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Using Social Media to Help You Make Connections

Today I’m going to share my notes from Russel Lolacher’s ( @ruslol ) talk at #UVIC in September. His talk “How Using Social Media Can Help You Get the Job You Want” was well attended and I was thrilled to see him speak to each individual student who descended upon him after his talk. For many conversant with social media my notes might seem obvious. The talk was really geared for college students, who we know are mostly on Facebook, but for many the rest of their social media footprint is small. Lolacher gave some honest advice and often used himself as the example, which really makes his presentations that more effective and endearing. I have heard him speak on numerous occasions and if you need someone to talk about social media–ask him. But, note that his work for the BC government keeps him busy. Lolacher is the Social Media Director for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. This position, Social Media Director, was the first of its kind in the BC government and I am hopeful that it will not be the last.

My notes and please understand that I have fleshed out these points. This is not verbatim from his talk:

1. Talk to people. Go to Tweet Ups or Meet Ups. Meeting people and expanding your networks can help you with your job search. Lolacher noted that he spent about 18 months meeting people and networking before he got his current position.

2. Don’t go online if you not focused. If you’re not sure what you want, be careful. Try to figure out what you’re trying to do. If you want to become a food blogger, then go to the food related blogs. Try to make connections with other bloggers or people who are immersed in that community.

3. Don’t sound desperate. You need patience as you endeavor in this expansion of your networks. It’s going to take work and you might be scared at first. Take someone with you to an event.

4. Get on Linked In and participate in the community. Be strategic and ask questions. Many of the companies that you’re interested in are on Linked In–engage with them.

5. Get a business card! Paper and online. You can use About Me Visualize Me, Flavor Me, Beyond Credentials and countless others. Make sure that your paper business card includes links to your social media footprint.

6. Related to all of these points–make sure that your social media footprint is acceptable for networking and a future employer. Review the photos with your tags on Facebook. Are they all “clean” and appropriate. You do not want an old photo or comment on Facebook or elsewhere to influence your hiring, promotion, or other important work related matter.

7. Find your passion, find your niche!

Lolacher said more, but I was trying to pay attention and then realized that I should take notes and share! If you feel like a newbie, schedule a coffee with someone who you know that has a larger online presence. Make sure that you are honest with this person and go from there.

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