Networking online is one of the best ways to find a job these days, and there are lots of different ways that you can network online. One article in the New York Times outlines how difficult it is to network for jobs if you don’t network online. In fact, the article notes that many colleges and continuing education programs are working to teach college students and graduates how to use online tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to network during their job searches.
If you’re wondering how you can use e-networking to find a new job, here are a few tips:
First, be present
The first key to e-networking is to actually start networking on major sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the site that’s meant for professional connections, but having networks on Facebook and Twitter can help, too. You can also choose to use one network, like Facebook, for personal connections while using Twitter and LinkedIn for professional connections.
Create your network
Creating a network on a social networking service isn’t hard, but you should be careful about who you network with. It’s better to have fewer connections with people who are actually going to help you than to be connected with hundreds of people you barely know. If you’re trying to build a connection with someone you’ve met in your professional circles in the real world, make sure they know who you are by re-introducing yourself when you make the e-network connection.
Ask for introductions
Check out friends of friends on different networks. On LinkedIn, for instance, you can click on the People tab to see if any of your acquaintances and friends know people at specific companies or in certain industries. Be polite, but don’t be afraid to use a mutual acquaintance to ask for an introduction to someone who could get you a job.
Update with job-related statuses
It’s important that you don’t just let your social networking accounts lie dormant, assuming that people will connect with you automatically. Use your social networks to give people updates on what you’re doing in your career. If you publish and article, attend a conference, give a speech, or do something else that would be considered good for your career, you should put it on your social networking sites. You can even send out a short email update to your contacts. Don’t be obnoxious by updating every five minutes, but don’t be afraid to use social networks for a little bit of self-promotion.
Keep tabs on your online reputation
It’s absolutely crucial that you keep track of your online reputation. More and more employers today will screen job candidates with a quick online search, and some will even pay specialists to actually do an in-depth online study of a job candidate before they’ll give out interviews. Preempt problems in this area by keeping pictures of last Friday’s wild party and negative mentions of yourself from popping up in a Google search. Your online reputation matters.
Keep your financial reputation clean, as well
Keeping your online reputation in social networks and blogs clean is important, and keeping your financial reputation clean is important, too. Depending on the job position and your state law, some potential employers will run a credit check on you before they’ll decide to hire you, so work on that as you’re working on your social reputation. Pull your credit report every few months to make sure it’s clear, and pay your bills and debts responsibly to keep your credit report squeaky clean.
How it lands you a job
So how does all this social networking land you a job? It could work in many ways. Being online makes you more visible to recruiters, and many professionals who use social networking end up being contacted by the recruiters before they’re even actively job searching. Social networking could also give you the hook-up with someone in your industry who can recommend you for a job in the future.
Daniela Baker is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey. Remember, using social networking to promote yourself and make business contacts is one of the best ways to boost your chances of getting a great job in the future. Visit Daniela’s blog at http://www.creditdonkey.com/for more everyday financial tips.
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