August 7th, 2012
Mixing business and pleasure is rarely a wise choice. Today though, the lines are often blurred in the wonderful world of social networking.
It can sometimes feel like a juggling act to try to walk the fine line between professional decorum and keeping up with friends and family in the fishbowl that social media and networking has become. But there are times when using the social contacts you’ve made can prove beneficial in your efforts to secure a job—provided you go about asking in the right way.
1) Don’t dive right into the “ask.” In many ways this is like wooing a romantic interest. You have to start with dinner and perhaps a movie before you dive right in to a full force romance. The same holds true with social contacts while looking for a job. You don’t want to call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and dive right into asking them to help you find a job or connect you with someone they know. Connect and build first and your friend or contact is likely to offer to help you.
2) Be reasonable with your expectations. No one who hasn’t worked with you is going to be willing to provide you with a professional reference. It demeans you and your friendship to even ask and it really puts that friend on the spot. Also consider the fact that this will be a weak reference at best since you haven’t worked together in a professional capacity and your friend isn’t likely to know much about the type of work you do, the specific skills you have, or your particular work ethic. It really puts your credibility as well as the person offering an endorsement without actually having worked with you, in jeopardy.
3) Don’t assume your friends’ connections are yours for the taking. Your friend may be willing to introduce you to some of the connections he or she knows but you shouldn’t assume that a degree or two of separation assures you of an introduction. It’s always nice if you have a friend who knows someone and you are comfortable asking for an introduction or a resume “hand off.” It’s something else entirely to assume that your friend is going to be willing to do so. You should always respect the feelings of your friend and hold no ill will or grudges if the friend doesn’t share your resume or make the introductions you were hoping for.
Always remember that friendship is a two-way street. Networking, like friendship, is an activity where you get more from the endeavor by giving more to it. The more you put into the relationship the more you’re likely to receive.
June 8th, 2012
Social media is big business today. More importantly, it can make a world of difference when you’re trying to recruit top talent to come and work for you.
A strong social media presence is about so much more in today’s competitive market than just making a few additional sales. It’s a sign of good faith to the public that your organization is serious about maintain a strong presence in the marketplace for many years to come. For job candidates, this means you’re looking to the future.
Here are 10 social media strategies you will definitely want to employ for your business if you’re hoping to attract the best possible candidates.
- Use a company blog for more than product information or to try to bring in new sales. In fact, you should consider announcing any openings within the organization (at all levels) on your blog. If your company doesn’t have a blog currently, it’s time to start one.
- Use Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the word out about hiring practices, open positions, and helpful tips for candidates interested in making a good impression.
- Take advantage of opportunities to get your name out in the social media community in a positive way by offering awards, rewards, discounts, and prizes to people who participate actively in your social media efforts.
- Take comments, complaints, and compliments delivered via social media outlets to heart in order to make positive changes in products and practices for your business.
- Find out what your customers want and expect by listening to what they say about your organization on their social media pages and yours. Try a client survey for more in-depth information.
- Consider hiring someone for the specific task of monitoring and administering social media for your business. This is an emerging field and there are many highly qualified candidates who can assist with all your social media needs. Having a dedicated person or persons to handle social media means that your organization is less likely to suffer negative blowback from unintended omissions.
- Create apps or solutions that allow candidates to access social media for your company easier and more efficiently from their mobile devices.
- Allow interested candidates to apply for jobs and send resumes to your company via mobile devices in order to get fast results when you have open positions. Try the LinkedIn application, or set up social media buttons on your website connected to your recruiting team.
- Engage your target audience whether it’s job candidates or customers through social media by interacting with them frequently.
- Make your social media presence easily accessible through many platforms. Today’s job candidates utilize the Internet in many ways. Your social media actions need to take all of them (iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, Kindles, Androids, Laptops, and Macs, etc.) into account.
Social media isn’t some passing fad in the world of business. It’s here to stay. Companies and organizations that manage to get out ahead of the social media tsunami are the ones most likely to bring in the top-tier candidates for their open positions.