The importance of using social media and social networking to land a job is easy to see. More employers are using these networks to find key employees. Rather than big job boards, many employers want to network to find the candidate that is right for them in the employment pool. However, there is a very fine line here. If you do not take the time to walk that tightrope properly, you could end up annoying your connection so much, so that they “de-friend” you.
Where’s the Balance?
Social media websites and tools do help candidates land jobs. You should use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter to find positions and to network with companies you would like to work with in the future. Social media does have some rules you will need to follow in order to make it work for you.
- Realize that anything you say in social media because an element of your relationship with a prospective employer, even if they legally cannot use it to not hire you. If you sour a relationship because of the bad language or behavior on a social site, do not expect that connection to think highly of you.
- Offer something of value rather than just saying, “Hi” all the time. If you find a news piece you think is valuable to the business or you want to congratulate a contact about an award, do so. Do not make small talk without any value over the social media wires, though.
- Get to know your social contacts at the level they wish to get to know you. Do not force yourself on them. For example, you may be able to meet for drinks or lunch but do not insist on doing it every month. By meeting for a quick coffee, you will still be fresh in their mind if a position opens up, but you are not trying to sell yourself in the process.
- Do not force yourself on those who are your enemies. Not every network connection is going to be someone that you like or get along with in person. If you do have a problem with someone, keep it professional. Do not use social media as a way to convince them that you are a good guy. If they do not like you already, networking with them will not lead to a good recommendation for you in the long term anyway.
Staying connected through social networking is a fantastic way to ensure you remain fresh in the minds of those who may have a job position open for you down the road. In many situations, the goal here is not to consistently ask for the job. Rather, it is just to keep your name in their mind’s eye so that when a position opens up, they think of you first.
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