Online job boards, networking, and social sites
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Post on 20-Aug-2015
1. The New Way to Look for a Job Job Boards, Networking, Online Social SitesTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Developing Good Online Job-Hunting Habits 2. What is a Job Board? 3. Job Sites: What to Look for 4. Job Site Review Starting a Job Search 5. New Job-Search Options = Craigslist.org and Networking Sites6. Aggregator Job Sites = Some Job Sites Search Other Sites7. Largest Job Sites = Monster, Yahoo-HotJobs, Dice, CareerBuilder8. Niche Job Sites Industry-specific Sites Help Filter Options9. Tob Job Sites10.What is Networking?11.How Do I Network Using the Internet and Why12.Netiquette: The Fine Art of Correct Behavior On the Internet13.E-Networking What is it?14.Where to Network Online15.Making Contact16.Your Personal Networking Plan17.Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous To Your Job Search 18.What is Social Networking?19.How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search20.Social Networking Sites21.Recommended Reading and Videos Developing Good Online Job-Hunting HabitsIt goes without saying that the Internet has drastically changed the way people today hunt for jobs. After all, it's probably been a few years since you've submitted a rsum via mail or fax. But even though most administrative professionals turn to the Internet first for help locating a new position, not all understand the finer points of a Web-based job search. Following are some tips to keep in mind the next time you look online.Think big.It's wise to start your search by visiting large job sites such as CareerBuilder.com because of the sheer number of listings offered. In addition, employers of all sizes and in every industry are apt to list their job openings on sites with strong brand recognition. Checking out smaller niche web pages can be helpful, but if you're at a crossroads in your career or willing to relocate, the big boards offer the widest view of what jobs are currently available.Scan the oldies but goodies.When visiting job boards, many job hunters make the mistake of limiting their search to positions posted in the last few days. A position posted one month ago might still be open, 2. especially if it requires hard-to-find skills. Plus, with most job seekers focusing on recent postings, you may be competing with fewer candidates. A dated job advertisement doesn't reflect the quality of the company or the potential desirability of the position.Visit recruiter sites.In addition to browsing the large boards, visit the websites of recruiting firms that specialize in your field, which maintain their own job postings. Some even offer detailed career information and job search advice. The advantage of these sites is that job seekers can conduct highly targeted searches and also connect with a recruiter who can work on their behalf.Go surfing.Job sites offer more than just listings. They also can serve as a launching pad for other opportunities. For instance, you may find an appealing job posting for which you are overqualified. Though you're not right for this role, you now know the company is hiring. Visit the prospective employer's website to see if there are any additional openings. Send a rsum and cover letter to the company expressing your desire to be considered for future jobs.Get social.Networking is one of the most effective ways of locating new opportunities, and the Internet makes it easier than ever to expand your web of contacts. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn.com provide "virtual" opportunities to connect with other professionals -- in your area or halfway across the world. Participating in chat rooms and discussion forums, such as those hosted by professional associations in your field or industry, also is an excellent way to find about open positions.Don't blast away.Most job sites enable users to apply for a position with the simple click of the mouse. But don't blindly blast your rsum to every company you come across. Hiring managers seek tailored rsums that directly tie a job seeker's unique skills and abilities to the requirements of the position. Take the extra time and effort to customize your application materials to each specific opportunity.Spell well.Completing employment applications online is convenient but potentially costly if you're not careful. Be mindful of your spelling and grammar when typing information directly onto online forms. Typos are no less problematic on screen than on paper. In a poll by our company, employers cited typos and grammatical errors as the most common mistakes job seekers make on their rsums.Tread carefully.There's a time and a place for everything. With that old adage in mind, be careful of when and where you do your online job hunting. Using your company's computer and Internet connection to look for a new position is a bad idea. Employers have the right to monitor the sites you visit and the e-mails you send. So, resist the temptation to hunt for a new job at the office if you want to keep the one you have for the time being.Follow up! 3. When job hunting online, it's critical that you follow up with prospective employers after applying for a position. More than a few rsums have gotten lost in cyberspace. If you've submitted your application and haven't heard back from the company, make a call or send an e-mail to verify that the rsum was received and to reassert your interest in the position. Don't worry; you're not going to annoy the employer. Eighty-two percent of executives polled by our company said job seekers should contact hiring managers within two weeks of submitting application materials.While the Internet has revolutionized the way job seekers connect with prospective employers, an online job hunt shouldn't be the only strategy you use to find a new position. The best searches combine a variety of approaches, including exploring the services offered by recruiting and staffing firms, touching base with members of your professional network, and participating in industry events where you can hobnob with hiring managers. WHAT IS A JOB BOARD? Job Board is used to refer to a website, often located on the internet or in an employment agency. People looking for work might check the job board every few days to identify opportunites. Today you may find a few of these job boards still, especially in universities, and occasionally at an employment office. More commonly, the job board is now job listings on the internet, similar to classified ads for jobs.Youll find a variety of job board types on the Internet. Sites, Blogs, & Networks like Monster; Hot Jobs; Dice; CareerBuilder; Ruthies List, Craigs List; or, Twitter can advise you of opportunities of all kinds. They may be organized around specific occupations or locations. Some are devoted to certain types work. In most major fields, youll find websites devoted specifically to searches within that profession.One thing made clear by job board listings on the Internet is that they are taking business away from the other main source for job searches, classified ads in newspapers. In larger cities, you may see fewer and fewer want ads since it may be more cost-effective to list jobs with Internet companies. Since they deal with high volumes of ads, Internet companies can usually charge less than do newspapers. Because the old standby of want ads is changing, it makes sense when youre looking for employment, to check Internet job boards first. Youll usually find the most jobs in your profession online instead of in the paper.As you seek new employment, add basic familiarity of computers and the Internet to your skill set. This can make navigating a job board, or multiple ones much simpler.Job Sites: What to Look ForIf you're starting an online job hunt, reviews suggest using more than one site and remembering