Guest Post: Social Net Works!

I believe in social networking! As a career consultant I use social media tools to help job seekers by sharing blog posts and relevant news.  What I’ve found over the past several years is that I’ve built real friendships with interesting people all over the country and all over the world. This has enriched my life and grown my network. I have developed mutually beneficial relationships with connections, followers and friends.  I am never quite sure when, where or why we’ll need each other; however, I do value them all for different reasons: a future client referral, a potential guest blog post, a promising partnership, great thought-leadership and new ideas, or just for fun.  I am in this game of networking for the long haul and I hope you think of it that way too.  The follow story helps explain how social networks can help lead to a job.

The Social Exchange

I am fairly active on Twitter and I am dabbling with Google Plus. Though most of my exchanges are on Twitter, there is something really nice about being able to have a dialogue on Google Plus because you are not limited to 140 characters and you can see the string of exchanges, very much like you can on Facebook. This is exactly what happened when I shared a post on Google Plus and received the following response/comment:

Careersherpa, "hannah morgan"

I loved this description of what they were looking for and I immediately posted it on a LinkedIn group for job seekers in our city. There were several people in this network who responded and at least one of the inquiries turned out to be the Goddess!

This is why it worked:

1. The job description, though brief, served as an insightful teaser for further conversation. (for more on job descriptions you can read Employers: Your Job Posting Sucks, Part II from YouTern.)

2. Because many job seekers aren’t active yet on Google Plus, I knew I had to share the opportunity where it would be found- a LinkedIn group of high caliber job seekers.

3. Most importantly, I knew the company, not well, but had been following them on Twitter for at least a year and we had shared information with each other previously. There was an existing familiarity and I was happy to help. I was also familiar with the group of job seekers, many of whom I had met. It was easy for me to post this description on the group and serve as the intermediary because I personally believed in these job seekers.

Trust, familiarity, and willingness to help. This is why social networking works!

The Employer’s Story

Now, from the employers side of the desk.  I asked Kelly Cheatle to tell her version of the story and this is what she said:

My partner and I have a pretty unusual business, we create large-scale balloon installations and balloon-based illustrations (You really need to see for yourself: www.airigami.com) Business has been going very well- but as we’ve been growing- our need for someone else to help manage all of the details that come along with that growth was becoming more and more apparent. So we spent many an evening trying to craft the perfect description of our ideal candidate, what skills they might have, etc. And we could never seem to list them all- we jokingly said we needed to hire someone who’d know what they were supposed to be doing.

When I first posted to your google+ page, in response to a discussion about hiring/job openings in Rochester, I rather cheekily said we needed a Goddess and listed a few super-powers. It was enough to intrigue a candidate to apply for the position. We hired her. She seems, (and her references glowingly agree) to be the sort of person you could put into any situation, and she’d find not only the most important things that needed to be done- but facilitate getting them done. This is EXACTLY what we need, and I’m glad we snatched her up!

THANK YOU!!

I am fairly certain, many smaller employers are perplexed and a bit overwhelmed by how to hire the right person. It is a daunting task and one they do not enter into lightly nor want to repeat. Social networking tools allow small and even large employers to tap into their networks and source candidates (for free). JobVite’s 2011 eBook “33 Essential Recruiting Stats“ cites a Burson-Marsteller study which shows the social networks being used by Fortune 100 companies.

Jobvite ebook Job Seeker Survey

More Proof That Social Networks Work

Jobvite’s Social Job Seeker Survey 2011 finds:

Jobvite Social Job Seeker Survey 2011

I hope this has helped convince you that using social networks to stay in contact with past employees, family members and all sorts of friends is more important than ever before- and there are tools to make it easy.  There is so much more to be said about the benefits of social networks, but the point I am trying to make is “don’t miss out” by not participating!

Hannah Morgan, aka @careersherpa on Twitter, provides advice and insights for job search, personal reputation management, and social media strategies via her site Career Sherpa.net. As a Career Consultant, Hannah draws upon her experience in Human Resources, Outplacement Services and Workforce Development to guide those new to job search through the process and towards their goals. Feel free to follow if you like what you see here. You can also find her on Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Don’t Become a Wallflower…Use Your Sonar!

Have you ever been to a networking meeting and felt completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of people that are attending and thinking – how I am going to meet the people I NEED to network with?

I have been traveling down to NYC the last couple of months and have been attending the NY Tech Meetup’s which have been awesome. I have loved all the presentations, but there are hundreds of great people to meet and sometimes I don’t know where to begin!

At July’s event I was really impressed with a new start-up called Sonar, which lets you connect your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts and then allows you to see people you’re connected to who are in the same location radius. How COOL is that…. I thought this was an app that I could leverage greatly at every networking event, because usually I go into a networking event filled with new faces to meet. I immediately downloaded this app right then and there!

Since July I have been experimenting with this new way of connecting. With Sonar by my side at networking events, I can go into a room and feel more at ease knowing industries people work in, what they do, and how I’m connected to them. This is a tool that I wish I had over a year ago, right after I graduated from college and jumped right into attending events alone.

Going into an event, for anyone, can be a bit nerve-racking at times. For me, it was a challenge to find the right people within the same industry to target and connect with. For some events if it was possible, I would research who was going and what they did. Great for small gatherings, but at a large event it was like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

The Sonar app can guide my way through a room, and make it easier with just a few clicks to find industry-related people that I can network with in person. It can also be a great conversation starter by letting the person know what friends you have in common.

