Networking for a job; Virtual or IRL?

I’ve been blogging and tweeting now for a little over four months and I can tell you that my social media  network consisting of my blog and Twitter is invaluable. I still can’t believe the level of expert information available just by connecting with people over Twitter and my blog.

I do have to signal a note of caution though about social media networks….they are no replacement for the real thing.

Let me explain. Due to my recent lay off I have been spending a lot of time working on my resume, blog, Twitter, and (of course) looking for a job. I know it’s a tough job market out there so I have jumped in with both feet into the deep end of the pool.

My social media network has provided me with access to hundreds of experts and loads of information for navigating the job market but I don’t think it is as valuable as my local network. 

If you are not actively working to develop a local network, you must begin to do that now.

What can a Local Network do for you?

  1. You will meet professionals in your area that do the same type of work,  or work in the same industry,  they understand and have been navigating the same territory,  you may even discover target companies you haven’t heard of before.
  2. You can frequently get the “inside” scoop from employees who work at your target companies or have worked there in the past.
  3.  Find out the best networking groups in your area. Why waste your time endlessly hopping to different networking groups? Find someone with similar career interests and ask them what they have found to be the best groups, then start with that list.

What can your Virtual Network do for you?

  1. Ability to connect with people all over the world.
  2. Access to best practices,  new ways of thinking and cutting edge professionals.
  3. Ability to show off your skill set and collaborate with others via your blog, twitter and other social media sites.

At the end of the day your social media network is a valuable asset but always remember that  recruitingislocal. Your social media network will never replace the value of  face to face time with your local network.

About the Author:

Melissa Fairman has been working in HR for 5+ years in a variety of positions in HR systems, recruiting, and projects.  All that experience coupled with an MBA and a PHR makes for a pretty dangerous HR blogger. You can connect with her via her blog: HrRemix, Twitter @HrRemix,  or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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