Developing a social networking strategy to boost your job search efforts should not be overlooked or undervalued. Simply put, social networking is another way for you to connect with people and potentially discover more job opportunities. Using social networking as a job search tool is very effective and all it takes is a few minutes to set up an account (free) with a brief profile and then you can start connecting with people outside your immediate circle of friends.
Social networking gives you access to professionals and like-minded people. It also gives you extra exposure and the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise (potentially shortening your job search). The following sites can be beneficial to mainstream, Christian, and ministry job seekers:
LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com) is an online network of more than 40 million professionals from around the world that represent 170 industries. It is free to join and gives members access to colleagues and, perhaps, new opportunities. Job seekers can use portions of their resume to complete the profile section and then begin searching for contacts that might lead to a new career. You can also use the search function to find and join groups that interest you, search companies, and explore job posts.
Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) Do you love to text? Then you will probably love Twitter (a forum where members send and read tweet posts of up to 140 characters). Members link to (follow) people thus opening the door to a wealth of resources including opinions, articles, and blogs. When you follow people, people begin to follow you and together you share information that you might not have been aware of otherwise. You can –
Form Friendships: Use the find people function to find friends, colleagues, churches, companies or people with like interests.
Answer Requests: Rick Warren posted “Friends, I’d like to FOLLOW any church planter or pastor. Please send me their twitter name. Tell them I’m at @rickwarren Thanks!”
Find Inspiration: “@maxlucado Fear may fill our world but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts. Christ’s promise is simple: we can fear less tomorrow than we do today.”
FaceBook (http://www.facebook.com) is geared more toward personal friendships but it can also be used as an effective networking tool for the job seeker. Renew friendships and ask your network if they are aware of any job leads. You can utilize Facebook’s Note application to send a message to all of your contacts or only a select few. Many times jobs openings are unadvertised and someone within your personal network may have someone in their network that can connect you. (Cast a wide net.)
Building an online presence helps you find new connections (linking you to more opportunities) and rekindle old friendships (linking you to more opportunities) but more importantly social networking can keep you energized and moving forward in your job search.
With all social networking sites, be sure to create a user name and profile that is professional, engaging, and factual. Hiring professionals also utilize search functions to find information on job candidates so make sure your online presence contains information that is beneficial to you.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tammy Shoup, CPRW
Tammy Shoup, CPRW is a Christian Resume Writer dedicated to helping Pastoral Candidates, Ministry Workers, and Christian Job Seekers launch a successful job search campaign. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and National Résumé Writer’s Association. She is also a past member of the Christian Writer’s Guild.