Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Social Networking Things That You Should be Doing to Prepare for Your Next Job Search – Even though you are completely happy with your current job

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!  I hope you all survived the kick off to the holiday season.  If you were pepper sprayed at Walmart I hope that you are on the road to recovery.  I am proud to say that I've decorated my office – bonus points go to anyone that can tell me where this decoration came from:

“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.

Now on to the slightly less important stuff.  One of the things I common see with my candidates is that they operate under the assumption  that they will always have their job and that they will never have to look for one again.  I wish that this were true.  However, unforeseen things happen all of the time and it is wise to be ready for it.  Social networking provides you with a way to be prepared without actively looking.  Below are a couple of tips that you should be doing right now – just to be prepared.

1.  Build a Meaningful and Professional On-Line Profile

This one is really important.  You should have a LinkedIn and Facebook profile that is full of information about you.  FaceBook is kind of tricky.  I personally believe that it is a tool that is underutilized.  However, if you are going to use it you need to make sure that it is professional and all of those pictures and posts have been taken down.  If you are unwilling to do this – which is OK – just make sure that you have your privacy settings on hyper lock down.  This is a good idea regardless of if you are in job search or not.

LinkedIn is another story.  You need to have a well crafted profile that is updated at all times.  My best suggestion is to take your resume and put it in there. First of all it will help you professionally right now but it will also have you ready to go if you need to look for a job.  Things you should include are:
  • A picture
  • Areas of expertise
  • Your job history  with details about what you do

I personally believe that you should have it viewable to all at all times.  Its like a free advertisement about you.  Even if you have no interest in a new job it will allow for others to see you and keep you in mind.

2.  Make Connections

Working with social networking is like growing a garden.  You have to plant seeds and it will become something huge.  Try to spend some time each week connecting to people that you know professionally and personally.  Here is who you should try to get in touch with:
  • Current Co-workers
  • Previous to co-workers
  • Customers
  • Personal relationships that work in a similar profession

All of these people are contacts that you want when you have to look for a new job.  These are people that (hopefully) will think highly enough of you to recommend you for positions or make you aware of jobs that they know of. 

3.  Be an Active Participant

This one is the hardest to do but it really is helpful.  Try to spend a little bit of time joining the community.  Find a group that fits your profession and join it.  Take a look at posts that people make and comment on them.  This doesn’t need to be a time suck but if you spend just a little bit of time each week you will be in a position to aggressively use these tools when you really need it.

So go out and social network.  It will help you land your next job – even if you don’t think that you will ever need it.

As always please feel free to email me at sthompson@insurance-csg.com with any comments.

Check out some of my recent articles on the blog here:

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