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BY Fairygodboss

5 Ways to Get a Job Using Your Personal Network and Social Media

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Photo credit: Creative Commons

TAGS: Networking, Social media, Job search

If you’re looking for a job, chance are that someone, somewhere will tell you that you need to “network.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with networking, that term conjures up the unfortunate mental image of going to a college alumni event, wearing a nametag and holding a cheap glass of white wine in your hand while trying to strike up awkward conversations with a perfect stranger with their own name-tag and security beverage. 

Here are five ways to avoid (or at least postpone) that kind of networking:

1. Ask Your Network to Introduce You To Smart, Connected People.

When people say they got a job “through someone they knew” most of the time, they are not being literal. In other words, it’s not usually your first-degree connections that hire you. After all, those people are your aunt or uncle, or friend from college. However, it’s not uncommon for your personal network to be connected to someone else that is going to make a hire. Reach out to people in your personal network to tell them you’re looking for a job and would like to meet smart, connected people they know who might have advice to give you.

If you’re focused on a specific industry or job role that you’re breaking into, you can be more specific and ask for introductions to people who will share a bit about their career path with you. It’s more natural and easier to break the ice to get someone to take a meeting to share knowledge with you rather than set something up for the purpose of a directly asking them to help you get a job.

2. Don’t Just Follow! Develop Relationships Via Social Media.

You can use Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook here. Employers increasingly have a career presence on social media and understand that they will attract candidates through these channels. You can comment, like, retweet, and share content in order to “build a social media relationship” with your target connections. If your list is long (and ambitious) enough, and you have quality interactions, you will be surprised at both (a) how much you will learn about your prospective job, industry and employer but also (b) how one day someone will respond to your Direct Message/Inmail/Comment about a job opening that you are interested, or an idea you have for the company’s business.

3. Become the Connector. In Real-Life and Online.

It might sound absurd to add another “to do” to your plate while you’re already busy enough trying to get hired. But sometimes the most effective path to a goal is not linear.. In other words, use your new social media relationships and newly developed acquaintances to suggest connections for others. They are doing you a favor by spending time thinking about your job needs, or reading your social media content. Do them a favor in return by giving them ideas or new people to get to know (or follow, if this is a virtual relationship). This also makes it more likely that you and your needs (a new job) stays more top-of-mind in a couple weeks when the memory of your last coffee meeting has faded into the background. You want to stay relevant and one way to expand your relevance is to bring new people - followers, connections, resources, etc -- into these people’s lives.

4. Prepare Yourself to be Shameless.

Last but not least, broadcast your intentions. It may sound obvious, but nobody is a mind reader. If you’re using your personal network and social media to get your next job, that means you should not be dropping hints or beating around the bush. Tell your friends, family, ex-colleagues, and reasonably familiar acquaintances that you are looking for a job. Send them an email with the words “I’m looking for a new job” written clearly and at the beginning of the note.. And tell them again if you need to remind them over coffee or lunch! As difficult as it may be for those of you who instinctively hold things close to the vest, this is no situation for shyness or subtlety.

5. Don’t Stop Doing This When You Get a Job

If you’re about to land the job you’ve been wanting (or even a stop-gap, temporary gig while you keep looking for “the one”), don’t think that all the new relationships and social media effort goes on ice. Getting a job seems like a short-term goal, but with the average job tenure being less than 5 years these days for millennials, there is nothing “one off” or “temporary” about your job search. Face it: the situation is that most professionals these are days are almost all in a near-perpetual state of looking for their next role. Sure, you can tone down the rate of your emails and informational coffee meetings, and be less active on social media, but you should be wary of abandoning everything you’ve invested in. You never know when the next opportunity is going to come your way, and you don’t want to wait until you’re absolutely in a bind to start up that old engine again. Think of these efforts as a fitness routine for your career. You would never quite let things go entirely, even if you’ve hit a short-term weight loss goal so why stop cold-turkey when it comes to your career?

