What are Social Networks?
Social Networks are basically every platform or service where you can communicate with each other instead of the website just providing information for you. There is the famous distinction between the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 as where in the 1.0 world everything was a one-way communication. You were only able to receive the News from the News sites but could not leave a comment or share it. With Web 2.0 exactly this is possible – You can finally communicate with everyone, everywhere. You can like, comment, share, plus 1, retweet, follow, pin, chat and much more.
The Web 2.0 has changed communication over the Internet forever. The most well known Social Networks are Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in the business world. The latter is the one we will be concentrating on as it is much underused and has an enormous potential in terms of building relationships.
Why do you need Social Networks for your job search?
Most of the people think that looking for a job on Social Networks only includes looking on the jobs posted there, which is not only wrong but also very short minded. If this was the case, why would there be a need for professional Social Networks if there are so many job boards already?
The main benefits of these platforms are the contacts that communicate, share and post content on them. These approximately 175 Million users on LinkedIn are the panacea for your job search. You will find almost any company on this platform you can think of, with a major part of their employees from the janitor to the CEO. Whether you need information about a company, a person working somewhere, the company culture or simply the job profiles, you will find it on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is also an amazing relationship management tool for job seekers. It stores all the contacts in one place, searchable and updated by the people itself instead of you keeping business cards that change every 6 months these days. You can broadcast messages, invite people to events and participate in groups as well as never forgetting their birthdays, because everything is stored on LinkedIn.
How do you use Social Networks to get a job?
As mentioned above, LinkedIn is the Social Network we will concentrate on to get the most results. Why LinkedIn? It has over 175 Million users of which over 50% are outside of the U.S. and is the biggest professional Social Network in the world. Furthermore for the most part, it has all the information you need for your job search in one place, linked to everything else. People are linked to companies and jobs, discussions are connected to people and all of this leads to someone in the end. “All roads lead to Rome” as the saying goes.
In the end you always want to connect with a person. If you apply for a job on an advert with no contact but the “Apply” button on it, you will never know if this job is for you before you receive an interview and therefore have to blindly apply to 100s of positions until you figure out if the company, job or company culture is suitable for you.
Depending on if you have an account already you can skip the next few steps and only optimise your profile. However, I urge you to read through or watch all the videos as you might have missed a step in the beginning.
Step 1 – Initial profile setup
First of all you must set up your LinkedIn profile properly and completely. The video below will explain step by step, how to set up an optimised LinkedIn profile.
How to Create a LinkedIn Profile (Part 1) by opace
How to Create a LinkedIn Profile (Part 2) by opace
Step 2 – Profile optimisation by Joy Schwartz from MSA Career Services
Step 3 – Groups
Now that you have your optimised profile you must start using it. Find some groups that interest you, in your industry, hobby, passion, profession or expertise. You should start out with 3-5 groups to join. Some groups are not open to the public and you need to wait for the approval. If you have to write an application to join, make sure it is compelling.
The video below will show step by step, how to find and leverage groups.
LinkedIn Groups (How to create and use LinkedIn Groups) by opace
Step 4 – LinkedIn Answers
To provide value and position yourself as an expert in your field, you should consider answering questions that your industry peers, customers, colleagues, potential employers or others ask. LinkedIn has a specific section for this which is highly valuable if used correctly. Unfortunately, most people do not use it or use it wrong. Here you will learn how to unleash the power of this tool. Watch the video below to find out the details.
Using LinkedIn Answers by MrInternetTips
Action steps for week 3
- Do all the steps outlined in the videos and make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized and you joined some groups.