If I can get you to do one thing differently today, it would be this: get a little more daring with social media and remember that you are in control.
Social Media Risks vs Rewards
What got me thinking about this were two recent articles that I read. The first one was about the LinkedIn password scandal where six million passwords were stolen and the article explained how to protect oneself from such hackers. Although the article had sound advice for social media users in general, it paralyzed some of my clients with fear, many of whom are already resistant to the world of social media.
The other article admitted that yes, there are risks in social media, but argued that as customers increasingly engage in it, not participating and staying on the sidelines is the biggest risk of all. It focused on the resistance by companies to go where their customers are and understand how behaviors are changing, underscoring how social media can be a powerful tool for prospecting.
In reading both of these articles, one might ask, what does this have to do with the job seeker? Why do I need to pay attention to social media? How can I protect my privacy and sense of vulnerability? These are good questions to ask and like sales organizations, job seekers may no longer want to sit on the sidelines.
Using social media sites can open doors, reconnect you with past colleagues and provide you with a wealth of information before you engage in a dialogue with a potential employer. Here are some guidelines to get you started...
Be smart, as a job seeker, on how you use social media by remembering the following:
1. Stay in Control
Remember, you control your security settings and the information you post on sites. Make sure it reflects your brand and is consistent with how you want others to see you.
2. Know the Tools
Use different tools as a way to help you in your search: LinkedIn can connect you professionally, Twitter is a way to engage in quick dialogue, Google Alerts can notify you about companies you might be pursuing and Startwire tracks where you have applied.
Blogging can be used to share your expertise in your field and could be helpful to others in your industry. Keeping engaged in your industry is important during a job search. Don't forget to seek out bloggers in your industry and follow them.
4. Take Small Steps
Use social media in ways that are comfortable for you. Start with one social media site, perhaps LinkedIn, and learn about how best to use it for your search. Then, expand to other sites as your comfort level and knowledge develops.
Remember, time is of the essence, and using social media can help in many ways.
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