Social networking for corporate climbers

The only reason that IT professionals hate Facebook is because they didn’t think of it first! Don’t get me wrong because whilst I don’t have a Facebook account, I don’t hate Facebook; it certainly has it’s place for keeping you in touch with friends and sharing your experiences with each other, but like most tools, it needs to be used for the right purpose.

Just like using a chisel to turn a screw is a disaster waiting to happen, collaborating or networking with future employers on Facebook is not the right way to go about selling yourself to a prospective employer. A future employer does not need to know that you loved last nights casserole or that you, Lindsey Lohan and Justin Beiber should hook up. They especially don’t want to see pictures of you from last Friday night at a sleazy nightclub slobbering all over some guy/girl and/or passed out drunk on the curb.

LinkedIn is the screwdriver you need – the tool you need to sell yourself online to prospective employers and employment agencies alike without all the extra personal baggage of who you hang out and what you did last Saturday or how many credits you have on farm-ville.

If you approach LinkedIn as your online CV and keep it up to date with as much detail as possible about what your roles and responsibilities were in each role, the calls will come. You even get to build a network of associates that can vouch for your skills and provide recommendations.

More and more these days, recruiters are relying heavily on tools like LinkedIn and the associated recommendations and connections to headhunt suitable candidates that match their clients requirements.

Additionally, tools like twitter and WordPress blogs are also valuable tools in selling your skills online. You don’t need to be looking for a job with every blog you write – just share your knowledge and hopefully someone will see that the knowledge you possess is worth paying for. Twitter is a great way to tell people about your new blogs, or share small tidbits of information as you come across them. This highlights that you are well read and keep up with current affairs, technology, etc.

Ultimately, its not always a build it and they will come scenario. Gradually as you build up your profile, and add more and more connections – typically past and present work colleagues, your network will grow. Be sure to give as much detail as you are comfortable with (and legally permitted) regarding your roles and responsibilities. Remember your employment contract may not permit you to publish or talk about the particulars of projects that you might be working on. Take for instance the HP executive who recently inadvertently announced the company’s new cloud strategy.

Keywords will help recruiters narrow down you as the candidate they are looking for. In IT, terms like SDLC, delivery, governance, service management, risks, performance testing, if applicable, will highlight you as experiences in operational service management and skills in governing risk and performance. You get the drift…so what are you waiting for?


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