Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Power of connection

On Thursday afternoon, I am sitting on a Social Media panel, speaking to students.  Here are my topics:

  1. How can job seekers market themselves through social media?  
  2. What are the main sites to use?  What are the pitfalls to avoid?  
  3. What can a student do to clean up her online presence if she has unprofessional content online?  
  4. How can students find out about job openings through social media?  
  5. Are employers searching for employees through social media, and if so, how can a student enhance her chances of being recruited through social media?  
  6. How does a student build professional connections online, and what’s an appropriate way to contact someone at a company who might be a good resource?  
  7. Do you have any examples of candidates who have used social media effectively when seeking a position, or ineffectively?
I would love to show the benefit of social media.  Would you add a comment or two on the topics?  I will share you, your site, and your twitter handle with the students. 

Thanks for your help!  

13 comments:

Joan Ginsberg said...

As a rapidly aging baby boomer, I didn't understand the value of social networking at all. Not. one. bit.

Then social media came along and it was like perpetual sunshine entered into my cloudy Michigan world. I've blogged about this before.

Tell your students to start TODAY to use social media to build real, lasting relationships with people who interest them. Explain that they should not jut target individuals who may get them a job, but to dig through the noise to find people whose blogs, posts, and tweets delight them. Then talk to those people, even if it is only virtually. I've blogged about this before, too.

Don't just create a LinkedIn profile and start sending a default "I want to connect" message. Tell them WHY you want to connect with them. Have a conversation and the connections fall into place. The jobs that may come are just a cherry on a yummy ice cream sundae.

Tell them to create a smoking LinkedIn profile and then send me a connect request telling them that they heard about me through your panel and I will connect with them.

Because that's how it is done.

Sharlyn Lauby said...

I concur with Joan. I would encourage students to seek out a diverse group of connections.Don't just seek out those people who you think might get you a job. You never really know where referrals will come from.

One of the ways I've built relationships is via Twitter. It's not like Facebook or LinkedIn where you have to accept a connection. And sometimes people are reluctant to accept invites from strangers. You can send out interesting articles and answer questions via Twitter as a way to build a connection. Then when you send the request to connect on FB or LI - you're already known on some level.

Tell the students if they want to connect with me -- I'm a pretty open networker, so whatever medium suits them is fine. Like Joan, it's always great to let someone know why they want to connect.

Have fun! I know it's going to be a wonderful session.

Lisa Rosendahl said...

Social media has had such an amazing impact on me and has opened up a world of opportunities for me.

I have met so many talented, passionate and supportive people and am honored to now call many "friends."

I agree with everything Joan and Sharlyn said and would add this:

There are many things we can't control these days but the ine thing you can control is how you are viewed by others on social media sites. If you have to wonder if something is appropriate to say, it's probably not and if you would not want you mother seeing something you posted - don't post it.

You are known by the company you keep - on line and off line. What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas and Google never forgets!

I also offer an invitation to comnect with me on LinkedIn.

Do the students now just how lucky they are to have the chance to learn from you?

Have a wonderful session!

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would tell your students the following.
Social Media never ceases to amaze me, but what students need to know, is there are certain key elements that should be followed.

1. Be PROFESSIONAL. Your tone, and attitude can be read in one sentence. Think before you Tweet, or Facebook. It is forever.

2. Arm yourself with a stellar resume. If you are not confident in your work, Hire a Resume Writer. I did.

3. Get on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Connect with as many people you can, and tell them why you want to connect.

4. Never turn down an opportunity for an interview. You never know where it will take you.

5. Please welcome your students to connwct with me on Wordpress, LinkedIn, Facebook, and @shennee_rutt on Twitter.

Have an awesome session!
Shennee

Deirdre Honner said...

Thank you all! I can't wait to share all your comments.

Karen Kerr said...

