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Use social networking sites to boost your career

Social networking sites have been given a hard time in the media recently with grim stories of job seekers losing out after employers secretly checked out their online profiles. But it does n’t have to be like that. Social networking sites can be used to inform your job search, target your CVs and network effectively. Krishna De is  an employer branding and personal branding strategist and is considered to be one of Europe’s leading brand engagement and social media experts. She explains how to make the most of the net.

Have you started to use social media to start to build your profile, personal brand and reputation online?

Let me share a story about my good friend Jessica who after relocating across the US, taking up a role at Yahoo.com, lost her role in the recent massive shakedown to everyone's surprise - just 90 days after taking up her appointment.

Jessica has a business blog that is well regarded in her field of expertise and as she has been providing excellent advice and tips there, she is well known by key influencers in the world of SEO.

This has led to her story and how she has successfully managed career transition to be picked up by a major US glossy magazine and she is attracting great opportunities from consulting to speaking, all through her network both online an offline.

Jessica is using the power of her social network through blogging to manage her career transition.

But here's the thing. You actually don't need to be blogging yourself to make sure of the power of blogging and social networking when in career transition or when searching for another job.

I can not recall the thousands upon thousands of speculative CV's I have received through the post or email over the years. And unfortunately it is rare that those speculative CV's ever amount to someone landing a new role in the businesses I have been recruiting for.

I must declare that I get really frustrated when someone connects with me by email with their CV looking for a new role and they have not gone to the time to even look up my name.

Take a situation that happened just this week when someone addressed their email to me 'Dear Sir'. You see I am not a man.

So take note of the following - this is something I can guarantee most career coaches will not even think to tell you...

A little time researching online would have told the job hunter that I have a business blog where they can find out a lot about what I am interested in, what services I provide and what kinds of clients my company serves.

They can research me online before even applying fingers to their keyboard to send me their speculative CV or resume.

They could also have found me on Facebook.com or LinkedIn.com, note who is in my network and who are mutual contacts so they could have had someone introduce them to me in a more personal way.

They might even have followed me on Twitter.com where they could get a feel for other things that are going on in my life, not just work and business.

Even better would have been if they invested a little time in building and nurturing a relationship with me online before they email me about looking for a job move.

For example they could have added insightful comments or experiences about the issues I cover in my articles or podcasts.

You can be sure I would have taken more notice of them when I received an email about them looking for a new role.

I would probably even have connected them to my network to assist them in their job search.

So before you hit the send button on that next email, whether it be a job opportunity you are looking for or a new assignment, why not use the power of the Internet and the accessibility of social media to research and nurture relationships with the people you are connecting to.

That will ensure that you are more specific and relevant in who you connect with and what you say in your letter or email.

The result is that your personal brand will stand out from the crowd of people interested in that same next job or assignment you are interested in.

So why not access the power of social media and social networks in your career research - I'm sure the results will surprise you.

And if you are not looking for your next big gig, why not pass this guidance on to someone you know who is.

© Krishna De, 2008. All rights reserved. 

Krishna De is an employer branding and personal branding strategist and is considered to be one of Europe’s leading brand engagement and social media experts.

You will find more of Krishna’s articles and podcasts at her award winning business blog Biz Growth News (http://www.bizgrowthnews.com).

You’ll also find her networking online at Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – so why not connect with her online today!