How To Get A “Friend Of A Friend” To Help You In Your Job Search

October 24, 2009 at 8:52 am Leave a comment

While I’m no longer in Recruitment, I continue to receive requests from people to connect their friends/peers/family with potential hiring managers within my network. With the increasing number of pro bono requests in the last year coupled with the increasing demands of my family and career, it gets more and more difficult to find the time to meet these individuals for a quick meet-and-greet.

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite selective with whom I choose to refer. It doesn’t matter if you’re my friend, relative, or previous boss–I still have to “screen” you before I refer you. But what if I’ve never met you? Maybe you live too far away or perhaps our schedules won’t ever meet, then what? Enter Social Media.

LinkedIn: I was able to connect, interact, and learn more about other people’s referrals mainly through the group discussions and Q&A section on LinkedIn. As a matter of fact, I have found it very beneficial to immediately send a LinkedIn invitation to people whom I have met at various networking events. Of course, it’s always best (and polite) to customize your message before sending the invite.

Twitter: Your tweets and retweets say a lot about you! Your twitter activity can quickly reveal your personality or even your knowledge and expertise re: a certain field. Be sure to stay transparent when engaging in conversations and don’t self-promote yourself too much because that can quickly turn people off. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know everything…and that you’re willing to learn as you seek answers and/or additional training. Don’t forget to add an interesting bio and website (i.e. blog) so that people can learn more about you.

Blog: Among many things, blogs showcase your knowledge, skills, and abilities. This includes (and of course, is not limited to) your writing ability, creativity, style, character, etc. Your blog can also be a one-stop shop that provides links to your other social media profiles, i.e. LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. You can easily create a blog for FREE via Google Blogger or wordpress.com. Blogger is pretty straightforward and user-friendly, especially if you’re just now familiarizing yourself with blogging. Remember to set up Google Analytics so you can analyze your traffic and your audience. WordPress.com is good, too, and it has its built-in analytics. Actually, I like both equally. I’m sure there are others out there (I’m willing to learn!) but these are the two that I’m most familiar with.

Flickr: If you enjoy photography (don’t worry if you’re just a beginner, amateur or whatever), create a Flickr account. Who knows? The person you’re trying to connect with may just happen to have the same interests as you! Post a Flickr badge/widget on your blog so that your readers will quickly see a snapshot of your work!

YouTube: Did you know that YouTube is now the second largest search engine next to Google? I do lots of searches on Google, YouTube, and even Twitter, myself! You can post your own version of “How-To’s”, photo slides, videoclips, etc. on there. Have fun!

Facebook: Some people use Facebook for networking purposes, and that’s fine. While I’m completely transparent in all of my blogs, tweets, posts, etc., I prefer to keep my Facebook account private and limited to friends and family. I may change that later…or maybe not…it just depends. I have to be flexible and keep an open mind! When I was in Recruitment, many applicants tried to “friend” me on Facebook. I had to politely ignore the request, if there’s such a thing. Sorry, please do not comment on my Wall to follow-up re: your job application.

There are many more examples of how you can leverage social media in your job search/networking efforts. You don’t have to have a presence in all of them. Carefully choose what works best for you. The last thing you want is to have so many accounts out there when you can barely maintain one or two. You need a life, too 🙂

Remember, it’s about building relationships (it’s not all about the numbers), and that involves a give-and-take process. Seek ways on how you can “give”, first…and the opportunities will follow. “What you sow, you reap.”

Feel free to share your thoughts and job search/networking experiences with me! Aloha…

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Entry filed under: Job Search, Networking, Social Media. Tags: , , , , .

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