that job sites are just one tool in your search. Many reviews recommend posting a resume at a large site like Monster.com or Yahoo! Hot Jobs, as well as at smaller niche sites. You should try to find a site that specializes in your field or industry. One recruiter suggests the home pages of professional organizations or unions -- you can search for them at the American Society of Association Executives' Gateway to 4. Associations. CareerXRoads.com is a well-respected site that offers directories, white papers and personalized advice on finding a job. One white paper provides an annual list of the top corporate job sites.There are online resources for arts administrators, zoologists and everyone in between. A recent Wall Street Journal article notes that employers may prefer specialized sites over the broad-based mega-sites. Employers prefer to target their ads to more qualified candidates, and ads on larger sites sometimes produce too many unqualified applicants. The large sites are working to develop relationships with niche sites, and they now have filters that employers can use to eliminate unqualified respondents. Overall, the niche sites are likely to keep gaining on the big boards, especially since they charge employers much less for posting ads. The Riley Guide, another website, has a huge listing of niche sites.Peter Weddle, author of "Weddle's 2009/10 Guide to Employment Websites," surveyed employers and recruiters who state that they find job candidates through job-related niche sites, as well as association and college alumni websites. Employers state that these sites have a higher quality of job applicants.Here are some common features to look for on job sites: Resume posting lets the job come to you. Employers and recruiters can review your profile and contact you directly. Most reviewers find this to be more effective than applying to specific jobs online. It also works better for high-demand jobs in the high-tech, business and health-care fields. Career advice lets you explore a new field. Most sites have some career-guidance features, including salary surveys and personality or skills tests. On larger sites, you will also find resume help, interviewing pointers, salary information and relocation advice. Privacy features ensure that your resume doesn't fall into the wrong hands. It may seem unlikely, but we found plenty of postings from unfortunate job seekers whose resumes were spotted online by their current employers. More importantly, with the onslaught of spam and identity theft, more websites are implementing strategies to keep your personal information out of the wrong hands. Job Site Review - Starting a job searchThe most thorough and up-to-date reviews of job websites are conducted by editors at PC Magazine. An article from The Wall Street Journal reports on some employers' preference for advertising on niche sites. Another piece, from Searcher magazine, discusses job search engines like SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com, which aggregate job listings from hundreds of other websites.Some users complain about the quality of the jobs listed on mega-sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and Yahoo! HotJobs. For instance, complaints have been found about Monster (and other large job sites) that applicants received more responses from recruiters than anyone else. Unfortunately, this seems to be a catch-22 with job sites -- the larger ones have the most listings and features, but they also have a higher percentage of bogus or misleading listings. Reviews say that using 5. most job-search sites entails some patience when it comes to weeding the good leads from the low-quality postings.CareerBuilder.com is one of the three major job sites, along with Monster and Yahoo! HotJobs. According to Workforce Management magazine, CareerBuilder.com ranks just behind Monster.com as a source of hiring for companies that use job boards. CareerBuilder has 1.5 million job listings and 300,000 companies posting jobs. The site also has job listings in a variety of special categories, including a large supply of work- at-home opportunities, and all have brief descriptions. Many reviewers list this site as one of the best. CareerBuilder is owned by the newspaper chains Gannett, Tribune and McClatchy, and features classified listings from major newspapers. Microsoft also owns a small percentage of the company. However, on Dec. 9, 2008, the Tribune Co., which owns 30.8 percent of the company, filed for bankruptcy. Also in December, CareerBuilder laid off about 15 percent of its workforce. Only time will tell what effects these events will have on the company, if any.Despite the huge numbers of postings at the major job sites, according to The Riley Guide, most people still find their next job by networking with friends, family or colleagues. For that reason, online networking sites -- the most prominent being LinkedIn.com -- have become increasingly important to job seekers. Geared toward professional relationships, networking websites allow their members to build a web of social and business associates and to interact person-to-person with new contacts. LinkedIn also posts ads from employers.New Job-Search Options - Craigslist.org and Networking SitesAlthough Monster, CareerBuilder and Yahoo! HotJobs remain the largest job sites, there's evidence that job seekers and employers are finding more targeted ways to look for a potential position or candidate. While it didn't specifically start out as a job-hunt site, the online classifieds website Craigslist.org has been growing in usefulness as a job-search resource. Indeed, Craigslist boasts that its job boards have millions more daily page views than either Monster or CareerBuilder.Employers are able to post ads to Craigslist.org for free or at a nominal cost, in contrast to the hundreds of dollars the major job boards charge per ad. This makes Craigslist.org attractive to smaller employers and to those posting more esoteric jobs. The site is organized by city and state, and the listings represent a good cross-section of locally available opportunities. Jobs are categorized by industry, with the most recent postings listed first. There is also a keyword search engine with a few filtering options. Part-time and temporary jobs are listed separately under "gigs." Other career sites are blocked from gathering ads from Craigslist.org, so its postings generally won't show up on aggregator sites like SimplyHired.com or Indeed.com.Job seekers may post resumes on Craigslist.org, but it's important to take privacy precautions since anyone can view what you post. Likewise, take precautions with responses, since anyone may pose as a representative from a company. Take the 6. time to do your own follow-up work to make sure the offer is legitimate. All personal information other than an e-mail address should be removed from your resume. Job-Hunt.org offers detailed guidelines on "Your Cyber-Safe Resume," tailored to sites like Craigslist.org.Another trend is the increasing recognition of networking sites as an effective alternative to the major job sites. The professional networking service LinkedIn is cited by PC Magazine as "by far the most developed" of these. Users can create a LinkedIn account and post personal profiles detailing their skills and experience. Headhunters browsing the site for employees with relevant experience may contact individuals after seeing their profiles. Each profile includes an option to add contacts and references from past and current colleagues, and enlarging your network increases the chances of a recruiter (or even just a colleague that knows about an open position) noticing your profile. According to About.com's Alison Doyle, "LinkedIn members comprise 130 different industries, and include 130,000 recruiters." Mega-sites CareerBuilder and Monster are following this trend and now give users