5 Signs Your Social Networking Strategy Is Working
Onward Search Career Cast, Episode #21
This episode of Onward Search's Career Cast podcast is all about successful social networking for job search, and more specifically, the 5 telltale signs that your social networking strategy is working and bringing you closer to your next job.
It's easy to find advice about how to use social networking during your job hunt, but the signs that your networking efforts are actually working aren't always so clear. Special guest Tim Tyrell-Smith, job search expert, author and creator of TimsStrategy.com, offers great advice on identifying success during the social networking stages of a job search. He and Onward Search's Marketing Manager, Hillary O'Keefe, discuss recommendations on LinkedIn, interactions on Twitter and building solid relationships that will bring more job leads right to your inbox.
This episode offers valuable advice to job seekers from all backgrounds and professions. Make sure you tune in for all the great tips and guidance to help you reach your next job faster!
PUBLISHED ON MAY 12, 2011
Welcome to Onward Search Career Cast, the podcast that brings you the latest insight and career advice from experts within the Internet marketing and creative space. Onward Search is a leading nationwide provider of web-based talent and offers a full range of recruitment and staffing solutions. If you’re looking for a career in search engine optimization, interactive design, or emerging technologies, you should apply online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter today.
Peter Clayton: Welcome to an all new Onward Search Career Cast. This is Peter Clayton with your host Hillary O'Keefe, Onward Search's Online Marketing Manager who has a great guest online ready to talk about effective social networking for job seekers. Hillary?
Hillary O'Keefe: Thanks Peter, and hello to everybody out there. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Onward Search’s Career Cast. Today’s topic – the ubiquitous social networking for job search. If you’re job hunting, you know you have to network, both online and offline. And you’re doing this to get the connections and build the relationships that will ultimately lead to your next job. But, short of actually getting that job offer, how do you know that your social networking strategy is actually working and bringing you closer to your next job?
To shed some light on this topic and help you identify ways to know that you are performing an effective social networking strategy for your job search, my guest today, Tim Tyrell-Smith is here to talk to us about it. He is a job search expert and author and creator of the fantastic career and personal development website TimsStrategy.com.
Tim, thank you so much for joining me today on Career Cast.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Glad to be here, Hillary. Thank you.
Hillary O'Keefe: I think that the topic for today is a good one because when it comes to advice about how to use social networking for your job search, there is a lot of advice out there, there is a lot of things to do, things not to do, how to’s, a lot of lists and prescriptions for getting a social networking strategy in place for your job search. But amidst all that advice, I don’t always find a lot of guidance that will help job seekers know when they’re doing it right and when they’re using social media properly and getting closer to their next job. Is this something that you find as well?
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Absolutely. A lot of people are, first of all, either really scared to use some of these tools because they’re not real social media savvy in the first place, or if they do use them, they use them in the wrong way, they’re too aggressive. They’re spreading their word too often and not often enough helping others and supporting other people. Of course, social networking is not about me, it’s not about you; it’s about the way we interact with people and the way we share ideas, both our ideas and the ideas of other people. So it’s really a little economy, and if you don’t do things right, you may not have the best experience.
Hillary O'Keefe: Let's talk about these telltale signs that you can pick up on that tell you that your social networking efforts are working and they're getting you closer to your next job. The first one I have here that we talked about is you'll know that you're doing it right if no one ever asks you what you do for a living.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: That’s a good one.
Hillary O'Keefe: And this plays into the fact that if you’re doing it right and you’re talking to everybody about your job search and, of course, what you’re looking for and who you are, right?
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Yeah, and I think there is a really interesting way to do this because there are some people who are a little too overt or they have a little trouble kind of balancing their personal with their business side. We’ve seen all the stories of people on Facebook or on Twitter who make the mistake of believing that very few people are actually seeing what they’re doing and in reality, a lot of people see what you do online, and so it’s really important that you understand how to balance your personal and business.
But I think if you see yourself getting retweeted, if you see people liking your posts on Facebook, and you’re engaging back and forth with them, those are good signs that you’re doing a good job communicating (#1), and then (#2), if you start to see people sharing hints with you, giving you ideas, telling you about companies that are looking – those are all examples of people seeing that you’re looking to do something really purposeful with social media and offering to help you out.
Hillary O'Keefe: Okay, so there’s that back and forth that you had mentioned, which brings me to another platform. I mean, there’s Facebook, LinkedIn of course everybody knows that that’s an essential to be on these days. I know that if you’re doing your social media networking efforts properly, you’re going to get more recommendations from people. You’re going to boost that part of your profile because again, you’re telling people hey, I’ve got a job search and I would really appreciate it if you could share some insight about how cool it was to work with me when we were at XYZ Company. Right?
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Yes. In fact, I was just on the phone with a guy this morning, very smart guy in the banking industry in San Diego and he has no recommendations on his profile, and I said while that doesn’t make you a bad person, it certainly doesn’t say to recruiters that people are engaged in your search, that they’re engaged in your career.
So what I advise people is to have a minimum of ten recommendations on LinkedIn. Three former bosses, three former employees of yours, and three people who used to work with you as a peer. That way you’ve got a nice selection of people who were telling, hopefully, specific and positive things about you. And while this doesn’t replace a former recommendation of a phone call to a former employer, it’s a nice way to show that you are engaged in social media and there are people out there who are willing to spend a little of their social capital on you.
