Money | Getting a (better) job
Social networking online is very fashionable and important when you’re looking for a job. Social networking offline has always been important and they say it’s not what you know but who you know that’s important when you’re looking for a job.
Traditionally in the UK people have socialised in places like pubs and clubs; the golf club being important to many aspiring middle managers. These days it’s more complicated and what you post on your Facebook page can have a bearing on whether you get that job or that promotion. Facebook pages are used to brand products but we have an image too and we have to promote a desirable image. Photographs on Facebook of you looking well oiled at someone’s party won’t give a good impression. The same applies to other online social networks like Xing and LinkedIn; these are professional networks and so what you post is even more important. Some Clichés to avoid when doing you profile on LinkedIn can be found in my blog on the subject. It is very important to get your profile right on LinkedIn with information about education and experience without using too many Clichés. You can find more about that on Shari’s site here. Think of LinkedIn as being like the golf club and Facebook as being more like the local pub! You should behave accordingly. There are other social networks on Ning for example that are more specialised that you can join. Twitter can also be useful, if only to show that you are interested in and accustomed to 21st century technology. The latest in social networks is Google + and you should pay attention to new trends like that.
Every part of your behaviour affects your image. The photograph on Facebook of you looking , not at your best, can be a disaster when looking for a job or promotion. Even asking for an alcoholic drink when out with your boss rather than a soft drink suggests that you may not be reliable. Cigarette smoking is a definite negative when it comes to employment these days and you should look to what the employer wants. Some managers in Human Resources will even walk you to your car, to see what you drive and also look for other worrying signs like a baby seat!
Your interests also affect your employability and having an interest in photography, the environment, travel or something non-controversial can be helpful. Don’t put on your application that you are interested in human rights that could be controversial and make you appear to be left wing. It also helps to appear to be professional and business-like and so don’t go on about your family or children. An interest in nature and the environment usually goes down well because that is a interest that spans social groups and political divides.
Look the part
You should try to look the part when applying for the job and after you get it. That means clean and smart usually; but in some cases it means not too formal. People have been refused a job just because they needed a hair cut and some managers believe they can judge someone based on whether their shoes are clean!
You many need a CV that outlines your education and experience; try to make it faultless. Some people even add a photograph of themselves to their CV these days and again that adds to the image, especially if they will read the CV before offering you an interview. Use a head shot so they see clearly what you look like.