By Carole Martin
It appears, from studies conducted over the past few years that women are more actively involved in using Social Media Networking then men. They have more Facebook and Twitter pages, and they are blogging away!
Not a big surprise – women have been “natural-born-networkers” since the beginning of time and when social media became available it was an opportunity to connect – not only in the local community but to reach out to a global network of women (and men, of course).
With women running 70% of home-based businesses out of the 34.3 million home offices in the U.S. that is talking about a lot of outreach and power. So, it may have been the men who started social media networking, but it is the women who are using it to their fullest advantage.
In this tough job market it is necessary for everyone to use the same types of resources and networking to find employment as they have always done – only this time the reach is expanded by social media networking.
The majority of all jobs (70-80%) are found through “networking.” So women (and men) must revert to the best ways to get a job in 2011 and that is to get out there and network, network, network. This means spending a certain amount of time on Facebook, Linked-in, or Twitter – every day. But, it is a mistake to rely solely on social media to find a job. The problem is that recruiting and finding jobs through social media is still in the early stages of development.
Supplement your search by attending as many live events as possible. Connecting in-person is still the most effective way to connect with other people. And connecting with people is still the #1 means of getting a job.
Where? Everywhere – meetings, classes, job fairs, open houses, social events, association meetings; anywhere that people gather. There are a million success stories from these types of events. Your story could be the next one.
Who should you network with? Find old friends and colleagues through social media networking, but don’t exclude the people around you – family, friends, neighbors, ex-bosses, former co-workers, vendors you worked with in your last jobs, competitors of your last job — anyone and everyone.
This is about numbers – get out there and get contacting. Get the word out that you are searching for leads for job openings. Do NOT ask for a job – ask for leads. The following rules apply whether you are networking online, on the phone, or in-person.
1. Always be gracious and professional. Never be tenacious or pushy.
2. Ask for LEADS and referrals. Ask permission to use a person’s name.
3. NO resumes allowed while networking. Offer to send it if asked.
4. Do your research and be prepared.
5. Listen, listen, listen. You are asking for information – let them give it to you.
6. Ask Intelligent questions. Show an interest.
7. ALWAYS follow up – and thank the person for the information or advice.
When you do get an opportunity to connect with a person, either through your social media connections or through a personal or business contact, it is very important that you be prepared to speak intelligently about what you are looking for and what you have to offer. If someone gives you a lead, you should be able to make a call and introduce yourself. If the person who has given you the lead has agreed to let you use his or her name, begin the conversation by explaining how you happen to have the lead’s information. This can be a great way to break the ice.
It’s a good idea to script and rehearse – not memorize – what you are going to say when you do follow up. If you feel unsure of what to say, get feedback from someone who can be honest and helpful.
If you’re posting resumes on the Internet and are just waiting for something to happen you are making a big mistake –that is the passive way to search for a job and in today’s competitive job market you are hoping against the odds of getting noticed. Get out there and network today – through social media networking or social connections. If you are able to use traditional and new media networking for your job search you will at least double your chances of succeeding!
The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. Contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. http://www.interviewcoach.com
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