Hillary O'Keefe: I’ve always thought about the recommendations on LinkedIn as the preview for movies that you would see. Those, most amazing action thriller of the year by this guy from this poster, or whatever. I feel like if people come to your LinkedIn profile and they see those things, there are more apt to call you up, they know what they’re getting, they’re more apt to buy a ticket, so to speak.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: I think it makes you more like a real person, and in the end we all want to hire people that can fit into our organizations and that’s kind of the early signal that you were someone that can play role, you can work on a team, and you can find ways to co-exist with folks in a work role.
Hillary O'Keefe: Speaking of co-existing, how about Twitter; that’s not always easy for job seekers to figure out because again, it doesn’t just come naturally to everyone and Twitter, I think, with that back and forth that you’ve mentioned before is going to be most valuable to you when people are aware of your job search and you’re talking to them about it and they’re responding and then you get the benefits of all their connections as well.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Well there’s clearly a great use of Twitter to connect with people. You can do it on LinkedIn, and you can do it vita email and Facebook but Twitter is such a fun environment. And what’s great about Twitter is that now a lot of recruiters are starting to use Twitter almost the way they use LinkedIn to announce jobs, to connect with people, and it’s just a quick informal way to let someone know that you’re interested either in working with them or working for them, or learning more about their organization. You can add target companies to key lists in your area and call it best technology companies in San Jose, for example. You can follow them, you can re-tweet their stuff, you can comment on what they’re doing and it’s such a nice informal way to introduce yourself to new people.
So, those who are out there saying Twitter is all about ‘I just walked my dog’ or ‘I just had a cheeseburger’ aren’t using it right and there’s so much more out there. It’s such a great tool for people during job search.
Hillary O'Keefe: Definitely. And I think that the best thing about Twitter is that it can give you that instant connection with people and when you are job searching and you’re networking and you’re helping other people out because as you said it’s not just about me or you, it’s really about the interaction and what we’re going to accomplish together. When you are helping other people out, they’re going to help you out. So the result is, you end up saying, ‘you’re welcome’ and ‘thank you’ to all these people that you’ve connected with.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Yeah and it’s one of the ways that we build actual relationships. When you’re out networking, whether it’s online or in person, you need so many darn people and the way that you start to turn those casual meetings into friendships is either having a one-on-one coffee or having an extended Twitter chat. It’s also about doing transactions meaning that you do something for them, they turn around and do something for you and all of a sudden you start to build a little bit of trust and when you do that with a number of people, you now have people out there really looking out for you in a very specific way. These are people that believe in you, that trust you and want to help you back just like you’re helping them. It’s a really nice thing when that starts to happen.
Hillary O'Keefe: Of course one of the best indications that things really are starting to happen is that you start to see things coming into your inbox. The people you’ve connected with even if it’s recruiters or direct responses from the companies that you are trying to work for, your inbox is going to start to reflect a lot of this activity, because that’s where the offers or the invitations for an interview come in, am I right?
Tim Tyrell-Smith: That’s exactly right, and it’s where this whole kind of integrated strategy really starts to work, because if put a really nice LinkedIn profile together, you keep it updated, you make sure you’re focusing on keywords, recruiters will find you and recruiters will send you notes saying, “Hey, would just love to have a chat.” If you were doing all the right things and making sure that your specific job search objectives are really clearly identified for people, both on your materials as well as when you give your elevator pitch, if you’re helping people, so if you are actively integrating this entire process, you’re on LinkedIn, you’re doing all the right things to create a great profile, that profile is going to draw people to you. It’s going to get recruiters to send you notes versus a profile that’s only halfway done. If you’re out helping people at local events as well as online, people will want to help you. They will want to send information to you and the way that you get that information is by being really specific with your job search objectives. If you tell people exactly what you’re looking for including target companies, you enable people, you give them tangible information to help you and that’s really at the end of the day what you’re looking for.
Hillary O'Keefe: This is a great list. I think everything from getting new recommendations on your LinkedIn profile, interacting with people on Twitter, that wonderful back and forth that happens, getting winded basically from saying thank you and you’re welcome so much, and then watching all of it come together in your inbox, I think this is a fantastic list for anybody out there who’s ever wondered am I doing it right; are all these things that I’m doing for my job search on social networks, is it all pointing me in the right direction?
This has been great, Tim. Thank you so much.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: You’re very welcome.
Hillary O'Keefe: Speaking of social media, the recruiters here at Onward Search have a number of really hot jobs that they’re looking to fill. More specifically, we’ve got a senior social media strategist position open in Dallas, Texas. We’ve got a Facebook account manager in Irving, California and a social media manager position in Atlanta, Georgia. So everybody out there, if you’re looking for a job in social media, be sure to get in touch with us.
Tim, do you have any events or anything coming up that you’d like to let everyone know about?
Tim Tyrell-Smith: I’d love to tell everybody about my new book. It’s called Headstrong: The Keys to a Confident and Positive Attitude During Job Search, and I find that a lot of really smart people really change when they go through job search. They lose some of that real strength and confidence and so this book is about walking you through step by step each part of the job search process and helping you remain confident along the way.
Hillary O'Keefe: That sounds wonderful. Everybody out there, make sure you check out Tim’s brand new book. Head over to TimsStrategy.com. Thank you again for joining us today. This was a great chat.
Tim Tyrell-Smith: Thanks a lot Hillary.
Hillary O'Keefe: Everybody out there, take care, good luck with your job searches and I will meet you back here on the next episode of Onward Search’s Career Cast.
Thank you for tuning in to Onward Search Career Cast. For more information on the career opportunities available through Onward Search, you should visit us online at onwardsearch.com or call 1-800-829-0072 and speak with an experienced recruiter. And you should also follow Onward Search on Twitter at twitter.com/onwardsearch.