Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

Has the economy really been a rough time for you?  I’m sure you aren’t alone if you answered yes. Finding a job in this economy can be quite difficult and being given an opportunity doesn’t come easy.  However, I feel many people out there are missing out on the benefits that social networks and technology can give in your search for a job.  So, if you are on of those people searching for a job that got laid off or you are a college student looking for a position after college, here are some tips that can really make your time worth while.

The most important social network that you need to be on if you are looking for a job is LinkedIn. If you aren’t a member of that community, you are missing out.  This is a business social network where your contacts may have someone else who is in the line of work you are.  It’s an endless line of communication.  It’s great that you can take those that you are contacts with and check out who they know as well.  It’s perfect to meet new people, but having the person you know introduce you to someone in your field is essential for new opportunities.  Word-of-mouth is very big in getting a job in the business world today.  Since jobs are tough to come by, you aren’t going to get a job today just based on your credentials.  Having a recommendation or knowing someone who can arrange a meeting with an important person in your industry is essential for your success.  Yes, LinkedIn has the ability to do all this and more.  Networking is always key for business and getting jobs.  In my personal opinion, LinkedIn is just as good as a face-to-face meeting.  I only say this because of the cycle of people you can be introduced to.  Being able to look for jobs right on the site is extremely beneficial as well.  Networking and applying for jobs shared by those on LinkedIn is a perfect combo.  That’s a win-win situation as I see it.

As we enter 2010, we all must understand the value technology is bringing to our society.  As technology progresses, our ways of communicating have changed as well.  We talk less in person and more through online interaction.  Technology is constantly giving us new ways to form new relationships with people.  The need for a job is always going to be in demand, so what does technology do?  Well, technology gives us multiple platforms and devices for keeping these business relationships and connections going.  We are at a point where communication is at a new level.  The way we knew how to get a job in the past is no more.  Now with sites like search.twitter.com, you can search a keyword for a job you are looking for and see others talking about the same topic or those that may be hiring.  Not to mention, even if we aren’t at home to make these business connections with potential employers, technology has brought mobile devices such as the iPhone to our hands, so we always stay connected.

Overall, technology and social networks make it very possible to find a job even in a tough economy.  Although, the way you use these “tools” can render useless if you don’t use them the proper way.  If you interact in a social network looking for a job, you don’t just want to say to someone, “I want a job.”  I believe that goes without saying, but I know that many people usually will contact someone in a high position and say something like that.  You aren’t going to be assisted nor is the person you are talking to on the other end going to care.  You want to establish a relationship first.  Introduce yourself, ask them what they do, and find out how they got into their line of work.  By doing this, you show you are truly interested in what they do and care about that area of business.  They will be more likely to answer your questions and find out what your plans are or what you currently do.  This leads to the opening of what you are looking for where you can explain it to them.  At this point, they will be more inclined to listen.  Using social networks to your advantage can be very useful if you know the proper way to go about it. Always treat it as if you are talking face to face with the individual.

Take this under consideration as well…what would you do if these technologies weren’t available to us?  Imagine no constant mobile interaction and no social networks.  We would be doing old fashion networking.  Isn’t it funny to think that this is all we used to have? Technology and social networks work together, but since you are now out there publicly for the world to see, understand that you are judged in a different light.  These “tools” may be your best friend or your worst enemy if you aren’t careful.  Don’t do anything to jeopardize your chances of your ultimate goal – a new job!

Further reading:

What Can Hiring A Social Media Virtual Assistant Do For Your Business?

When Are Social Networks Least Helpful For Business?

The One Social Networking Tool Essential For Your Business

10 Reasons Businesses Should Participate On Social Networks

  • Frank,

    You make a very good point about introducing yourself, finding out what someone does and how they got into their line of work, not just saying “I want a job” to someone you hardly know.

    I have been seeking out people at companies I want to work for or an area I want to work in through LinkedIn, and making an introduction or asking to be introduced through a 1st level connection of mine, and offering to meet fact to face if we’re local or talk on the phone if they’re not local. Some people are receptive, others are not. I think a lot of that has to do with the WIIFM or “Whats In It For Me” attitude. Some people are going to be more helpful than others.

    If I write to someone who would normally be out of my network (past 3rd level) through a group on LinkedIn and we exchange a few emails, phone calls, etc, it is only then that I will ask for a direct connection on LinkedIn.

    Your comment about “Always treat it as if you are talking face to face with the individual” is also a good consideration.

    Some great advice Frank, thanks for sharing!

    -Martin

    • Martin,

      I really appreciate the informative comment and your view on the topic. I am glad you enjoyed the post as well. I believe LinkedIn is great to use for networking and finding a job. Like you said, there will be those people that aren’t receptive, it’s common. When I contact advertisers, some respond back, others don’t. It’s just how it is, but the important part is that you keep hustling and moving forward. It’s good to use on of your contacts on LinkedIn who you know really well and have them help you find someone that they could put you in contact with.