For almost three years, Hyderabad-based Srinivas Jale had been looking for a new job. He posted his resume on numerous job portals, with no luck However, in January this year, he was surprised when he received an offer through LinkedIn, a net working Website. “I had created a profile for connecting with my friends and ex-colleagues, but never knew that it could land me a job,” says 32-year-old Jale, who now works as a sales and marketing manager with a company
Today, almost everyone who is connected to the Net, is present on at least one networking Website For workaholics, the most popular professional networking site is LinkedIn.
Realising the vast number of candidates that can be easily tapped on these portals, compa nies and head hunters have be gun to rely on them to find po tential employees. “Out of the vast pool of talent, only 20% is available on job portals. The re maining 80% is still untapped. To reach out to them, networking Websi
tes work as an effective tool,” says Sunil Goel, chief ex ecutive officer , Global Hunt, an executive search company.
Here are some tips to help you leverage networking sites.
Join specific groups
All networking sites have groups formed by people with specific
skills or in a particular industry You should join these as it will help to expand your network and tap these contacts when you need to start a job search. Also, recruiters often post vacancies on the pages of such groups. However, don’ think that once you join a group you will be flooded with job offers instantly. It will take time to build a network as well as rapport with the members. After all, it is diffi cult to trust someone whom you have never met personally.
Keep an active profile
You should post a detailed profile as this is the first thing that a potential employer will read about you. Highlight your professional capabilities and skills, but be brief about personal information. The headline or ‘about me’ information should be succinct and interesting. Use keywords which will help your profile to pop up when someone is trawling the site looking for a candidate.
Be active on the site. Give solutions to inquiries posted by people and regularly post news about what’s happening in your industry. If you are looking for a job, frequently post messages regarding your search as this will keep it fresh in the minds of people with in your network.
Your profile should carry positive feedback about your work. Re cruiters prefer it if the recom mendations are written by senior colleagues. “While requesting a colleague t
o write one for you, ask him to focus on the positive as pects and achievements in the past one to five years. Don’t ask some one who has known you for less than this period as it will come across as a biased view,” says Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO, The Head Hunters (India).
You may have to change the privacy settings for your Website page so that recruiters can easily send or post a message.
While a social networking site can help you get a job, it could also land you in trouble if you are not careful about what you post. Don’ start writing about a job change before informing your current employer as someone in your network may spill the beans at work.
Avoid mentioning faults of your current and past colleagues as this can sour relations within your network and harm future op portunities. Also, potential employers will be unwilling to hire you. Keep a check on what you post about your personal life. No racy photographs, snide comments, risky jokes or strong political views should be aired.
There are specific skill or industry groups on this professional networking Website, which can help increase your c
ontacts. Ask colleagues to write recommendations that can work as references.
Create a list of companies offering jobs under its feature ‘List’. Also, start following companies that interest you, so if they post a vacancy, you find out about it instantly.
Many firms have begun to post videos on YouTube about their internal activities and events, which can help you know more about the potential employer.
Companies have pages on Facebook where they post about jobs. Add these, as well as college and school alumni groups. Features like ‘status update’ and ‘notes’ help inform your network about job search
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