the option to create a business networking profile.LinkedIn.com's members can invite others to join their list of connections and thus build a network. In addition, your contacts may provide referrals to people they list on their profiles, increasing your ability to make personal connections with those you otherwise would never meet. Members may search the site for those with the same background, university or experience, potentially leading to fresh opportunities. LinkedIn's primary function is social networking rather than job searching, but the site does have job listings and a search function.A tool called JobInsider allows users to open any job ad on Monster, CareerBuilder, HotJobs, Craigslist, SimplyHired, Dice or Vault, and then find out who in their network is employed by the hiring company. JobInsider also gives users tools to request an introduction with the hiring manager and mention the employees the user already knows. This gives LinkedIn job seekers an advantage over others who just anonymously respond to an ad, since LinkedIn users already have an "in" with the hiring manager. Creating a profile at LinkedIn.com is free.Jobster.com is a site that combines advertising and recruiting services for companies with social-networking and job-search features. User profiles and employee reviews of corporations appear on the site along with resume posts and searchable job listings. In addition, Jobster's interface with the social-networking site Facebook.com allows users to create a "talent network" listing the user's professional connections. CareerBuilder.com, Dice.com, SimplyHired.com and HotJobs.com have also developed applications linking their postings to Facebook.Aggregator Job Sites - Some job sites search other sitesSimplyHired.com and Indeed.com are job search sites that aggregate millions of listings from all the major job sites (with the exception of Craigslist.org), plus newspapers, corporate job boards and other professional sites. Searcher magazine has 7. a comprehensive review of both SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com. These two sites are different from the traditional job site because both focus on the job hunter. There are no services for employers, though they can advertise on the sites. Both sites allow job seekers to search by keyword. Searcher Editor Jennie Starr writes, "Both companies do a good job of providing information on the freshness of the job, listing the number of hours/minutes the item has been available on the site."While Indeed.com is more frequently mentioned by reviewers of job search engines, SimplyHired.com offers more features. With SimplyHired.com, you can search by keyword, location or specific occupation. You can filter results by job type, required experience, education and date. You can also filter by company size and revenue. In addition, SimplyHired allows users to rate each job result, and when you've rated enough job listings, SimplyHired.com will begin suggesting job listings based on your preferences. PC Magazine says the site "should be your new first web stop when looking for a job."SimplyHired has an uncluttered, easy-to-use interface. Rather than allow users to create their own profile on the site as Monster and CareerBuilder have recently done, SimplyHired partnered with LinkedIn. According to a press release, the "Who Do I Know" feature allows users to view their LinkedIn connections at each company alongside their job search results. Additionally, the site has tools for job seekers to connect their information on SimplyHired with their MySpace and Facebook profiles, and a widget that allows users to view new job listings on their desktop or their personal blog. Other applications include widgets for cell phone access, RSS feeds and trends information. In October 2008, SimplyHired announced that it would no longer offer its Resume Post feature, which posted resumes to other job sites.Another site, Oodle.com, is a classified-ad aggregator that pulls its listings from thousands of other sites (though not from Craigslist.org). The site simply links to ads found elsewhere, with some tools for refining a search and an option to receive e-mail updates about new listings. Classifieds are especially useful for those searching for non-corporate, non-technical jobs, and PC Magazine calls Oodle "a formidable web presence" in the field.Yet another option is Hound.com, a job site that narrows its search results to employer websites only. The idea is to weed out bogus listings and positions that have been filled in favor of the most current postings from company sites. The focus on quality over quantity could save time wasted by chasing dead or worthless links. Juju.com uses a similar strategy. JobCentral.com is a membership organization of major corporations like IBM and Hewlett-Packard. It allows job seekers to directly search employer ads and might be worth a try if you're looking for work with a huge corporation.Although America's Job Bank is now defunct, the U.S, Department of Labor's site CareerOneStop.org, allows users to search state job banks, which incorporate a wide variety of non-technical and non-business categories. The new site retains the InfoNet section, which contains occupation profiles, median salary information and education statistics supplied by the government. 8. Largest Job Sites - Monster, Yahoo! HotJobs are Still Good OptionsBy all accounts, Monster.com lives up to its name, with countless pages of career advice and over one million job postings. The job listings cover positions in all industries, in all locations and at all levels for part-time, seasonal, temporary and contract jobs. Monster Networking is a feature that connects people in the same industry to provide possible leads. Monster Learning is a directory of online degree programs. Job seekers can subscribe to targeted newsletters, browse message boards on various topics and read the job site's blog. The Privacy Plus feature allows those who post resumes to block viewing access for certain companies (such as their current employers). Reviews are nearly unanimous in listing Monster as the best big job site.Monster has also recently implemented a profile page for users that allows for greater networking abilities. The profile tool is still in its beta form, but is an effort by Monster to keep up with the success that other networking sites like LinkedIn have seen. On the profile page there is a recent activity feed that displays job, resume and applications activity. Another new feature is Monster Mobile, which allows users to easily search the latest listings from their mobile device.Job seekers agree there is an extensive listing of jobs on Monster, but a common complaint is there are too many temp agencies and recruiters posting jobs. Some job hunters say they get lost in a sea of information, and recruiters are overwhelmed by the glut of resumes from unqualified applicants. According to LoveToKnow.com, Monster's popularity comes with a price: "ad-rich pages (often, an ad loads before you're allowed to go to the next page)." Experts do agree, however, that Monster.com can be a good place to survey the landscape and see what's out there.Yahoo! HotJobs is also one of the best mega-sites, according to job site reviews. HotJobs makes it easy to find jobs and allows you to save your job searches and listings. Its location search is more specific than the engine at Monster, allowing a user to look in smaller towns as well as large cities. HotJobs' privacy features include HotBlock, which allows users to block specific companies from viewing their resume -- a helpful tool for people who fear that their current employer might stumble across their online resume. Job seekers can subscribe to any of nine free newsletters that cater to segments of the market such as technology, government, sales, health care and college grads. The discussion boards at HotJobs receive a lot of traffic and are another good source of information and career advice.Although HotJobs allows postings from headhunters and agencies, job hunters choose whether their searches include listings from staffing firms. The site has recently partnered with more than 350 newspapers and saw its traffic increase by 53 percent in 2007, according to The Wall Street Journal. By contrast, Monster saw a 4 percent increase. 