Becoming Digitally Viable
The World Wide Web turns 18 years old this August. In that time, it has amassed billions of pages of information from millions of Web sites -- many of which probably mention your name, your business and your associations. Whether you’re an avid user of social networks or an online novice, chances are good that information about you occupies some corner of the Web. It is standard practice for recruiters and employers to use that Web trail to build a history and profile of potential candidates. Whether you’re just beginning your job search or you’re many months in, it’s smart branding to ensure your online presence tells your story as you would wish it told. Social Network Etiquette: Mind Your Manners Social-networking Websites
Social networking websites are becoming an indispensable part of the job search. As your relationships move online, it’s easy to track and manage your contacts and connections. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to forget your social skills. Ignoring a contact’s “hello” feels less harsh when it’s done from 3,000 miles away. Sharing a racy joke with the group seems harmless when it’s done on your mobile phone between interviews. But snubs still sting, and tawdry remains tactless.According to social-networking experts, everything you need to succeed in the medium, you learned in kindergarten.
Once you decide to take the plunge and create a great profile that reflects your personal brand, the real value is in the connections that you make. So how do you determine with whom to connect, and what’s the etiquette for doing so? If you are more comfortable with a conservative approach to getting started, then heed these tips for connecting with others on
LinkedIn and Facebook:1. Avoid importing your address book.
Avoid the options that easily allow you to import your entire email address book and invite every one of your contacts. On LinkedIn: Send invitations to colleagues that you know, trust and would be comfortable referring to other members of your network (especially given referrals are the main value of LinkedIn).
On Facebook: Begin by connecting with your real friends and family. Since Facebook is more personal and your friends have an impact on your Facebook profile (they can write on your “wall,” tag you in photos and send you virtual commodities, etc.), try it out before connecting with professional colleagues.
2. Customize your requests.
When you send an invitation to connect, customize the form email unless the recipient will immediately know why you want to connect with her.
3. Be selective.
Decide from whom you’ll accept invitations and create standard responses for declining an invitation. If you get a request from someone you don’t know at all and they do not even bother to customize the message, then it’s perfectly acceptable to use the Ignore button.
Should you friend your kids?
If you have high school or college-aged children (this is more likely on Facebook), realize that many parents elect not to “friend” their children. Some take an “ignorance is bliss” view, some are concerned about the impact that their kids have on their profile, and others are respecting the wishes of their kids.
After spending some time experimenting, your comfort level may increase and then you can reevaluate your connection criteria against your goals for each social networking tool that you use. Dive in! When you adjust your privacy settings, you really have nothing to lose and you might just find yourself surprised at what you gain.
Make friends and earn favors
The social-networking site LinkedIn provides built-in ways for people to contribute. Members can submit questions to the group, plead for jobs, post openings at their company and recommend a friend or colleague. Providing answers, resources or tips; passing along a resume; or making an introduction can build social equity.
We recommend creating a personal, professional website like those found at www.MyOnlineCareerSpace.com which is complete with your resume, photos, testimonials and referrals so that you can take control of your online image. Use this when job searching on other sites, when you are talking with a career coach and/or when searching for jobs on the MyOnlineCareerSpace.com site!