By Shawn McGowan, JobsInAL.com
If you've missed the update or haven't received an invite yet, Google's new social media platform, Google+, is the talk of the interwebs right now. Getting on early and becoming familiar this new service could lead to new networking opportunities and connections in your quest to find new employment.
What Is It?
Google+ is the search giant's solution for a simpler way of sharing and connecting online. The features will be familiar to anyone who's used social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Here are its three main features:
- Circles: Google+'s premier feature (in my opinion) requires you to group your friends by category, allowing you to organize your social groups and gives the ability to choose which groups to share different posts with (no more blasts to everyone you know on the planet - much more targeted communications).
- Hangouts: These are video chat rooms that users can join or host to "hang out" with friends.
- Sparks: This feature is like a beginner's Google (RSS) Reader. Enter a topic of interest and Google will populate an updating Sparks page of links and news from across the web about that topic.
Take a full Google+ tour
Why Should I Be There?
- Growth: G+ (as it's come to be called) has hit 20 million users in its first month since launching July 1, 2011 and it's still in beta, accepting only users who are invited by existing members. This will be big.
- Potential: The ease of defining social groups and sharing specificity via circles certainly brings the idea of a standardized, all-in-one platform into reality. With business accounts coming soon, companies will be much more engaged on G+, opening doors for brands and job seekers to connect. Its integration with Gmail allows users to connect with each other in the most successful communication tool of all time: email.
- Early birds: Right now the marketers, techies and early adopters are the majority on G+. So, if this is your field, you should already be there to network, schmooze, and catch opportunities.
Okay, I'm Here - Now What?
- Fully complete your profile and include all appropriate contact info and a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- Make a "Business" or "Job Search" circle and follow the key people you can learn from and hope to connect with.
- Promote your Google+ URL: Phil at reCareered.com posted a great idea for shortening your Google+ URL and adding it to your online resume using gplus.to.
- Network with video chat: Erica Swallow at Mashable.com posted a great example of using the G+ Hangouts tool to host a video chat for business networking in your area of expertise.
Though no one knows just yet where this new service fits into the overall social media picture, it is a game-changer - and being there early can't hurt a job seeker looking to increase his/her social media footprint.
As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInAL.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.