Networking online gives graduates access to an otherwise hidden job market, and a large proportion of graduates are already actively pursuing these opportunities. Maintaining a professional presence on LinkedIn, Twitter and facebook will give job seekers a major advantage. Read more on my previous article on The hallmarks of Personal Branding online because it matters in your success here.
Here’s my advice on how to use various platforms.
Build a network with industry experts, professors, people who share the same interests, and people you have encountered in professional occasions. Recommendations can help a job seeker to validate and promote his/her personal brand on this platform so seek one from your previous boss, Peers and colleagues in companies you have worked in. Ensure you also complete your entire profile, such that it says “100% complete.” The other cool thing on LinkedIn is “See who Viewed Your profile”. It notifies you who checked out your profile, the company they work for and further shows how many times your name pops up in searches on the platform. This shows that people are interested and checking you out.Better still it gives you names of people who visited your profile and which companies they are from and I send messages to the people to engage them better and ask for opportunities. Depending on your connections and industry LinkedIn also suggests jobs that you may-be interested in. You can also join professional groups in your industry because members do post vacancies there. Participate in discussions on these discussions too. Finally, follow companies that you may be interested in working for because once in a while they post opportunities on their pages. You also get a chance to connect and forge new relationships with employees working in the company already.
Twitter has become the ultimate utility to connect directly with recruiters and employees at companies you want to work for. I use it to follow people who didn’t accept my friend request on Facebook or experts who have already reached their friend limits. This helps me see what they tweet about and engage them once in a while. The best time to be on Twitter is early in the morning (6-9am) when guys are most active and discussing important issues. I also check into twitter in the evening to see what experts in my industry are talking about abroad. The beauty with twitter is you can customize your profile and get a username that perfectly depicts what you do. Look at my twitter handle here @Kenyanmarketer
In case you are not on twitter, after you create your profile start following other people and companies in your industry. Perform keyword searches related to what you do and start following 100 to 200 of those people each day. Start tweeting about topics related to your industry you’ll notice that after a few days 20 to 30% of the people you follow will follow you back. You can start manually un-following the people who don’t follow you back or if you don’t have the time you can use a service like Tweet Adder. Remember it’s not about the numbers, so don’t follow 10,000 yet you just have 50 following you back (I made this mistake too). Share content in your area of expertise; give value to others, that way people can follow you back!
Just before I dive into discussing on how you use this tool in job seeking, I want to share with you the Implication of the facebook timeline that we are in or being migrated into. One can easily check who you were in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 20011 with just one CLICK! You did post dirty stuff while you were in campus, before you got saved or quit drinking and it’s all there and so accessible! So it’s advisable to go back there and clean it up!!! Your employer might as well take a LOOK!
Here’s what you do:
Friend thought leaders in your industry. Although a large percentage of the people will not accept your friend request, at least 10% of them do. Start engaging with your audience by posting stuff on your wall more so about industry news and events related to your sector. To create the most engagement post things that are short and during times you think your “target friends” are online. Updates that end with a question encourage interactivity and encourage a discussion. Start commenting on your friends updates .If you leave a good comment most people check your profile! I do this so often especially to ‘friends’ that I haven’t met drive traffic them to my profile. These vary from business people I admire, journalists and guys in the 25-45 year bracket in my list who hold good positions in the corporate world who once in a while post opportunities on their profile. Another good way is to comment on business pages that have massive traffic. The beauty of this is if I leave a good, well thought comment, Like Minded people send me friend requests. Once I accept them I nurture the relationship, get to know them better. I have been able to meet several amazing people this way. Business pages also do post jobs and vacancies so please like the pages too! Finally remember your profile is not a BILLBOARD. Do not promote whatever you sell 24/7. People hate THAT. The more you share valuable content i.e. less marketing messages, the more you get in return. Be sure you only share content that adds value to your community – content which they’ll find useful
I have written about blogging in my previous post; it’s a nice way of sharing your thoughts professionally and in a better manner. It also helps you build credibility and reputation and shows your expertise on a certain field. It’s a good way of showing you understand certain topics or issues in an industry. As your blog grows and you have good hits, if people like what you are talking about you can land major contracts, make revenue from adsense and recognition. As a blogger you’ll often have to do a lot of research online as you write your posts; so it’s a good way of ensuring that you read widely on topics you blog about.This is beneficial to you because you add on to your knowledge and sharpen your skills.
You can also write guest blog posts on other blogs and leave comments on blogs that you read. If people feel that your comments are detailed and insightful not only will they keep on reading your comments, typically they’ll also head over to your blog or connect with you.
Construct a video resume and upload it. You may also create a Youtube Channel where you post all your videos besides the resume depending on the industry you are in. Very few people have good video resume actually, so they serve as a differentiator in the recruiting process. A good video resume is short, describes the value you can contribute to a given position, explains why you’re the best person for the job and talks about your background in a story-like format. If you are a designer, photographer, artist this would really work for you. You may also place samples of your work on the video. If you are coach, consultant or an expert in some field, uploading “How to Tutorials” will do.
Then place your Keep in Touch system on the video. Do you want people to follow you on Twitter? Should they email you?
Next week I will write on Social Media Etiquette. I hope by now you realize how important social media in your life. The article shall basically highlight on things you shouldn’t do on Social Media. There are a lot of small things that you assume that leave the wrong impression of you.
The writer is a Blogger, Marketer, Speaker and a Social Media Specialist based @KenyanMarketer and read more about him www.muthurikinyamu.blogspot.