9. Niche Job Sites - Industry-specific Sites Help Filter OptionsJob search sites that cater to niche markets are rapidly gaining in popularity. Online job sites have always served technical professions better than others, and reviews continue to recommend Dice.com, which appeals directly to tech-minded people with its intelligent, no-nonsense interface. There are more tech jobs at Dice.com than at any other site -- currently more than 60,000 listings. The site claims that many who post their resume receive a job offer within 48 hours.Dice also has an extensive section of links to training courses and certification exams, many of which are offered at a discount. As a supplement to this there is DiceTV, which airs videos about career advice and trends specific to the tech industry. Dice has also recently added a section called DicePlay. In this section users can link to Facebook, upload videos of themselves discussing the pitfalls of their current jobs in the "rant room," play tech career related video games, and more.In addition to niche market sites that cater to specific industries there are some new sites that cater to specific classes or levels of workers. Forbes published an article in September 2008 reviewing NotchUp.com, a site for executives grossing $80,000 to $120,000 annually. Notchup says it only features the best and brightest professionals, forcing companies to compete over the job candidates. To promote this, job candidates get to set a price for an interview -- between $250 to $1,000, according to the website. It's no surprise that membership to this site is by invitation or screened application. NotchUp.com's founder says that the site was started because "stellar people usually aren't in the job market."Another site that serves the executive market is TheLadders.com. The site prescreens all jobs to be sure they pay more than $100,000 annually. The site does not require an invitation to join, but does require a fee. Star Reviews likes the site's easy-to-use interface and large number of executive career postings. The main downside noted is that users cannot fully access the site during the free trial.College students and recent grads are best served by MonsterTrak, the most visited site for college-age job seekers. Monster owns this site, which has a focus on entry- level, part time or seasonal jobs. Reviews say that this is the best place to start looking for summer employment, an internship or your first job, with listings searchable by state and industry.CareerJournal.com is part of The Wall Street Journal, a must-read for business types. Most of the 125,000 job listings are for senior executives in a variety of fields. Its career content is also informative and updated daily. Extras include information about creating a great resume and interviewing strategies, but other job-hunting tips are also discussed, such as tactics for switching careers. One caveat is that the site has so much information that it appears cluttered, and it may be difficult to find what you want. 10. Top Job SitesAn argument could be made for not relying solely on the top job sites based on the fact that millions of other job seekers are using them. However, because these sites are the most visited and have the most job postings it is still worth incorporating them into your job search.Here are the top sites, along with a brief description of what you will find. Some sites require you to register, others let you search without signing-up. Job seekers can post their resume and apply directly online. Most sites offer job search agents so you can sign-up to have new listings that meet your criteria sent via email. Many sites provide extensive career resources too, including salary information and career advice.CareerBuilder Post your resume and search by location, job title, keyword, and salary. Good source for local positions.Craigslist There's nothing fancy or significantly searchable about Craig's List. Just a simple list of "real" jobs. Click on the city that interests you and review the list of job openings. Job Search Engine Sites Use the job search engines like Indeed and Simply Hired to search all the top job sites, company sites and online newspapers with one or two clicks. Monster The web's most popular national (and international) database of employment opportunities. Yahoo! HotJobs Job search by career field, location, and company. Also resume posting and job search agents. What is Networking? According to The Riley Guide (www.therileyguide.com); networking is the art of building alliances. It's not contacting everyone you know when you are looking for a new job and asking if they know of any job openings. Networking starts long before a job search, and you probably don't even realize you are doing it.Kelly Pate of the Denver Post wrote in her article, Everyday People Key in Job Networking (March 30, 2003), that "Friends, friends of friends, a barber, a neighbor and former co-workers are often the best resources for job seekers, especially in a market with far more people out of work than job openings, job placement experts say."You are networking when you 11. attend professional or trade association meetings talk to other parents when attending your child's sporting or music events volunteer for a local park "clean-up" day visit with other members of your social clubs or religious groups talk to your neighbors strike up a conversation with someone else waiting at the veterinarian's office post messages on mailing lists or in chat rooms talk to sales persons who are visiting your officeIn his blog Adopting the Mentoring and Networking Lifestyle, John Kobara says "I discovered that mentoring and networking are more than popular techniques to broaden your thinking about your career and your life. To be effective as a mentor/mentee or in networking you have to integrate these into your life. You need to mentor and network in everything you do." His blog discusses how the adoption of a lifestyle of connecting with and guiding others at all times can benefit your career as well as you personally.In Terms of a Job Search, Networking is the way to Go!Networking is also consistently cited as the Number 1 way to get a new job. You know how everyone says that "80% of the jobs available never get advertised? This is how you find them and get them!According to CareerXRoad's 8th Annual Sources of Hire Survey (Feb 2009), referrals made up 27.3% of all external new hires (folks brought in from outside an organization). Employee referrals were the major portion of these, but alumni referrals are growing.The folks who do the hiring would much rather talk to someone who's been recommended by someone they already employ. It's easier for them because they have your first reference and it saves them considerable effort in advertising the position and sorting through all the resumes and phone calls.How Do I Network Using the Internet, and Why? The Internet can be a great way to begin those casual relationships that turn into wonderful networking opportunities. Since we aren't face-to-face with the other person, the stress of making these new connections is greatly alleviated, but don't think that it's an easy market out there. It is very important that we begin these relationships in the right way. Since we can't use our voices or body language to express ourselves, we are limited to making sure the words we use and the ways in which they are presented properly represent our intentions. To be blunt, Don't make a mess of a great opportunity to connect with people in hiring places!This is not just referring to the new Internet users. A lot of Internet oldie-moldies need a reminder that there are real people behind the electrons, and real people make real decisions based on your electronic communication blunders.Advantages of Online Networking There are thousands of discussion groups and community forums covering hundreds ofsubjects. 