How To Use Social Media To Find A Better Job (Part 3): Expand Your Network

Filed in Social Media 101 by on December 30, 2009 2 Comments

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Expand your network before you need it.

Sounds obvious right? But so many professionals get lazy and wait until they are laid off or out of work to network. Don’t be like one of them. Network now.

Think back to your college days. Remember how many people you met? Many of these people you still know or may even work with. College is a great time to network. Everyone is making big changes in their lives. People are finding themselves, looking for lovers and testing out career options. Everyone in college is networking (even if only for pure social reasons). A few years after college the networking stops. Well almost… there is still the awkward business card exchange at mixers.

In the current economy many have lost their jobs, spouses or worse. People are once again finding themselves and testing out new career options. Add to this the explosion of social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook and…BAM! You have the perfect opportunity as you look for a new job.

The greatest networking opportunity in the history of the world

Just like college, everyone is fighting to reinvent themselves. Right now, there is a brief window in the current economic climate where 95 percent of the working population is VERY open to meeting new business people. Networking is on the forefront of everyone’s mind, and you now have tools to help you do it faster and cheaper.

Tools you say?

Yes. Facebook – LinkedIn – Twitter… among others. You can connect with business people from all over the world from the comfort of your desk. There is NOTHING that can compare to a face-to-face interaction with someone, but don’t overlook the power of social media.

As you begin your new job search, I recommend focusing on two primary social media sites, Facebook and LinkedIn. Both of these sites are useful for networking professionally.

Starting Tips

Chances are you’ve already signed up for one or both of these services. If not, go and do that now. I’ll wait….

Hint: Be sure to use a personal email address to sign up for these services.  You don’t want to get laid off or quit your job in the future and have an account listed under an old work email.

Okay. Good. Now that you’ve created your accounts – be sure to import your email contacts and find other people in your contact list who are using these services. Send all of these people a connection/friend request and begin building your database.

On Facebook, segment your friends into lists so that you can keep your business friends separate from your family and personal friends. This will serve you well later if you want to keep business friends from seeing that photo of you sitting on the floor Christmas morning in your PJs.

Login to your LinkedIn account and search for groups in your industry. Join a few groups and begin entering into some discussions around the topics that you know about.

Action Steps

  1. Spend 10 minutes on Facebook organizing your “friends” into lists. For example: “friends,” “family,” “business associates,” “past clients,” “colleagues,” etc.
  2. Invite all your Outlook, Yahoo Mail and Gmail contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn.

If you are looking for a better job, there has never been a better time to expand your network. Start now and use the free social media tools available.  Now go take action.


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Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media and author of 21 Days To Twitter Leadership. He is a producer, author, and speaker who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.

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