Social Network Yourself
Into Your Next Job
By Leah O’Flynn,
Executive Recruiter, IT Division
A majority of employers have no formal policy regarding the use of external social networking sites. Nonetheless, work hours or work computers are in most cases not the right time or property to be using to prospect and communicate about your job search. The risk is that your cohorts, your boss, or your future boss may question your priorities and loyalties, and have grave doubts about your effectiveness and your focus.
That said, networking is a professional social activity that you really should be doing all the time, not just when you are looking for a job. Presenting an engaging, responsive, solutions-oriented attitude towards all people you interact with will win you a good image and reputation.
Effectively communicating what you do and how you did it well, without flaunting or bragging, is the way to remain in people’s minds when they need a professional of your talents. Social media lends itself to this kind of communication. Of course, no proprietary or confidential information sharing would be appropriate, but tooting horns and celebrating public wins are ideal communications.
Did you just help you company release a new product? Tweet it and mention what your contribution was or how your team overcame obstacles in getting it to market on time and on budget. Were sales goals exceeded this quarter? Post to LinkedIn to announce the great news and link back to your company’s press release on the subject, add a line about how your targets were met and give recognition to the new customers you made along the way.
Publicly congratulating colleagues in other companies for their wins on social and professional media is another way to connect with people. Showing your interest in their career and their company’s success is a great way to build relationships and remain top of mind. Just as companies brand themselves, you can brand yourself as a professional as someone who is on top of industry developments and spreading the love.
Stay in the loop. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for keeping up to date on past colleagues and what they are up to now. Stay in touch with contemporaries from seminars, training sessions or past education, they may know about exciting new opportunities. Has someone you once worked with just changed jobs, perhaps they can recommend you for the place they vacated or the new company may need to hire a couple more folks? Perhaps that nice sales rep you met on the plane works at a company that just opened a new office, reach out and find out how they are going to staff it! Watch your recruiter’s social and professional media; the new priority hires will be broadcast. Your constructive and timely dialogue will enhance your brand with all social media interconnectivity.
Lastly, keep your profile “clean” and up to date. Companies, and individuals at those companies, are using social media, whether it is for a formal recruitment process or just because they are as curious as the next person. Google yourself and make sure the results accurately portray your professional brand.
As of mid-2010, social networking already accounted for 22% of all time spent online in the US. So whether you are engaging in a professional capacity or a recreational capacity, be professional, brand yourself, create and participate in constructive dialogue, celebrate successes (yours and others’). Do this whether you are actively looking for a job or not.
Executive Recruiter, IT Division
Leah O’Flynn is an executive IT recruiter. Born in Dublin, raised in New Jersey, her gypsy ways have taken her on many a random journey. Leah has two degrees; one in Journalism and Media Studies, the other in History. Her love of working with people has made her a natural at recruiting.