The news is continuing to warn us about the next wave of redundancies and the threat of a double dip recession, are we getting the true picture of the Yorkshire Job Market? Are things as bleak as the statistics show? In truth the statistics never provide a true picture as many senior level candidates have not crossed the thresh hold of the job centres and are living from savings and investments. These hidden job seekers do not appear on any stats and as a result we are unaware of their challenges and more importantly when they find success!
I have mentioned networking many times in my previous columns and how the most successful people are those who have created their own opportunity by implementing a strategy to their job search. Identifying the people they should be speaking to and having quality business conversations. As senior level candidates our identity is often integrated with our job title. When the title and position are lost it is difficult to maintain our place within the corporate world. This is when we have to network to raise our profile on the corporate radar.
Social Media in the job search is it good or a bad thing?
The most common response I receive from those who feel that they are networking is “I’m on Linkedin, one of the most popular professional networking sites. They have a profile, have connected with a few people they may have worked with and see this as networking. Is this effective networking are people securing interviews? Karen stated, “I hate to say this, using social media insofar as making a job search hasn’t really helped. While sometimes it’s comforting to know that I am not t alone in feeling discouraged and even lots of times despairing, at other times hearing about other people’s discouragement makes me even more anxious and despairing about the jobs situation.” Social media can have the same effect as the news it can paint a gloomy picture especially when the comments are from depressed jobseekers that are likely to be trawling the internet with little or no return. So can sites like these be useful?
Social Media pays out exactly what you put in, when using sites such as Linkedin adding a profile and waiting for things to happen is not going to work. With social media you have to be as proactive as you should be in the rest of your job search campaign. Another comment that was made by Karen was “Everyone is carefully editing and “politically correcting” their input so we don’t offend, we don’t want to be misunderstood because we’re not having a face-to-face conversation.” This means we are reading what people want us to think rather than getting their true thoughts. This self- editing is no bad thing when you are a job searching. You must remember that a high percentage of employers will check you out on-line before they interview you.
Karen made a good point about losing the face to face contact; this is here social media sites make us feel like we are making progress even though the return is unquantifiable. The biggest lesson to learn is not to keep your networking on line. A Linkedin group, The Yorkshire Mafia, recently organised a face to face networking event, mixing the online activity with a chance to truly network. Over 200 people attended the event and it received incredible feedback. If we take a lesson from this it’s that we need to identify the people we need to speak to and meet them face to face. If you are targeting decision makers an email or a connection is not enough you have to have a real network meeting. Social Media can help with the job search if we don’t rely on it but simply use it as a tool to raise your profile in your industry.
Q. Should I have a Social Media profile when I am job searching?
A. It’s great to have an online presence when you are job searching as long as it is one you can control. Check your privacy settings so you know who can view last weekend’s pictures. These might not put you in a good light with your potential employer. It is ok to have different sites you use for different things.
Q. I spend hours each day on Social Media sites with little return, what am I doing wrong?
A. The trick with using these sites is to limit the amount of time you spend on each one, in the same way we should limit the time we trawl the job boards. Identify the people you want to speak to and get out there and speak to them.
Q. Do people find jobs through facebook and Twitter?
A. How these different sites assist your job search will depend on where you are in your career. The ore senior you are the less likely that is to happen; however they can be utilised as part of an overall job search strategy if you