Does this look familiar?
Let’s face it –networking and being social isn’t what it used to be. Before the internet, you had to walk “down the road” or maybe get in your car to meet-up with your friends; you communicated as pen pals, and if you wanted to know about a person or a company, you had to be physically introduced by someone who knew them. How things have changed…A Neilson report released three weeks ago stated that Americans spend almost a quarter of their time on social networking sites today. Now, you can meet and talk to your cousin’s long-lost half brother in Thailand, from your cell phone on your way to work in the morning.
We’re introducing ourselves to and getting in front of people within niche communities; we’re engaging in conversations about topics we’re passionate about; we’re listening to what others have to say and responding intelligently; we are growing our businesses…all over the internet.
Professionals in the career industry use online networking to expand their reach by communicating with others outside their network and in a way they never could before:
*Statistics shared by Senior Staffing Consultant, Rob Harvie
“Recruiters are finding new ways to identify talent,” in addition to building credibility and relationships online, says Manager-Temporary Division, Jennifer DeLucia. “LinkedIn is a way to do just that without spending hours at events and on the road.” Hiring professionals can –with a click of a mouse—identify specific groups and virtual spaces in which to have meaningful and productive conversations.
Think about it; it is a fascinating concept. In a way, we’re doing what we’ve always done, except we’re doing it online.
Some Tips for You: Get “virtually” out there and network: invite someone new to Link today; mention or retweet someone on Twitter; read the comments on an interesting news article and comment yourself; research a new client or employer on Facebook; ask a question on someone’s blog (or start your own blog!); continue the conversation. You never know where it might lead.
…and chew on this: Before the internet, you knew all your friends and acquaintances in real-life, not virtually. Given that we can now rely on online to initiate a hand shake, what function does the internet possess in helping us make introductions and establish connections? Do you use the internet as the initiation or replacement for an in-person conversation?
When it comes to networking, business cards are only a small part of the process. Networking is an art form which, once perfected, can not only build your credibility but improve your business or propel your career forward. Let us help you improve on your networking etiquette and results:
Let’s start with the basics.
- Notice your appearance: make sure your attire is clean and neat, check that remnants from your last meal aren’t stuck between your teeth, or that you don’t have chipped fingernail polish.
Reason: your appearance is an extension of who you are, and how you present yourself impacts how people perceive you.
- Eat before you leave for the networking event.
Reason: even if food is offered remember, you are not there to eat but to meet people. You do not want your stomach demanding the sandwich buffet when you’re trying to talk to someone; plus, having your hands full of food does not necessarily allow you to make the best “first impression”.
- Do your homework:
- Contact the Event Planner prior to the event or research who has RSVPed; can you get the attendee list?
- Look up the attendees on LinkedIn or Facebook to get more information about the people you might meet; no need to go crazy, but have a general understanding of a few key people.
- Identify a few people you want to meet beforehand and reach out to them; express your interest in meeting them at the event and provide your cell number in case something comes up last minute.
- Stay up-to-date on current and local events. For example, that Francona is no longer the Manager of the Red Sox and that there is a “tent city” on the Rose Kennedy Green-way.
Reason: so many people refrain from learning about their audiences prior to meeting them, yet this extra effort often makes all the difference and can advance a conversation from the get-go. Make a habit of knowing your target audience it will pay dividends.
- Making Introductions:
- Put your name tag on your right side – most people are right-handed and will see your name immediately when they shake your hand.
- Shake hands firmly and make eye contact - people are more likely to take you seriously.
- “Open the card before you open the present.” - ask about the other person first before talking about yourself.
- It’s not all about business – asking how people are or what movies they have seen lately, breaks the ice and helps build rapport.
- Refrain from looking around the room while you’re speaking with someone - listen and focus your attention on the person to which you are speaking.
Reason: yes, you are there to pitch you or your company but you are also there to gather information. Refrain from identifying someone as your “anchor” just so you can scope out the scene. Instead, treat him/her as your center of attention; you never know who might be able to assist you down the road.
The fortune is in the follow-up.
After speaking with each person, be specific about following up with them: Account Executive, Laurisa Neuwirth suggests asking, “It was nice to meet you, I will follow-up with you and start by connecting on LinkedIn.” People appreciate when you take the initiative and are often pleasantly surprised by prompt follow-through.
Above any other tip we can offer you: be genuine. Yes, the purpose is to promote your business and/or your career, but it takes time to build a strong level of rapport with someone. Walking away with 5-6 contacts who will remember you is far better than giving out 10-20-30 of your business cards to people who will have forgotten you as soon as you have moved on.
Share your thoughts on networking and tell us what has been successful or otherwise for you!
How LinkedIn Can Score You Your Next Job
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site on the web and quickly becoming the number one place to turn for career development. As of January 2011, LinkedIn reports over 90 million members with executives from all Fortune 500 companies represented. LinkedIn also reports that, as of the New Year, 69% of all Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s hiring solutions to source new employees.
