LinkedIn is undeniably the go to social networking site for career networking and growth, but if you’re serious about boosting your professional reputation online you can’t stop there. Creating an online presence that will support your resume, cement your reputation as an industry expert, and pique the interest of recruiters requires consistent activity across multiple sites.
As graph search rolls out to more users, Facebook will become an increasingly effective tool for career growth. Periodic public posts with professional relevance will give prospective employers and clients some insight into your business approach and industry knowledge, but keep in mind that you’re posting in a personal forum to an audience likely made up of friends and family. As with any networking effort, it’s important to know your audience. Posting about your business too frequently (or in a way that your audience finds unrelatable), can prevent potential career connections. A post or two each week updating your personal connections with what’s happening in your career or industry will help facilitate introductions when it’s appropriate without alienating your friends.
If you’re not active on Twitter, get there. Participate in relevant Twitter chats to build new connections and gain information. Search hashtags to find other users and conversations of interest to you. Interact with people as you would at a live business networking event – conversation first, what’s-in-it-for-me much, much later. Complete your bio to include information about who you are and what followers can expect from your feed, then post primarily within those parameters.
Depending on who you ask, Google+ is either a ghost town or the next big thing. The truth, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. If you’re in tech, marketing, or photography you’ll find there’s already an audience on G+. If your industry isn’t particularly active there it’s still wise to create an account and establish a presence, even if it feels like you’re talking to yourself. Find and follow other users, post consistently and include relevent hashtags, “plus” (the equivalent to the “like” on facebook), and share other users’ content. Posts to Google+ will help your search rankings.
Ever heard of Quora? It’s a question and answer site where you can ask anything and get answers from users with experience in any given area. It’s also an excellent opportunity to showcase your own expertise (or opinions, or sense of humor depending upon the topic) by answering questions for other users.
You’ve heard of Pinterest, but have you thought about how it can further your career? If your work has visual appeal, consider creating a business account. If not, you can still find and follow relevant brands and career experts (CareerBliss does an amazing job of staying on topic while maintaining the visual interest you expect on Pinterest). Pin your resume and create boards showcasing industry knowledge and interest.
As you create or revisit your social networking accounts, be sure to fill out your “about” or bio information completely. List your industry, skills, employer(s) and relevant keywords to be sure you’re included in appropriate search results.
Don’t wait to get started! Just like offline, face-to-face networking, the time to start building connections is always right now.