Guest post from Mary Fumento, regular guest contributor to Women Grow Business and a librarian by trade. She thinks and breathes digital libraries, resources, and technology. And on a great day, she writes about it all. Best yet, she likes to explain these resources to others on how they can help their work or enterprise.
Professional networks have never been more important.
Times are tough, and professional networks have never been more important. There’s no substitute for face-to-face interaction, but don’t ignore the Internet. It can help you find and stay in contact with former colleagues to share job opportunity information and to identify potential employers while giving them the chance to recognize you.
For job seekers
Internet job searches used to mean just placing resumes on job boards like Monster.com and searching job postings. Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter, and many others go far beyond that with new ones continually popping up.
Even back in 2007, 65 percent of business professionals claimed to be using such sites, with a third of them saying they used them in job searches.
#1 spot for job seekers, marketers, & salespeople
It’s impossible to keep up with them all, so don’t try.
LinkedIn is by far the #1 spot for job seekers, those currently employed, marketers who are looking to build lists and salespeople who are seeking out new clients, according to Me 2.0 author Dan Schwabel, who notes it has 35 million users including recruiters and job seekers.
Still, LinkedIn is not the only game in town.
Read up on some of the others like Mashable’s Top 10 Social Sites for Finding a Job
and join a handful that seem best to match your personal goals. Twitter may be fine for pure networking, but companies will go to sites on which you’re encouraged to post a resume or “profile.”
Look for things that are special to you, whether by location or job industry (image by ElyceFeliz, Creative Commons).
Sometimes there are regional resources like this terrific Ohio source.
For employers needing to hire
Employers use social sites in various ways, like creating Facebook and MySpace pages to feature their company’s appeal.
But currently their major use of these sites appears to be screening prospective employees. What people post can and will be used against them (as much as it can be used to their favor) i.e. that regretful spring break photo should be kept under private Facebook settings if one is seeking jobs…
Dissatisfied with results from Internet job boards, employers have turned to web 2.0 for recruiting instead. One article even quoted Matt Martone, Manager of Media Sales Strategy at Yahoo! HotJobs:
That’s what recruiting is about, networking and communicating, not screening thousands of unqualified resumes.
Web 2.0 is taking recruiters back to recruiting.
And in these hard financial times, what can businesses do to counsel their employees in the face of downsizing?
- Offer letter of reference; it will be a great reflection upon your company when it appears on the employee’s LinkedIn profile.
- Encourage professional networking.
- Foster professional development. Members of the Special Libraries Association, for example, are encouraged to participate in a 15-minute a day self-paced learning initiative called 23 Things based on professional development — Web 2.0 technologies and applications such as Second Life, wikis, podcasts, and so on.
The value of every network is the extent to which you can use it. Choose your tools carefully, and work them well!
It’s a New Me
Web 2.0 Tactics for Successful Job-Hunting
Deriving Value from LinkedIn
How To Boost Your Social Media Productivity – A Guide For Busy PeopleGoogle+