Social Networks: The Key to Modern Career Networking

social networksNot getting the results you expected from online connections? Maybe it’s time you tried changing your approach to networking! Here’s how to use social networks to network and build new, long-term relationships…

You may have noticed more companies becoming active on social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Social networks are multifaceted tools being used to create awareness, promote and build relationships!

What if you tried using social networks to create awareness of your personal brand and to build new relationships? Social networks may not be the only solution to your job search woes but it just might help.

Networking Isn’t a Once-and-Done Task

People who are serious about managing their careers understand how important it is to have a pool of people to interact and share ideas with. This doesn’t just happen overnight. Pick up some of the habits of power networkers:

Smart job seekers focus on the needs, wants and desires of others and obsess less over the need to find a job.

Successful networkers know that when they show generosity toward others, it can and usually does come back to help them in the future.

LinkedIn Connections Can Power Your Success

LinkedIn can help you stay connected with people you’ve worked with and people you know. It also allows you to meet new people who work in companies you are interested in or in roles you aspire to be in. Savvy networkers realize you can’t just meet someone one time and expect results. The relationship needs to be nurtured. This can be done by monitoring LinkedIn in several ways:

  • Congratulate a connection on a new job
  • Share a connection’s status update, always giving him or her attribution
  • Compliment or give a shout-out to a connection by mentioning his or her name in your status update
  • Monitor a group’s discussion feed and look for opportunities to add to the conversation. You may have a different viewpoint, a success story to share or be able to offer help.

Facebook Friends Can Help

According to the Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, 76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. These social job seekers are mostly ages 30 to 39, college-educated, with annual incomes greater than $100,000.

Social job seekers report using Facebook to:

  • Find contacts sharing job opportunities
  • Tap contacts who could provide an employee perspective on a company
  • Share a job opportunity with a contact

Engage on Twitter

When you use an open network like Twitter, you can follow anyone you wish. And you can even send anyone a public message by tagging them (using the @[handle]).

Strategically follow people who work in companies you would like to work for. (You can use Twitter’s Advanced Search function to find people using the company name.) Once you start following these company insiders, you can and should:

  • Re-share appropriate tweets
  • Add your two-cents to the tweet if there is room
  • Reply to the person who shared a helpful tweet and explain why you liked it

If you do this with some regularity, the person will usually respond.

Continue to look for things you have in common, such as shared interests outside of work, colleges, cities of residence, etc. You can leverage any of these common interests to take the relationship to the next level. Most people who hang out on Twitter want to interact and build meaningful, worthwhile relationships.

Pinterest Is Your Portfolio

Pinterest is known for sharing visual content (pictures, infographics, etc), but you can use it to showcase links to your work or even your LinkedIn profile.

Instagram Shows Personality

Don’t dismiss the potential to convey your personality and interests through Instagram. If it is where you are active and sharing photos of your life (outside of work), then why not use it for your job search too?

However, if it isn’t something you want recruiters or hiring manager to find, be sure to use a profile name that will not easily identify you. In other words, do not use your name. And don’t use the same email address you use for your job search.

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Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!

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