With all of their latest statistics in place, LinkedIn is impossible to ignore and an essential tool in the 21st Century job search.
Here’s the John Leonard 3-Step-Plan to scoring your next position via the social network of LinkedIn:
1. Create a complete profile.
Your profile should read as a resume. The first step is to write a thorough professional summary and add it to the “Summary” section. Next make a list of your specialties and fill them in keeping in mind that recruiters search on keywords. Your “Specialties” section should include software programs that you have used, professional strengths and job duties. Here’s a sample from my profile:
Once your Summary and Specialties are complete, upload your resume. This will populate your “Experience” section.
Not only will this give your profile the resume feel that you are looking for, it will help recruiters find YOU.
2. Follow and Research Your Target Companies
More than one million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages including all Fortune 500 companies.
Company pages are a quick and easy way to learn about companies and their demographics. Use these pages to do research and target companies that you believe would be a good match for you. Once you have your targeted companies picked out, click the “Follow” button in the top right hand corner. This will alert you when the company posts new positions and when there are internal changes within the company.
3. Join Groups and Apply to Jobs
The final step to scoring your next job through LinkedIn is to join groups and begin applying for jobs. LinkedIn groups are a great way to network and join in on the conversation. It is also a FREE place for recruiters to post jobs and a great way for you to APPLY for jobs directly.
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups. Begin by searching for groups within your geographical region and related to your industry. Here are a few examples of Boston networking groups:
On the top of each group page, you will see a tab for “Jobs.” Check you groups for new postings regularly and follow the instructions within each posting for submitting your candidacy. Recruiters will be responding in no time.
John Leonard On LinkedIn
John Leonard has been active on LinkedIn since early 2009. Today, the entire John Leonard team is a member of LinkedIn. We list all of our current openings directly on our profiles and post frequent status updates regarding new opportunities. As of 2011, we use LinkedIn to actively recruit for all of our searches.
We invite you to connect with our consultants via LinkedIn, follow us and become a member of our group: John Leonard Employment Services.
When I arrive at work at 7:30AM, the first thing I do is turn on my computer. Next I open up my browser and immediately open up five tabs: one for Bullhorn, one for G-Chat, one for Twitter, one for LinkedIn and one for different news outlets depending on my mood. Once the information feed is spread across my desktop, I pull out my Blackberry and sit it next to my computer screen so I will instantly be alerted by the flashing red light if I receive a text message, BBM or Facebook alert. Lastly, at about 7:32AM, I turn to the most traditional piece of technology on my desk – my phone – and I check my voicemails.
Not everyone at John Leonard starts their morning this way, but being right at the center of Gen-Y, this is how I start my day, every day... -Jill Gaynor, Staffing Consultant
GEN-Y: FOREVER CHANGING THE WORKPLACE
Generation Y, also known as “Millenials” describes the group born between 1982 and 2000, the group known as the Technical generation, the group oft described as entitled, lazy and fickle – and the group that is now taking the workplace by storm.
They are the largest group to hit the workforce since Baby Boomers and aside from the sheer magnitude in number, the generation is hard to ignore due to their loud presence, “I-can-do-anything” attitude, and ever-growing presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and MySpace.
With them, Gen Y has brought a new set of norms, new ways of communicating and new ways of doing business all together. Thus, forcing management and their predecessors, Gen X and Boomers, to follow suit – some willingly and some not-so-much.
Gen Y is a generation defined by technology. They are the generation who writes informally, texts, Tweets, Skypes and pokes. They are the generation constantly plugged into ear buds and constantly fidgeting with the latest pieces of technology or the latest mobile app. They are a generation whose reach is defined by friends, followers and connections.
Gen Y is also the generation who can connect across cultures, borders and times zone instantaneously through their virtual networks. They are the employees whose work days are not confined to 9-5. They can be reached at any time, day or night, by phone, email or text. They are the generation who has integrated the social and professional realms into a solitary state of being.
No generation has seen business done this why and that is where the controversy begins. It is new and still mostly unknown. Gen Y entered the workplace, ignored standards of practice and created new ways to achieve the same goals. Some fear the change, some condemn it, some attack it and few embrace it.
In the October issue of FastCompany Magazine, Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something, wrote an article entitled, “Why Bashing Millenials is Wrong.” In her article, Lublin, who is a member of the Boomer generation, makes a strong case for Gen Y. She recognizes all of the generalized weaknesses that have been brought to light about Millenials in recent months and then goes on to explain how to reinterpret these conceptions and exploit them as positive new facets being brought to your business.
“You say self-indulgent and self-obsessed, I say optimistic and self-confident., “says Lublin whose COO is 27 and Business Development Strategist is 26. “They are hungry for responsibility, and I give it to them.”
Lublin goes on to highlight the positive impact a Millenial’s virtual network can have on a company.
