By Debra Feldman '74PH of the Columbia Career Coaches Network
This article originally appeared on JobWhiz.
Leverage social networking channels to increase your value and be approachable for new career opportunities
Social networking has transformed how we share information. We are more visible, which demands that we manage our public image, including our accessibility and availability. Before anyone asks to see your resume prepared for their inspection, they will undoubtedly have checked you out on the web. What others say, true and false, is visible 24/7/365 to confidants and strangers alike. Anything about us can be broadcast without our knowledge or permission, forever affecting our reputation before we can shape perceptions. Worse, unfiltered references to us asserted by others can quickly damage years of a carefully crafted, discreet identity.
While you can't control your first impression by handing over a single document, you can generate a perpetual resume, a dynamic record of achievements, affiliations and ideas that actually provides a more complete and current picture than the traditional reverse chronological job graveyard format. Searching "your name" yields photos, posts, articles, news, etc. you personally put online (for years), as well as whatever other people, even strangers, may mention (any time) that references you including attendance, recommendations, awards, etc.
The flipside is the expectation that searching "your name" produces the results the searcher needs. If the inquiry doesn't find you, there's a void like you don't exist. Your credibility suffers. You will never know that you were eliminated or what chances you have missed, and you cannot take steps to recoup the loss. Anonymity is the biggest threat to your reputation.
The solution is both offensive and defensive strategies: Network Purposefully™ to demonstrate your capabilities to the audience (market) you want to attract, develop meaningful connections to support your career goals, and vigilantly monitor your digital footprint so you can quickly improve, remove, or mitigate events. Actively participate on the social networks where your market will notice you and seek to engage their interest. Positively promote yourself as an expert using relevant, high quality content to increase visibility and enhance your expert status.
This develops a resilient barrier sparing you from a mistaken identity by strengthening your real online persona. Nowadays, with near instant global interactions, greater mobility and shorter job tenures, your online persona is as vital to career success as daily performance.
No longer can you plan on internal promotions for career progress. You must manage your own path and that's best done through connections. Virtual ties can be as influential as in person relationships. Not only must you have a good reputation among current colleagues, but you also must keep in touch with former co-workers. It's not just what you know or who you know or even who knows you, but who with authority likes, appreciates, and remembers when to contact you that opens doors to early leads.
- Develop a compelling positioning to differentiate yourself from the competition
- Distinguish yourself as a trustworthy expert within a niche market(s)
- Identify the target market(s)/employers on which to focus your promotional campaign
- Describe unique contributions for each target opportunity based on their expectations
- Prepare and publish examples demonstrating your expertise across all media channels
- Direct your social and in person networking towards attracting decision makers
- Evaluate current online persona vis-à-vis desired profile for new career opportunities
- Establish social networking accounts, create profiles, and establish participation patterns
- Prioritize social networking activities to generate best ROI for career goals
- Set up mechanisms to regularly monitor reputation and address negative influences
Debra Feldman is a part of the Columbia Career Coaches Network— a group of over 20 accredited professional alumni career coaches who provide fee-based consulting and volunteer for the Columbia Alumni Association's free professional development programs throughout the year. She is recommended by Columbia Business School.
She is also the JobWhiz™, a nationally recognized executive talent agent and job search expert who implements swift, strategic, customized senior level job search campaigns personally making live C-level and board member introductions. She accelerates hiring offers and delivers inside contacts providing "career insurance" to last a lifetime. Her gift for Networking Purposefully™ banishes employment roadblocks, expands inside connections and leverages virtual relationships to access viable leads in the hidden job market. Learn more about her groundbreaking techniques that eliminate gatekeepers and put you in control again. Contact Debra now at www.JobWhiz.com to expedite your professional ascent!