12. You can "break the ice" before meeting someone in person. You can listen, engage, or be engaged as you wish. No one can see you sweat, and youdon't have to feel like a wallflower since no one can see you standing off by yourself. Many recruiters are lurking the lists to find potential candidates.Disadvantages Networking online is just as difficult as networking in person! In fact, it may be harderbecause you can't really establish a true personal relationship online. First impressions count even more. Be very careful with your first public posting. Your online behavior matters more than you think. Don't be a jerk.Netiquette: The Fine Art of Correct Behavior on the Internet Do not go boldly where you have never gone before! 1. Stop and learn the rules of netiquette, and then follow them!2. Look for a list of Frequently Asked Questions (the FAQ) so you don't ask the same questions that everyone else has.3. Listen patiently to the discussion groups you have joined and learn the tone, language, and culture of the group.4. Never post your resume to the list nor open ask if anyone can help you find a job unless the group is specifically set up for this kind of service.E-Networking What is It? Nancy Halpern, founder of Strategic Positioning for People in Business and writer for The Riley Group, (www.therileygroup.com) indicates that traditional networking teaches you to build a primary contact list, which you use to identify additional names and contacts. The process repeats itself until you create an upside down pyramid, believing that the "hidden" job market holds the best opportunities, if only you can network your way into them.E-Networking combines the traditional networking you do as part of your career search, with the power of the Internet. It allows you to create a community of virtual contacts who can provide critical information on job leads, industry trends and possible openings. These are people whom you would never have met in any other way.The Three Keys of Successful E-Networking Reproducing this critical career search strategy on the Internet can dramatically expand your circle of contacts and help locate that next great opportunity even faster. In order to achieve the best results, it is essential to answer three basic questions before you begin:What is the advantage of E-Networking?Many people feel awkward with the concept of networking. They are reluctant to pick up the phone and call a stranger, even if there has been a personal recommendation from a mutual friend. The dialogues feel forced, strained and artificial. Some people are very comfortable doing this, but for many, it is the most dreadful and difficult part of the job search process. On- line interactions, however, do not involve a phone call or necessitate a personal meeting, thereby eliminating most of the fear surrounding that first "encounter". When you feel more 13. comfortable networking, you will do more of it, thereby generating new leads on a continual basis from a growing circle of contacts.Where do I go for E-Networking?There are many sites devoted to business networking, and other sites that have strong networking components. Professional associations, alumni organizations, message boards and other on-line communities are all places that you should visit with E-Networking in mind. The same is true for ISPs and browsers, which often host career clubs segmented by industry or area of expertise. Always investigate the links of sites you visit to see what other places you should visit for E-Networking leads.There are some differences between traditional networking and E-Networking. These include: E-Networking does not require an introduction from a primary contact on your networking list. The person on-line is the primary contact and can also refer you to others.E-Networking gets immediate responses. There is no telephone tag to be played on-line. People who are email fluent check their email frequently, and tend to respond within 48 hours to an inquiry. Someone who is not interested in E-Networking simply won't respond at all.Everyone on the Internet is accessible to you. The publication of their email address means that you have an opportunity to initiate contact and build a relationship. That sort of availability simply doesn't exist in traditional networking.Managing your circle of contacts is greatly simplified. You can use contact lists that are internal to many sites, or your own electronic address book to manage your growing circle of E- Networking contacts. There is no need to collect numerous business cards with hastily scrawled reminders about each individual.Many sites sponsor networking circles and events. Some of the best E-Networking sites are traveling throughout the country, hosting presentations and seminars for their members. The assumption is that you have met colleagues virtually, and now want to cement those relationships at an evening dedicated to further networking and perhaps even professional development.There are some differences between traditional networking and E-Networking. These include: E-Networking does not require an introduction from a primary contact on your networking list. The person on-line is the primary contact and can also refer you to others.E-Networking gets immediate responses. There is no telephone tag to be played on-line. People who are email fluent check their email frequently, and tend to respond within 48 hours to an inquiry. Someone who is not interested in E-Networking simply won't respond at all.Everyone on the Internet is accessible to you. The publication of their email address means that you have an opportunity to initiate contact and build a relationship. That sort of availability simply doesn't exist in traditional networking.Managing your circle of contacts is greatly simplified. You can use contact lists that are internal to many sites, or your own electronic address book to manage your growing circle of E- Networking contacts. There is no need to collect numerous business cards with hastily scrawled reminders about each individual.Many sites sponsor networking circles and events. Some of the best E-Networking sites are traveling throughout the country, hosting presentations and seminars for their members. The 14. assumption is that you have met colleagues virtually, and now want to cement those relationships at an evening dedicated to further networking and perhaps even professional development. Where to Network Online This is where mailing lists, chat rooms and web forums, and social networking websites come in. Many professionals use these communication mediums for networking, discussing recent developments in their occupation or industry and asking questions of each other. Anyone involved in a job search or career exploration can benefit from following these online, public discussions, learning about current trends and developments and the interests and concerns of those involved.Chat Rooms and Web Forums are like your office water cooler. Conversations can be highly professional or very informal. Numerous web sites and online services like the Vault.com Career Discussions (select Discussions from the top menu) and AOL's People Connection offer you the opportunity to create your own virtual meeting space.Social Networking Websites are a little different in that they work the "six degrees of separation" concept to the extreme, using the Internet to turn who you are, who you