Social Media Networking for Job Seekers

Social Networking

When we talked about Networking last month, we left out at least one very important way to get your message out there: the internet.  Networking is best done without a computer as intermediary, but that doesn’t mean that Social Media is useless to a job seeker.

The first thing to know about using social media as a job seeker is mind your p’s and q’s.  Don’t share information about yourself that you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.  Refer back to our What Not To Do post for traps people fall into on the internet.  Though no privacy plan is airtight, do your best to protect your info by keeping your account private.

So how can you let these networks work for you?

Tell people that you’re job searching

  • If you’re unemployed, post a status. Nothing too in depth or desperate, just a simple “Hi friends, I’m currently looking for a job.  If you know anybody that’s hiring, keep me in mind!”
  • If you are employed, use Facebook Messenger as a more private means to let your friends know that you’re looking for a job. The more friends that know you’re seeking employment, the more chances you have to hear about a perfect opportunity, and Facebook is a perfect way to hit many people with this message in one sitting.

Use Facebook groups to watch for employment opportunities.

  • Several communities have employment groups on Facebook where people go to share open employment opportunities. Using these groups can let you know about jobs that aren’t advertising traditionally or jobs you might have otherwise missed.
  • Don’t show up in a group and ask “Who is hiring?” and expect people to rush to your aid though, be an active reader of the group page and if you can contribute information about a job that isn’t for you but might fit the audience, that’s even better!
  • If you’re in the Ottumwa area, the “Ottumwa Employment Network” group on Facebook is just one example of a group to network with on the internet.

Use LinkedIN

  • LinkedIN’s primary purpose is networking, so it is designed for you to learn about a company and how to get your networking foot in the door.
  • Search for employees of the company and find out if you are connected to any of them through LinkedIN. LinkedIN will let you know how connected you are to someone up to three degrees, for example if you know John, and John knows me, we would be second degree connections.  When you search for a company, you may find that you have a connection that works where you’re applying, or you could have several friends who are connected to employees of the company.
  • Lean on those connections; see if you can find out more about the job or better yet, if you can get a reference from them.
  • If you don’t have much in the way of a connection into the company, use LinkedIN to learn more about the company so you’re prepared in a job interview.

The most successful way to find a job is to let people know you’re looking.  The fastest way to let a lot of people know you’re looking is to use the internet.  So don’t be afraid of social networks while you’re looking, just use them the right way to help you.

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Network to Success

Networking

An overwhelming number of job opportunities are now available online.  Some studies say that more than 50% of medium companies and 100% of large companies use internet applications to find candidates.  Despite this though, the most successful way to find a job isn’t filling out a dozen online applications a day.  The most successful way is networking.

By networking, we mean talking to people that you already know or people that you meet to ask them to assist you with your job search.  This assistance can include information about open jobs, research into a company, or some job interview tips for specific jobs.  Your network is EVERYONE around you:  your family, your friends, your neighbors, or the person you chat with at the convenience store each morning.  They are all possible referral sources to a job that you want to have.

Why network?

  • Because it’s the best way to find a job – There are plenty of studies about how people find jobs, but the studies consistently point to the idea that networking is still the best strategy to find a job.
  • Because it is a way to find out a job before the internet – If your friend knows that so and so in accounting put in their two-week notice, it can be a good time to try to put your foot in the door.
  • Because not every company lists their jobs online – Believe it or not, there are still some companies that do not advertise open positions online. Even if they do post the job, you can’t see everything on the internet.  If they only posted on Monster and you’re an Indeed.com user, you’re missing an opportunity.  Having your network in the search with you broadens your search.

A common barrier to networking is embarrassment or not feeling comfortable enough to ask for help.  Don’t be shy!  Many people are happy to help someone in their network if they are able.  They just have to know that you need help.  Let people know you’re looking for a job and if they know of anything to let you know.  Simple as that.

With the holiday season going into high gear, it’s the best time to network!  Christmas parties, family dinners, and people in great spirits all can help you find a new job for the New Year.  Eat some ham, compliment the sweet potatoes, and ask everyone to keep you in mind when they hear about exciting job opportunities.