5 Ways Job Seekers Can Use Social Media to Keep Skills Up to Date
While you are in job search mode, it is very important that you keep your skills and knowledge up to date. This will boost your confidence, improve your interview effectiveness and ultimately improve your job performance once you find something new.
Technology and trends are changing so fast, so it is sometimes hard to keep up. Luckily for all of us, there’s social media to the rescue!
Here are 5 ways you can use social media to keep your skills current while in transition or actively searching for a new job.
1.) Follow Industry Experts And Thought Leaders On Twitter
By following and reading the tweets posted by experts and thought leaders in your industry or profession, you will get access to information that will help to keep your skills current. This includes links to relevant blogs, videos, articles, webinars and training. You may also get book recommendations, notifications of upcoming seminars and tips on who else to follow on Twitter.
There are a number of tools available, to help you locate the experts and leaders in your industry and profession:
- If you know the first and last name of a specific thought leader in your field, try searching for him or her by using the “Find People” search box in the top navigation of your Twitter home page.
- Use online yellow pages like Twellow.com or TweepSearch.com. Enter search keywords to identify the experts you are targeting (ex. “Email Marketing Expert” OR “SaaS Software Expert”).
- Search tweets for the content you are interested in via Twitter Search or Twitter Advanced Search. When you find users posting interesting tweets, follow them or add them to a Twitter list.
- Seek out Twitter “who to follow” lists posted on TweepML or Listorious. Alternatively, you can use a search engine like Yahoo or Google and search for “Top Twitter users to follow for XX” and insert the topic of your choice.
2.) Read and Subscribe To The Top Bloggers For Your Industry, 350 Million People Can’t Be Wrong
The most recent stats published by Technorati and comScore, show that there are close to 140 million indexed blogs, close to 350 million blog readers and 900,000 individual blog posts created within a single 24-hour period. Wow!
Find the top bloggers for your industry or profession and begin reading their blog posts on a regular basis. To find them, search the Technorati.com or Google Blog Search databases, or use a search engine and simply enter “top bloggers for [your industry or profession].”
Once you find the blogs, you can sign up for an RSS or email delivery and be notified automatically whenever a new blog post is published.
3.) Participate In LinkedIn or Facebook Groups
LinkedIn and Facebook Groups are online communities of internet users that have common interests, affiliations, professions and goals. For example, there are groups for technical, human resources, sales, ecommerce and marketing professionals. In addition, there are groups for almost every college alumni group.
To locate an appropriate LinkedIn group for your job search, go to the top right of your LinkedIn home page, and search the LinkedIn Groups database by topic. To locate an appropriate Facebook group, go to the search page, click on Groups and enter keywords appropriate for your group. Then, choose “join group” from the search results.
Once you join a group you will have access to the group members and their online discussions and news stories. Similar to how reading Tweets can help keep your skills current, participating in group discussions and reading posted news stories, will expose you to valuable information.
Unfortunately, there are some groups that have a lot of spam and self promotion mixed in with the great information, but not all groups have this problem.
4.) Read Q&A On LinkedIn Answers
LinkedIn Answers provides a resource for job seekers to ask questions, read responses to questions and answer questions.
At the top of the LinkedIn home page, click on the Answers hyperlink. Once you arrive at the Answers page, you have the option to search for questions by keyword or to browse questions by topic. There are 22 categories that range from product management to business operations to technology. You can look at questions posted only by the connections in your network OR by everyone on LinkedIn.
5.) Search LinkedIn Events
The sub-domain, events.linkedin.com, provides instant access to thousands of business related event listings in your geographic area. You can search all events, or narrow them down by keyword or by type such as conferences, tradeshows, networking or training events.
For example, here are a few posted events that job seekers may want to attend:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Workshop, Boston, MA, January, 2010, More Info
- 5th Annual Cloud Computing Conference and Expo, New York, April, 2010, More Info
Find the events of interest, follow the posted links to sign up, attend and keep learning!
While you are in job search mode, it is very important that you keep your skills and knowledge up to date. As mentioned earlier, this will boost your confidence, improve your interview effectiveness and ultimately improve your job performance once you find something new.
Using social media tools is an excellent way for job seekers to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.
© Copyright Marci Reynolds, 2009. All rights reserved. Used With PermissionMarci Reynolds is the CEO of J2B Marketing, a “Job Seeker 2 Business”™ Internet Marketing & Online Copywriting Services Firm based in Boston, MA. From LinkedIn profile makeovers to launching Twitter strategies, J2B helps job seekers harness the latest internet and marketing communication tools available. See Marci's Job Search TweetSheet, a free one-page guide to using Twitter for job hunting and her ebook, How To Use Twitter for Job Search, available at TwitterJobSearcheBook.com. Marci Reynolds was previously VP, North America Sales Operations at Monster.com. Learn more at www.j2bmarketing.com, on Twitter @j2bmarketing.