This month’s Career Collective Topic is Social media – how to use it in a job search, how to get started, do’s and don’ts. As always, my fellow bloggers have tips and ideas that are worth your time. Scroll down to see their contributions and click on the link to read it on the web.
Why those who live with illness, in particular? Well, everyone would agree that social media increases access crossing boundaries and allows you to go deep into new territory. It opens your world to new information and people. Now consider how valuable this is when your physical resources are diminished and limited.
For those of us who live with chronic illness and want to find jobs or build our business, the energy and efficiency of social media can’t be beat.
Here’s why I say that:
- Social media, when used strategically and wisely (read the posts listed below for more specifics), allows you to spread mounds of seeds in fertile, targeted areas through one channel, the web.
- It’s easy to increase the number of people in your network dramatically while managing what they know about you, whether you’re looking for a job or a new dog.
- You can reach people whom you wouldn’t have met otherwise, build a relationship based on mutual interests and talk to those you do know more frequently.
- You can do all this on your schedule without leaving your computer (or handheld), your house — or taxing your body.
Compare all of the above to what it takes to attend industry networking meetings and networking events or having numerous and fruitless interviews that lead to dead ends because it wasn’t close to being a good match.
But when you live with chronic illness, certain issues must be explored more carefully.
- Do you want people to know you live with illness in their first introduction to you? If yes, think about what words you use to describe this and be sure that it presents you as you want to be viewed. If no, it’s best to be prepared with an idea of what point you would choose to discuss this.
- Do you identify yourself in the online chronic illness world? Social media is vastly different from email and it’s got a long life. You might choose to join online forums but remember that if they’re not private groups, this information and your words will come up in a search.
- Are you developing your online ‘brand’ to include living with illness? Once again, there isn’t a right or wrong but note the permanence in the web. These days, we’re seeing that what you say and post online can come back to bite you. Consider what you want people to know about you and how much you want to control the information.
Ten years ago, I launched my website as cicoach.com. I branded myself as an expert in working while living with chronic illness. I’ve spent my online life developing that persona. When I consult to organizations or work with individuals, my life as a chronically ill person is open for display. I’ve carefully honed my persona so that anyone looking to hire me knows what they get and want that.
Obviously, this approach isn’t going to work for most people. If you choose to be specific about living with illness, make sure you know why you’re doing so and understand how it could impact what you want. I think that most of the time it’s not best to in your “profile” . But you can still use this in your favor if you want. You can mention that you’ve faced challenges that have made you a mature, responsible and a dedicated worker.
Bottom line? Social media offers an ideal tool for the growing number of people working while living with chronic illness, and, in particular, those who are looking for jobs. But like all tools, know the strengths and limits of what you’re working with and use it wisely.
Read what my fellow Career Collective Bloggers say on this subject:
- Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana, #careercollective
- You 2.0: The Brave New World of Social Media and Online Job Searches, @dawnrasmussen #careercollective
- How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman #careercollective
- Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW #careercollective
- How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman #careercollective
- Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy #careercollective
- Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland #careercollective
- We Get By With a Little Recs from Our Friends, @chandlee #careercollective
- Expat Careers & Social Media: Social Media is Potentially 6 Times more Influential than a CV or Resume, @expatcoachmegan #careercollective
- Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search, @KatCareerGal #careercollective
- Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa #careercollective
- How Having Your Own Website Helps You, @keppie_careers #careercollective
- Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni #CareerCollective
- HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist #CareerCollective
- Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice #CareerCollective
- Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords #CareerCollective
- Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach #CareerCollective
- Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson #CareerCollective