To Land That Next Great Job, Networking Might Be the Key
There's more to networking then mixers and business cards
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I've gotten several freelance jobs and also valuable work-related advice from groups in my field- Freelance editor Sharon Kaplan using Facebook to network
Chances are you or someone you know got a job because you know someone. Or someone you know knows someone.
A Jobvite survey found that 60% of employers’ best job candidates were found through referrals. On top of that, the survey found 73% of recruiters had hired employees through social media.
So if you haven’t been talking to colleagues or sprucing up your social media game, you could be missing out on your next great career.
Taking Social Media to the Office
There’s more to social media than memes and photo filters. LinkedIn is where you want to be if you’re serious about job hunting. Think of it as the professional version of Facebook. Instead of memes your aunt posts, LinkedIn is where you can connect with other career-minded professionals. And the best part is you can network from the comfort of your couch. Not only can you connect with current and former colleagues, but you can also connect with people throughout your professional network.
Be sure to keep it professional. For instance, your profile picture should be professional. Think more suit and tie and less tank tops and flip flops. The more you post and engage with other people in your network, the more likely you'll connect with someone who can help you find that next great job.
Get Professional with Instagram & Facebook
Networking on social media doesn’t end with LinkedIn. You can even network on sites like Instagram and Twitter.
Liz Lastra Renninger, who works in public relations, said though she uses LinkedIn quite a bit, Instagram is more visual and interactive, helping her to connect.
“I talk with influencers and foodie or fitness bloggers that I collaborate with,” said Renninger. “It’s also a way to connect with many of the journalists and PR professionals I email back and forth with all day every day. Often they tag me if they are at a client or write an article that includes my client so I’m aware.”
Freelance editor Sharon Kaplan said she uses Facebook to network.
“I've gotten several freelance jobs and also valuable work-related advice from groups in my field,” said Kaplan.
Take Your Networking to the Next Level
Indeed, there are apps out there specifically for networking.
If you’ve ever got the sense that networking is a lot like dating, then Shapr is the app for you.
This app uses an algorithm to connect you with other professionals that could lead to your perfect job. After you enter your goals, Shapr starts matching you with people in your area and you can swipe through and match with them just like the old familiar Tinder method. And you only match with other professionals if there is mutual interest.
The app's paid version adds features like reverse swipes and the ability to view who’s swiped you.
Then after connecting, you can discuss your professional goals or that next job over power lunch.
Sharing business cards can be awkward during social networking events. Even if you manage to exchange business cards, there’s a good chance of losing it before you get back to the office.
CamCard solves those problems. The professional business card reader and manager app takes business cards to the modern era. With CamCard, you can scan all your business cards so that they are stored in the app on your phone. You can also add notes and other details so you don’t confuse Karen in sales with Karen in marketing.
The free version of CamCard allows you to store up to 500 contacts while the paid version allows unlimited contact entry.
Now you have one less excuse to get out there and network.
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I've been in the journalism game for more than 12 years, working at news outlets in Colorado, California and New Mexico. I've covered everything from crime and education to entertainment and business. I was the co-founder of a content marketing startup called NewsCastic, where I spearheaded launches in more than six cities. Most recently I was the managing editor of a business journal in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
When it comes to apps, I love any app that helps me automate my daily life, from smart lightbulbs to smart thermostats and locks.
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