Monday, September 26, 2016

Using Google+ For Your Professional Networking and the Job Search

One of my favorite cliche lines in regards to career advice is, “You gotta network to get work.” It may be corny, but that doesn’t make it any less true. A great way to enhance your online professional networking profile is by utilizing Google+. Here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your Google+ profile.

Your Profile
When you create your Google+ profile, create it as you would your LinkedIn profile. Be articulate with your descriptions and present yourself in a professional manner. Recruiters actively search social media platforms such as Google+ for candidates who may be a fit for their openings. Knowing that, it is worth taking a few minutes to do some research and keyword optimize your profile in ways that maximize its chances of showing up in recruiters’ searches. An example would be reading job postings for jobs you are interested in and taking keywords from them to add to your profile.

Relationship Circles
Differentiating your professional contacts from your personal contacts is very important when developing your Google+ profile. The best way to do this is by utilizing the Google Circles feature. This way, when you add new professional connections, you can group them together with other related connections. For example, you could add circles for co-workers, professional connections, other people in your industry, or even individuals in a new industry that you're interested in sharing information with and receiving information from. You can also decide what information in your profile is visible to each of your circles. Here’s some more information about Google Circles, including how to create one.

Google Communities
Google Communities are groups created on a specific subject that can be literally anything. Searching for communities related to your professional interests can be a great way to engage with other professionals and stay up to date in your field. Any individual can create a Google+ community around any subject of their choosing to engage other users on the network with an interest in that subject. As a result, communities can create a direct connection with your target audience, helping them join the discussion.

Networking will never be useful if you approach it passively. To make meaningful connections, you must take the initiative and engage with other users. One way to do this on Google+ is by commenting on your connections' posts so you can add value to the post or stimulate further discussion and debate. Sharing their posts is also useful as it helps them reach a larger target audience, and helping others is a great way to start a relationship. Posting content is also another great way to engage others. When doing so it is important to segment what you share with whom, so that your content shares are always highly relevant and to share them in a way that stimulates discussion and interaction. For example, sharing an article as an open ended question and asking others to share their insights, etc.
By Njyhalo Pavati, RIT Career Services Graduate Assistant

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