Here's my perspective on each of your questions:
1. Create a LinkedIn profile that really reflects who you are. Don't exaggerate who you are. Join groups that reflect your professional interests and join discussions in those groups. Help others! Pass on leads. Put yourself out there.
2. LinkedIn of course. Twitter is good to for following employers that recruit college students, career related advisors, and even your college career center. Be judicious about what YOU tweet. Don't tweet/post/rant when angry and don't bash your current employer.
3. Untag, untag, untag, untag. Delete, delete, delete. Maybe set up two Facebook accounts, one for your larger social group, and one for trusted friends.
4. Follow companies for whom you'd like to work. Again, join online networking groups that are related to your career interests. Join the conversation. Join interest groups on Facebook, even if they are not career related just to connect with like minded people. Help the members, and let them know what help you need.
5. I don't know about other employers, but I know I have. I typically send targeted emails to the two or three people I know on LinkedIn who have great networks within the field for which I am recruiting. These people produce candidates. Find these people. Get on their radar.
6. All of the above, and then start with your personal connections. Search for your parents' friends on LinkedIn. Then look for your friends' parents. Don't send a request to connect using just the stock request verbiage. Add your own. How you know them, why you'd like to connect, and for what you you're looking. Ask for referrals. Also give back. Help others.
7. I have helped several people get interviews because of the professional way they handled my initial contact. Recognize the difference between maintaining contact and smothering your contact. It's a fine line, and I understand...

Kind of off the wall, but, if you have a particular talent, set up a "follow/fan" page where you can talk about it/showcase it. I've seen it work!

And when you get that job, don't stop. Help others!

Follow me @KarenHKerr

Especially if you like bread!

Karen Kerr said...

Here's my perspective on each of your questions:
1. Create a LinkedIn profile that really reflects who you are. Don't exaggerate who you are. Join groups that reflect your professional interests and join discussions in those groups. Help others! Pass on leads. Put yourself out there.
2. LinkedIn of course. Twitter is good to for following employers that recruit college students, career related advisors, and even your college career center. Be judicious about what YOU tweet. Don't tweet/post/rant when angry and don't bash your current employer.
3. Untag, untag, untag, untag. Delete, delete, delete. Maybe set up two Facebook accounts, one for your larger social group, and one for trusted friends.
4. Follow companies for whom you'd like to work. Again, join online networking groups that are related to your career interests. Join the conversation. Join interest groups on Facebook, even if they are not career related just to connect with like minded people. Help the members, and let them know what help you need.
5. I don't know about other employers, but I know I have. I typically send targeted emails to the two or three people I know on LinkedIn who have great networks within the field for which I am recruiting. These people produce candidates. Find these people. Get on their radar.
6. All of the above, and then start with your personal connections. Search for your parents' friends on LinkedIn. Then look for your friends' parents. Don't send a request to connect using just the stock request verbiage. Add your own. How you know them, why you'd like to connect, and for what you you're looking. Ask for referrals. Also give back. Help others.
7. I have helped several people get interviews because of the professional way they handled my initial contact. Recognize the difference between maintaining contact and smothering your contact. It's a fine line, and I understand...

Kind of off the wall, but, if you have a particular talent, set up a "follow/fan" page where you can talk about it/showcase it. I've seen it work!

And when you get that job, don't stop. Help others!

Follow me @KarenHKerr

Especially if you like bread!

Deirdre Honner said...

From another colleague:

