How Do I Network?

The advice is to network to get a new job, but how do you do that?

By Lisa Chenofsky Singer
As appeared in “Ask the Career Coach” Column on MillburnPatch.com

 

Dear Career Coach Lisa,

Everyone says I need to network to find a job. As a recent graduate, I am applying to multiple jobs online and not getting responses. How do I network?

MP
Short Hills

 

Job hunting takes persistence and resilience. In the past, job hunting consisted of submitting resumes along with a cover letter either by mail, fax, email or online. Some job seekers like to post their resumes on selected job search sites for employers to view.

In the last few years, many job seekers are using social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and job sites where the site is doing the preliminary matching for you. Many of these matching sites request a membership fee. Since there are so many free job site resources available, I am not a proponent of online job sites that require payment for memberships.

The Warren Township Library and I conduct quarterly workshops (for free) on the tools available through your public library and how to work with these tools to develop your job search strategy.

One approach is to set up job alerts by selecting key words that solicit job matches from numerous job boards. Selecting the job sites you want to search will take a bit of research once you refine what you are looking for. Once you determine certain areas of interests, then determine the best key words to target your job search criteria. Determining the key words may take a few trails but is worth the time to get it to your liking.

Ryan Derousseau of Mediabistro explains in “Can You Reach the Right People While Schmoozing on LinkedIn?,” “online schmoozing has become the norm… but are you really reaching the people that will help your career while networking online?… The answer is yes. Hubspot confirms that 28 percent of LinkedIn users are senior executives… and of all the users, 67 percent are between the ages of 25 and 54… 80 percent of recruiters say they use the site to find applicants.”

So, how does one network in today’s market? In person, through social and professional meetings, through meetup.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. However, your ability to generate conversation is essential to turn your online relationship into a cultivated longer term relationship that will last beyond this job search period.

 

About this column:

“Ask the Career Coach” is a column dedicated to those who may be in transition or wrestling with a career dilemma by providing a forum for advice. 

Connecting with Your Boss on Facebook?

How do you respond when your boss wants to be friends on Facebook?

By Lisa Chenofsky Singer
As appeared in “Ask the Career Coach” Column on MillburnPatch.com

 

Dear Career Coach Lisa,

What do I do with my boss who wants to friend me on Facebook? I do not want to, as I use Facebook to connect only with my family and personal friends. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this?

Unsigned

 

There is so much attention given to connecting on social media that many believe they need to connect with everyone they know regardless of their connection to the other individual. The key to truly connecting in person or on line is developing the relationship. Relationships are based on common interests and connections, and relationships are developed over time.

Have you thought about why your boss wants to connect with you on Facebook? What is your boss looking to gain from connecting electronically when you are connected while at work? Do you work in the same location or do you work remotely? Are you in a position where the power of whom you know and their connections can have an impact on your work results?

Being honest and sincere is the best way to respond. It is better to set a polite and appropriate professional boundary upfront. Some options to consider:

  • You may ignore your boss’s request. This is not recommended as it will only going to be awkward over time.
  • You may friend your boss and restrict what he/she can and can’t see.
  • You may create a separate work related profile for your professional connections.
  • You may suggest connecting on LinkedIn instead. Then explain how you use Facebook to connect with family and personal friends only. Add that you enjoy working with him/her and would like to keep the relationship professional.

As more and more companies are using social media sites to communicate, this is a tricky situation. Some companies are now putting rules in place on the use of social media such as Facebook. For example, a supervisor can’t friend a subordinate. Check if your company has any established guidelines.

 

About this column:

“Ask the Career Coach” is a column dedicated to those who may be in transition or wrestling with a career dilemma by providing a forum for advice.