Social Networking for Career Success, by Miriam Salpeter

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.

Posted on July 24, 2011 by Miriam Salpeter | Comment on this post

For all you “e-reader” folks who love to digest your reading material digitally, Social Networking for Career Success is now available on Kindle!

You can read the Kindle edition on Kindle, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, PC and Mac. You can pick it up on Amazon for only $5.59 — what a deal!

Posted on July 15, 2011 by Miriam Salpeter | Comment on this post

Monster.com recently launched a new social network, called BeKnown. The network is housed as a Facebook application and aims to help people leverage their Facebook contacts for professional purposes. I wrote about BeKnown on Keppie Careers, explaining it allows Facebook/BeKnown users to:

  • Easily invite contacts from other social networks to expand their BeKnown network beyond their existing Facebook friends
  • Keep social activity with friends and family separate from work-related activity with professional contacts
  • See who among their professional contacts on BeKnown is connected to a company or job opportunity of interest
  • Connect professional networking to Monster’s job search and browse tools and import their Monster profile to BeKnown from right within the app

When the application launched, new users could link their LinkedIn profiles and also see a list of their LinkedIn friends to invite via BeKnown. I imported my LinkedIn profile to create my BeKnown profile and invited my LinkedIn contacts I thought might want to join BeKnown to connect with me there. Unfortunately, the API (how networks interact with each other) for LinkedIn failed to keep up with the BeKnown inquiries. While I was able to add my profile, my invitations never reached their recipients. My contact at Monster explained it would take a few extra days for my invites to be delivered.

Soon thereafter, TechCrunch reported on LinkedIn’s decision to cut off API access to BeKnown and others for terms of service violations. The MonsterThinking blog responded by questioning LinkedIn’s decision to cut off the applications, especially in light of the fact that the BranchOut app had been live and using the API for nearly one year. Monster wondered why, within 5 days of BeKnown’s official launch, LinkedIn decided to make its move and cut off API access.

LinkedIn’s terms of service give it reason to prevent BeKnown and other networks it cut off from using its information, but I wish these networks could work together. Ironically, I focused even more on my LinkedIn connections while working on a BeKnown profile, and spent extra time in LinkedIn as a result.
Competition is valuable and key for innovation, and I hope people who choose to use these networks have an opportunity in the future to benefit from cross-functional platforms. At the same time, job seekers who rely on sharing information via networks owned by others (LinkedIn, Monster, Branchout, Facebook, etc.) should realize they are “borrowing” space on those platforms. Each company has the right to enforce rules based on their immediate needs. That’s why I believe it is key to have personal “real estate” online in the form of a social resume, or “yourname.com,” which I provide via my site: http://www.getasocialresume.com.
What do you think?

photo by rosipaw

Posted on July 5, 2011 by Miriam Salpeter | Comment on this post
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