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3 Social Networking Tips for the Unemployed (Part 2) – Leverage LinkedIn & ConnectPosted by Neal Schaffer
In Part 1 of 3 Social Networking Tips for the Unemployed, I mentioned how it is never too late to Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty and explained the attitude that will help you network while looking for your next job. This is important in interfacing with the physical network that you already have. In Part 2 I would like to provide some social networking tips of how you approach your online networking activities via LinkedIn. If you haven’t figured it out by now, LinkedIn is the place where you will be found by recruiters, and thus your presence on the social networking site will be vital to your job-hunting activities.
Three Basic Social Networking Tips for the Unemployed
2) Rebrand Your Online Presence
Go through all of your social networking profiles and rebrand yourself for your next position. The focus here should really be on LinkedIn, but you will want to make sure that your online profiles on other social networking sites are in synch with your LinkedIn profiles for consistency. When I use the term “rebrand,” I am referring to rewriting your profiles and job descriptions towards what you want to do next. If you want to stay in your own industry and work with one of your former employer’s competitors, you may not even need to change any of your profile wording. Directly contact your potential new employer or find contacts on LinkedIn to speak with. If you are unsure as to where you want to go, read What Color is Your Parachute?, rekindle your long-forgotten passions, and rebrand your LinkedIn profile accordingly. What is important in the rebranding exercise are your profile headline, summary, job description (keywords) and industry. If you think about it, other than your company and school names (which you cannot change), these are the areas in which you can customize and control to help recruiters find you. So, in addition to changing your industry to where you want to be found, rewrite all of those old job descriptions as well as profile headline and professional summary with new keywords to fit your new brand.
3) Spend Time in Transition Wisely
Very few people find jobs on the Internet, and the higher rank your title is, the lesser of a chance you will be hired because the jobs become fewer. What do you do? Your time is the most precious resource that you will have when you are unemployed. If you feel like you are wasting your time you are doing something wrong. I know many, like myself, who find themselves busier in transition than when they were working! Here are some things that you should consider doing:
- Expand your LinkedIn Network and Start Windmill Networking. I began expanding my own network to the point of becoming an open networker or LION when I lost my job last year. Other than hiring managers at companies, who are going to help you find your next job? Recruiters. So doesn’t it make sense to connect with recruiters that were either located near where I live or were in the same industry that I wanted to work in? It is so easy to find suitable recruiters to connect with, and since many recruiters see the value in being a LION, they often accepted my invitation. Think about it: 1) You are doing the recruiter a favor in helping them expand their network, 2) You are obviously doing yourself a favor, and 3) You are doing your network a favor in that now they will also become more visible to the same recruiter and that recruiter’s network. It is an absolute win-win-win!
- Connect and Be Found. LinkedIn is the way in which you will be found by a potential employer, but you won’t be found if your network is not big enough nor if you are not connected with a few super connectors. Follow my advice and connect with the 10 LinkedIn LIONs and Super Connectors who I recommend. My friend expanded his 3rd degree network by 1 million people just by connecting with 1 of the people on that list!
- Meet New People. If 70% of the jobs are found in the “hidden job market,” you have no choice but to meet new people to increase your chances that you will be found. As a Pay It Forward social networker, once you realize that you can help others, you should have no fear in meeting new people. How to find them? You can read my advice on finding great people to connect with and meet on LinkedIn here. Connecting with others virtually is important, but most important is the ability to physically meet people and develop relationships with them. In addition to the advice on attending networking events in the previously mentioned blog post, there are two companies that hold regular networking events for executives in transition for a nominal fee: Netshare and Execunet. When I was in transition last year, I actually created two LinkedIn Groups that placed an emphasis on having physical meetups because I couldn’t find networking events to attend. The situation today is a lot brighter as new networking groups that have regular meetups are on the rise. If you live in a major city, you should have no problem finding one.
Anyone can become a savvy social networker. All it takes is the right attitude, and that is what I hope to teach you through Windmill Networking. If you need an incentive to network, remember,this is all part of a long-term investment for your career. If you are making $100,000 and are 40-years old, you career could be worth $2 million over the next 20 years. Isn’t that worth investing in?
SOCIAL NETWORKING IS A FORM OF CAREER INSURANCE THAT YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH OF.
Go out there, execute, write me back as to how you do, and let’s get some more Windmill Networking success stories posted on this blog, as well as in the Windmill Networking LinkedIn Group and Windmill Networking Facebook Fan Page.
Thanks and good luck!
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