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Facebook, Blogs, and Your Career

Facebook, Blogs, and Your Career

Allan Hoffman, Monster Tech Jobs Expert

A conversation with the authors of ‘The Virtual Handshake’

From finding jobs to sealing deals, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online explains blogs, social networking sites and other online tools for building relationships. Authors Scott Allen, a strategic marketing consultant and former information technology executive, and David Teten, a serial entrepreneur and currently CEO of Nitron Advisors, offer advice on building a virtual presence, relating in real time, online etiquette, privacy and managing email. We spoke to them about the emerging world of social software.

Monster: How has social software changed the networking landscape for business professionals?

Scott Allen: It’s an overused buzzword, but in this case, it truly is a paradigm shift. You have the ability to find and identify a cluster of several hundred or several thousand people who are gathered around and engaged in a topic.

M: What does that mean for business professionals?

SA: You can participate and develop a reputation by participating. It’s just more wide open for anyone to build professional credibility with freely available tools and at a minimal cost.

M: What do you say to people who hear the term social software and think it’s only for techies?

David Teten: I think it’s a gross misapprehension – 84 percent of Americans participate in online groups. Particularly for the next generation, it is normative to spend hours per day communicating with your friends via blogs, instant messaging and so on. And those are the folks who are the future leaders of corporate America. It’s rapidly becoming mainstream. And when you’re communicating online, you have to learn the local culture. Everyone is doing this haphazardly, and we’re trying to create a systematic way to learn about these technologies.

M: So everyone from nurses to customer service workers could benefit from this?

SA: There is real business being done in all kinds of industries. It’s not just the technology and Internet marketing people. Those people are doing well, because they’re the early adopters. The people who are the early adopters in other industries – who get in and start establishing reputations – are the people who will reap the most benefits.

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