Written by Segun Akiode - Nigeria
Social networking involves communication and interaction between "friends" or "connections" or people that are a part of your online community. An online community is built by the effective use of social media platforms.
Social media networking or simply social networking is using social media to network with people in the same way that you would do in a face-to-face interaction. Social media networking does not replace an offline interaction, it only adds to it and enhances real-time communications among people across different geographically locations.
In my line of work as a talent-sourcing specialist with special interest in social recruiting, I am often asked, "What are the basic social media etiquettes that govern the use of social media by jobseekers?" I attempt to answer that question in today's article. Permit me to cite a few social networking tips for job seekers:
Focus on a value-adding social relationship:
As a job seeker, you need to know that in order for you to take advantage of social networking, you have to realise that recruiting is all about building relationships. When you use social media to connect with people: friends, recruiters and hiring managers, your focus should be to add value.
Before you know it, value will flow back to you in return. That is the secret of social media networking you need to come to terms with. People make job referrals first to their friends and not their enemies.
Endeavour to know your social media audience:
Every social media platform is built on its own unique audience.
And as a job seeker, you need an understanding of your social media audience to leverage social media platforms. As a job seeker, make sure your messages are appealing to the people who read them.
Do not use Facebook language on LinkedIn. Facebook has a more casual audience compared with that of LinkedIn's professional outlook. On LinkedIn, your audiences are professionals in your industry and potential employers.
So, focus on what makes you different, the value you can bring to the table, and your level of understanding and motivation about a field.
Why should a recruiter take a look at your social media profile? What kinds of status messages or pictures are posted on your social media accounts? These should be channeled appropriately.
Build a professional online presence:
Often before I acceptLinkedIn invites, I do check such LinkedIn profiles first. This is to ascertain how professional such profiles look and to weigh value demonstrated by viewing such profiles.
As a job seeker, it is how you look online that you will be addressed. If you look professional online, you will be given a professional treatment. Your social media profile photo must not be one taken at a party or a beach.
Endeavour to use a professional photo. What name do you use on your social media profiles? Is it the same as your real name or a pseudo name? Recruiters and hiring managers are watching.
Let them see you as a serious-minded individual, as they can make an impression on your offline person just by looking at what you share. Do not give any conflicting view about yourself to recruiter and hiring managers.
Use social media to strategically learn from others:
Social media can be used strategically to learn from others. You need to be focused and personal. Social media gives job seekers opportunities to learn from experts around the world in their industry of interest. Social networking is helpful to your professional development as a jobseeker.
Choose experts you plan to learn from on social media platforms: follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their blogs, connect with them on LinkedIn or watch YouTube channels to learn from them and take your career to the next level.
Treat social networking as a face-to-face networking:
Many job seekers forget that social media are just a tool to ease social networking and not completely erase it.
As a job seeker, you ought to treat social networking as you do to a face-to-face networking.
Build your relationship on social media over time and with care. I am sure you will not go for a business meeting dressed in a beach wear?
So, it is important for you to leverage social media as a tool that is it and you have to use that tool wisely and effectively.
In closing, there is great value to be reaped from social media networking but the ball is in your court as a jobseeker to take advantage of it. So, as a job seeker, social media can either be a friend or a foe. Beware how you use it!