There are die hards out there who still insist the best way to get a job is the old fashion way– newspaper ads and word-of-mouth. While I agree on the word-of-mouth (a.k.a. networking) point, let’s face it, the reality of finding a “career” through a newspaper ad is slim.
So, if you are still unfamiliar with social marketing/networking and online branding/profiles, I will give you the 101 basics on how to get started online with fast results.
1. I know I sound like a broken record here, but join LinkedIn. LinkedIn will open doors for you that you never thought possible. Originally started as a professional networking tool, LinkedIn is now being used by employers to seek out job seekers! How do they do this? They type in the keywords of candidate characteristics in the search box. If their words match up with the keywords on your profile, guess what? You have officially become a contender. You can also research companies online, network with employees that WORK at that company and look for current job openings. Utilize LinkedIn as much as you can. You will be amazed at the results you get.
2. Join Twitter. If you are an entrepreneur, have a small business of some sort or are a job seeker, Twitter is a wonderful way to connect fast with all sorts of people. You build your network by following others who in return, follow you. It sounds strange at first until you get going. I created my profile in November, but didn’t see the value of Twitter until the following January when I started really connecting with colleagues and jobseekers, plus all sorts of other interesting folks. You can spread the word that you are job searching. The bigger your “follower” list is, the more people will know this and keep their eyes and ears open for you. I just read a great post about a college grad who got a job within just a couple of weeks of joining Twitter. Read it. Then join Twitter.
3. Facebook is a great way to connect with lots of people and get a little more personal with them. With the option of adding pictures, videos, quizzes and applications, you let the other person see more into your personal life–if you want them to. Many companies have their own Facebook pages that you can research. Again, another great networking tool.
4. Another one I think everyone should do is to set up a Google profile. It is a basic profile with facts about you on Google. You will be able to control, or at least add to, what people see when the ‘Google’ you. Put up a professional picture and add a little bio. It adds to your online presence.
There are also Naymz, Plaxo, Ning, Ecademy, and many, many more.
As with anything, there are a few rules to keep in mind when doing your online networking. NEVER ever say anything you wouldn’t want a perspective employer to know. Remember that hiring managers ARE GOOGLING YOU and an unsavory post on any of your networking sites may come back to haunt you. And PLEASE do not post any pictures that you wouldn’t want your Grandmother (or an employer) to see. Be smart. Keep it professional.