Posted by: Leslie Peterson | May 5, 2009

The Value of Social Networking

Social networking is a great way to get your job search moving.  You can connect with friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to discover job leads, make new connections, and find new opportunities.  First and foremost you should remember that this is a tool to get your professional job search moving.  Finding a new opportunity is all about networking. Think about your strategic career plan and use social networking to get your message out! 

LinkedIn will probably be the tool you use most frequently, but your Facebook profile should be free of any profanity, questionable pictures or controversial material.  Make sure that your profile is complete so you will show up in searches.  Although you can use these networking tools as social tools, you must remember that employers frequently look at these social sites to better understand their potential employees.  Your image on these sites will affect their perception of you and your abilities.  If they see something that is offensive, they may not hire you.

Do’s for social networking:

  1. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
  2. Google your name…optimize your job search by setting the right personal brand for yourself.  What shows up when a potential employer googles your name?
  3. Join networking groups, this raises your visibility and connects you with others you are not connected to by 1st degree…alerts and events.
  4. Link up with those you know…then connect.
  5. Ask people to help you…be specific (For example: I know you are involved with ABC Company, and I have an interest to learn more about your role and responsibilities.  I would appreciate your help to connect so I can become a value-added player at the Dallas location.  Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.)
  6. Add personal contact information…not company email.
  7. Keep it updated…invest time.  Think of your profile is your virtual business card, and this is your personal brand.

Don’ts for social networking:

  1. Make it too personal…how would a new employer view this?
  2. Don’t just use the template message…make it a customized note from you.
  3. Think that just because you have a profile that you’re going to get a job…you have to work it!
  4. Say you’re looking for a new job…when you’re still employed.
  5. Make negative comments about your past employer.
  6. Reject someone’s invitation just because you don’t know them…be an open networker.
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