Sonar, Sonarme, Mobile App

When I was at a recent NYU Women in Startups panel, I got a Twitter shout out from another Sonar user, stating that we had 85 similar connections. He was sitting in the same event as me, and looking to network. (Unfortunately my phone has its own mind, and decides which Twitter messages should appear on my home screen!) If I had seen his Twitter response sooner, we would’ve had a great conversation about startups at the panel…We are looking to connect at the next NY Tech Meetup. I’m excited to go into the next meetup and have a connection already introduced, out of a large roomful of 700+ new connections waiting to be found by Sonar.

It’s amazing what technology can do now! Sonar is an app that helps you make introductions to people who are connected to you in all different degrees. Now you have no excuse becoming a wallflower at events! Sonar is a dynamic tool that I’ve used to leverage all of my connections on social media in specific locations looking for new people to network with. How will Sonar build your network?

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Assistant Marketing Manager at Whiting Consulting.

Finding Your Passion

This weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend my first HR Conference, HRevolution. HRevolution allows members of the HR community to come together and discuss issues surrounding business today. Although I was a bit nervous, I was excited for this conference, as it was the first conference I attended that was closely aligned with what I do on a daily basis. I had no idea what lay ahead.

Prior to the conference, Chernee alluded to the fact that those attending this event were nothing short of brilliant. The more she talked and the more I researched, the more I became nervous and a bit intimidated by what I thought was in store. How could I ever measure up to these fabulous people who had already made a place for themselves as HR professionals?

HRevolution

Julie & Jen @ HRevolution Tweetup

As Julie and I immersed ourselves in the conference, meeting and chatting with our fellow conference attendees, I was pleasantly shocked at how welcoming everyone was. For one, there were quite a few attendees who were first timers themselves. Additionally, in meeting a few attendees, Julie and I kept hearing “If there’s anyone you want to meet, just let me know!” Even more, during the Tweet-up on Friday night, we were chatting with one attendee, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another! I can’t even describe the excitement of meeting all of these wonderful people in such a short period of time!

The next day, amid a bit of exhaustion and excitement felt by all attendees, the Unconference began. Different than your typical conference, HRevolution boosts the opportunity for attendees to speak their minds and discuss the nitty gritty. Sessions such as “If HR is so bad, what are you DOING about it?” by Steve Browne and Jason Lauritsen, which dove into why those outside the industry don’t respect HR, and “The Great Performance Debate” by Mike Carden and William Tincup, which offered a debate over if performance reviews should be an annual occurrence or something to be done more frequently, offered new perspectives on areas of the HR field that I hadn’t touched on since college.

Through chat and debate, the passion for HR felt by attendees was evident in each and every moment of the conference. This enthusiasm was contagious. I’ve had an interest in HR for a while now, but their passion for HR got me thinking about what I’m passionate about. What really drives me? In a professional setting, I love the opportunity to help people advance their careers and their lives. And in a personal setting, sure I love to cook and have a yen for traveling, but neither really drives me. So I keep asking myself, what is it that drives me?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about this more and more. The passion of my fellow attendees has really inspired me to figure out what this is. Should I be worried that I haven’t figured it out yet? I don’t think so. I’m only in my 20s. At the same time, I’m ready to find out what that is so I can throw myself into it!

Post written by Jennifer Pray, Recruiter at Whiting Consulting.

My HRevolution Adventure!

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part IV

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part I

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part II

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part III

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part V

How to Land a Job After Graduation: Part VI

The Importance of Career Nights

Career Night, Career Fair, Job Fair, College, Networking

Recently, I volunteered to speak with local students at SUNY Geneseo about how I came to where I am now as a small business owner. To my surprise, many of the students were very curious and enthusiastic about their future job search and the processes involved.

What really caught my attention was that there was a freshman in the room already interested in learning about what is ahead of them! This student realized the importance of learning and researching careers early on in the process, because it is a lengthy one…something that’s not a last minute task!

Starting this process early on can lead to internships throughout the college years, and can also lead to securing a job before graduation! A recent U.S. News article, Brighter Job Outlook for Class of 2011, by Katy Hopkins stated:

“Despite the improving job prospects, the job market remains competitive. Students should be more proactive in their job searches and flexible with short-term career goals, some counselors advise.”

Career nights are a time to network with local employers, which could possibly lead to an internship in the future. Listening carefully during the presentations will help you develop in-depth questions to ask afterward. Be sure to grasp every tip about becoming successful in the business world as soon as you can!

It’s never too early to learn about what’s out there and what the real world has to offer. You might discover a hidden interest or talent that you never knew you had before!

With the slowly increasing number of employers attending career fairs, I encourage all college students of every class level to attend career nights because it’s never too early to start networking!

 

Photo credit: Champlain College

What I Wish I Knew about the Real World Before I Started Working

What do I wish I knew about the Real World before I started working? As a Brazen Careerist member, I thought I would contribute to the JobSTART101 blog series, where they asked members this same question to answer in their own post. So here are my thoughts…

In my college business program, I learned a lot from my classes by applying myself in team projects that connected to real businesses or people. These projects focused on active student participation and engagement with different activities in the classroom. Professors who gave me team projects where I had to come up an entire marketing campaign was the closest I was going to get to real world similarities in a classroom environment.

Being in the real world for six months now (wow time flies!); I’ve realized the only thing that I didn’t really focus on was how connected everyone is with each other within specific industries. Networks are so vast and reach all corners of the world, confirming that it is a small world after all!

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