How to Find Your Next Job with Social Software

I spoke last week on 5/24/05 to the International Executives Resource Group. Marc Kalton wrote some detailed minutes, which he gave me permission to reproduce below. You can download the slides here.

Topic: How to find your next job using social software. PowerPoint presentation available as a download.

Presentation (see download for details):
• Introduction: What is “connecting” good for? ‘Influence and Effectiveness’. You value your network thru a formula he created around the seven components of a social network
o Character
o Your Competence
o Relevance of the Other Person
o Strength
o Information
o Number of People
o Diversity

The value of your network is a balance of strength and numbers

The presentation is divided between social software and these seven elements.

• Social Software: Social software is a way to leverage your network. It’s benefits:
o It’s searchable (by design or default – type your name into google) as you create a virtual self.
o Provides you with greater visibility
o Crosses boundaries of time and space
o Provides you with a passive presence
o Gives you the ability to form or participate in groups
o Provides interaction with reduced time and expense (relatively cheap)

A social software matrix chart was provided cross-referencing General, Business and Personal Purpose software by types of customers (Public and Enterprise). See page 10 of the presentation.

• Character: Character is the virtual you – your digital trail. It’s important for each of us to create events, articles, press releases, etc. that results in a digital trail on google and elsewhere. Each of us should have a site, issue blogs and try to own issues we address in this media that will bring traffic to us and enhance out digital footprint. Note, headhunters look for this footprint.

Biography Analysis Software, such as Zoominfo and Jigsaw for finding/researching decision makers and contact info (job hunting or marketing) is very useful.

Competence: A key way to project competence is thru blogging (web logs). They’re easier to maintain then websites, provide visibility, establish you as an expert (or at least someone with something to say), provide “google juice” and can be linked to associations, etc.

There are a number of Workflow Social Software that can help establish competence, such as groupware (i.e., Lotus Notes), Wikis (From Time Magazine: “A wiki is a deceptively simple piece of software – little more than five lines of computer code – that you can download for free and use to make a website that can be edited by anyone you like. Need to solve a thorny business problem overnight and all members of your team are in different time zones? Start a wiki.” – from site), Corporate Blogs and knowledge mgm’t software such as Tacit (“an active network of information sharing that enables employees throughout the organization to connect with one another on key topics and speeds the organization’s ability to solve problems and address issues.”) and Entopia (“a collection of products that assist companies in successfully managing and leveraging all of an organization’s knowledge resources – including its people – to capitalize upon and further drive effective collaboration.” – from site)

Relevance Capital Management (RCM) Software: RCM software, such as Spoke, allows salesmen and business developers to better organize their own network and interactively share networks with others subscribed to the system (“Spoke is a combination of a next-generation sales application and an information-rich subscription service designed specifically for the purpose of helping sales people sell. Spoke is based on the simple concept of representing in software the set of relationships held by an individual and the interconnections between those relationships and a larger network of relationships which can be searched by name, title and company.” – from site). Software like Spoke leverages an entire organizations network, not just the manual inputs at the salesmen level typical in most CRM systems.
The point was made that most jobs are not got via recruiters and the key is to target relationship building.
Building Strength: This is typified where “online meets offline” thru “Meetup” and “Event Management Tools” (Evite, cVent). It’s reinforced thru “Relating in Realtime with chat, IM, internet telephony, web conferencing, SMS, etc. In all these electronic venues, marketing/communication strength is leveraged thru group interaction.
Information: The information component is the employment of social software is about seeing and being seen.

• Contact management software (i.e., Act Goldmine and Outlook) allow you to build rich data on your relationships (family, connections, affiliations, interests, etc.) for future communications. David seems to like Act the most in this category.

• Blog readers (i.e., Blogline) are excellent to pull what you want to read. Blog analyzers (i.e., Pubsub) allow you to know everything about what is said about something (i.e., a competitor, target, etc.). A tool like Copernic searches 90 sites (i.e., 89 + Google) at the same time.
Number: Your social/network interaction can grow dramatically through online group membership, such as Censa, Alwayson-network.com, TheSquare (“TheSquare network aims to be the number one online resource for networking, dating, career advancement, thoughtful commentary and lively debate, and exchange of goods and services for its membership.”),etc., and selective online executive groups (i.e., IERG, ChiefOfficer.com, ValueInvestorsClub.com, etc.).

Diversity: Similar to the above, significant value can be realized by leveraging virtual community platforms, such as Linkedin, Ecademy, Ryze ( From site: “Take for instance Ryze, a hotbed of online networking. Members can post their profiles, bios and photos. The site is divided into special-interest “tribes” that cover “almost every possible subject in the universe…You can create this long list of interests, and if somebody else has that same interest they can send you a message on your guest book …..From there people get to talking and, in many instances, new business relationships arise.” – Small Business Computing; “Ryze charges $9.95 a month for a gold membership that gives users advanced search capabilities and allows them to set up groups that are focused on industries or geographic areas. – Forbes). David is not a big fan of Plaxo, primarily because its not discriminating or as a robust as other software available.
Additional Resources:
• Teten.com: Great advice, downloads, Circle of Experts (can register for indep. Cnslt’g), etc.
• Networking and Referral software: YorZ.com, H3.com, Accolo.com
• Inexpensive website and brochure design: eLance.com, others