Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Get social – network!

Posted by John Ross on March 11, 2009

Most current job-search articles will stress the importance of being ‘creative’ when looking for work.  Rather than hoping to find ‘the job of your dreams’ advertised through the traditional channels, it’s vital to identify more obscure and/or specialist vacancy sources; build networks of contacts and apply ‘speculatively’ to some of the organisations that you’d like to work for (where they do not explicitly ask you not to, of course!) 

Within all of this, one of the most marked trends of late has been the growth of on-line social networking sites such as Facebook.  This phenomenon is detailed in a recent article ‘When job seekers invade Facebook’ in the McKinsey Quarterly.  In this article, the authors note that ‘the increasing popularity of on-line social networking is changing not only the way people manage their careers but social networking itself’.  Gone are the days – if they ever existed – when such sites were simply quick ways of discovering what friends were up to, and letting them know of your plans and activities.  Now, they are increasingly used by organisations when looking to ‘headhunt’ potential recruits – or indeed to search for details of people who’ve applied to work for them, and – in some instances to ‘monitor’ existing staff! 

In addition, there are groups for people working in the same organisation and – for some job seekers – social networking sites are a way of finding and approaching potential contacts for their networks.  If you’re thinking of joining the latter, a word of caution!  As with all of your networking endeavours, not everyone will welcome your approach.  Think carefully about who you’re contacting and why?  They’ll be more likely to be willing to help those who show an interest in them – what makes them good at their job; the skills, knowledge and experience that they have etc.  Also, people who are clear about what they want; know something about the role they’re exploring and who can talk convincingly about their own relevant skills etc.  I’d avoid like the plague asking for a job straight-up.  Instead, seek information in the first instance.  More on this later though…

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One Response to “Get social – network!”

  1. Daniel said

    Great article, the truth is we need to focus on our networking tactics this is talked about in the job trekker site, a way to shift through the static of social networking online.

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