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How to Make More Job Contacts Faster, through Viral Marketing

Are you in the job market? Sick of every blog-byte cramming down your throat that you have to get out there and network? Feel like your traditional networking efforts have turned into a self-destructive waste of time? Online Social Networking (OSN), a form of viral marketing, is a better way to hook up to opportunity. Done right, it'll do wonders for your self-esteem and warp-speed your contact development.

Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that's used to facilitate and encourage people to pass along a marketing message. Comparable to throwing a match into a parched forest, the resulting wildfire rapidly propagates itself as initial targets pass the promotion onto others. Achieve the same results through OSN and watch your career search efforts heat up.

Online social networking has the same element of exponential marketing. Used in a job hunt, OSN by its infrastructure eliminates many of your hassles of connecting with people of influence, and vice-versa, but not in the way you think.

Andrea Connell, Director of Marketing for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc, http://interviewing.com/ a leading international career marketing firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, explains, "The viral capabilities of online social networking works best when it's designed around your ability to give, not your need to receive." You'll reap better rewards when you share what you know with others and help them to succeed first and foremost. Focus on their needs over yours.

A seasoned contributor to several of the popular online social networks, Connell regularly offers mini-bites of free job search advice to inquiring minds. Some of those people end up becoming company clients. "Online social networking is one of many multiple marketing strategies you should use to expedite your career campaign," she says. "When OSN is used simultaneously with other personal marketing tactics, you position yourself as an expert in your field and widen your exposure to opportunity and decision makers."

Online social networking can build affinity for your talents or repulsion. Connell relays a story about an aspiring musician who wanted to maneuver his way into the music world.

Newbie located a high-level music executive on one of the well-known online social networking sites. He then emailed an inquiry soliciting advice about how to break into the business.

Mr. Top Dog graciously responded. Unfortunately, instead of asking a few well researched and targeted questions, Newbie wore out his welcome by relentlessly hounding the executive. He lost his golden opportunity to make a favorable impression with incessant requests for more and more information without offering anything in reciprocity. Mr. Top Dog, whose executive schedule did not permit this kind of self-centered babysitting, finally demanded to be left alone. Game over.

Relational spamming is a complete turn-off to others. "Don't bombard any contacts or business relationships you forge on online social networks with continued requests for insider info or high-pressure sales tactics. No one likes to be "forward-sold," Connell cautions. It's far better to give than receive.

Here are nine cool career tips to ensure you're more than just a pretty interface while conducting online social networking:

? Google and find the best and most user-friendly online social networks

? Create a Profile that self-markets your premium talents and knowledge

? Don't copy and paste your resume as a replacement for a OSN profile

? When building your OSN Profile, be careful in giving personal information

? Don't relationally spam others; respect their time and privacy

? Become the "go-to person" by providing useful assistance to members

? Maintain professionalism throughout OSN communications

? If you have a personal website, "link back" for search engine optimization

? Make sure your boss or co-workers aren't on the same OSN if you're in a job search

Social networking gives your contact development efforts more velocity and vitality because it removes traditional hierarchies. Those who join them are those who want to be connected to others, including decision makers. And, as with viral marketing, the more you're known in these networks as a consummate, solutions-oriented professional, the greater likelihood people of influence will swarm to you like moths to a light bulb.

Marta L. Driesslein is a senior management consultant for R.L. Stevens & Associates Inc. http://interviewing.com, a career marketing firm and organization celebrating over 24 years of providing strategic marketing solutions for its clients' career transitioning needs.


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