The Workforce Solutions blog this week has focused on the importance of networking. On Monday, David explained that networking is still alive and well in this digital age. Then Cornelius shared tips on accessing the “hidden” job market, building lasting relationships and overcoming the challenges of networking for people who aren’t naturally social.
In this final post of our weekly networking series, I want to provide some social networking pointers:
1. Social Networking should be a Supplement to In-Person Networking
Even though we live in a digital age, social networking should not replace in-person networking. It’s a great idea to “friend” people online that you already network with in person. This is a good way to expand your network.
2. Use it or . . .
Creating any social media account and then not actually utilizing it is a complete waste of time, and it can lower a prospective network contact’s opinion of you and your abilities.
Social networking should not be a full-time job. Spending 30 minute increments a few times a week should be sufficient to keep networking efforts up to date. Trying to connect with everyone on everything, or read and respond to every post, is exhausting. And it doesn’t typically improve your chances of making the right connections.
Trying to create and maintain an account on every social media site doesn’t seem feasible for most of us (especially if you’re following tips two and three). That means it’s a good idea to pick and choose which sites you will utilize and why. While all social media sites have positives and negatives, the big three when it comes to job searching are: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (in that order). For more information on how to utilize these tools as part of an effective job search, be sure to attend one of our Making Connections workshops.
When posting anything online, please keep an employer’s perspective in mind. As part of our young adult curriculum, we ask participants to review their social media presence through the eyes of an employer. Check out our Social Media Pit Stop for some eye opening tips. Remember, potential employers judge not just what you post but also the company you keep online!
Hopefully this week’s series has helped you understand the importance of networking both in-person and online as part of an effective job search.
Bobi Cook is the Regional Team Supervisor for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. She currently supervises and schedules the Facilitators and Navigators. She also utilizes her MBA and over ten cumulative years experience as a professional educator, quality systems manager within the automotive industry, and small business administrator to conduct job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast region which assist job seekers with developing and implementing successful job search campaigns.