You’re probably familiar with the old job search adage that landing a job is all about “who you know.” Well, this still rings true. However, “who you know” has changed quite a bit.
It’s not just about networking connections via family, friends or your college’s alumni base. With the surge in social networking for job search purposes, your network has grown to include casual acquaintances as well as total strangers. So how can you put this new network to use for your job search?
Build a professional online profile. By now, you no doubt have a casual online presence of photo albums, tweets and status updates. You need to do the same from a professional standpoint. There are plenty of websites, including Spark Hire, on which you can post your academic and work experience as well as your professional goals. This gives potential employers a chance to see what you’ve done and what you want to do.
Create a video resume. When you’re networking face-to-face or being referred for a job by a family friend, it’s easy for your personality to be communicated. The same cannot be said online — unless you’re enhancing your online presence with a video resume. These minute-long videos can provide potential employers with insight into how you present yourself and provides you the chance to showcase yourself and your skills outside of your resume. You can create a video resume on Spark Hire as well.
Follow your industry online. Don’t just follow job postings online; follow key players in your industry. At this time, employers and industry leaders have a pulse on social media. They may have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. And if you’re lucky, they may be social media pioneers, providing brand exposure across several social media platforms. It’s important that you follow these companies to be in the know as to what they’re doing and what’s happening in the industry.
Reach out to and foster relationships. Lastly, don’t just sit on the sidelines and watch. Developing your “who you know” network online requires you to be an active participant. Follow companies and industry leaders, and then engage with them. This shows that you’re willing to take the initiative and that you’re passionate about not only getting involved but growing. Just as it would be in person, potential employers are going to be interested in a go-getter. And with a professional online presence to back that up, you’ll reap the benefits of your online network in no time.
How do you develop a professional presence in the digital world? Share with us in the comments!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by quapan