I read a blog post earlier today, that got me to thinking. In today’s climate a lot of people are out of work, and scrambling to social media sites to connect with peers in hopes of finding employment. However a lot of them are finding something a little different.
Networking is not something new, that is something humans have done for ages. What is new are sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, & the army of copycats that are rushing to cash in on the social media craze.
So what are you supposed to do? Well each person will take a different approach to social media. I don’t really think that there is a tried and true 100% successful method to putting social media to work for you. What I can tell you is that you will get out of it what you put into it.
Rushing in setting up profiles on every site you can will get you nowhere, you have to participate. You have to take part. You have to give something to receive. Networking is two-way communications. If you’re out of work and looking to connect with someone to gain employment here are some tips from Stephen Van Vreede at No Stone Unturned and his recent blog post.
1. Networking is a two-way street. Unfortunately too often we wait until we are in desperate need of something, like a job, to start building an effective network. And once that happens, then we scramble to tap into all of our resources. The problem, however, is that we forget the basic tenet of networking: Give and Take. People who understand that do well at networking in general and especially at social networking in particular. So don’t get on these social networking sites and be a taker only.
2. Don’t miss your chance to be generous to someone else. The main plea we hear at NoddlePlace.com from job seekers is that they don’t have a large network. However, when we encourage them to meet other job seekers and start networking with them, they don’t want to speak to them unless that person “has something for them.” Although it is certainly understandable, after all networking is a long, arduous process, it is also pretty short sighted. So along the same lines as #1, search out people on these sites that you might be able to offer some advice to or throw a job lead to. You don’t have to promise anyone a job, but maybe you could pass along their resume or recommend a headhunter you’ve worked with?
3. Don’t wait around to be noticed. Too often people sign up for social networking sites and then sit around and wait for someone to notice them. Or they simply fail to get involved. It’s kind of like attending a face-to-face event and then standing in the corner refusing to speak with anyone. It won’t be very effective for you. Look for forum areas or groups you can join and participate in. How does that lead to a job, you might ask? Most people on these sites are just like you, eager to meet other people, and they understand the “give and take” principle of networking. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to give you leads, recommend resources/recruiters, and help in any way they can.
4. Fill in your profile. Many people neglect their profiles on social media sites. If you aren’t willing to fill in the profile, then I am not sure you can expect these sites to work for you. Be sure to state clearly the position you are seeking, where, and in what industry.
Here is why I think you should take this to heart. I never claimed to be a social networking guru, but I do know people, and making one on one connections. Would you want to be friends with the overbearing, Hey! listen to me I’m important jerk that just won’t shut-up? Or with someone that just helped you figure out a printer driver issue that has been bugging you for a week?
It makes much more sense to me. I would certainly want to help someone that has already helped me in some way. Could this just happen to you. YES! Will it? Well that is going to be up to you. Can Social media land you that next job? Sure it can help you connect, but you still have to sell yourself. What do you think, are you up to the task?