Do you have your head in the cloud, the “internet cloud” that is?
A lot has been said about the benefits, or otherwise, of Social Networking.
You are either already a convert and are familiar with terms like “Wall”, “Blog” and “Tweet” or this all remains a mystery.
Things change so fast I’ll make this section quite general and leave you to do the research.
There are two main ground rules you should take into account:
1 Don’t waste time.
If you are using any of the social networks to help you find a job then concentrate on what they are good at, finding contacts who can help you in your jobsearch.
Yes, it’s entirely possible you will find a job advertised when you are browsing, but highly unlikely it will be of any substance. Beware of the scam jobs, envelope filling, doing surveys, marketing items you don’t know about, marketing systems which help other people market systems to help them market systems… The internet is full of people trying to make a fast buck by getting you to shell out small sums of money (to begin with, it’s amazing how costs escalate!). The main rule to follow is:
“If it sound too good to be true then it usually is“.
Be very careful.
When you are making contacts, remember never to ask directly for a job. Always ask for information about what is new in the industry, who is expanding, who is taking on new contracts. These questions will show your contact you’re keener to know than the rest of the people out there so you must have something about you which they need to know. Once they start asking you questions, you know you’re on your way to being pointed at a vacancy.
2 Make sure all you do is professional.
If you already have an account with one of the networks, review what’s on there. Delete anything which could show you in a bad light, photographs and videos taken when you’ve had “one too many” might be hilarious at the time but have a nasty habit of showing up just when you don’t want them to.
Check your security settings, make sure you are only allowing trusted friends to have access to your innermost secrets, your trusted friends wouldn’t copy these out to the world, would they? If in doubt, don’t bare all.
Remember, it’s easy enough to get something out there into the world of the internet, it’s nigh impossible to recall it though. You might think you have deleted information, photos, whatever from your account, but what about those of others?
One solution might be to open up a new account with a slightly different identity and be very careful what you post to it. Make this the account for those contacts you are trying to impress.
Using Facebook – this tends to be for the personal, chatty, gossip type of communications.
People do use it for serious purposes and it can bring contacts to you. Keep any personal information in one account and use a second for business purposes.
Using Linkedin – this is more for business use.
People are exploring the way to have their LinkedIn profile act as a CV. The main disadvantage being your profile might not fit exactly with a company’s needs. Remember we advocate changing the CV to suit the target, quite difficult to do with a LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is useful, though, for subscribing to and reading group discussions. Explore the groups available to you, there will be at least a couple which apply to the industry you work, or want to work in. Subscribe to the groups, read all the comments, look at the profiles of the other group members. Join in the conversations, if you want to.
Invite those members you feel useful to join your network, take a look at their networks and, if you see anyone you think could help you, ask them to put you in touch.
Use the search facilities to find companies and look to see who is connected to them, this is a brilliant way to find the “person with the power to hire and fire” who we need to be in touch with.
Using Twitter – there are examples of people who have condensed their CV into the 140 characters available.
How? With great difficulty.
The strength of Twitter depends on the number of people following you, and, the number of people following them. A carefully worded tweet, listing your main achievements, just could end up being read by a recruiter or a hiring manager. But what are the odds? Tending towards infinity might be the answer.
However, people have been known to win the lottery. It could be you …
Using Other Social Network Sites – surprisingly, there are more than these three.
Wikipedia has a list of 200 and counting. It might not be a good idea to register with all of these, I doubt if there is enough time in the world for you to keep up to date with that number. But, and this is a big but, there might just be one which refers to your industry or interests which could be the pay-dirt.