Finding a new job or career usually isn’t a priority until your employer makes it one for you. Layoffs, downsizing, outsourcing, and bankruptcies are more prevalent now than they’ve ever been. Here’s how to use social media to brace yourself for a sudden change.
It’s all About Who You Know
Life is about relationships. The more people you know, the more doors will open and the greater opportunities you’ll have. Establishing a presence online is a great way to build new relationships and maintain relationships with people you already know.
LinkedIn is a professional social network and a great place to begin. Contrary to popular belief, your employer will not think you’re trying to leave if you set up a profile. In fact, you become more valuable to your employer the more connected you are.
Build a Profile
The most important part of building your profile is to be real. We all know it’s you crafting the message, so write it in a conversational style. You can be professional, but be real at the same time. Your profile won’t get you hired, but it will kick off some great conversations.
Include an up-to-date professional photo in your profile. It’s easy for prospective employers to find you online. That photo of you cutting the rug at your friends wedding won’t cut it here.
List your current position along with dates. LinkedIn is dynamic so it will always show how long you’ve been there.
You have the ability to include where you went to school, what you studied, and your past experience. Fill in all of these areas as completely as you can, along with your summary.
Branch Out for More Relationships
Twitter and Facebook are two more networks where you can create a profile and network with other people. While not as professional in nature as LinkedIn, both of these networks are great places to establish a presence and show people what your outside-of-work interests are.
The same rule on posting applies here. Know who your followers are and assume that nothing is private online.
On most networks you can search for people you know by importing your email address book. In addition, search out and connect with people at companies you’d like to work with. Send them a note and tell them why you’d like to connect with them. You may be considered spam if don’t introduce yourself first.
Maintain a Connection
Once you’re connected to people it’s important to stay in touch. Check in often to see what your new friends are up to. Comment on their status and read about the projects they’re working on. If they know you well you might be the first choice when it comes time to hire, which will completely bypass the traditional application process.
Commit to spending 30 to 60 minutes online, at a minimum, each day. Setting up your profiles is not enough, but if you commit to building relationships, your career with thank you.
Justin Lukasavige is the host of Coach Radio, where he inspires his listeners to take action on doing what they love every day of their life.