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Recession-Proof Your Career

How to Make Social Networking Work for You - 4 Tips

By Bob Rosner and Sherrie Campbell

With layoffs looming and the economy uncertain, the idea of investing time in a personal network may seem like a luxury. Why would you need to network in your personal life? You might be surprised to learn that economic uncertainty is even more reason to invest time in social networking.

Think of social networking as a trampoline, not just a safety net - and make a commitment to making it a career priority. Instead of fretting about the unknown, make an effort to bounce your career to new heights by building elastic social networking that's resilient and strong. For more social networking strategies, check out our action plan at

Success Tips - Social Networking:

  • Build a local career network
  • Use online social networking tools
  • Be inclusive in building your career network
  • Find opportunities to be generous within your career network
Build a local career network. Colleagues, vendors and customers are all a part of your social networking, as they all have some knowledge of your character and abilities. By simply utilizing your personal communication networks in the office, you can expand your social network by leaps and bounds. Recently, we interviewed a human resources manager who said that he finds almost all his new hires by calling colleagues for referrals. He said, "If I run a want ad, it's only because I've failed in my social networking." If you want to get hired, get connected.

Use online social networking tools. If you haven't joined Facebook, LinkedIn or Xing, get started today. If these sites aren't tied into your industry, ask your colleagues if they know of industry-specific online social networks. Millions of people have secured projects, opened doors and rocketed ahead by using the web to get connected. Also, find out which sites and organizations are active among people in your industry[SLU1]. To see a list of the top social networks for recruiting.

Be inclusive in building your career network. Look for opportunities to expand the diversity in your social networking. Also, look at your calendar for the last six months to identify life patterns, then, change them! Find a new coffee spot or join a new organization. Not sure how to get started? Talk to the social networking people you know and ask them for advice on how to expand your own social networking skills.

Find opportunities to be generous within your career network. It doesn't take a seasoned accountant to understand that if you only make withdrawals, that your account will run out of cash. Find ways to connect other people, and to be generous among people within your network.

Follow these tips and your social networking will catapult your career to new heights.

More: How to Build Your Network During a Recession

Bob Rosner and Sherrie Campbell author the weekly internationally-syndicated workplace911 column. Bob's a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. Sherrie's a work relations expert and award-winning comedian. Together they offer 12 years of quick, intuitive and humorous column responses on their website. You can e-mail them at