Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, NoddlePlace.com…by now you have probably been exposed to at least one, if not more, of these sites. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest job search news, you’ve also probably been bombarded with cries to “network, network, network.” Well, networking as a job search tactic itself is obviously not new, but social networking and social media sites like Twitter (and NoddlePlace.com) are. And although these types of sites attract lots of users, not everyone knows how to use them effectively, especially when it comes to the job search.
To help you get the most out of NoddlePlace.com as well as Twitter, and the others, here are some basic tips. Obviously, each site is a little different in its focus, but some similar concepts apply to all of them.
1. Networking is a two-way street. Unfortunately too often we wait until we are in desparate need of something, like a job, to start building an effective network. And once that happens, then we scramble to tap into all of our resources. The problem, however, is that we forget the basic tenet of networking: Give and Take. People who understand that do well at networking in general and especially at social networking in particular. So don’t get on these social networking sites and be a taker only.
2. Don’t miss your chance to be generous to someone else. The main plea we hear at NoddlePlace.com from job seekers is that they don’t have a large network. However, when we encourage them to meet other job seekers and start networking with them, they don’t want to speak to them unless that person “has something for them.” Although it is certainly understandable, after all networking is a long, arduous process, it is also pretty short sighted. So along the same lines as #1, search out people on these sites that you might be able to offer some advice to or throw a job lead to. You don’t have to promise anyone a job, but maybe you could pass along their resume or recommend a headhunter you’ve worked with?
3. Don’t wait around to be noticed. Too often people sign up for social networking sites and then sit around and wait for someone to notice them. Or they simply fail to get involved. It’s kind of like attending a face-to-face event and then standing in the corner refusing to speak with anyone. It won’t be very effective for you. Look for forum areas or groups you can join and participate in. How does that lead to a job, you might ask? Most people on these sites are just like you, eager to meet other people, and they understand the “give and take” principle of networking. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to give you leads, recommend resources/recruiters, and help in any way they can.
4. Fill in your profile. Many people neglect their profiles on social media sites. If you aren’t willing to fill in the profile, then I am not sure you can expect these sites to work for you. Be sure to state clearly the position you are seeking, where, and in what industry.
As you can see, these tips all revolve around a simple theme: You get out of them what you put into them. No one is suggesting you spend all of your job search hours on social media alone, but you don’t want to neglect it either.
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