“Millenials don't have traditional boundaries or an old-fashioned sense of privacy. They live out loud, sharing details of their lives with thousands of other people,” says Lublin.
Lublin embraces this reach and sees every Tweet or status update as free PR for her company. Recently Lublin has begun asking interviewees how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends they have.
Gen Y is unwilling to change and unwilling to revert back to the old ways of doing business. They have forever changed the workplace. Now it is up to companies to embrace these changes and use them to their advantage rather than dwell on the new and unknown.
In the late 1800's, Ralph Waldo Emerson said “we change, whether we like it or not.”
Ironically, this 19th century word of advice may be the best attitude to adapt as we face the changes of the 21st century workplace.
Training and Development Manager - Boston
Training and Development Manager - Salary to $125K
The Boston office of a dynamic Global Law Firm
seeks an experienced and innovative Training and Development Manager
to join their team. This person will be responsible for the development and execution of the firms professional development programs as well as addressing training needs across all offices. Position will involve developing new initiatives, keeping abreast of T&D
trends and identifying resources to support the growth of specific practice group areas .
Superior management skills
5 + years of T&D experience required
Knowledge of Law Firm practice areas desired
Salary to 125K
Last week's job: Litigation Paralegal
Previous: IP Patent Prosecution Secretary
For more of John Leonard's Direct Hire Legal opportunities, CLICK HERE.
For our Temporary Legal opportunities, CLICK HERE.
Law Firms Turn To Social Media
Once deemed "untouchable" and "recession proof," the world’s premier Law Firms have been forced to adapt to the larger economic climate and develop new ways to build business and keep existing clients.
How are they doing it?
As we emerge from the recession and head toward a new year, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn have forever changed the marketing scope of the legal community. Both large and small firms across the board have shifted their business development approach to include and sometimes focus primarily on SOCIAL MEDIA.
No industry escaped the economic downturn. The smart ones did however, use the lull in regular business to re-evaluate their marketing schemes and to create new programs. The economic crisis, which began in 2007, just so happened to coincide with the Social Networking boom. While some firms were hesitant to jump on-board, many immediately began laying the groundwork and building their online presence.
David Barrett, Esq., also known as the “LinkedIn Lawyer,” was an early believer. He began using social networks, 5 years ago to jump start his career as a solo attorney. He now has over 7,000 attorneys in his LinkedIn network and proudly boasts that referrals from the network are a cornerstone of his business.
Social Networks allow individual lawyers, as well as, entire firms to market their programs on a much larger scale and across larger, global platforms. The reach is immediate and in most cases free.
“Professional networking sites can help you enhance your professional image, expand your network, boost your visibility, build your professional brand and manage your career,” wrote Sally Kane of About.com. “These sites allow you to participate in online forums, search for jobs, post and peruse job listings, exchange practice tips, meet other legal professionals and share knowledge, ideas, experiences and opinions.”
As firms discover the ease and great potential of each online community, they continue to think outside-of-the-box and embrace the newest development in the age of business: Social Media.
How to build a Social Network for your law practice:
- Blog. Become the go-to news source and expert in your practice area.
- Lay the frame work. Set up a professional Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account. Also, locate other industry specific outlets that are right for you. The three most popular Legal-Only Social Networks are Martindale, Lawyrs.net and LawLink.
- Grow your network. Once the framework is set, begin connecting. Make a targeted list of who it would make sense for you to connect with (i.e. potential leads, industry experts, referral sources, clients, etc.). Next, join groups within each network that will be helpful to your practice.
- Ask for referrals. Once you have made the right connections, begin asking for referrals. The best way to get business is to tactfully ask for it.
- Share your legal insight. Treat your virtual network like you would a face-to-face networking event. Use your newly formed networks to share insight and start conversations with your followers.
To view John Leonard's Legal Opportunities: CLICK HERE
Experts at finding jobs agree, networking is key to any job search. So, why not make the most of your networking efforts?
Here's what the pros-professional recruiters, people whose full-time job is searching for jobs-say can help you make the most of your job opportunity network:
- Network like your career depends on it...because it does - Attend every industry-specific event; that's where all the people who do the hiring, or know people who are hiring in your industry, are. Make it your career goal to introduce yourself to as many people as possible there.
- Be prepared - Prep before you go. Scope out the attendees, learn something about their company, have something relevant prepared to discuss.
- Opportunity is where you find it - Don't limit yourself to industry events when it comes to networking. Job opportunities are wherever you find them, working out at the gym, on the subway, at the supermarket.
- Be organized - Keep copious records of contacts-names, phone numbers, email addresses, company information, job titles, how you met, any follow-up conversations
- Get a buzz going - Brainstorm about who can help you find work, then contact them. Think: neighbors, friends, relatives, former employers, former co-workers, doctors, alumni, hair stylists, college professionals, anybody, and everybody.
Networking shouldn't be the only tool you use to find a job, but it's an essential component of a comprehensive strategy to do so.