Learn how your social network and connections play a critical role in the success of your career and job search.
With the dramatic advent of the internet in the field of recruitment, the equation between applicant and recruiter has become less complex. The social media offers a platform for job seekers – to find the right job and for the companies – to find the right employee. The approach to the Operation Job Hunt has thus, changed for both the parties. The recruiters use the social media to start placing feelers to fill the vacancies and job postings even before the official jobs are posted on the company website. This means interested candidates need to do more than just visiting company sites, its time to get into the inner circle of company recruiters and hiring managers.
The social media holds the most importance for the serious job seekers. Even a single post of “I am searching for a job” with only a mention of your interest field or a resume link could be acknowledged by multiple responses from your online network. The bigger your network, the greater the probability of the winning connect. What’s wrong with a little help? It is, therefore, a must to build a strong social network. Now that we have established the importance of networking, let’s move on to the steps to build your network for the job hunt, what we call the 4 Critical C’s of social media leadership: Create, Connect, Control and Commit.
A profile that imprints an impression will take time and efforts. Spend some time with your laptop (and a mug of hot chocolate) and create a profile for at least three of the social media sites. LinkedIn is a must. Twitter is important. Facebook is an option but Instagram is the more popular one, especially if you are from a creative background.
Follow these rules while setting up your professional profile :
Create a personal brand
Want a profession? be professional! Know your purpose for the profile. But at the same time, you have to create a personal brand. Show off your skills and talents. Here is the real advantage of social media. You can express who you truly are apart from your work and career. You have to play this card well. Mention the things that stand out (and are true) right under all your career achievements and education.
Put up a great picture
Keep a profile picture that shows you clearly. No dim lightings and distracting backgrounds. Keep this in mind even while sharing other images on your wall.
Tell us about YOU
Answer the About Me question intelligently and articulately. For example, see the following responses –
“A writer trapped inside an accountant.” – NO
“A cheese lover and a singer” – NO
“Statistical Analysts who loves to explore solutions and pin down conclusions and Data Reconfiguration manager who is pro at shuffling numbers. A football player with a keen interest in sports but also a weak spot for cheese.” – YES!!
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. When it comes to sending emails and invitations, be sure to make smart connections. Do not send out multiple requests to hiring managers and associates – people talk to each other. You might just end up in the spam folder!. Send a brief articulate note along with your invitation request as opposed to simply sending out a ‘hi’ to establish a business relationship. This could be as futile as waving at an unknown crowd.
Make a list of all the companies you want to work with, the key contacts that you would like to connect with. And don’t forget your existing contacts, do connect with past co-workers, former bosses, mentors and workers. Include as many as professionals as you can on the list.
Personalise the message
As we mentioned earlier, personalising the message you sent is so very important. Include why they should connect with you. Or what EXACTLY interested you in their profile. Mention a blog they shared or a relevant article. Being part of a common group or having a common friend is also a great launching point.
Example : “Hi, the post about the new inventions in our field of *FIELD* was full of brand new technologies implemented uniquely. I am very interestedly conducting further research on the same topic. I would like to stay connected with you.”
Retweeting, commenting or liking the target’s post could be a great way to start the conversation and make inroads to connecting.
When you are new to LinkedIn/Twitter or any other social site, you will want to add every contact that comes up on your suggestion list. But this will this affect your future suggestion lists (LinkedIn sends you suggestions based on your present contacts). In the beginning, target only the relevant network clusters.
Use search-tools for targeted searches
Each social media platform has the optimal way to make sure you are found in a search. For LinkedIn for example, tools such as keyword, company, location and school specific identifiers can maximize your searchability. On the other hand, Twitter searches are conducted with the use of hashtags.
Don’t clutter your address bookOrganise your contacts into categories as industry, school, college, past company, internship mentors, etc. It’s okay to remove any dead contacts so that your LinkedIn contact suggests are more relevant in the future.
Twitter lists are the special feature of Twitter. This little hack helps you monitor the content that you want to see on your newsfeed. Add to the ‘list’ the things want to see in your Twitter feed. It’s a great way to narrow down your search and limit it to specific people and groups.
It’s important to commit to your social presence. The newsfeed is a great place to start networking. The people that frequently appear on newsfeed are the ones that are more active on the social network. To be noticed, you want to start appearing on other people’s newsfeeds.
Be frequent, be consistent
Rome was not built in a day. You have to be online and active. Most social sites see the most traffic in the afternoon and at night. Update your status during those periods with interesting articles, thoughts or relevant social commentary. For example, you can share pictures or videos of a recent event that you attended.
The groups are a great way to make new connections and links. Pick up a few groups. Participate in conversations with the company-professionals and hiring managers by offering a comment, opinion or agreeing with what’s being said.
Ask for advice
It is one of the best conversation starters. Ask for advice on your work-related situation, a project or in general. Responses to this will start multiple dialogues which you could follow up on one on one.
Use the hashtags
Don’t be afraid to use hashtags, for example, #tweetmyjobsand #microjobs are two growing websites on Twitter. They connect the recruiters to the job seekers. Thus, helping out the users to browse through jobs.
A word to the wise
You can maintain separate accounts for professional and personal use on for all the online social networking sites. This is especially relevant, if you have a side interest or passion that you would like to share with blogs or images. A link to this profile can be included on your professional site as well.
You can share your thoughts and ideas and ask us questions. Just drop us a word. We look forward to hearing from you.