Most people know that the best way to find a job is through networking. You can go to networking meetings, tap into your own personal network, or ask friends who they know.
With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are similarly many ways to use social media in order to network, and eventually find a job. According to an article in DMNews, Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester Research agrees that social networks allow all parties involved to better search for and reach their target.
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to connect to people you know. It also allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect to them. There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn in a job search:
- Company Search – One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is if you have a very specific company you are interested in. You search on that company, and hopefully find people who are connected to other people you know. Then, you can ask your personal contact to connect you. Or, if you pay $30/month, you have the opportunity to email people who you don’t have a contact in common with.
- Job Postings – LinkedIn allows employers to post jobs on the site. The jobs are usually high quality, professional jobs.
- Email – If you ever find yourself having been laid off, send a large email to everyone in your LinkedIn network, letting them know of my situation, and asking for any help or people they could put you in touch with them.
- Blog Link – LinkedIn now gives you the ability to link your blog post to your profile. So every time you post a new blog post, it updates on your profile, so anyone looking at your profile will see what you’re writing about. It also includes the updated post in the weekly update emails that go out to your connections.
- Twitter Link – Similar to Blog Link, LinkedIn also pulls your conversations from Twitter. So, anyone who is not on Twitter, can see what you are tweeting about.
- Recommendations – Get recommendations on your profile.
- Status Updates – Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has status updates. It’s a good idea to update your status, to better inform your connections what you’ve been up to.
- Headline – LinkedIn gives you a place to add a professional headline. Most don’t realize that this is seen by everyone. Make sure that this isexciting and enticing. Example: “Innovative marketer with a drive for results.”
The best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests. What a great way to do some networking!
- Basic Networking – With Twitter you can get connected to people who are involved in areas you’re interested in. If you hear about jobs available at a company, check to see if you can tweet to anyone that works there, chances are, within minutes, you’ll have some information about the jobs.
- Job Postings – Be sure to get connected to a few people who know about jobs that you may not have otherwise known about, i.e. @socialmediajob or other recruiters.
- Connecting – When someone follows you or you follow them, read their bio thoroughly. If it looks like they work somewhere you might be interested in, or if you think they might be someone who could connect me to others, get in touch with them. A few have said no or not responded at all, but for the most part, everyone is very open to meeting or talking.
- Companies – Look into a Twitter tool called Twellow, which actually searches people’s bios and URLs on their bios. It’s amazing! For example, if you did a quick search on Shift Communications, a company that you may want to work for, you could see that 13 people from Shift are on Twitter.
- What’s Going On – Be more proactive in talking about what’s going on in regards to your job search. So, mentioning things more often about interviews you have had, or people you have met with. This keeps it fresh in people’s heads that you’re still looking for a job.
- Reaching Out – Reach out to people you want to network with and saying something like “Hi – I’m looking to break into social media. Is there anyone you can think of to refer me to?”
- Twitter Name – Your Twitter name should be your name, as it will help in your search engine results.
Most people use Facebook primarily for connecting with friends or people they know and reconnecting with people in my past. But, it can also be an effective networking tool.
- Notes – While people do know everyone they’re friends with on Facebook, most don’t necessarily know or remember where each person works. And, most definitely don’t know where each of their friends work. So, if you are ever in a situation where you have been laid off, be sure to post a “note” on Facebook, explaining the situation, and what you are looking for. A note tends to stay on people’s screens longer than a status update, and you can write much more.
- Status Update – Frequently post status updates relating to your job search, to keep it top of mind that you’re still looking for a job. Say things like “I had a great interview this morning… keep your fingers crossed!” or “I have a networking meeting later today with a company I’m really interested in!”. Also, write a status update with a link when you write a new blog post.
- Notes for Blog Posts – Create a “note” for each blog post. Notes stay on people’s screen’s longer. Some people may be more likely to read it if the text is right there on the screen rather than having to click through to the blog. Also, if they comment on it on Facebook, it becomes even more viral.
- Tag Your Friends – If you write a blog post that includes a reference to a friend on Facebook, tag them. That way, their friends will be alerted to your post, and your message will spread more quickly.