The following is an approximate transcript.
HEATHER: Hello and thank you for joining Episode 3 of Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. My name is Heather Huhman, and I’m the founder & president of Come Recommended, a career consultancy for young professionals, as well as the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. I’m joined by my co-host, Tony Morrison.
TONY: Great to be here, thanks Heather. To introduce myself, I am the vice president of Cachinko. We are a social recruitment marketing technology company. We have a unique perspective on career networking, organizing networks, and engaging contacts across multiple social media networks.
HEATHER: Today’s episode is “Key Resources You Need to Expand Your Network.” Let’s get started. Tony, what are the main networking tools used by job seekers today?
TONY: There are a variety of networking channels available to job seekers today. The most commonly used are LinkedIn and Facebook. Twitter to a lesser degree I think, but still somewhat useful. LinkedIn is used mainly for business purposes and Facebook for personal. LinkedIn boasts over 80 million registered users and one million company profiles created. Twitter is a useful information channel, but there are so many individuals creating noise on the channel that it can sometimes be difficult to get noticed by the right people or find what is meaningful to a person. To use Twitter effectively, it is important to create a personal/career brand for yourself, learn how to filter out all of the other noise, and focus on your career interests and follow and favorite people in your market space that are on Twitter.
HEATHER: Why is networking so important for your career?
TONY: Networking is the most important career activity. Everyone should become a participant or leader in professional societies, committees, discussion groups, blogs, etc. It is important to participate online as much as you participate in person. Online forums help to reach a large audience and give you exposure among other active players in the space. It also keeps you informed about hot topics and trends that influence your field and could influence your career path. Get to know some of the major players in your chosen industry or technology. This network can provide valuable information, job leads, and recommendations for you when you need them, or you can be a resource for others in your network, which serves to make your career brand or personal brand even stronger within your network.
Above all, get out to events and meet people. Meeting people who are also outgoing and actively networking as you are expands your network rapidly.
HEATHER: Why do you want to continually expand your network?
TONY: As you develop your career, you will meet new people and learn new skills. You may move on to a new company and meet even more people. Just like you, most of those people you have met over the years have grown and moved higher in their careers. They are in positions of higher responsibility or leaders of companies. Your connections are your peers and potential business contacts. Within your network, you will find excellent, trusted resources for job leads, clients, and some people who you will even trust to assist you with creative problem solving.
HEATHER: How do you go about finding new networking contacts?
TONY: You meet new potential contacts every day. They are your friends, your clients, the man you talked to at the coffee shop, or the woman you sat next to on the plane during that flight to Michigan. Networking opportunities are everywhere.
You can also network with a purpose. There are so many online social media channels and business contact networks to explore. I recommend getting involved in discussion forums, comment on blogs, start your own unique blog, participate in your school and employer alumni networks, and join a peer mentoring community.
There are also membership communities that typically require fees to join or to obtain networking information online such as, business contact directories, and employment guides. All can be helpful and useful career networking resources. If you know or want to know someone in a specific company to add to your network, and you cannot find them on LinkedIn, then there are contact directories like Jigsaw, ZoomInfo, Xing, Ziggs that have millions of public profiles on business professionals and companies.
In the end, networking is about meeting people, virtually or otherwise, the relationship is stronger when you meet someone face-to-face. Two examples of networking resources that aim for the personal introduction include Meetup and NetParty. Meetup helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world. It has over 46,000 groups and over 4.7 million people that schedule events and meetup in over 3600 cities. NetParty is a starting point for a whole network of parties organized and attended by professional members in their 20’s and 30’s. The membership organizes business networking parties in top clubs and venues in major cities across the U.S.
HEATHER: What are some resources to help with networking and organizing your network?
TONY: Great question. With so many contacts now and so many social media networks, and you may have unique connections in all of them, so how exactly do you stay in touch? There are available tools such as Meebo to aggregate your instant messaging contacts, or Hootsuite and Tweetdeck used to aggregate select social media channel activity feeds. Social media aggregator tools such as these can also facilitate staying connected to such your growing network of contacts. It is a real challenge to combine all of your professional and career networks.
Job seekers would benefit from a sort of social media aggregator slash career networking platform with permission-based connections all in one. Members should have a means of organizing their networks and engaging their contacts across multiple social media channels. As much as networking is communication, community members need a networking platform in which they can communicate precisely to specific individuals and groups of connections. By organizing all connections into groups with common interests, members can share articles, contacts, and job postings that would interest their personal networks. This sort of content creates excitement and encourages sharing among the members of the network. The continuous communication of information that is relevant to your network, keeps them engaged and directly connected with you.
It is this concept of the social talent community that is the core of Cachinko’s technology.
HEATHER: Thanks so much, Tony. That’s all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. For details about the next episode, please visit blog.cachinko.com.