social-networking_segun akiode

Social networking involves communication and interaction between “friends” or “connections” or people that are a part of your online community. An online community is built by the effective use of social media platforms.

Social media networking or simply social networking is using social media to network with people in the same way that you would do in a face-to-face interaction. Social media networking does not replace an offline interaction, it only adds to it and enhances real-time communications among people across different geographically locations. [Tweet theme=”basic-border”]Social media networking does not replace an offline interaction, it only adds to it.[/Tweet]

In my line of work as a talent-sourcing specialist with special interest in social recruiting, I am often asked, “What are the basic social media etiquettes that govern the use of social media by job seekers?” I attempt to answer that question in today’s article. Permit me to cite a few social networking tips for job seekers:

Focus on Value Adding Social Relationship: as a jobseeker, you need to know that in order for you to take advantage of social networking; you have to realize that recruiting is all about building relationships. When you use social media to connect with people – friends, recruiters and hiring managers, your focus should be to add value and before you know it, value would flow back to you in return. That is the secret of social media networking that you have to come to terms with. People make job referrals first to their friends and not their enemies.

Endeavor to know Your Social Media Audience: every social media platform is built with its own unique audience and as a jobseeker; you need such an understanding of your social media audience in order to leveraging social media platforms. As a job seeker, make sure your messages are appealing to the people who read them. Don’t use Facebook language on LinkedIn – Facebook has a more casual audience compared with that of LinkedIn’s professional outlook. On LinkedIn, your audiences are professionals in your industry and potential employers. So focus on what makes you different, the value you can bring to the table, and your level of understanding and motivation about a field. Why should a recruiter take a look at your social media profile? What kinds of status messages or pictures are posted on your social media accounts? These should be channeled appropriately.

Build a Professional Online Presence: often before I accept LinkedIn invites, I do check such LinkedIn profiles first. This is to ascertain how professional such profiles look and to weigh value demonstrated by viewing such profiles. As a jobseeker, it is the way you look online that you would be addressed – if you look professional online, you would be given a professional treatment and otherwise. Your social media profile photo must not be one taken at a party or a beach, endeavor to use a professional photo.  What is the name you use on your social media profiles – is it same as your real name or a pseudo name? Recruiters and hiring managers are watching; let them see you as a serious minded individual as they can make an impression of your offline person just by looking at what you share online. Don’t give any conflicting view about yourself to recruiter and hiring managers.

Use Social media to strategically learn from others: social media can be used strategically to learn by building focused, personal learning networks. Social media gives jobseekers opportunities to learn from experts around the world in their industry of interest. Social networking is would be helpful to your professional development as a jobseeker. Choose experts you plan to learn from on Social Media platforms, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to a blog, connect with them on LinkedIn, or watch YouTube channels to learn from them and thereby get your career to the next level. [Tweet theme=”basic-border”]The secret of social media networking is add value and value would flow back to you in return. – @segunakiode [/Tweet]

Treat Social networking as Face-to-face networking: many job seekers forget that social media is just a tool to ease social networking and not completely erase it. As a jobseeker, you ought to treat social networking as you do face-to-face networking. Build your relationships on social media over time and with care. I am sure you would dare not go for a business meeting dressed in a beach wear? So it is so important for you to leverage social media as a tool that is it and you have to use that tool wisely and effectively.

In closing, there is great value to be reaped from social media networking but the ball is in your court as a jobseeker to take advantage of it. So as a job seeker, social media can either be a friend or a foe, so beware how you use it!

Let the conversation continue, follow @segunakiode on twitter.

***The post first appeared on the iPunch Column of The Punch Newspaper and was published on Friday, August 7, 2015 both online and in print.

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