Everybody knows that it’s not what you know it’s who you know. A significant proportion of jobs are going to friends & acquaintances of the company doing the recruiting. If you are looking for a job, the more people you know the easier it will be. And that’s where Myspace & social networking sites come in.
Most people already have a profile set up with a few friends & a couple of dodgy snaps but with a little bit of effort you can use the online social networks to line up loads of jobs.
Identify Influential People; there are certain people in every industry that are worth having in your virtual contacts book. You might not have the closest relationships with these movers & shakers but it’s still worth trying to make contact. Work out who these people are and contact them. Don’t add them straight away as a friend, it’ll seem spammy, start a conversation & hopefully the friendship will come later.
Ask Questions; starting a conversation with people you don’t know is hard in real life and social networking websites are no different. Asking a question is a foolproof opening gambit. If they write a blog ask about something they wrote, if they work for a certain company ask about working there, they might not reply but most people are polite and get back to you, so it’s worth a try.
Help People; if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours. Being a friend with someone is mutually beneficial, especially in a business setting. If you can offer some advice or do a favour for someone you’ll be in their good books. They’ll be reminded why you are friends and they’ll owe you a favour in return.
Leave Feedback; if someone in your network uploads a new profile picture, leave a comment. If they send a bulletin reply. By participating and offering your opinion you’ll be making a valuable contribution & keep you fresh in people’s memory if a job does spring up.
Do Your Homework; find out about peoples background and do some research. It will give you something to talk about and save you saying something potentially embarrassing. It might even be worth organising the information you find out in a spreadsheet or document. If you know someone has just bought a new car, ask them about it. It might be completely unrelated to the reason you know the person but it makes your connection more personal.
Reply to Every Message; you’re a busy person and it’s easy to forget to reply to messages and posts. However at worst you’ve missed the opportunity to further your relationship and at best seemed rude or impolite.
Delve Into Your Past; look out for old class mates or colleagues, there’ll be plenty to reminisce about & your common history will come in handy. Search on locations, companies or schools, look for familiar names or faces and drop them a quick hello message.
Take Advantage of Real Life; if you meet someone in real life ask for their username on social networks. It’s unlikely it will be on their business card but it could end up being much more useful than their office address.
Here are just a few tips on using social networking websites to get new jobs, some like linkedin seem more relevant but you’re far more likely to collect a nice bunch of contacts on the more popular sites like facebook & myspace. My advice would be to experiment with all of them!