Making Social Networks Work for you

If you’re dismissing social media—all the profiling, picture posting, personal branding, and status updating—as just a waste of time, think again!!

Knowing how to network effectively through social media is crucial to your career.  If you want to stand out in a crowd, and show yourself as different and memorable, just a little time invested in producing a great online presence goes a long way.

Because Linkedin is the online networking site for experienced professionals, many hiring managers and recruiters scour Linkedin profiles to find top quality candidates.  In short, Linkedin can help you make connections with individuals that could lead you along your career path.  It can work for you in networking, finding job leads, locating people, introducing you to organizations, identifying others with similar background, and reviewing the background on someone you are meeting.  You can also join professional clubs, industry trade groups, or alumni associations.

It is estimated that nearly 90% of the corporate recruiting departments utilize Linkedin as a professional networking tool.  Companies are also expanding their social recruiting programs to include two or more social networking channels and 40 % use all three top networks—Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.

Work Reimagined  is a new job-finding site, introduced by AARP, powered by Linkedin.  This site is another networking tool for experienced, 20 plus years, workers.   Job listings are posted by employers who have signed the Work Reimagined pledge, acknowledging the value of experienced workers and nondiscriminatory hiring practices.

About two-thirds of the prospective employers find positives in the social networking sites, information that was complementary and enhanced the decision to hire.  The reasons included: positive sense of their personality “fit”, the profile supported their professional qualifications, the profile reflected creativity, solid communication skills, good references, and the profile noted awards and accolades.

We’ve all heard the stories of people who put inappropriate content on their Facebook or other sites that not only were a great embarrassment to them, but may have caused them to lose potential offers as well.

Almost 70% of the employers have rejected candidates because of what they say they saw on a social networking site, including: inappropriate photos or statements, posted content about drinking or drug use, negatives about a previous employer, poor communication skills, discriminating comments, lies about qualifications or shared confidential business information.

You can’t un-ring the bell! Remember, anything you do on the web, any site you join, may be found by a potential employer so don’t treat any site as if it is confidential.

The most popular target for employers seeking talent is through social media. As a person seeking a position, keep in mind that social media have topped the list as a means of recruiting talent for the past three years running.

As hiring competition heats up, social networks will continue to be an essential element in the recruiting strategy.  Make the sites work for you!

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