So the economy isn’t so hot right now and you’re looking for a new job. Not the easiest of circumstances. You’re calling people to network. You’ve updated your resume. Maybe you’ve even called me. I looked for you on LinkedIn, but I can’t find you because your name is Tom Smith and there are several other people with your name in my area, you all do similar work, and each of you have 10 or 12 connections, and I can’t tell which one is you.
Dear colleague: Please fill in your LinkedIn profile. Please fill in your FaceBook profile. Please fill in any profile on any social media network. How can I network with you if I can’t find you?
Once you’ve filled in your profile, add some people. I can’t believe you’ve been working for 10, 20, or 30 years and have 10 people as connections. You don’t have to be me–I’m a promiscuous networker :-). But, please, add people who are your colleagues. You can add people with whom you have social relationships. You can add your family. (Do you think I’m not going to add my daughters when they graduate from college?) You can add all your friends from college, even if you haven’t talked to them in 20 years. (What a great way to network, catching up with college friends. You think they don’t know about jobs?? Sure they do.)
I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care that you haven’t thought about social media before. If you are unemployed, you have a responsibility to make it easier to network with people to find that next job. Your responsibilities:
- Make it easy for people to find you online, at least at social media outlets
- Help people know which Tom Smith you are
- Listen to your children about how to use the Internet
I want to help my friends find jobs. I want to help acquaintances. But I can’t help if I can’t find you. Yes, call. Yes, send resumes. Yes, use recruiters. But for heaven’s sake, use social media. Use it, don’t just play with it.