Social media can be a way of keeping in touch with people you already know, and can sometimes be used to expand your network. Some people limit who they will connect with using these sites. There are a growing number of professional networking sites that will help you to expand your network. Not everyone is comfortable using social networking sites – remember they are just one more way of connecting with people in your network. Choose the methods that work for you.
Here are some tips to remember:
- Use social networking to maintain new relationships. It is the relationship that you are forming – be thoughtful about how this is done.
- Carefully manage the image you are presenting. Do not put anything on the internet you would not want an employer to see.
- Use every opportunity to promote your job-related skills, but be respectful and mature in each exchange.
Following are some sites that can help expand your network:
Facebook - is a social networking site that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. One third of employers check the Facebook page of potential candidates. Many people use Facebook for private use only, but employers also look at Facebook to get a broader understanding of the people they are considering hiring.
Linked In – strengthens and extends your existing network of trusted contacts. LinkedIn is a professional networking tool that helps you develop inside connections to a company or sector and is primarily used for professional jobs. On LinkedIn you create a professional profile, similar to a resume that includes employment history, education, and keywords and skills. You can invite people to join your network on LinkedIn or ask a mutual contact to introduce you to someone in your field. You can sign up for sector specific groups and add to the discussion to build your professional profile and develop a broader network. A Working Centre Employment Counsellor can help you to build your profile if you are having difficulty completing this task.
Additionally, you can tie your work on the internet into your professional profile. Create a website or blog where you discuss issues related to your profession. Tweet links to articles and events that others in your sector may find useful. You can integrate your blogging and tweeting with your LinkedIn profile to create a more prominent, professional online profile.