Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be featuring some guest commentaries from the great professionals who’ve volunteered to speak at the Begin With Yes Careerfest scheduled for March 15th at White Mountains Community College in Berlin. This week’s entry is from the Division of Economic Development’s “social media guru” Allen Voivod of Epiphanies, Inc. Thanks for such a great commentary Allen!
Social networks influence our lives in countless and unexpected ways, including how we lose, find, and change jobs.
The stories are out there – good and bad. A Cleveland software architect profiled in Time Magazine who, after losing his position, landed a new one in just 11 days thanks to connections on Facebook and Twitter. A freelancer who lost out on a gig at Cisco because of an all-too-honest tweet.
There should be no surprises here – networking in real life also helps people land jobs faster, and people have been losing jobs for more than a decade thanks to ill-advised emails. But social networks put a much more powerful spin on these concepts in the world of work. So, how do you adapt? Here are five tips to help your cause.
1. Think like HR does. According to a recent survey of hiring professionals, more than 80% use online search and social media profiles to narrow down fields of job candidates. They even use online channels to find “passive candidates” – already employed people who’d consider a better deal at a different company. What will those hiring professionals find out about you?
2. Google yourself. Who does Google think you are? Do the results help or hurt? Regardless of what’s there now, you can affect those results by opening accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks. These sites are so popular, they routinely come up on the first page of search results. And search optimization studies show that most people don’t go past the first page on Google.
3. Privacy control. All social platforms offer privacy options to help you control what’s shared publicly and what’s kept private. Use them! Furthermore, you’re already careful about what job-related things you say via plain old email, right? Use that same standard of caution with your social networking updates, and you’ll be just fine.
4. Plan ahead. Develop your networks now, before you actually need them. Add content to social networking profiles, and grow them over time. Like many things in life, creating an effective online presence doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t wait until disaster strikes – build your safety net steadily, so it’s there to catch you when you need it.
5. Creation versus curation. So you have a Facebook profile, a Twitter handle, and LinkedIn account – now what? You feed it content that shows you care about the work you do. If you find creating content difficult to do on a regular basis, go for curation – finding and sharing content from other sources with your own network. Share an opinion about other people’s content, and you get both creation and curation in one shot.
Whether you’re currently employed or currently seeking work, managing your online presence, reputation, and personal brand is critical for your professional growth and potential. If you’re not visible online, you’re essentially invisible to the executive, headhunter, insider, benevolent connection, or hiring manager filling or creating a great position you want and deserve.
Allen Voivod is co-owner of Epiphanies, Inc., a social marketing and success strategies firm based in Gilford. He is one of five featured speakers at the upcoming “Begin With Yes Career Fest,” March 15th at White Mountains Community College. The event is free, but space is limited, so register now! Email email@example.com to attend in person, or go to http://bit.ly/NoBullStream on 3/15 to watch real-time video of the event.