Tweet Your Way to the Top, Or Something Like That

Posted on December 19, 2013. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , |

Tsocial mediao the top of what, you may be asking…which is exactly the question I have been asking for a long time now, particularly when it comes to Twitter.

It is no secret that I have been a Twitter fanatic. When I first started using it, as a small business owner, I saw so many possibilities for me as well as for job seekers. Twitter, unlike other social media outlets, has many interesting layers. It can be a networking tool, information-gathering tool, and marketing tool. As a result, at least in theory, it can open doors that were once before difficult to open, and it does so in a less formal environment than LinkedIn, which can get a little stuffy at times.

But Twitter can also be a gigantic time sucker.

Worse than Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter can draw you in, and when it spits you back out, hours later, you can easily wonder what was really accomplished.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “I still don’t really ‘get’ Twitter. I go on there, and it is a sea of comments not really going anywhere.”

And for the newbie, that is exactly what it is. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, which are more user-friendly (you set up your profile and link up with people you know first and then join groups where you might meet others), Twitter is a bit like being tossed into the middle of a crowd of people all talking to themselves.

And that is where the time sucking begins.

Twitter isn’t so much a time sucker because you spend a lot of time “stalking” others like you might looking through people’s photo albums on Facebook or perusing their profiles on LinkedIn. No, on Twitter, where you will begin to lose time is in trying to turn this sea of non sequiturs into real conversation.

Now, Twitter does try to help you out…a la hashtags and Twitter chats.

By following hashtag streams and showing up for “chats,” you can start to find some real engagement with people who are interested in discussing the same things you are.

And then that is where the time sucking can come on full force.

So now you think you are actually starting to get somewhere, you are adding followers and you are talking to people instead of at them. You show up for the chats like Norm walking into the bar on Cheers. You find yourself thinking about clever things to say at the next one, and you don’t let little things like traveling and watching TV with your family members get in the way of participating because you just bring the chat(s) with you.

You are hooked…because you are “engaging.”

After all, isn’t that what social media is all about?

Yes, on the surface, yes. If you are looking for an outlet in which to meet people virtually to discuss different topics of interest, then you have come to the right place.

And there are certainly a lot of high-minded social media purists who will say that is what social media should only be about.

But, we live in the real world. And in the real world, social media isn’t thriving on engagement (shock and awe); it is thriving on turning that engagement into opportunities.

If people don’t create opportunities from the engagement, then it’s all just conversation.

And really isn’t that true for all types of networking, including face-to-face networking? You can attend lots of events and have lots of nice conversations, but how often is it leading to opportunities?

Now, once again, my social media purist pals will say, “social media is about giving, not taking.” Many of my fellow career colleagues will second that sentiment (I know because we’ve been “chatting”) with comments like, “networking is all about doing for others.”

Of course, we know what they mean. They want you to understand that you don’t “spam” people with your needs/wants. You don’t expect things that you aren’t willing to give in return. You share and promote others.

But, let’s face it, networking, social or otherwise, is not a charitable event. And it shouldn’t be.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help others or that you should spam them with your desperation. But we should bring enough value to the engagement to position ourselves for referrals or recommendations.

This is authentic use of Twitter, any social media, and networking in general. We’re there to build connections that recommend and refer services to solve problems we each have, and you want to be part of that referral pipeline.

In other words, we “engage” in the free market.

We give. We act as a resource. AND we position ourselves to be the Go-To referral in our area of expertise.

This is as much true for the small business owner as it is for the active corporate job seeker or the passive candidate.

So can you tweet your way to the top on Twitter?

Well, it depends. To the top of the engagement meter, sure. You can ignore your family and talk all day if that suits you. But if you can’t turn all those chats into something actionable, well, then, you’re just…chatting.

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Social Media Job Search: Content vs. Conversation

Posted on August 7, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , |

social media job search

Social Media Job Search

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)So, here you are, all set up with your social media profiles. You paid to have the LinkedIn profile written, you sweated over your personal branding statement, you set up your Twitter and Facebook info, and maybe you even built a website to showcase your resume.

Now what?

The challenge for the social media job seeker is how to determine what is worth doing and what isn’t.

Well, now it becomes a matter of content versus conversation. Most people are usually good with one but not so good with another. And some aren’t too sure about either.

If you’ve read my posts for a while now, you’ve heard me talk about “engagement” and “influence” when it comes to social media. (Check out “Social Media Job Search: It’s All About the Layering” and “Locked, Loaded, and Engaged: The Rules of Engagement“.) These terms are pretty much everywhere and hard to miss when you start researching the social media scene.

The other terms that are hard to miss are “content” and “conversation”. Over and over again you will hear “experts” talk about the importance of having “killer content” and “engaging conversation” as two key steps in gaining social media “influence.”

As a result, we now have a social media realm overloaded with info and, most likely, fake conversations. 🙂 And while everyone is trying to be so casual about it, the truth is that there is nothing casual about social media marketing.

And a social media job search is another form of social media marketing.

So should you spend all your time retweeting and sending out links to blogs and articles (some from you and some from others), or should you strike up witty conversations all over the web?

