Today’s post is one of many from members of the Career Collective community I co-coordinate with my colleague Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter. I encourage you to visit other members’ responses, which are linked at the end of my post. Please follow our hashtag on Twitter: #careercollective.
This month’s question asks everyone to share a favorite career search resource.
I don’t make it a secret that Twitter is my favorite online resource for job seekers. However, many of you may be thinking that Twitter is only useful for people in certain professions — maybe marketing, writing, public relations? It’s easy to see the potential, positive implications for people who make a living in jobs that involve a lot of communicating.
Did you ever think about how you can use Twitter, even if you work in a field that isn’t overly represented in the medium?
I thought I would take the opportunity to share an interview with Brett Vanderwater MBA, CIA, CMA, CTP. Brett is a strategic financial leader who believes social media is useful for all careerists, even those in fields without significant representation. He tweets @BrettVanderH2O, and his blog is called Top & Bottom Line! He answered some questions about the topic of using Twitter, even if not a lot of others in your field have jumped in:
Many people believe that social media is only useful for certain industries. As a finance/business professional, what made you turn to blogging and Twitter, and how have they helped you advance your career?
My first introduction to social media was LinkedIn. I stumbled onto the fact that companies were performing a Google search prior to my interviews based on the fact they knew I was a runner and member of several professional organizations. I did land at Kellogg Company in a controller role at their Atlanta, Georgia facility.
After landing my job, I continued to study the communication power of social networking. I optimized my LinkedIn to include recommendations, news postings, discussions, and groups. I expanded my efforts to include blogging, which allowed for further creativity and helped me spread the word about my expertise in finance. The finance profession can be an introverted group and admittedly, I did take a deep breath prior to sending out the first blog post. Of course, I assumed 10,000,000,000 people would instantly read it! After realizing very few read it, I started advertising the blog on LinkedIn via groups and added Twitter to further leverage and market the blog.
I found Twitter to be a simple, yet confusing tool. This is when I sought professional advice on how to represent a professional image and further leverage the networking opportunities. I contacted Keppie Careers.
While I am still adding to my social network, the career value is the circle/network that it has created. The world I once played in was limited to the city where I lived. Now, the landscape is broad, and I have met professionals from all over the world. I have had the opportunity to speak at several Atlanta area professional forums to further communicate the expertise message. These events were directly related to the usage of LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging.
Since there is not a critical mass of people in your field on these networks, how have you increased your following and how has that helped you?
The finance field is not very active on social networks, so I broadened my definition of a finance person. I now refer to myself as a Strategic Financial Leader and network with all levels of professionals in an organization. As a result, my LinkedIn contacts increased from 380 connections to 550. My Twitter followers expanded from 175 followers to more than 3,500.
What I learned was to utilize a skill I have been using in my business career – to lead. When a profession is not at the same place that you want to be or see yourself you have two choices: 1. Conform to the profession’s expectations. 2. Redefine it. I am choosing option 2.
Would you recommend that others in industries like yours (where there are not already a lot of people involved online) try using social networks? Why?
I recommend that the finance industry use the power of social networks and embrace the changing communication landscape to enhance knowledge sharing and actualize the globalization that we talk about in the conference room.
I believe the finance industry will embrace social networks and fully leverage its power. The driving factor is that adopting these tools will save money and speed communications, resulting in cost savings and exponential gains to corporations in the future.
Convinced? Take a look at this post about Twitter chats (when people use Twitter to share information and advice about a particular subject). You may be surprised by how many different types of people are using Twitter to connect with people in all different fields.
If you want to learn how to look for a job today, check out The Career Summit…more than a dozen online presentations to help you land that next job!
Read what my colleagues had to say about their favorite resources:
6 Ideas to Put In Your Toolbox, @WorkWithIllness
Your Best Job Search Resource? You!, @WalterAkana
In a Job Search, Knowledge is Power, @barbarasafani
Jump Start Your Job Search Now!, @resumeservice
Favourite Resources for Jobseekers, @GayleHoward
The Best Job Search Tool Ever, @careersherpa
27 Recommended Blogs for Entry-Level Job Seekers, @heatherhuhman
Invaluable Resources for Job Search Success, @heathermundell
Favorite Social-Media Resources for Job-seekers, @KatCareerGal
Canadian Resources for Job Seekers, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland
A Self-Empowering Job Search Resource, @KCCareerCoach
Covering your bases: 5 ultra-useful online career resources, @LaurieBerenson
Favorite resources for Job seekers, @DawnBugni
Time as a Career Resource: How “Not” to Squander It, @ValueIntoWords
Favorite Internet Resources for Jobseekers, @ErinKennedyCPRW
photo by psyberartist