Social Networking for professional advancement is the latest and greatest trend in the online world of job hunting and in my opinion is a trend that’s not going away anytime soon. It would be to your advantage to educate yourself on the ins and outs of social networking, personal branding and online marketing. It’s far-reaching, it’s effective and best of all it’s FREE!
There are numerous online avenues for social networking but you may be under the misconception that they are strictly for social purposes. If that is the case then you are missing out on an indispensable tool that is vital in today’s job market. Whether you choose to focus on one networking device or combine several to create a powerful online presence you will be at a professional advantage.
The best site (in my opinion) for professional networking is LinkedIn. I like to think of LinkedIn as the professional, grown-up version of Facebook. Instead of posting what you did Saturday night or family pictures from your last vacation you post your professional background, experience and projects you’re working on. Another difference is that instead making ‘friends’ you make connections with other professionals to enhance your network. The more connections you have the larger your network and the more you get your name and qualifications out there to potential hiring managers and recruiters.
Just as you turn to the Internet to search for a job, more and more hiring managers and recruiters are turning to the Internet to find qualified talent to fill open positions. Creating a profile on a professional networking site can get you onto their radar and increase your career prospects. Any online professional networking and marketing you develop is a 24/7 advertisement of YOU! You never know when or who will view your information.
If you want to take your professional social networking to the next level consider developing and promoting your personal brand. Personal Branding Strategist, Dan Schawbel, describes personal branding as, “the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition . . .” Can you market yourself without developing a personal brand? Sure, but why wouldn’t you want to? Products are more effective if there is a brand to associate it to, and in this case the product is you! It just makes sense to promote you in the most advantageous way possible.
Implementing networking into your professional strategy and combining it with the development of a personal brand will help you achieve your professional goals and will take your career and job search further.
by Megan Koehler