Photo credit: Leo Reynolds
This is a two-part guest post series by Nathan McGee.
5 Simple Steps of Social Network Job Searching
Ringo Star once sang, "I get by with a little help from my friends."
When you are on the job hunt, your "friends" can be a vital asset in your search. Having someone on the inside can greatly increase your chances of getting an interview and getting hired. Reaching out through your network takes a certain poise and tenacity. You want to find a job, but you don't want to come across as needy or even worse, spammy.
Here are five simple steps to follow to help tap into that fantastic resource you know as your friends.
1. Let people know you are looking for a job.
This might seem like a no brainer and really simple, but often overlooked. Being "jobless" holds a certain negative image in our culture. Being "let go" also can have an impact on one's ego. Both of these ideas can keep someone from announcing that he/she is now back on the job market.
Think of it this way, your jogging partner might have a connection to your perfect job but he won't pass it on to you because he doesn't know you are looking!
All you have to do is announce that you are looking for a new job. A simple post on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) stating your job search intentions, i.e. "On the job hunt for a Project Management position at a fantastic company. Let me know if you have any leads!"
Don't forget the classic e-mail out to your contact list. You don't have to go into details about why you are out of work, simply state what that your are looking for work, the type of position you are looking for and a brief — I repeat — brief description of your qualifications.
I am currently looking for a job in a small to medium size circus as a monkey trainer. I have been a monkey trainer for 3 years at one of the top circuses in the nation and have trained over 50 monkeys to do such tasks as ride a bike and walk the tightrope. If you have any leads, please let me know.
2. Express your gratitude.
This is crucial if you want people to keep helping you. Despite your best efforts to explain what you do and the type of position you are looking for, you will still get people sending you jobs that you either are over qualified for or that have no connection to what you do. You will still want to be extremely grateful for the help they are providing.
Send a thank you e-mail (hand written thank you notes if you want a bigger impact) and let them know how much you appreciate them helping you. Take a few extra seconds and give a public thanks on the social network where you are connected to this person, i.e. "I want to thank Jane for referring me the marketing manager position. Jane, you are awesome!"
This accomplishes two things, one it further shows your gratitude and publicly praises the person helping you out (and social media is all about letting people know what you and others are doing); and two, it reminds others that you are still looking for a job. Which brings us to the third step...
3. Keep people posted.
When you first announce your job hunt, you will get a lot of questions, comments of encouragement and support. After a few weeks, you might get the occasional question, "how's the job search going?" Then after a while, nothing at all.
To foster enthusiasm, you will need to remind people that you are still looking for work. It can be something as simple as writing a post on your personal blog or social network profile once a week hi-lighting your efforts in the job hunt and include people to whom you are grateful (see step 2). Change your signature for your outgoing e-mails to include your job hunting efforts.
Recently I went to a fabulous Christmas party hosted by a friend who is currently looking for work. She was a fantastic host and everyone had a great time. A few days after the party she sent out an e-mail thanking everyone for coming. At the end of her e-mail she threw in a one sentence plug asking people to let her know of any jobs. It was just a casual reminder, but it put her in my mind and I found myself scouring my brain for possible leads.
Look out for tips 4 and 5, plus a bonus tip from Nathan in the second part of this series in Friday's post.
Nathan McGee is a Social Media Marketing Consultant and Social Coach. His blog can be found at nathanmcgee.com.