Unless you plan to devote hundreds of hours to learning all the social media strategies out there, my advice is to keep it simple and to remember why you are there in the first place:

Play up to your personal branding statement.

The whole idea of a personal branding statement is to present yourself in a unique, consistent way across all forms of connection. So when you approach what to say on Twitter or what to discuss in that LinkedIn group, you want to be thinking about how to reinforce your personal brand. If you specialize in X, talk about X, share posts about X, engage with others who know about X.

Now, that isn’t to say that you should be a one-trick pony. If you are, you’ll drive everyone crazy, but you do want to make sure that your followers know what you’re there for. My favorite approach is through images. I like to use cartoons, casual office pics, infographics, etc. and pepper that content in with my overarching message or brand.

People want to feel like they “know” the human side of you.

Think of it in terms of a neighbor. Most of us are curious about what our neighbors do for a living. “Steve’s a CIO.” In fact, we often share that info with others. (“That’s my neighbor, Steve. He’s a CIO at XX, Inc.”) But what really makes us happy is not just to know that Steve is a CIO but also to know that Steve is a CIO who has to mow his lawn or walk his dog just like everyone else. We don’t want too much info about Steve, but we want to know he’s a regular guy like we are (something politicians pay big bucks to advisors to try and portray but rarely do well).

Another good analogy is golf. As a female, I have heard for years that the golf course was the haven of the old boys’ network. And after learning how to play several years ago, and now participating in a weekly league, I can see why. Golf is just about the most humbling experience a person can have and yet somehow still have fun. After a round of golf with someone, it’s hard not to have some connection. It doesn’t mean you know each other’s intimate details, but you do know something about the other person’s character. And that’s the kind of person you want to help out back at the office, etc.

Social media is just another form of converting that network into opportunities.

So you want to use your time on it to make people feel like they understand the person behind the brand.

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Hey, Are You Here to Find Great Talent or What? NoddlePlace.com Candidates to Check Out

Posted on July 2, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , , |

Although we hear a lot about how tough the job market is for job seekers, we often miss the fact that finding good talent is still hard to come by. Hiring pros are constantly telling me that they can’t find candidates to fill their positions. At NoddlePlace.com (not noodleplace), we bring job seekers together to network with one another. But we also serve as an advocate for them using our social networking presence to help get them noticed.

So if you are looking for good talent to fill your positions, stop whining and tell us what you are looking for. As candidates come on to our site, we will happily refer them to you if they seem like a good fit.

Today I want to highlight 6 of our “noddlers” who also happen to be active on Twitter. All of these candidates are job seekers, active or passive. Feel free to connect with these users directly on Twitter or contact me (@noddleplace), and I will make an introduction.

1. Twitter username: @adreich

Profile

Creative Technical Support Professional with an extensive background in knowledge management, collaborative computing applications and expertise in analyzing, implementing & testing global software solutions.

Location

Located in NC but willing to relocate

Blog

myboxofrain.wordpress.com/

2. Twitter username: @bartfish

Profile

Leadership development and organizational transformation specialist who has worked on a variety of high-impact projects. I endeavor to accelerate better outcomes through expert group facilitation and enhancing multimodal communication opportunities. Efforts included introducing new innovation processes, strategic planning, customer discovery & value pricing, career development programs, sales & marketing training, mentoring programs, and interpersonal skills development.

Location

Located in San Jose, CA

3. Twitter username: @dylanexpert

Profile

Writer and Editor with Broadcasting/Media, Creative/Art, Editorial/Publishing, Public Relations background.

Location

Located in NYC

4. Twitter username: @Som_m

Profile

Materials/Processes/Thin Film Engineer seeking opportunities in PV industry. PV industry. Strong background in semiconductors, nanotechnology, and alternative energy applications. GE Six Sigma Green Belt.

Location

Located in San Jose, CA but is willing to relocate.

5. Twitter username: @GiveMeAChance

Profile

Marketing management and communications MBA; directs strategic to execution; business writer and communicator; consumer and retail specialist; customer marketing; sponsorship and event management.

Location

Located in Atlanta, GA but willing to relocate

Blog

http://www.google.com/profiles/themilholen

6. Twitter username: @edouble12

Profile

Business Development guru with Business Management, Customer Service, Executive Management, Human Resources, Medical/Healthcare, Risk Management background. MBA.

Location

Located in Overland Park, KS.

So who am I anyway? Why do I think my advice is so valuable?
My name is Stephen Van Vreede. My company is called No Stone Unturned, and I have spent 15 years on both sides of the corporate hiring experience.

The short story is that I have an MBA in Marketing from Villanova University and a dual B.S. degree in Finance & Logistics from the University of Maryland. I am a certified professional résumé writer (CPRW) and a member of the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC). As I mentioned, I paid my dues in the corporate world eventually running a large-scale call center for a major truck rental company, and I have spent the past 7 years with No Stone Unturned, assisting job seekers in achieving their goals.

In February 2009, I launched a new group job hunting networking site: NoddlePlace.com. It is absolutely FREE to join, and you have access to everything on the site. Come check it out at NoddlePlace. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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