April Job Contours: Working the Oblique – Networking for Effect

By Placement Chair Stephanie Lopez

Working the oblique is a reference to the extra effort that is today required if we are to use immediate resources to raise awareness of our presence on the planet and, yes, our efforts to seek employment. There is so much emphasis on social media and networking. When it comes to “showing up” for that potential job change lurking on the horizon, try boosting your image on the extremely popular LinkedIn. Many of you may already have created a profile in which case it is important to maintain your creation with current information about who you are in “The World of Work”. The World of Work includes certifications that you have completed, any recent changes in work history, and interests that you feel will add to a broader professional picture of you that might catch the eye of recruiters. More importantly, however, it is a ready resource on a resume as not everything fits neatly on a one or two-page submission to a potential employer or in those neat little fields that need to be filled in when filling out an online application. Your LinkedIn profile does contain a URL link for referral. Some application processes ask about the presence of a LinkedIn profile.

I also find that any tangential interests you have, as in groups available through LinkedIn, will help bolster your connections.  For example, I follow healthcare and technology information and where those two fields are in play with one another is of great interest to me so I belong to HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society) and supply chain groups. Information from these two areas are always in my LinkedIn account and keep me current with issues, ideas, and the latest sharing of knowledge. This could be of importance if you have not been in these fields for some time and want to know what is “up” in the current moment, what might be sparking discussion.

Please remember that a social media presence is passive. It only works as an assist to the splendid person you are during that all critical elevator speech whose hallmark is the compressed two minutes (extended play version) where you talk about who you are, your passions, and what you do. A genuine encounter can lead to the next job potential. If the rapport is sincere, it will be remembered. As will your business card with your handwritten cell phone number given at the right moment when genuine encounter meets opportunity!

Best wishes on the job hunt,