A version of this article was originally published on Elle.com

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Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

Related Community Discussions

  • I am trying to change career paths. I was laid off in Nov. 2016. I spoke with a master resume writer yesterday who recommended an entirely new resume, LinkedIn overhaul, valuation letter and summary/biography all for close to $3000. I also received a call for an interview for a part-time job, $10/hour, no benefits. Needless to say I burst into tears by the end of the day.

    I had high hope when I obtained my law degree (especially after working full-time & attending night classes). I've tried contacting the law school and my undergrad career centers but have received only nominal assistance. They both wished me luck, gave me login's to their job portals and had nothing more to suggest.

    Someone mentioned networking & I agree that is an option but here in Michigan is comes with a fee to attend events, seminars or join associations. I understand we are all trying to make money but I graduated from law school during the recession and have 6 figures in student loans. I also am running out of unemployment.

    The master resume writer explained only 15% of people get hired from online applications. Is that true? If so then why are we even bothering with an online system at all? She suggested I find the hiring manager & connect with that person. The hiring manager is sometimes 2 people deep in the company so how do I find the person who told HR that they need a person for X job?

    I've reached out to people on LinkedIn and have not gotten much response or advice. Are there any mentors or HR people that can suggest anything that is free? My mom thinks I should go back to school but with a BA and JD that I am still paying for adding to the debt with no promises that another degree will land me a job doesn't seem wise.

    I am frustrated, disheartened and angry that the process of finding a job has become so convoluted but understand why it has. I've read so many articles on LinkedIn that they conflict with one another...you need a cover letter, no you need a pain letter, don't bother you don't need these because HR won't read it. Your resume needs skills, don't list your skills, list dates, don't list dates, take off references. Which article do I believe? Adding insult to injury the unemployment agency here requires your resume to be uploaded to the talent network. Do you know what companies contacted me expressing interest in my skill-set? Tru-Green lawn care as a fertilizer sprayer and a local manufacture as a line-worker. Is that all I am capable of and are they even reading my resume?

    If there is anyone out there who can help please respond and as 1 talk-show host says everyday at the end of her show remember to "be king to one another".

  • Does anyone here work for Earnst & Young? I see their communications department is hiring for multiple roles I think I'm qualified for. I'd like to learn more "inside scoop" from a current or former employee. Also looking to learn more about how this department is structured so I can figure out which of the positions I should apply for. Don't want to apply for all of them and have it look as if I'm spamming them with my resume.

  • Does anyone here work for Earnst & Young? I see their communications department is hiring for multiple roles I think I'm qualified for. I'd like to learn more "inside scoop" from a current or former employee. Also looking to learn more about how this department is structured so I can figure out which of the positions I should apply for. Don't want to apply for all of them and have it look as if I'm spamming them with my resume.

  • Any advice for someone searching for work during their first trimester of pregnancy? I currently work with a temp agency for income and am applying for my next role. From what I've read on the boards, it seems that most women are firmly established at their companies but I was forced to look for a new role outside of my former company due to a health condition. They were unwilling to move me to a different role within the company. Any suggestions on how to navigate the next 4-6 months before giving birth?

  • The previous post is a hard act to follow, but here goes: Within a week or two, I will be laid off from the ad agency where I work. Unfortunately, this is a hazard of working at an agency. If the agency loses a major client (or, as in our case, two), staff are let go. For me, this is deja vu; at my last job, also at an agency, we lost a major client and 11 staffers were laid off (including me).

    The advertising industry skews quite young. I laugh when I see a job posting for a "senior" copywriter requiring only three years of experience (I have more than 20).

    While I am seeking a permanent, full-time position either remotely or in the Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey region, I am considering going freelance. I have had a freelance business on the side for decades, but never made the leap.

    So, if anyone has advice on making a living as a freelancer, let me know. Or, if you have any ideas on how to "spin" my experience in a positive way, please share. (And if you want to send a job offer my way, that's OK, too!)

