Social Media & Networking

Employers, job applicants, friends, and friends of friends -- all are using social media for career enhancement, the job search, and posting job announcements.  Social media is now the go-to venue when employers need to add to staff.  You can think of social media this way, but don't let it limit you: FaceBook for your friends; LinkedIn for your professional network, and Twitter for people and organizations to whom you want to reach out, get to know, and join.  In other words, social media is the ultimate networking opportunity!  And, you must use it in your job search!

Here's a word on that nagging question: "What's networking?"  Networking is nothing more than talking to people connected in some way in an area of interest to you: an organization, a profession, field or industry, a graduate school, or even an activity unrelated to your career (if you're interested in kite boarding, you read about it, then talk to people who do it for first-hand information and perspective).  It enables you to gather valuable information in a low-stress situation while making those all-important contacts.  It's also a proven method of job hunting, not by asking someone outright for a job or internship (an approach that is not effective networking!), but by talking to as many people as possible who can give you leads or tips that will move you closer to your goal.

Want to be a savvy networker and job hunter?  Create a personal business card.  A business card is a convenient place for your contact information and to jot down a name and email address when at a networking event or other function.  The Wes career counselors regularly hear great stories of Wes students finding job leads on trains and planes, or at informational interviews and parties.  Having a business card on these occasions shows professionalism, seriousness of purpose and common sense.  See the link below for samples.

SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES

Here are some links to the basics to get started -- click on the text!

BASIC NETWORKING & ETIQUETTE

Benefits of Networking
Finding Networking Contacts
How to Contact
Before Contact
Personal Business Cards
During the conversation 
After the conversation

NETWORKING CORRESPONDENCE & RESOURCES

Sample Networking E-mail
Sample Networking Letter
Sample Networking Thank You Note

Wesconnect (Find Alumni)
Networking "Cheat Sheet"
 (PDF)
Career Search
 (Find Employers for Informational Interviews)