Remember, when we discussed about ‘finding jobs through personal reference’? Now what exactly is a reference?
Reference is a good word that someone known to us puts for us because he already knows about us and strongly believes that we could be a good fit for that role in his organization.
Before the advent of social media, reference was only through personal contacts developed out of personal circles like relatives or friends, or past bosses with whom you shared a good rapport or previous colleagues with whom relationship is more friendly but after the internet started buzzing with social networking websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter etc, the scope of networking and opportunities to create knowledge based networks has widened greatly.
Let’s discuss the most important such networks available.
LinkedIn – If you are a progressive career oriented professional and still not on LinkedIn, trust me, this is one of the biggest mistake you have made. LinkedIn is a website, which I perceive, as a network created truly for professional development reasons and I am sure that you would agree to my statement once you go through this website.This site is good not only for hunting job but also to find professionals for your hiring purposes.
Ways to Create Network
1. Company Search: You know the companies with in your industrial segment so search them out. Find out who’s who in that company. See, if you know someone already linked to one or more people working there and that’s it – Get yourself introduced.
2. Person Search: You already know someone working with company you wish to join. Search him out and chances are great that you would find him. Check his network and you would surely find someone you already know. Again – Get yourself introduced.
3. Job Posting: Recruitment consultants as well as the company Human resource Departments have also started posting job openings on LinkedIn. Search and apply to the most relevant ones.
4. Communities and Discussion Groups: Place to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in your field. You never know who’s gaining interest in your inputs or articles related to your field and someday you may get a call directly for the job you always wanted.
1. It’s a more precise and serious platform. While Facebook is more of a private affair, LinkedIn is way more targeted towards professional linkages.
2. The network can see your entire profile and you can use it like a virtual CV.
3. You can find people with in the industry who can recommend or endorse you and it easily works to your benefits as it provides for a positive reference check.
4. Each and every professional movement can be monitored.
5. You can find common people in the network and get yourself introduced through your connections which ensures easy and convenient acceptability.
Facebook: Facebook primarily is used to get connected with people with in your friends’ circles, relatives or people you already know. It is considered more private than professional or public. Still, it can be used in many ways to create the network.
The key benefits are:
1. You can always share your skills, thoughts, experiences, blog articles (if you have a blog) or simply a discussion going on which enhances people’s trust in your capabilities.
2. There may be many people in your friends’ circle who are working in other companies and could be in LinkedIn network of your prospective hiring managers. It creates an easy reference.
Twitter: Twitter is an excellent way to get connected to people whom you don’t know and have no information about. Tweet regularly about your favourite subjects. Create cross-links and sharing with in these three portals. More the number of followers you have on twitter, more confidence people will have in your work.
No matter which medium you chose, it all comes to one conclusion i.e. your objective, the objective of reaching wider network of professionals, develop faith of others in your capabilities and quicken the process of hiring.
There are many other such websites like Google+, MySpace and Pinterest which again fulfill the same purpose, however, I have discussed the more prominent ones and in my opinion, LinkedIn is most suitable, yet Facebook and Twitter activities can support LinkedIn relationships in a major way.
But just like any other activity, this also has certain Dos and Don’ts.
Almost 30% of employers are checking social networking sites about the prospective candidates and the number is increasing by 10% per quarter but how many actually build their profiles keeping employers in mind? Well, don’t look at others, just look at yourself.
Why do the employers check online profiles of the candidates?
- to check candidates’ culture fit.
- attitude towards work, life, current company, bosses etc.
- photographs depicting candidates in negative light.
- any other thing, event or photograph which can put a question mark on a candidate’s culture, behaviour or other social skills.
Keep in mind the following Dos and Don’ts, in case you are seriously looking forward to hunt for a job through social networking.
Do keep your profile updated
Do join relevant communities and groups.
Do make sure there are no differences between your resume and online profiles like LinkedIn.
Do Google your name and check what else is online about you and remove or edit that, else you could find yourself rejected or even fired from current job.
Do plan your network and start building relationships today, even if you may need it tomorrow.
Do let everyone know, that you are looking out. (but only if your current boss is under confidence, the chances for that would be rare)
Don’t ever comment or tweet negatively for your current company or boss.
Don’t just join communities and groups just for the sake of joining, regularly contribute also.
Don’t put any pictures or use any language which may put you in trouble.
Don’t forget to keep your public and private profile separate.
Don’t lie about any achievement because it will be cross-checked.
Most Important Tip: I once attended a seminar where the presenter gave an extremely thought provoking example. He gave examples of two kinds of people.
Hunters: who hunt today, cook and eat and have to hunt again. A short term approach.
Farmers: who work hard today, sow the seeds, irrigate, grow crops and eat for months.
So be a farmer when it comes to social networking websites. Don’t think whether you need it today or not for ‘you will surely need it tomorrow‘. Moreover, personal reference comes from trust which takes years to develop.