Here's my perspective on each of your questions:
1. Create a LinkedIn profile that really reflects who you are. Don't exaggerate who you are. Join groups that reflect your professional interests and join discussions in those groups. Help others! Pass on leads. Put yourself out there.
2. LinkedIn of course. Twitter is good too for following employers that recruit college students, career related advisors, and even your college career center. Be judicious about what YOU tweet. Don't tweet/post/rant when angry and don't bash your current employer.
3. Untag, untag, untag, untag. Delete, delete, delete. Maybe set up two Facebook accounts, one for your larger social group, and one for trusted friends.
4. Follow companies for whom you'd like to work. Again, join online networking groups that are related to your career interests. Join the conversation. Join interest groups on Facebook, even if they are not career related just to connect with like minded people. Help the members, and let them know what help you need.
5. I don't know about other employers, but I know I have. I typically send targeted emails to the two or three people I know on LinkedIn who have great networks within the field for which I am recruiting. These people produce candidates. Find these people. Get on their radar.
6. All of the above, and then start with your personal connections. Search for your parents' friends on LinkedIn. Then look for your friends' parents. Don't send a request to connect using just the stock request verbiage. Add your own. How you know them, why you'd like to connect, and for what you you're looking. Ask for referrals. Also give back. Help others.
7. I have helped several people get interviews because of the professional way they handled my initial contact. Recognize the difference between maintaining contact and smothering your contact. It's a fine line, and I understand...

Kind of off the wall, but, if you have a particular talent, set up a "follow/fan" page where you can talk about it/showcase it. I've seen it work!

And when you get that job, don't stop. Help others!

Follow me @KarenHKerr

Especially if you like bread!

Deirdre Honner said...

And from Google + @KristiEnigl

What a fun panel! I have spoken on this topic to grads at Sci_Arc and USC in LA. My two main points are:

1. Clean up all of your social media sites! HR, recruiters and Hiring Managers are looking. I suggest go professional asap, including using a pro head shot.

2. Use Linked In!! As a recruiter, I used LI more than any other online site. LI has many tools for recent grads, and combined with Groups, it is a powerful source to find companies, people, recruiters, etc. Follow recruiters and companies.

And one final thought, it is never to early to join career/industry organization, and many have student chapters.

Deirdre Honner said...

From a fb friend:

1. Don't sit like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct unless you are interviewing at a brothel or your prospective employer is a pimp.
Most of my seminars were contracted by State funded groups like The Latin Gang Commission or Chicago Youth Centers and were tailored to fit a different type of graduate than those you have the pleasure of seeing.
As social media has in many ways become an extension of the individual I would like to give voice to several things that perplex me.
If you are on FB, Twitter or (gasp) My Space, please ensure your privacy tabs are locked and loaded. The prospective employer should not read on a social network site that you like to go clubbing 6 nights a week or you think the Waco incident was super cool, Hitler was misunderstood or you've taken up tantric yoga. Actually, when I did have the grueling task of interviewing people, I would have loved to have FB to see what kind of person the applicant really was, it would saved so much time.
The excessive valuation of the celebrity lifestyle, i.e., live your life in full view of the paparazzi, seems to have extended to the general public, who in turn put every bit of their life on FB or the like.
I don't know when privacy went out the window, I think it may be around the time cell phones came with cameras. This leads to my final thought, more of a request really, STOP TAKING PHOTOS OF YOURSELF IN THE BATHROOM!

Steve Boese said...

There has been lots of good advice already in the comments, so I won't repeat it again. I guess my main advice would be that I think we are seeing a tendency for professional and personal spaces to mix and blend more and more all the time. A couple of years ago online professional networking and recruiting was strictly limited to LinkedIn, and now with applications like BranchOut and BeKnown on Facebook, and more savvy recruiters looking to source talent from places like Google+ and Twitter, I think almost any social platform presents opportunity for students to present themselves positively and be found by employers.

No one has to use sites like Facebook or Twitter for professional reasons of course, and if that is not your thing, then of course lock down your privacy settings or stay off those networks altogether. But for me, the main message I would send to students is that social platforms and networks present great opportunity to connect, to showcase their talents, and to help to figure out what they are interested in.

Deirdre Honner said...

Thanks so much Steve.

AJ said...

When used correctly, Social Media can be a great way to find a job...but make sure its used correctly. Check out these articles for some great tips on twitter and social media!

http://blog.resumebear.com/college-graduates/5-twitter-tricks-to-help-you-get-more-out-of-tweeting/


http://blog.resumebear.com/social-media/your-focus-on-social-media-should-be/