So while step 2 was about engagement, step 3 is about ways to engage that help you to create credibility or trust with your target audience (hiring companies, recruiters, fellow job seekers).
When you engage people with confidence, authenticity and purpose, you are certainly on the road to building social credibility. It makes it easier for people to connect with you. Because you seem to be a good person, right?
And that matters to most of us.
But what also matters is your ability to show relevance (skills, experience) and to create a level of subject matter expertise. So in this step, I’ll share six ideas to help you build social credibility during job search or any time you need to achieve something important.
Here are six ways to start building social credibility:
There’s something magical about writing. It allows us to share great detail about something that matters to us. And, as a reader of your content, I can’t help but see you as at least a little bit smart on the topic. Assuming you can get your ideas across well. And get your comments published into a blog (yours or someone else’s) and your ideas are now floating down a big river (the internet) where others fishing for answers to their questions are waiting.
If I read an article, white paper, tweet, status update or any other communication from you – and like it – I’m now much more open to meeting you. Or accepting a connection request from you.
Writing is cool. But there’s an awful lot of content out there. Billions of web pages, right? But, if you have an interest and a personality (helps), you should consider the opportunity to be a speaker, trainer, workshop leader, or webinar presenter.
Are you nervous about standing up in front of a big group? Then offer to organize and lead an accountability group. When you are the speaker (the lead voice), you are given instant credibility. And then as long as you continue to earn it, your social credibility increases every time you do it well.
So find a topic you love and create something you can share with others.
When you connect with others (via LinkedIn, for example), you establish social proof. People will think: “If Mike connected with Susan, she must be worth my time." Assuming, of course, Mike isn’t connecting to everyone with a heartbeat.
When you connect with other people and actively maintain those relationships, you gain credibility through the credibility of others. Make sense?
4. Start Something
Starting something takes a purpose, a plan and a bit of courage. That’s why we place extra value on those people who do it. And value is a component of credibility. So what could you start? And what additional value can you add to the world around you? It could be a LinkedIn group for an un-served segment of your industry, a local networking group for your church or a job search accountability group (http://timsstrategy.com/how-to-start-and-facilitate-an-accountability-group/). Leaders get noticed and are more likely to be recommended for jobs. Would that help you right now?
5. Help Others
Who out there needs your help right now? Can you do a resume review, a mock interview, share your favorite local networking events or help someone write a better LinkedIn profile? If yes, look for people needing help and offer it. When you help others, you can have a profound impact on their lives. And they’ll usually tell a few people about who helped them. Being a helper makes you a safe person to help and to network with in a world full of many choices.
6. Own A Niche
Especially in a tough job market, you need to focus on being a specialist, not a generalist. Why should you get hired instead of everyone else who can do it all? You are more likely to get the interview and the job if you can do something really well. And then once you get hired, you can show them your breadth. So find something that you do better than others and with a passion that will come across during an interview or networking event.
Building social credibility is the key to opening doors during job search. It reduces the risk of someone meeting you or taking your call. And, even better, it draws people to you. And that makes networking so much easier!
Next month: Inspire Sharing of Your Ideas and Successes (hint: it’s how your credibility expands)
© Copyright Tim Tyrell-Smith, 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.