If any of the following applies to you, read on:
- You danced to “Stairway to Heaven” at your Prom
- You “feathered” your hair, Farrah Fawcett style
- You wore a Brookes Brother suit with shoulder pads and bow tie to work
- You quit your job when your children were born, because part-time was not an option
- You’d never join Facebook because that’s where your teens hang out
- You think tweets are sounds your friend’s pet canary makes
- Your kids make fun of your text messages, because you use the proper English language and don’t know how to text
OMG, U R Obsolete! But the good news is there’s hope. Everyday the economic news gets worse. Recently we learned that over 80 percent of pink slips are going to men. The result is everyone is looking for work and if you’ve been out of the work force for a while the first thing you need to do is brush up on (or learn) the P’s and Q’s of social networking. You will be competing with the Facebook generation for jobs, projects, and opportunities so you better learn how to speak their language. The job search process is a long one, so here’s a way to do it proactively, update your skills along the way and have some fun.
Follow our five-step plan:
1. Join LinkedIn. Invite friends and past colleagues and classmates to join your network. A LinkedIn profile is required for most job searches, so spend some time on it. Search for Groups that match your professional interest and join them. Join our LinkedIn webinar class to learn how to get the most out of LinkedIn. Join the YourOnRamp group on LinkedIn.
2. Join Facebook. Yes, it’s not just for kids; in fact the thirty-five plus crowd is growing like crazy. Many use Facebook for more social than professional purposes, but remember that potential employers will look at your online presence, so don’t share the bikini beach shots here. One other word of advice, be careful downloading your entire address book into Facebook lest you might have a “Mrs. Robinson” moment and accidentally invite your son’s sixteen-year-old friends (like I did … ).
3. Start blogging. Blog about your interests, expertise, or experience. Mommy blogging is big business and has become a respectable gig. Blog about the trials and tribulations of OnRamping. Your can start a blog here for free.
4. Join Twitter and start tweeting. I joined Twitter a year ago and in the beginning was skeptical and didn’t get it. Now I’m an addict! Twitter is a 140 character micro-blogging platform and it’s a great way to see what’s happening in an industry or the greater world of social media. It’s still up and coming in the professional world so why not become an early adapter? I have hooked many client and newbie members and they’re connecting with real people. Here’s a five-step starter guide:
Sign-up at Twitter. (Its free).
- Use Twitter Search and type in keywords to find people that share your interest. Click follow to start following people you like. They will likely follow you back. We work with an Onramper interested in food and entrepreneurship. She used Twitter Search to find Foodies and small businesses.
- Follow YourOnRamp on Twitter and click to see whom I’m following. Build your follow list and you see why the Wall Street Journal recommends Twitter for the job search.
- Use Twitterfall to see a real-time waterfall of people tweeting about trends or keywords that interest you.
- Install the Tweetdeck on your laptop to organize whom you follow by groups and access search.
- Learn your Twitter Etiquette.
5. Once your Facebook, LinkedIn, YourOnRamp Blog and Twitter profiles are up and running consider adding them to your email signature, so people you network with will see that U R hip, cool, and NOT Obsolete!