Facebook & Networking Sites

Job Search Networking

I admit, at first I thought the idea of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other networking sites were, well, silly. It seemed juvenile and strange… not to mention an invasion of privacy. Why would anyone put pictures of family members on a site where virtually EVERYONE could look at them? I didn’t get it and poo-poo’ed the idea.

Clients begun sending me “invites” to “connect” on their different sites and boy, are there a lot of them.. Plaxo, LinkedIn, Fast Pitch, Tagged, and Twitter, just to name a few. Not wanting to seem rude to my clients, I finally broke down and started an account with LinkedIn. I found it to be very professional and a great way to have an online bio that perspective clients and colleagues can read to have a better idea of what it is I do.

Finally, after hearing my nieces and nephews talk about Facebook all summer long, I decided to cave and start an account. I did one for business and one for personal. Once I got the hang of it, it was like a giant light went on and suddenly, without warning, I was hooked. The first two weeks I was like a fiend, “connecting” with old friends and family in my personal account–catching up on what everyone had been doing, who was having children, where were they working, who had moved, married, etc. I had to keep checking. It was like a drug. Who was doing and posting what? After about a week and a half, the dazzling draw of it started to wear off. Thank goodness.

I realized a few things in my networking journey so far:

1) You can control your privacy settings, so only your “friends” can see what you posted… not the whole world.

2) With my business account, it is a fantastic way to see what my colleagues are doing, what articles they find useful, clients or projects they are working on, etc.

3) You don’t have to invite EVERYONE in your address book (my first mistake when joining– I invited everyone to join me). Invite who want to hear about.

4) Use these sites sparingly at work–remember, many companies ban the use of these at work due to loss of productivity and the system resource drain. Your job could be in jeopardy if use them without permission (although, c’mon who ever really asks their bosses if they can Facebook while at work?). Save your networking for home.

5) Pick and choose your networking forums. You don’t need to join every one. It gets to be too time consuming trying to keep up with more than one or two.

I still check my Facebook everyday. Although maybe just one account or the other, and only about twice a day. Who has the time? I am still catching up from the work I missed while on my Facebook high.

If you are contemplating joining one of these sites, read my 5 tips first and be ready to enjoy yourself. As a former skeptic, it’s easy to get hooked.

Until next time…

Erin Kennedy