Putting Your Social Networks to Work: How to Increase Your Chances in the Current Job Market

Putting Your Social Networks to Work: How to Increase Your Chances in the Current Job Market
Putting Your Social Networks to Work: How to Increase Your Chances in the Current Job Market

Well this is embarrassing… Why? I’m writing this post on my 4 year old iPad2 with a cracked screen due to abuse by my now five year old daughter.

And why is it embarrassing? Well for one,
I have three other computers at home which gave up on me all at once just as I was about to write this post. Just to point a few fingers… Acer laptop (Windows) – hard disk failiure; Samsung netbook (Windows) – motherboard failiure; and Acer netbook (Android) – power adapter failiure. Secondly, because I’m such a proponent of Android and FOSS. Well I guess I need to get rid of all this junk and buy me a Macbook Air. There… I said it. Kudos to the late great Mr Jobs. After this I don’t mind paying premium for dependability. Well… on second thought, perhaps I’ll only keep a Mac handy just in case… I shall call it a “backup” in case skynet takes over Microsoft and Google.

Sorry for sidetracking a bit. Back to my post…

I’m “socially active”. This used to mean that I went out a lot, had a lot of friends and partied hard. Fortunately, it’s not the case now. “Socially active” just means that I post stuff regularly on social media. There can be two ways of being active on social media. One would be to post your personal stuff like baby pics or crazy Friday nights. A particular school of recruiters look for this when determining whether an individual is fit for the organizational culture. A good post on this by forbes is http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/06/14/social-media-and-the-job-hunt-sqeaky-clean-facebook-profiles/

I, however, agree with the other school of thought which looks for a clean professional profile across social media. i.e. I try to maintain my social networks in a much more professional manner.

If you have ever tried Googling yourself (who are you kidding? Of course you have) you would know that your social networks popup first. Google+ will be number one for obvious reasons, followed by LinkedIn and Facebook. Things like ResearchGate and Google Scholar will also be in the first page if you have such profiles. Anyway, G+, FB and In will definitely be there. If you don’t get them on the first page then you better crawl out of that rock you have been under for the past five years.

Just to give you an example, I couldn’t sleep much last night (heat and mosquitoes); So I decided to look at my public profiles on In, FB and G+ at 3am.  Although I have been a user of these networks for quite sometime now, I only really started putting them to work in the past year or so. i.e. I was able to (i) get a detailed and up-to-date CV of myself from In; all my contact details from G+; and a chronological photographic account of all my professional achievements from FB. Not to sound cocky, but I felt like hiring myself after being able to piece together a detailed professional profile of myself just by Googling. I had just made it so much easier for people to make a decision on recruiting me. I’m sure you get the picture… If not, perhaps you can try Googling me…

Now… as a “busy professional” I really don’t have the time to upkeep a smorgasbord of social networks. As such, I only regularly maintain the important ones which are In, G+, FB and twitter. Arguably, these are the ones which pack the most professional punch. I usually update these using my ANDROID smartphone (a bit of redemption). Then again I felt that I’m too busy even to maintain these four. So I looked at a more elegant solution (dashboard app). After a bit of reading at http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/how-to-get-all-of-your-social-media-updates-in-one-plac-1646099328 and http://pakwired.com/7-best-social-media-management-apps-2014/ coupled with a bit of experimentation, I found out that Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com) which doesn’t have support for G+ and Buffer (https://buffer.com) which only support G+pages to be the favorites. Nevertheless, they did not give me a tool to manage my social marketing, apparently these are used for social marketing by companies and would be ideal for marketing a personal brand, despite the hype. There were tools which could have helped but they were desktop based. Given my limitations when it comes to machines with a desktop, they really don’t suit my needs.

Given the situation, let me share my tried and tested method for maintaining my social persona using an Android smartphone. You will need:

1. A decent smartphone with front and back facing cameras to capture significant professional moments (no post will fly without a catchy pic);

2. Evernote to draft the captions and also to keep a persistent record of them. No one reads stuff with boring captions;

3. LinkedIn app, Google+ app, and Facebook app for cross posting updates;

4. Linked twitter account to LinkedIn so that you get two birds with one stone;

You are all set… Now, your social presence will only be a reflection of how well you nurture it…

Last but definitely not the least… Giving the finger to LinkedIn for needing me to use a desktop computer to publish this post after writing it completely on a mobile device. Good thing I have a PhD in Computer Science!


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