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5 Ways to Get a Job Using Your Personal Network and Social Media

5 Ways to Get a Job Using Your Personal Network and Social Media

If you’re looking for a job, chance are that someone, somewhere will tell you that you need to “ network .” While there is absolutely no...

If you’re looking for a job, chance are that someone, somewhere will tell you that you need to “network.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with networking, that term conjures up the unfortunate mental image of going to a college alumni event, wearing a nametag and holding a cheap glass of white wine in your hand while trying to strike up awkward conversations with a perfect stranger with their own name-tag and security beverage. 

Here are five ways to avoid (or at least postpone) that kind of networking:

1. Ask Your Network to Introduce You To Smart, Connected People.

When people say they got a job “through someone they knew” most of the time, they are not being literal. In other words, it’s not usually your first-degree connections that hire you. After all, those people are your aunt or uncle, or friend from college. However, it’s not uncommon for your personal network to be connected to someone else that is going to make a hire. Reach out to people in your personal network to tell them you’re looking for a job and would like to meet smart, connected people they know who might have advice to give you.

If you’re focused on a specific industry or job role that you’re breaking into, you can be more specific and ask for introductions to people who will share a bit about their career path with you. It’s more natural and easier to break the ice to get someone to take a meeting to share knowledge with you rather than set something up for the purpose of a directly asking them to help you get a job.

2. Don’t Just Follow! Develop Relationships Via Social Media.

You can use Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook here. Employers increasingly have a career presence on social media and understand that they will attract candidates through these channels. You can comment, like, retweet, and share content in order to “build a social media relationship” with your target connections. If your list is long (and ambitious) enough, and you have quality interactions, you will be surprised at both (a) how much you will learn about your prospective job, industry and employer but also (b) how one day someone will respond to your Direct Message/Inmail/Comment about a job opening that you are interested, or an idea you have for the company’s business.

3. Become the Connector. In Real-Life and Online.

It might sound absurd to add another “to do” to your plate while you’re already busy enough trying to get hired. But sometimes the most effective path to a goal is not linear.. In other words, use your new social media relationships and newly developed acquaintances to suggest connections for others. They are doing you a favor by spending time thinking about your job needs, or reading your social media content. Do them a favor in return by giving them ideas or new people to get to know (or follow, if this is a virtual relationship). This also makes it more likely that you and your needs (a new job) stays more top-of-mind in a couple weeks when the memory of your last coffee meeting has faded into the background. You want to stay relevant and one way to expand your relevance is to bring new people - followers, connections, resources, etc -- into these people’s lives.

4. Prepare Yourself to be Shameless.

Last but not least, broadcast your intentions. It may sound obvious, but nobody is a mind reader. If you’re using your personal network and social media to get your next job, that means you should not be dropping hints or beating around the bush. Tell your friends, family, ex-colleagues, and reasonably familiar acquaintances that you are looking for a job. Send them an email with the words “I’m looking for a new job” written clearly and at the beginning of the note.. And tell them again if you need to remind them over coffee or lunch! As difficult as it may be for those of you who instinctively hold things close to the vest, this is no situation for shyness or subtlety.

5. Don’t Stop Doing This When You Get a Job

If you’re about to land the job you’ve been wanting (or even a stop-gap, temporary gig while you keep looking for “the one”), don’t think that all the new relationships and social media effort goes on ice. Getting a job seems like a short-term goal, but with the average job tenure being less than 5 years these days for millennials, there is nothing “one off” or “temporary” about your job search. Face it: the situation is that most professionals these are days are almost all in a near-perpetual state of looking for their next role. Sure, you can tone down the rate of your emails and informational coffee meetings, and be less active on social media, but you should be wary of abandoning everything you’ve invested in. You never know when the next opportunity is going to come your way, and you don’t want to wait until you’re absolutely in a bind to start up that old engine again. Think of these efforts as a fitness routine for your career. You would never quite let things go entirely, even if you’ve hit a short-term weight loss goal so why stop cold-turkey when it comes to your career?

A version of this article was originally published on Elle.com

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

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