook Friends Can Help
According to the Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, 76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. These social job seekers are mostly ages 30 to 39, college educated, with annual incomes greater than $100,000. They are using Facebook relationships to get referred and gather inside information. These users also realize networking only works if you continue to pay it forward by sharing leads. Social job seekers report using Facebook to:
- Find contacts sharing job opportunities
- Tap contacts who could provide an employee perspective on a company
- Share a job opportunity with a contact
Need more help using Facebook?
Engage on Twitter
When you use an open network like Twitter, the sky is the limit. You can follow anyone you wish. And you can even send them a public message. Purposefully follow people who work in companies you would like to work for. (You can use WeFollow.com or Twitter’s Advanced Search function to find people using the company name.) Once you start following these company insiders, you can and should:
- Re-share appropriate tweets
- Add your two-cents to the tweet if there is room
- Reply to the person who shared a helpful tweet and explain why you liked it
If you do this with some regularity, the person will usually respond. Continue to look for things you have in common, such as shared interests outside of work, colleges, cities of residence, etc. You can leverage any of these common interests to take the relationship to the next level. Maybe you could ask if they have gone back for any reunions or invite them to an upcoming event. Most people who hang out on Twitter want to interact and build meaningful, worthwhile relationships.
Need more help using Twitter?
How To Use Twitter (for your job search)
Pinterest Is Your Portfolio
Pinterest is known for sharing visual content (pictures, infographics, etc), but you can use it to showcase links to your work or even your LinkedIn profile.
Need more inspiration on Pinterest?
Instagram Show Personality
Don’t dismiss the potential to show your personality and interests on Instagram. If it is where you are active and sharing photos of your life (outside of work), then why not draw attention to what you’re sharing?
However, if it isn’t something you want recruiters or hiring manager to find, be sure to use a profile name that will not easily identify you. In other words, do not use your name. And don’t use the same email address you use for your job search.
Take Pro-Active Steps to Manage Your Online Reputation
Use these steps to clean up your digital dirt: 12 Easy Digital Housekeeping Steps