by Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)
A Growing Trend
Over the past several years, more and more retirees are re-entering the workforce. Some are getting part-time jobs while others are attempting to get back into the field the left upon retiring. Boy how things have changes, and quickly too! Social media is now a major player in the job search and hiring process.
What Is Social Media?
Social media simply refers to online platforms that bring folks together on a wide range of issues. Some of the most popular social media sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. However, there are hundreds more. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s stick to the main social media players.
Are There Really Rules?
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGSNfF1HCTg&feature=plcp]No. Social media sites don’t have “formal” rules that job seekers must follow. However, etiquette is important and following certain principles can make your time spent in the social world much more productive. A few key principles to keep in mind in the social media realm include:
- Don’t get carried away by the hype
- Just like your real-life network, it’s quality that trumps quantity
- Consider the Golden Rule: do unto others…
- People join these forums to connect with others, so don’t be shy
- Don’t go into the process solely focused on what you can get out of it
What’s the Point?
OK. So we have listed out some of the “rules” when using social media sites. One of the rules was to not focus on what you can get out of it. Really? Then what is the point? Well, it’s simple. You’re looking to engage with your audience in an area of common interest.
I’ll offer an example of this in action with LinkedIn. If you were a manage of software engineers upon retirement and you’d like to get back into a similar role, how do you get started? On LinkedIn, you can join Groups, of which there are thousands. You’ll want to search on groups that match your interest in software development. Once you join, you’ll have an opportunity to connect with many others involved in or interested in the software development field. LinkedIn allows you to contact the person directly if you’re part of the same LinkedIn Group. You can also post content that can be viewed by everyone in the Group. Again, when you follow the principles, you’ll know not to post something like “Back in the game and looking for a software development leader position.” No! You’ll start out by “listening” to what others in the Group are saying and attempting to engage them directly. Once something is established, you can identify if an opportunity exists.