As promised in a recent blog, I would like to introduce you to Jennifer Stockdale, whose website www.geekambassador.com offers a treasure trove of information on the phenomenon of social media networking for business owners and job seekers alike. Jennifer and I will be working closely with one another to guide career explorers make the best use of this strategic tool to define and connect with the virtual network in cyberspace. Here is on of Jennifer’s recent articles:
There is a lot of buzz lately about online social networks and their new role in marketing, advertising, and social interaction, but did you know they can also be the key to helping you find new employment quickly? A recent study found that 80% of jobs are found through networking. Keeping in close contact with people in your networking while searching for a job is very important. However, if you are currently unemployed this can be difficult. You may find that you are no longer able to pay membership dues to networking organizations that your company had been paying for on your behalf. Some organizations only allow to you retain your membership if you are currently employed with a company. When you find yourself unemployed you may loose access to contact information that you gained while working for your last employer and you can find yourself starting all over again with nowhere to turn. This is where online social networking can help you.
Online Networking is Free
For the most part, online social networks are free to join. You do not need to pay to join services such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook (which are the three most mainstream social networks). The fact that you have time to devote to keeping your profile updated and making connections can be a huge advantage to you. You can reconnect with contacts you may have lost track of, post past work that you have done, keep a blog of your job hunting efforts, and basically tell the world that you are available and looking for a new job.
Online Networking is not Exclusive
In general, you are welcome to join groups and associations within social networks even if you are currently unemployed and even if the group is not in your area of expertise. Unless the group or association is marked private, you are welcome to join groups and network with other members of that group. You can keep up on what is going on in your industry, find and make contact with key people, and show off your knowledge by making posts on these groups. If you are an active member of a group you will be noticed by other members. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to break into a new field. By joining online groups and organizations in the field that you want to transition to, you can meet everyday people from that field and find out what it is really like to work in that field.
People are willing to help
People who participate in online social networks are social by nature. They are putting themselves out there to meet new people and gain new experience. If someone is in your online social network, they will answer your questions and give you feedback for the most part. When is the last time you felt comfortable asking someone in your real social network “Will you be in my network?” You just assume that they are, and they may assume differently. With online social networking, there is no question that someone is in your network. It is not as time consuming or intrusive for busy professionals if you send them a quick question asking them about their job or their area of expertise. Most people are happy to share what they know. You will have access not only to people in your local area, but to people all over the world who can help you with your job search.
Online social networking can help you to make contacts quickly. It also helps you to keep track of your contacts and get information to a large group of contacts all at once. It is a very efficient way to network yourself into a job you will love. Keep an eye out for future articles where we will explore several of the major networks and how you can use them to help you find the job of your dreams.
How can you use online social networking to find your dream job? Contact Neal Griebling at Future Design Studio to find out more about our upcoming special report on How to leverage your career using online Social Media.