Posted: October 11, 2011
“The power to get hired is in your hands and it will require time and effort.” – Michael Teichberg, SFS HR Manager
An invaluable free resource for college students and recent graduates is their university’s career services center. One would think that this alone should serve as the epicenter of a collegiate’s job search. They provide career counselors, mock interviews, resume reviews, on-site employer visits, and access to the university alumni network. While this is an advantage non-collegiate job seekers do not have access to, it by no means is the silver bullet to landing that high-paying job in the field you want to be in.
As members of the SFS community, many of you reading this are (or strive to be) environmental professionals, or at the very least have a strong interest in careers that make a difference, most likely in the non-profit sector. Most staffing professionals will tell you that even though online job boards house many job openings, the majority of open positions are not posted anywhere.
The power to get hired is in your hands and it will require time and effort. LinkedIN, dubbed the professional Facebook by many, seems to be everywhere these days, from its IPO formation to being the host of a Presidential town hall meeting to connecting SFS alumni (SFS Group). Career counselors and professors are constantly recommending everyone to sign up for a free account. The truth is that out of all the social media channels out there, it is the only one that has the potential to enrich your professional life and take your career to the next level.
Whether I meet with students and jobseekers at events or I am speaking to an audience of HR professionals at one of my social media workshops I have given, I encourage both companies and jobseekers to sign up and begin networking through the website’s networking groups. You can find groups that relate to any topic or field of interest and LinkedIN allows you to join up to 50 groups. The benefit to joining a group is that you can message any group member for free. If you attempt to contact someone you aren’t already connected to through the site’s search engine, you will not be able to do so without purchasing INmail credits.
Another wonderful aspect of LinkedIN is that you can discover employers in the field and reach out to current and former employees. This function really can help you see and be seen by the folks you want to be working with. But with any new technology or social advent, the rules are still being written, so you must tread carefully and not appear to be a stalker or too overly desperate in your attempts to make connections.
The other way to add connections is the old-school, traditional way of face-to-face interactions! Look into local business and industry associations such as the Chamber of Commerce or Green Drinks. It is at these networking events that you can interact with people in the field and begin promoting yourself. It is this initial contact that makes you stand out and be on the radar for potential job openings that go un-posted. Always ask for a business card when you meet someone and this is where you should follow up with an invitation on LinkedIN to not only keep in touch, but see who you both know in common and which companies of interest to you share connections with them.
Below is a brief list of some job resources. Good luck and feel free to connect with me at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelwteichberg
Non-Profit Job Boards