Using social media as a commercial platform has not just become one of the newest ways to get more business.
Today, online social networks have also turned into lucrative venues for creating your brand and finding jobs, making it easier than ever to be screened, interviewed, and hired without pounding the pavement.
A glance at the numbers confirms that one of the most effective ways to market ourselves to prospective employers is through social media. Ninety-four percent (94%) of job candidates polled by Right Management (the talent and career management arm of staffing leader Manpower) said they prefer to use LinkedIn as their main job search tool. Likewise, hiring managers also use the leading social network for professionals to search for candidates. By contrast, print media, insofar as talent search is concerned, is close to inutile.
Yet, getting hired remains a matter of who you know, as much as it was just a generation ago.
In the past, it was quite common to land a job courtesy of a friend of a friend. The same phenomenon is present with LinkedIn, simply because it is an online networking tool. However, on this site, handshakes and the requisite small talk have been overtaken by Endorsements for Skills.
So how do you break the ice in this virtual professional community?
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn has no “poke” feature. In its place is the endorsement button. If you know a first-degree connection has a certain skill, you endorse them for that skill, and that endorsement in turn will show up in their profiles.
Effective presentation skills are required to manage endorsements, because you might be endorsed for a skill you don’t have. You don’t want to be mistaken for a graphic designer when you are a software developer. Therefore, always be sure to vet your endorsements and manage them so that the most relevant and current skills appear.
If you have expanded your connections, it’s possible to get endorsements from people you barely know.
If the endorsement is valid (meaning, you really have the skill that they endorse), it won’t hurt to return the favor, and perhaps make small talk. That gesture may just the open a crack in the proverbial door, and usher you into a room full of friends of your friends.
If you are someone who actively seeks out opportunities, earning that chance to get introduced to people in the know is one of the best outcomes you can get from endorsements.
Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):