know, and what you know into a monster-sized spider net of connectivity. These include services like LinkedIn and Networking for Professionals. Some may be more casual, but others are targeted to professional linkages.Mailing Lists are a long-standing communication forum heavily used in academic and research professions. While many now have web interfaces, they still operate via email, meaning you must have a personal email account to participate.What Might You Find?These many networking / discussion sites can cover a broad variety of topics and fields. Many carry occasional job postings, usually in advance of print announcements, and they are a good resource for networking contacts, industry trends, and other developments. Look for sites and services dedicated to the industry you want to target, the employer(s) that interest you, or even the community where you want to live.Public participation in discussions is necessary to get networking contacts. You will also need to provide your own credentials at some point to make connections with others. This may include your name, current employer, a vague (yet correct) job title, and email address (see why under Making Contact, below).We recommend you use a free, personal email account for your networking and community discussion groups. Many employers have policies against use of their resources (i.e., email) for personal pursuits and many more monitor employee email. You can also protect yourself from spamming and nasty downloading freeloaders.When you begin checking out these various discussion forums, it is best for you to monitor the discussions for a while, looking for information on the field or discipline. You should not participate in the discussions until you are quite comfortable with the group. 15. Making Contact How do you know who to connect with online?Look for postings by someone who seems to be knowledgeable about the topic being discussed. Note their email address at the top, and look for signature information citing their organizational affiliation, position in the organization, and more complete contact information.Once you have identified some mailing list participants you want to contact, prepare your email letter very carefully. Be professional and especially polite, and double-check for grammar and spelling errors before sending your message. 1. Be sure to contact the person directly and not through the list. Do not post a general message to the list or newsgroup asking if anyone is willing to talk to you.2. Be concise. Identify yourself, state why you are contacting this person, and list some of your interests and where you noticed some correlation with his or her interests as noted in the postings you've read.3. Do NOT send this person a copy of your resume. You are networking, trying to establish a relationship that extends far beyond just "please help me find a job." A resume will blow everything to bits at this point. Just relax and let the relationship build to a point where a resume will be requested or you feel comfortable asking for advice on preparation.4. Request a follow-up to this email, via phone or email. Give your contact the choice of how to continue. Your Personal Networking Plan Who do you know to contact for help in finding your next job? Answer, everyone you know is a potential contact, opportunity or source of information about a company or someone else.Dont be shy when putting this list together there is no stigma these days to finding yourself out of work. Most people believe it will happen to them one day and are willing to help.You could try the following steps to extend your market as far as possible:a) Identify all the possible contact groups you have in your life, e.g. social club, college/Alumni groups, ex-colleagues, church, technical/professional, personal (your doctor, dentist, accountant, bank)/business suppliers, customers, etc. Contact (Sub) Groups b) If you wish, you can sub-categorize and separate each group of individuals by each particular interest/social network.c) List the names of all the contacts you can think of under each group or sub-group, attempting to prioritize your initial view of their relative importance (remember, some people may not appear to you as important, but they may know someone else or a relative who does!) 16. Contact (Sub) Groups Names/Email Addresses/Phone No. d) Add in your email contact lists, networking lists from any internet groups you currently belong. Keep addinge) Prioritize into those you will contact first because you believe they are the most likely to know a hot prospect. As indicated before, when you decide not to contact someone, a NO, make a note of the reason why, and decide to revisit this on a specific date in the future, e.g. after Christmas.Contact (Sub)Names/Email Addresses/Phone No.PriorityGroups (High/Medium/Low) H H M L H M L L No H 17. (Yes, there may be a few people that you do not want to inform, for example, an elderly relative or an ex-colleague you did not get on with, but they will be few in number. So, if you want to exclude a potentially good contact, make a note of that reason. You may want to come back and reassess this decision later.)f) If you know the employer of your contact and starting with the high priorities, try to gather some information about the company and their position before making contact. Read the company website. What type of products, services, do they sell and markets to they serve? What problems could they have that you may be able to solve?g) Set a daily target of who you will research and only then make contact. Keep a detailed record of phone calls/letters/copy of any modified resume you may send. Note any agreed follow up actions and dates.h) Remember, personal contact is more effective than letter or email. Letters and email can be used to set up a time to speak and to clarify the reason for the conversation. It often depends on how well you know the person and how natural the call will be, e.g. a regular supplier may be used to hearing from you by phone, the managing director of a local firm, may need some background/resume before alerting his/her PA to give you 15 minutes.i) Prepare different resumes for specific employers, including the information that presents you best and answers that critical question, what problem does this person solve for me? j) PAs are powerful people, so dont avoid the chance to communicate your marketing statement to them. They are someone else to add to your contact list.What works, when making contact?There is no magic formula, but there are some things that work better than others.a) Send a short personalized and targeted letter (e.g. three short paragraphs), and do not send generic letters. 18. b) Tell them in the letter that you will contact them in a few days, but also provide your contact details, in case they want to pick up the phone straight away it happens!c) Ask for a short call, max 15 minutes, to ask what advice they can give you about your job search, career opportunities, and possible contacts. Do not ask them a question they can say no to or that may embarrass them, particularly if they know you well, such as do you have a job for me? This may cause them to avoid you and you will lose out on any information they may have on possibilities elsewhere.d) Prepare a few specific, back-up questions about the company, in case you get a call out of the blue. They act as memory joggers to your earlier research. Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous to Your Job SearchFrom Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor:That cute, affable guy who brags of his drunken exploits on FaceBook.com may be meeting a lot of other partiers online, but he's probably not getting added to the "friends" lists of many corporate recruiters. A recent study by the executive search firm ExecuNet found that 77 percent of recruiters run searches of candidates on the Web to screen applicants; 35 percent of these same recruiters say they've eliminated a candidate based on the information they uncovered."You'd be surprised at what I've seen when researching candidates," says Gail, a recruiter at a Fortune 500 company who recently began looking up potential hires on the Web. "We were having a tough time deciding between two candidates until I found the profile of one of them on MySpace. It boasted a photo of her lounging on a hammock in a bikini, listed her interests as 'having a good time' and her sex as 'yes, please.' Not quite what we were looking for.""Another time I went to a candidate's site and found racial slurs and jokes," Gail continues. "And there was yet another instance where a candidate told me he was currently working for a company, yet he left a comment on a friend's profile about how it 'sucked' to be laid off, and how much fun it was to be unemployed!"As the amount of personal information available online grows, first impressions are being formed long before the interview process begins, warns David Opton, ExecuNet CEO and founder. "Given the implications and the shelf-life of Internet content, managing your online image is something everyone should address -- regardless of whether or not you're in a job search," he says. Because the risks don't stop once you're hired.Twenty-three-year old Kara recently took a job as a management consultant at a high-profile practice in the Los Angeles area. An Ohio native, with no friends or family on the West Coast, Kara put up a profile on MySpace in the hopes of meeting new people.Kara was judicious in how she set up her site: "I didn't fill out that cheesy questionnaire many people post, where you describe your best feature and say whether or not you shower every day." she says. "I used a photo that was flattering but not at all provocative and was even careful what music I chose."Within a few months, Kara met many others online who shared her interest in biking and water sports. One Friday morning, Kara decided to call in sick and go surfing with a few of her new pals. That weekend, unbeknownst to Kara, her friend posted some of the day's pictures on her profile and sent Kara a message saying, "We should call in sick more often."Unfortunately for Kara, her boss happened to be patrolling MySpace to check up on her college- 19. age daughter and came across Kara's site and the dated photos!Mortified, Kara says she learned an important lesson -- not only about honesty, but about how small the world of online social networking can be and how little control you have over any information put out there.Not all employers search candidates and employees online, but the trend is growing. Don't let online social networking deep-six your career opportunities. Protect your image by following these simple tips:1. Be careful. Nothing is private. Don't post anything on your site or your "friends" sites you wouldn't want a prospective employer to see. Derogatory comments, revealing or risqu photos, foul language and lewd jokes all will be viewed as a reflection of your character.2. Be discreet. If your network offers the option, consider setting your profile to "private," so that it is viewable only by friends of your choosing. And since you can't control what other people say on your site, you may want to use the "block comments" feature. Remember, everything on the Internet is archived, and there is no eraser!3. Be prepared. Check your profile regularly to see what comments have been posted. Use a search engine to look for online records of yourself to see what is out there about you. If you find information you feel could be detrimental to your candidacy or career, see about getting it removed -- and make sure you have an answer ready to counter or explain "digital dirt." Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. 20. What Is Social Networking? Social Networking - perhaps you've heard of it before, butare not quite sure what it means.Social networking is the grouping of individuals into specific groups, like small rural communities or a neighborhood subdivision, if you will. Although social networking is possible in person, especially in the workplace, universities, and high schools, it is most popular online. This is because unlike most high schools, colleges, or workplaces, the internet is filled with millions of individuals who are looking to meet other internet users, to gather and share first-hand information or experiences about any number of topics, from golfing to gardening developing friendships, or to start a professional relationshipWhen it comes to online social networking, websites are commonly used. These websites are known as social sites. Social networking websites function like an online community of internet users. Depending on the website in question, many of these online community members share a common interest such as hobbies, religion, or politics. Once you are granted access to a social networking website you can begin to socialize. This socialization may include reading the profile pages of other members and possibly even contacting them. You can even organize and combine all of your online profiles into just ONE "Whzz Key" profile at http://www.whzzz.com/.The friends that you can make are just one of the many benefits to social networking online. Another one of those benefits includes diversity because the internet gives individuals from all around the world access to social networking sites. This means that although you are in the United States, you could develop an online friendship with someone in Denmark. Not only will you make new friends, but you just might learn a thing or two about new cultures or new languages and learning is always a good thing.How to Use Social Media in Your Job SearchUsing LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Job SearchIn her recent article on about.com (www.about.com); Rachel Levy says: most people know that the best way to find a job is through networking. You can go to networking meetings, tap into your own personal network, or ask friends who they know.With the Internet buzzing with social media, there are similarly many ways to use social media in order to network, and eventually find a job. According to an article in DMNews, Jeremiah Owyang from Forrester Research agrees that social networks allow all parties involved to better search for and reach their target. 21. I decided to write down my thoughts on the topic. I also had an opportunity to talk to Warren Sukernek who found his job at Radian6 through Twitter! He gave me lots of great advice in this area, so I've incorporated his thoughts below.LinkedInIf you're not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. Basically, it's a site that allows you to connect to people you know. It also allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect to them. There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn in a job search: Company Search - One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is if you have a very specific company you are interested in. You search on that company, and hopefully find people who are connected to other people you know. Then, you can ask your personal contact to connect you. Or, if you pay $30/month, you have the opportunity to email people who you don't have a contact in common with. Job Postings - LinkedIn allows employers to post jobs on the site. The jobs are usually high quality, professional jobs. Email - When I was first laid off, I sent a large email to everyone in my LinkedIn network, letting them know of my situation, and asking for any help or people they could put me in touch with them. Blog Link - LinkedIn now gives you the ability to link your blog post to your profile. So every time I post a new blog post, it updates on my profile, so anyone looking at my profile will see what I'm writing about. It also