digital and social media | January 14, 2013

Amber MacArthur: How To "Power-Friend" Your Way To A New Job

"Whether you're looking for a traditional four-year gig or you're pursuing your dream as an entrepreneur, success depends on who you know," Amber MacArthur writes in a new Fast Company article. MacArthur knows about the power of the personal network firsthand. In her book, Power Friending, her consulting, and her informative keynotes, she gives the ins-and-outs of using online connections to get a job or grow your business. According to a new Jobvite survey, social networks were the main source of talent recruitment for many American companies in 2012. In fact, 92 per cent of American companies used social media to find new recruits. Clearly, knowing how to leverage the power of social media is a skill worth having in your arsenal. In the article, MacArthur shares 5 tips to expand your online network.

1) "Set a daily connection goal" : While there are varying opinions on how many new people you should connect with online, MacArthur says the important thing is to set a goal and stick to it. Making a new contact online is easy, but truly connecting and building a relationship with them takes time. Make the effort to ensure you are following new people each day and keep in touch with them by retweeting, sharing content, and sending personalized messages.

2) "Spruce up your online profile(s)" : "If you still have a Santa hat on your social network photo in March or a shamrock on your chest in May, you can do better," she says. Keeping your profile pages up-to-date keeps your brand fresh and enables people to get an accurate snapshot of what you are all about. She suggests including a description of what you do, a professional profile photo, and a link to your website on all of your pages.

3) "Build a good-looking (and easy-to-update) website" : Although social media sites are a must, MacArthur says having your own site to display your work outside of these platforms is a valuable addition to your online brand.

4) "Listen more than you talk" : While it's tempting to fall into the over-share trap, you also need to keep a keen eye and ear on your social circles. There are several tools available to help you keep tabs on your most important contacts.

5) "Set recurring business goals" : Chart what is working and what's not, and make sure you have a clear reason for all of your online communication. Strategy is just as important online as it is offline.