Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

All aboard: Next stop, social networks…

Posted by sweens on February 11, 2009


 

As social networking grows and becomes a more prevalent tool in todays’ work force, people are turning to social networking sites to grow their network and connect with like-minded individuals.  Recruiters are using these networking tools to find more and more people on a daily basis.  These tools do not just apply to the IT world, as professionals from many different fields share multiple networks. 

 

If you are looking for generic places to network then the larger social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook are your best bet.  This type of a network will allow you to connect with individuals from different professions rather then the same profession.  Facebook does not foster the same networking spirit that LinkedIn does as Facebook allows people to upload personal photos to share with friends.  Individuals can be worried of creating a negative professional image for themselves through what may be found on their Facebook pages.

 

 

 

LinkedIn on the other hand, does not have this functionality (yet) and is geared for social networking.  I have found through my own experiences that individuals are much more open to connecting on LinkedIn then any other platform.  Anyone who is looking to expand their network on LinkedIn should look to join groups such as:

 

         Open Networking .COM

         Open Networkers!

         Networkers United

         LIONs

         Invites Welcome

         Group Linked

         The Dallas Blue Business Network

 

These groups are open to join and membership in the group means you are open to networking and will accept any invitation you receive.  One of the most successful ways to grow your network is by visiting www.toplinked.com and become an official TopLinked member.  This group has their email address imported into members LinkedIn accounts for easy invite lists and a rapid expansion of your network.  You may join this service for free or by paying a small fee for better distribution of your network.

 

 Lastly I would encourage anyone to join a specialized networking site or group based around your profession or background.  Google has groups for IT professionals.  Most cities have groups that meet once a month to discuss any given profession.  Online networking sites exist for specific industries.  By joining these groups, you simply increase your odds of being connected to like-minded individuals and open the door to more opportunities.

 

I would argue that networking does not occupy a lot of your time and can pay big dividends.  An understanding that recruiters use these networks to locate passive candidates can be a good motivating factor for anyone to jump on the networking train.

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