includes the updated post in the weekly update emails that go out to your connections. Twitter Link - Similar to Blog Link, LinkedIn also pulls your conversations from Twitter. So, anyone who is not on Twitter, can see what you are tweeting about.Warren's LinkedIn Advice Recommendations - Warren suggested getting many more recommendations on profile. Status Updates - Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has status updates. Warren suggests that it's a good idea to update your status, to better inform your connections what you've been up to. Headline - LinkedIn gives you a place to add a professional headline. Make it more exciting and enticing, such as "Innovative marketer with a drive for results."TwitterThe best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don't know, based on common interests. What a great way to do some networking! Basic Networking - I am now much more connected to people who are involved in areas I'm interested in. Today I heard about jobs available at two companies. I tweeted two people I met on Twitter, and in minutes I had some information about the jobs. Job Postings - I am connected to a few people who know about jobs that I would not have otherwise known, i.e. @socialmediajob or other recruiters. Connecting - When someone follows me or I follow them, I read their bio thoroughly. If it looks like they work somewhere I might be interested in, or if I think they might be 22. someone who could connect me to others, I get in touch with them. A few have said no or not responded at all, but for the most part, everyone is very open to meeting or talking. Companies - My new favorite Twitter tool is Twellow (on my list of programs I "use regularly"), which actually searches people's bios and URLs on their bios. It's amazing! For example, I did a quick search on Shift Communications, a company I would love to work for and I could see that 13 people from Shift are on Twitter.Warren's Twitter Advice What's Going On - Warren suggests being more proactive in talking about what's going on in regards to your job search. So, mentioning things more often about interviews youve had, or people you have met with. This keeps it fresh in people's heads that you are looking for a job. Reaching Out - Warren also suggests just reaching out to people you want to network with and saying something like "Hi - I'm looking to break into social media. Is there anyone you can think of to refer me to?" Twitter Name - Warren's opinion is that your Twitter name should be your name, as it will help in your search engine results.FacebookFacebook is used primarily for connecting with friends or people you know and reconnecting with people in your past. But, it can also be an effective networking tool. Notes - While I do know everyone I'm friends with on Facebook, I don't necessarily know or remember where each person works. And, I definitely don't know where each of their friends work. So, when I first was laid off, I posted a "note" on Facebook, explaining the situation, and what I was looking for. A note tends to stay on people's screens longer than a status update, and you can write much more. Status Update - I do frequently post status updates relating to my job search, to keep it top of mind that I'm still looking for a job. I'll say things like "I had a great interview this morning... keep your fingers crossed!" or "I have a networking meeting later today with a company I'm really interested in!". I also write a status update with a link when I write a new blog post.Warren's Facebook Advice Notes for Blog Posts - Create a "note" for each blog post. As I mentioned above, notes stay on people's screen's longer. I think that some people may be more likely to read it if the text is right there on the screen rather than having to click through to the blog. Also, if they comment on it on Facebook, it becomes even more viral. Tag Your Friends - If you write a blog post that includes a reference to a friend on Facebook, tag them. That way, their friends will be alerted to your post, and your message will spread more quickly. 23. Social Networking Sites Top Social Media Sites for Job Searching On the website about.com (www.about.com) Alison Doyle writes: Networking is one of the most important components of job searching. Use these top social and professional networking sites to enhance your career and boost your job search, and learn how to use social networking sites to job search.LinkedIn How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job - Or Have a Job Find YouCreate a Profile. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current andpast), education, industry, and web sites. Consider a Photo. You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a largerphoto and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile. Note that it must be a small photo - no larger than80x80 pixels. Keywords and Skills. Include all your resume keywords and skills in your profile, so yourprofile will be found. Build Your Network. Connect with other members and build your network. The moreconnections you have, the more opportunities you have, with one caveat from Kay Luo,"Connect to people you know and trust or have a business relationship with, no need to gocrazy and connect with everyone." Get Recommendations. Recommendations from people you have worked with carry a lot ofweight. Search Jobs. Use the job search section to find job listings. Use Answers. The Answers section of LinkedIn is a good way to increase your visibility.Respond to questions, and ask a question if you need information or assistance. Stay Connected. Use LinkedIn Mobile (m.linkedin.com) to view profiles, invite newconnections, and access to LinkedIn Answers from your phone.Facebook Tips For Using Facebook for Professional NetworkingIf you do decide to use the social networking sites for professional networking, and, a word of warning, some experts I spoke to suggested that Facebook and business don't mix well, here are some suggestions on how best to utilize it:First, make a decision whether to keep Facebook social or expand your use. If you decide to use Facebook for professional networking, take a close look at your Profileand decide what you want business contacts or prospective employers to see - and what youdon't. Create a simple profile (or clean up with your existing one) with minimal graphics and widgets. Limit the photos you post. Post content relevant to your job search or career. Use Facebook email to build relationships with your Friends. Choose your Friends wisely. Remember your Friends can see information about your otherFriends in your Profile. 24. Twitter Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface. Twitter is open ended and people and companies use it in a variety of ways, including to job search.MySpace MySpace is a social networking website offering users the opportunity to connect through personal profiles, blogs, groups and other features.Tips for Using MySpace for Job SearchingDon't put up anything you'd be embarrassed to have your Grandma find (she might be onlinetoo!). Consider whether you will want to read what you wrote today twenty years from now, whenyou're at a different stage of your life. Would you want your (future) kids reading it? Realize that there is a difference between what you and a recruiter might think is appropriate. Be thoughtful about what you post, and, most importantly, think about whether you need topost it. Recommended Videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD67Wc9lDVY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82xzcWGcljw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr4c22jrx4w&feature=relatedSuggested Reading: The Guide to Internet Job Searching is available from Amazon.comThe Riley Guide (www.therileyguiddde.com)Weddles Where People Matter Most (www.weddles.com)
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