The Web is buzzing with information and insights about Google+, Google’s new social network. My schedule finally allowed me to take some time to dive in to see what I think of Google+. One thing struck me: so much of social media, no matter the specifics, is similar. The reasons to use these networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+) are the same:
1) To expand the number of people you know and who know you.
2) To learn new information pertinent to your field from mentors and thought leaders.
3) To illustrate your expertise with a community of people who may connect you to opportunities based on learning about you and what you know.
Thus far, my favorite network to direct clients has been Twitter, where there are no roadblocks or barricades to connecting and engaging with exponential numbers of potential contacts and colleagues. I believe Google+ has the potential to offer users the same levels of engagement and interaction, along with the benefit of the open network and ability to learn from and share with a “public” stream (like on Twitter).
To engage well, the importance of creating your profile and interacting efficiently is the same, no matter what network you use. For example, I noticed my advice is similar for creating your LinkedIn profile as it is for your Google profile. How you write a LinkedIn headline is the same and similarly important as your Google+ “occupation.” (Find my advice for LinkedIn headlines in a free chapter download from my book.)
While some recruiters have already been searching Google profiles to find good potential hires, no doubt the introduction of Google+ and its inevitable result — more people updating their existing Google profiles — will encourage more sourcers and recruiters to turn to these profiles to mine information about candidates. It’s up to you to make sure it’s easy for you to be found!
Even if you don’t have access to the limited Google+ beta, yet, start out by visiting Google profiles (http://www.google.com/profiles). Upload the same avatar you use for other social networks, so potential followers will easily recognize you. (Check this out for tips to select the right online photo.)
Add several professional photos at the top of your profile. Then, use the “introduction” to include your “pitch,” which could be very similar or the same as what you use in your LinkedIn “summary.” Unless you are in a really creative industry that values humor, fill in “bragging rights” with industry awards. As noted, “Occupation” is important. Use the advice in the sample chapter about LinkedIn’s headline to fill this in. (It can be especially tricky to describe your “occupation” if you are unemployed, but I walk you through all of the considerations in the sample chapter.)
Once your profile is complete, you’re ready to think about how you’d like to use Google+ (even if you don’t have an invitation, yet).
Take a look at some great graphic comparisons of the various networks on the TweetSmarter blog, where Dave and Sarah share information from Stefano Epifani and Hutch Carpenter (VP of Product, Spigit).
Learn more about Google+ and its new sharing tool, called “circles” from their introductory materials.
Rich DeMatteo, of Corn on the Job (and a contributor to Social Networking for Career Success) created a post linking to various information about Google+. Click through to review what several recruiters and coaches are saying.
Hannah Morgan, of Career Sherpa, (another book contributor) provides several useful Google+ resources in her post.
Stay tuned for more information about Google+. Please consider including me in your “Career Advice” circle. (No one has access to what your circles are named!) Find me in Google+ HERE.