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Google+…What is This?

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking with 30+ Internationally Trained Engineers at Humber College about marketing themselves to employers. After I had touched briefly on the Big 3 social networking platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – I introduced Google+. “Google what?” they asked. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Google+ is the new kid on the social networking block that arrived on the scene in June. Think of it as a blend of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Now, you may already be suffering from social media fatigue and do not want to hear about another one. However, Google+ is worth exploring. Why? Recruiters and hiring managers are there. Some are already using the Hangout feature to conduct interviews and meetings. Career coaches, resume writers, HR and public relations professionals, and marketing and communication experts are using this same feature to network with each other.

If you are an early adopter, you have a chance to follow these professionals and get to know who the other players in their circles are, who they are connected to and who are connected to them. You will have an opportunity to network with other users who, as they get to know you, may be able to help you in your job search or career transition. Remember, networking is key!

Speaking of early adopters, blogger/author/speaker, Chris Brogan is writing a book on Google+. Imagine that, and the platform is not yet 3 months old. As a job seeker or career changer, you need to be acquainted with all these social networking tools, and they are basically free. Explore and see which one aligns best with your interest and goals, then dive in. As the saying goes, “The early bird catches the worm.” You need to be leading the pack ahead of your competitors.

Years ago when blogs weren’t that fashionable, I suggested to a colleague that she creates a blog to showcase her expertise and distinguish herself as a communications specialist. Of course, it was the intent that someone would notice her extraordinary writing capabilities and contact her. She told me that blogging was a fad that would soon wane! Well, the would-be fad is now main stream.

Don’t get left behind. You already know how difficult it is to find job opportunities through traditional means. The use of social media in your job search is critical. Whether or not you jump on the Google+ bandwagon, you owe it to yourself to find out what it’s all about. Here  is a link that explains the basics of Google+:  Introduction to Google+. Once you have reviewed it, post a comment to tell me your thoughts.

At the moment, you can only join Google+ by invitation, and I have been allotted 150 invitations.  If you would like to test-drive it, send me an email with ‘Google+’ in the subject line and I will send you an invitation. View my profile-in-the-making at http://gplus.to/careertips2go. Remember, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Google+ is F.R.E.E.

Career Coach Roundtable Session at Schulich School of Business

I was one of seven coaches invited to participate in roundtable discussions on career related matters at Connect 2009 – The Annual Schulich Alumni Forum.   This Personal Coaching session was quite popular, and sold out prior to the event.

Here I am with a captive MBA audience facilitating a discussion on Building Your Presence in the Social Media Era. Gist of the session included:

Why Social Media?

  • The traditional approach to job search has changed
  • More competition for available jobs
  • More touch points for recruiters and job seekers

For those who are not aware of two of the more popular social networks, here’s a summary:

LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing recruiting tools used by recruiters. It is a great source for finding candidates because it’s free and top professionals can be found there.

Twitter, a free online micro-blogging application is also popular with recruiters, HR professionals, career coaches, resume writers and hiring managers. Therefore, in order to connect with these people, it is important to incorporate social media into your job search mix to enhance your chances of being found by employers.

As a micromessaging service with its 140-character limit, Twitter allows you to build your personal or business brand, develop relationships with people you wouldn’t normally meet, and gives you a chance to expand your network and sphere of influence.

So jump on the social media bandwagon, use it wisely and prioritize your efforts so that you don’t waste time.

My next post will take a look at Manpower’s latest research on Social Networks and the effectiveness of social media.