The job market is a scary place right now. Those without jobs are desperate to find quality employment. People who do have jobs are desperate to keep them. One thing everybody seems to be experiencing is the lack of a safety net.
Melissa Giovagnoli, social media specialist and author of Graduate to LinkedIn, has built her company around social networking. She knows just how important it is for people to be their own brand in today’s Web 2.0 culture. Giovagnoli’s clients include Motorola and Disney. Her company, Networlding, specializes in social media and social networking in the business-to-business space.
Hard resumes are becoming more and more obsolete. Employers are now “Googling” potential employees and using social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Elance, to connect with future employees. People have to understand just how valuable building an online brand is vs. having a traditional resume.
“Networking online is everything,” Melissa recently said. “Some jobs a company may not post. Employers can be scanning candidates, without them even knowing, via professional groups online. You just never know when a job could be offered.”
A new generation of baby boomers are now being forced to step up their online game to compete for jobs with recent college graduates. The generation gap can be ever so apparent when it comes to online job seeking through networking. College graduates have to overcome the urge to post their party photos in public forums and baby boomers really need to pay attention to social media trends. Everyone has a unique perspective to consider when it comes to finding an employment connection online.
Through research, and some advice from Melissa Giovagnoli, I comprised a list of ten tips for effective social media networking.
- Always have a public profile with a non-controversial photo gallery and a biography that highlights your professional accomplishments.
- Spellcheck everything you publish.
- Join as many online professional groups which apply to your trade or industry as you can, and update your status daily.
- Learn how to properly use Twitter and don’t update too frequently or infrequently.
- Understand the importance of LinkedIn, if not for connecting with professionals in search of job opportunities then for the professional connections for when you land the job!
- If you must post party photos, off-color jokes, updates on your athlete’s foot (hopefully not), or anything that is not “office appropriate,” then set up two social media accounts. Your professional accounts should go under your real name and your friends and family account under a nickname. But remember, anything you post for the friends and family account can still make its way onto Google. Be careful!
- Write a blog, and not just for yourself. Yahoo! Associated Content and Blogcritics are great places to start sharing your expertise while gaining an audience and possible employment connections.
- Don’t spam people. Sending out your resume to 10 people you haven’t spoken with in the last 30 days is spamming. People will get annoyed and you never know who is, or will become, a hiring manager.
- If you get an invite to a social event, even outside of your industry, go! Social media invites are great ways to connect with people outside of the Web 2.0 culture. Again, you never know who you are going to meet and what opportunities may come your way.
- Don’t get discouraged. Looking for a job online can cause distraction and sometimes depression. Stay focused, stay positive, and stay hopeful.