It ties in nicely with what I’ve discovered about this whole cyber-networking thing. Building on her post, there’s another side to Web 2.0. From a company perspective, they now operate in a “fish bowl” – there are no secrets. From a job seekers perspective, that fish bowl is an open resource to lots of information, from untold sources, not available as recently as two or three years ago.
As I wrote in my comment to Gayle’s post, “There is no excuse for a job seeker go into an interview unprepared.” And the more time invested (yes, invested, not frittered away …) in networking, the easier it is to get the information needed to prepare for job interviews. Need a contact name? Ask. Someone is bound to know. Need the skinny on a company before you go on an interview? Inquire. You’ll get more than you ever imagined. (Obviously, discretion is needed when using a public forum to support a career change, but there are ways to gather information without tipping your hand. But that’s a topic for another day.) Taking it a step further, with a solid network and a history of give and take, you can prepare for just about anything. You’ll be amazed at how willingly people share valuable information about any topic. It’s a knowledge and information exchange at hyper speed – a bit overwhelming at first, but quickly manageable.
Add to networking the ability to set-up a Google Alert for ANY topic and there’s no reason you can’t speak intelligently about the company during a job interview. You’ll know the company CEO won the charity fishing tournament last week because the article containing that information came to you in the form of a Google alert – straight to your inbox. Knowing an interesting tidbit, not readily found on the company’s home page shows you did your homework and positively sets you apart from the rest of the interview pool.
Since I started spending a little time on Facebook and Twitter everyday, I’ve found, if you ask a question in cyberspace, someone will answer it or at least head you in the right direction. People are grateful for your offers of assistance and advice too. (There’s the give and take.) Plus by participating in the knowledge exchange, you’re building a positive reputation as an expert in your field, in your industry. Doesn’t sound like frittering away time to me.
As a businessperson and writer, I’ve only scratched the surface of what I can do and what I can learn with Web 2.0 interactions and the networking opportunities out there. As a job seeker, those same opportunities await. The #1 way to locate new opportunities is through networking. Be prudent in postings and the network you build and generous in your sharing. The world is now, literally, at your fingertips and it comes to you, anywhere, with the click of a mouse or the push of button on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.
Twitter Tweets? Facebook posts? RSS Feeds? LinkedIn connections? Blogging? Web 2.0? Google Alerts? If this is all foreign to you, Google it. Dig, learn and jump right in. It’s a whole new world, waiting to be explored.
PS – if you’re of a certain age and think this is for the twenty-somethings … you couldn’t be more wrong. A little time; a little thought; a little tenacity and you’re communicating with brand new audience in a very effective way. (I only look young in my pictures. <wink> )