Late Career Job Search Part VI: Social Networking
Social networking, which experienced an explosion in popularity over the past decade, is quickly becoming one of the keys to unlocking and discovering employment opportunities and keeping in touch with colleagues. Just as face-to-face, traditional networking can provide unique connections and information, social networking serves similar functions. The differences (and for many, the benefits) include
- 24/7 world-wide connection with people and information
- Opportunities to link and connect with groups and organizations that would be out of reach through traditional networking
- A large variety of diverse host sites to allow the process to be tailored to your comfort zone and needs.
Networking online is easier than most people think – you don’t need to spend or waste a large amount of time to be effective. Ultimately, it becomes a matter of taking a few new steps in the right direction and you’ll find the rest often comes rather easily.
For those completely unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of social networking in a professional sphere, take a moment to review some quick, informative resources
Social Media Literacy (for those starting truly from square one)
For insight on what sites are out there, what they are about, and how they can help you, this comprehensive summary should be extremely helpful
And for those already engaged in the realm of social networking, but looking to take new steps into its professional-capacities, see these
A clear and complete article on social media aiding navigation through the job search
And for the real advanced group, make a point to check the score of your online presence! Go to www.klout.com for information on checking your online “score” and learning quick and easy ways to tweak your networking and increase your visibility.
Social Networking: Four Points to Gaining the Most From Your Profile
“As with any tool, it’s all in how you use it”
- Remember that networking is a symbiotic relationship. You will not gain much from simply hoping that the people in your networks will provide you with resources and opportunity. It is necessary for you to share and contribute as well.
- Think about your professional branding: what you want to do, what you’re interested in, what your network connections are interested in. Post content and concepts that will attract local professionals interested in the same information. Convey who you are in how you post and interact.
- Regularly Contribute: The more you contribute, the greater level of visibility (read: opportunity) your profile will have. Update often with interesting and useful content.
- Transparency and authenticity: You need to be honest and clear with your posting. You never know what can grab someone’s attention, and it would be an awful occurrence to catch a job opportunity with misleading or false information.
Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU. When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.
Kim Medlock is a Michigan State University alumnae with degrees in Professional Writing and English. She works as a marketing writer by day, but fancies herself a creative writer by weekend. As a Lansing native who has always preferred writing as an artistic medium — she remains passionately in love with both of these things.