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Has Networking Become A Waste Of Time For Job Seekers?

If you think networking is a waste of time, or want to develop a better strategy to find work, or just don’t know, read on.

Not if you have a strategy,
use the right technology and a ” strong personal brand,” says Amanda Todd,
Social Media Manager for PWC’s US Sourcing Group.

PWC has been successfully
recruiting outstanding candidates from campuses across the country. Todd would like to see more students
achieve their career goals, and offers some advice, and best practices that
people who are either entering the job market, or wanting to advance to another
organization, can use.

“I manage our organization’s
Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, and have seen how social media can level the
playing field. Using social media
strategically can help students be seen and heard in their target industry, by
their target employers.”

Amanda
offers the following tips as a result of her work in social media, and
recruiting the best talent, at PwC:

• Consider using Twitter. Follow the CEO of your desired organization on
Twitter, and see who he or she follows and follow some of them. If you don’t get
a job at your target company, you may get one in a similar company.

• Read their comments. This will help you stay up to date on their
company, get information about job openings, and also help you plan your
conversation, when you do get an interview.

• You can respond to tweets, retweet posts that are relevant, and identify
common interests.

“Students
often feel it’s harder to get their feet in the door,” said Todd, but social media is a great erqualizer, because
everyone can access almost anyone in some way on Twitter.

She
said that the more you know about an organization, its leaders and what’s
important to them, the more prepared you’ll be. That extra information might be
in the form of job openings at smaller companies or start ups that are not
posted yet, or details that will help you frame the conversation, if and when
you do get an interview with the company.

PwC
has put an emphasis on the importance of early personal branding for
students. “We had a personal brand
week this year and last year, where we helped students do that,” Amanda told
me. “Once they establish their personal brand, they can go on to develop an
online profile for their professional brand in order to differentiate
themselves from competition.”

I
asked her what should be in their profile. “Information like working as a
journalist on the school paper, working on campus, articles written,
extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership,” she said.

“When people develop their
personal brand, they should think about how they want to be seen, and who they
want to see it. Consider contributing ideas on professional networking sites.”

This is a good time to
unfriend and unfollow those people
who you really don’t know, and who don’t care how inappropriate their posts
are.

Although
Personal Week 2.0 is over, PwC will continue to be a trusted advisor and offer
its resources. Any student seeking any career, not just with PwC, can download the
“Personal Brand Week 2.0” eBook.

My colleague Susan RoAne,
author of the book, Face To Face: How To Reclaim The
Personal Touch In A Digital World
,
reminds us that once you create your personal brand on social media sites, and
receive that interview you want, you still have to know how to communicate, and
be seen as the only one for the job.

As a speaker who addresses audiences
of all ages and backgrounds, Susan says that, “Today’s business leaders
look for people who are socially adept and ready to offer a real-time
handshake, a smile, an interesting conversation and an intelligent
presentation.”

The beauty of the Internet is that we have access
to people across the globe and don’t have to choose between offline or online:
we get to have both!

I’ll add that we need to use them both. There’s no point in being highly qualified,
and possess great interviewing skills, if no one knows you exist. You’ll spend
all your days being the best kept secret, waiting to be discovered at the
grocery store.

Conversely, you can have great social media
presence, an outstanding online brand, and requests for interviews, but if you
lack social skills, and go to the interview in shorts, flip flops, and eating
lunch, you’ll end up a forgotten profile on Linked In.

Simma Lieberman creates inclusive workplace cultures where employees love to do their best work, and customers love to do business. She is a consultant, speaker and executive coach, and the co-author of the book, “Putting Diversity to Work; how to successfully lead a diverse workforce.” Simma can be reached at simma@simmalieberman.com or 510-527-0700

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