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“Social networking to land a job is nothing new, but Miriam’s book offers plenty of advice I’ve never even thought of before–and I write about this on a daily basis! Social Networking for Career Success is broken into easily digestible chunks of information that will benefit everyone from college students to experienced professionals. It’s a whole new world of job hunting out there!”

That’s what I wrote when asked to give Social Networking for Career Success by Miriam Salpeter advance praise. While I’m sure there are people out there who give a positive review to any book that crosses their desk, I’m not one of them. Not when it has my name attached! And while Miriam is also a friend, I think our mutual respect for one another would lead her to understand, had I declined to comment. Luckily, neither of these situations ever arose because it’s a great book!

My love affair with networking as a job search tactic is no secret. Statistics show many jobs (up to 80 percent) are filled via networking; successful applicants had an advocate inside the company. Networking well requires two things: making sure as many people as possible know about you (the candidate) and convincing those people you are the best candidate to get the job done. It’s important to establish a community of people willing to facilitate an introduction, set up an informational meeting, or hand-deliver a resume to a hiring manager.

Social networking addresses these problems; it helps job hunters demonstrate their subject matter expertise and unique value to a broad audience while growing a community of contacts willing to refer them for opportunities. In Social Networking for Career Success, Miriam teaches you how to use social media efficiently to demonstrate your expertise and illustrates how to get the word out about a job search without specifically asking for help.

That last, underlined part is key because networking is all about establishing two-way, mutually beneficial relationships. If all you’re doing is asking, you’re not networking!

I’m willing to bet you’re on Facebook — and possibly Twitter and LinkedIn. But do you understand exactly how to leverage these networks to improve your chances of landing a job and building career visibility?

To give you a sneak peek of what’s inside the book, I asked Miriam a few questions:

HH: What’s the best social network for job seekers?

MS: The first place job seekers should spend time is on LinkedIn. It is the “go to” hub of professional networking, and continues to expand the ways it allows job seekers to connect and extend their networks, especially via the Answers section and by using Groups. That said, my favorite network is Twitter, because it is so open, and allows users to find, follow and interact with people they otherwise would never know. Once users find a community of people in their field to follow and communicate with, Twitter can provide a constant stream of information, professional development opportunities (right on your desktop), information about specific jobs and the chance to connect directly with colleagues, mentors and prospective bosses.

The philosophy I share in the book, though, is that no one network is right for all people. For some, writing is not a strong point; they may want to rely on connective via vlogging (video blogging), or radio, such as BlogTalkRadio. Maggie Mistal, a nationally known career coach and professional radio personality on Sirius/Martha Stewart Radio, shares extensive tips for anyone who may want to create their own radio online show – which you can do now with just a phone and a computer!

HH: What’s your most important piece of advice about social networking?

MS: It’s crucial for anyone considering building or enhancing their online presence to first do their research to determine how to approach the online “market” to attract the interest and attention they want. That means knowing exactly what you want to do (be it a job or a gig) and how your skills and accomplishments fit into the roles you seek. In chapter 4, I discuss how to create your online “brand” – essentially, your reputation — how people will view you from your digital footprint.

Once the job seeker or entrepreneur understands his or her value proposition and how it fits into the big picture, my best advice is to focus on building a community instead of looking for a job or business. Don’t consider social as a tool to find a job; use it to grow your network of people who WANT you to get a job. It makes all the difference! My book will show you how.

Still need more before you buy? Click here to download the introduction and a sample chapter. Have you read Social Networking for Career Success? What were your thoughts?

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