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Networking and Social Media for Jobseekers

Networking can have many benefits, it can help you to:

  1. Tap into the hidden job market
  2. Identify upcoming job opportunities
  3. Help you to make informed career decisions
  4. Support the reinvention of your career
  5. Increase your knowledge in an interview

“After having my children I had not worked for five years. I was interested in getting back into the workforce. I made a few calls with people I had worked with in my previous industry. Within two weeks I had an interview. For me the benefits of networking was it was easy to slot back into the work environment with people you know. Employers like it too, I’m sure, as they don’t have to advertise & can employ someone known to them – know their work ethic, ability, personality etc.” Sarah – Stockbroker

“When I had the interview at the University I decided to contact friends who might know someone working in the industry. I found a contact and this helped build my knowledge of the University. The information I had gathered definitely helped me in the interview.” Jane – Student Coordinator

“I have taken a year off work to travel. I set up a LinkedIn profile. Setting up my profile has enabled me to connect with people in the industry. I will be able to contact those people to enquire about job opportunities.” David – Sports Industry

Networking today can be undertaken in many different formats including:

  • Professional Associations
  • Volunteering
  • Networking groups (Business Chicks)
  • Careers Fairs (Reinvent Your Career)
  • Talking to friends, colleagues, neighbours
  • Social media, LinkedIn, Facebook

Networking Online

Today the power of the Internet allows you to create a whole community of contacts who can provide a range of information including industry updates or job opportunities. One of the largest professional networks is LinkedIn. This network is growing rapidly and has over 4 million users in Australia alone. The advantage of linkedIn is it allows you to establish a professional profile online. You can also connect with colleages and classmates, learn about companies and build your industry knowledge. LinkedIN is very easy to set-up and it is free although you can pay if you want to extra benefits. The link below shows you how to set-up your linkedIN profile.

Whether you are using LinkedIN or Facebook or anther social media to build you contacts it is very important to take few things into consideration.

1. Be Cautious

Be careful about whatever you post about yourself on the Internet as it may be read by potential employers. When you set up your LinkedIN profile have someone proofread it carefully for spelling and grammatical errors. Remember employers will also do searches and may look at your facebook profile, linkedIN profile, Blog etc.. .” According to’s survey, 63% of managers who used social networking websites did not hire the person based on the negative things they found on their profile. To read more about this click on the link below.

How employers use social media to hire employees

2. LinkedIN introductions

When you look at some people’s LinkedIN profiles some people have more than 500+ connections. There is a temptation when you first start out to feel you have to compete with these numbers and just randomly connect with everyone who comes up into your profile. However it is important to network selectively and connect with people you believe will be of benefit in your job search. Although you are limited in the information you can include in the message it is important to include information such as:

  • how you found that person (e.g., members of the same networking job site, alumni of the same university)
  • areas of common interest (e.g., experience in the field, both worked for a specific company)
  • why you want to connect. (similar backgrounds, interest in their area of work)

3. Manage your profile

It is important to regularly maintain you profile ensuring you update it with new skills, knowledge and regularly work on building you contacts.

4. Join Groups

Once you have set up your profile you may be asked to join conversation groups. For example I have joined several career groups. This enables me to contribute my ideas on career related issues it is also a great way to build up contacts and increase my industry knowledge.

As discussed above the internet can really put you in touch with many contacts. I would recommend using a mix of networking strategies both face to face and online. Following these steps can also help you with your networking strategies.

Step 1 – Identify your Networks

Step 2 – Identify how you will make the first contact

Step 3 – Knowledge of self

Know yourself. Make sure your resume, LinkedIN profile is up to-date.

Step 4 – Use scripts

Developing a script for the initial contact and to use in a face to face meeting can be very beneficial.

Step 5 – If you have a network meeting – Preparing for the meeting

  • Identify what you would like to find out in the meeting
  • Prepare a script that includes questions and the purpose of the meeting.
  • Research the company if applicable.
  • Practice running through the discussion with a friend

Step 6 – Follow up

  • Send an email or card to thank the person for their time and include what you learnt and what the next steps are for you.
  • Keep a journal of the meeting outcomes and the next steps you are going to take.

Remember, courage, confidence and being prepared will help.

Lisa Happell is a qualified career practitioner. You can find out more about her on her website or LinkedIN profile

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