WiseWolf – Leaving the Public Sector

For anyone changing career, made redundant, unemployed or seeking a new direction!

Job Search and the Internet – Using Social Media to Network

My last post promised that today I would deal with your online presence.

Those who have worked in particularly conservative parts of the public sector may find even the thought of having an online presence uncomfortable.  But in reality, you probably already have one.

If you put your name and your previous employer into Google or Yahoo, you might be surprised by what emerges.

I put Wendy Mason,Wisewolf (the name of my company) into Google five minutes ago and came up with 4,240 references in 0.17seconds.  But then I do work with social media (Blogs etc) so I’d have a problem if it wasn’t like that.  Your own presence should depend upon what you have done and what you aspire to! But it is much better to manage it yourself than just to let it happen.

First of all, I’m assuming you know the basics of using the internet.  In job search it is great for looking up potential employers and for research before job interviews. You can also sign up with various recruitment agencies on line and upoad your CV.  But I’m most interested in how you are going to use social media (LinkedIn, FacebookTwitter and the rest).  These are not just for the young, they are efficient and effective ways to stay in touch with a whole lot of people and to find new opportunities.

I going to stick to writing about LikedIn, Facebook and Twitter because they are the sites I believe most useful for Job Search for the UK candidates who make up most of my audience.  They are also the social media sties with which I have the greatest familiarity.

LinkedIn – this is the most significant professional networking site.  It has existed since 2002 and has over a 100 million users worldwide. It is a directory of individuals and companies and is used mainly for finding and keeping in contact with business contacts, former colleagues etc, job searching, hiring and company research.

You can join for free then you complete your profile. In doing so you can put in as much or as little information as you wish and you can decide how much of that information is public. For job search it helps if you complete your profile as fully as possible and make it  public.  But, of ocurse, with all social media, you should have regard to the dangers of identity theft and think very carefully before publishing a personal phone number, your birthday etc.

If you wish you can upgrade your account which brings extra facilities like the ability to send more messages.

What to include in your LinkedIn Profile when you are unemployed can be an issue. But you can make clear that you are “open to opportunities.”  This is important because LinkedIn is routinely searched by recruitment companies who are looking for good candidates to invite to apply for particular vacancies.

Once a member, you can join various groups – there are a number related to the public sector but please look beyond them. You can join and then take part in discussions, ask questions and provide answers – it all raises your profile and your credibility.

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service.  You write messages in 140 characters just like writing a text message on your phone. In fact many people send posts to Twitter from their phones.  You can write about anything and people and companies use it in a variety of ways, including to job search.

You join for free.  Users post updates on Twitter that are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them – followers.

I love Twitter (you can follow me as @WWiswolf).  When you are working at home alone on your job search it can provide that moment of light conversation and information that you found during breaks at the tea-point.

But Twitter is now also a serious tool in job-search because employers and recruiters post job openings.  Many job seekers now use Twitter to help their job search.

Somewhere on Twitter you will find like minds but you can also find lots of advice on Twitter about job search itself. Try following Alison Doyle

Facebook can be used for job search but it needs to be used with care. Facebook is most commonly used for staying in touch with family and close friends. You need to set your privacy options very carefully if you don’t want everything you post on Facebook to be seen by a prospective employer. Chance remarks on Facebook have already cost people job offers and have caused employees to be fired.  You can find some good advice on using Facebook for Job Search again from Alison Doyle at this link

Using social media in your job search needs to be part of you overall networking strategy.  Remember that it is likely that everything you post on the net could found by potential employers if you don’t make it private, so keep the messages and your profile consistent.  But I don’t think any serious job seeker today should ignore the help that social media can provide.

If you have any questions or need any help, please get in touch – I do provide a telephone coaching service in social media if it might be useful to you.  In any case I will be very interested to hear about your experiences on line!

Next week, I’m going to start working with you on your CV

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 Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439

You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftallking.com

7 Responses to Job Search and the Internet – Using Social Media to Network

  1. Dorothy Dalton 15 May 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Wendy – great basic advice to your potential job seekers in the public sector.

    Today job search is as much about creating visibility on sites such as LinkedIn with keyword searchable content . Research suggests that 85% of recruiters and search firms tap into this resource – but I actually think this is higher in reality. So complete profiles are a must, with strong key worded content! Even on Facebook, advise your clients to have some professional content – it all contributes to a strong RSO ( Resume Search Optimisation) bringing individuals to the top of the pile!

    Good luck to everyone!

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