Developing Your Career

Career

Don’t Just Lurk: Get Noticed by Engaging on Social Networking Sites

By Helene Cavalli on January 22, 2015

If you’re not an active participant in social networking communities, you risk losing out on potential career opportunities. Lurking—the term used to describe a member of an online community who observes but does not contribute—won’t provide the visibility you need to attract potential employers.

Corporate hiring managers and recruiters are using social media sites to screen and source candidates like never before. A Jobvite survey reports that 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts and that strong social profiles can make recruiters more confident in a candidate’s professional and cultural fit. Recruiters search for qualified candidates and vet them on their professional tenure, specific skills and industry-related posts. Employers are attracted to candidates who proactively participate in social networks where they add value to the conversation by demonstrating their knowledge and enthusiasm for their industry and profession.

The key to is frequency. If you’re participating just once a month or even only once a week, you’ll be lost in a sea of content. Share meaningful information related to your area of expertise daily. It could be a short blog you create on a topic that highlights your expertise, a link to an article by someone you respect, or a thought-provoking comment on a subject significant to your field. If participating on social media sites feels daunting, then go ahead and lurk—but set a date for when you will join in. Start by observing and listening. Get comfortable with the conventions of an online community. Then begin by adding comments to other posts. As you become more at ease, increase your participation and you’ll find that sharing information and joining in the discussion gets you noticed.

Using social networks can help you manage your reputation, create a professional online presence, expand business conversations, grow and manage networking contacts, and attract new career opportunities. But it works only if you actively join in and share. For more information on using social networking to advance your career, download our white paper Get Social and Get Hired.

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