After graduation ...
I studied Social Sciences and Sociology at the University of Duisburg-Essen. During my main studies, I started working as a student trainee in HR at a Cologne office Company.
Although I was taken over by the company for a limited period, the employment relationship ended in December 2008 and was not extended due to the great crisis.
Difficult career advancement
It was difficult at this point to get a job in the human resources department. Due to the economic crisis, positions in this area were few and far between, and I competed with business economists, lawyers or psychologists. So I started to reorient myself without knowing which way to go.
Despite my work experience, I had the feeling to start working with 0 and was suddenly faced with self-doubt and fears. As an alternative I decided to do a further education and got a consultation appointment with a further education provider in Mülheim. That was in 1. January 2009.
Get out of the motivation hole
The interview was a benefit for me, because in addition to the training proposal, the consultant built me up and gave me new impulses: “Go out, visit events that interest you and go to job fairs. Also use the new media like Xing. As a social scientist it is much more important to build networks! ”
These tips were not particularly new to me, but the conversation pulled me out of my motivation hole. Nothing came of the training, but I took the advice of the nice consultant and started. I took on the role of job seeker at Xing (which was not easy for me), got specialist literature that helped me to optimize my profile and started to use Xing with all its functions.
What to do to find a job?
Among other things, I applied to the Uni Duisburg-Essen-Alumni-Group and was informed about the Career Day for humanities and social scientists, for which I registered directly. There I met a colleague of Scholz and Friends, who previously lectured on career opportunities in the advertising industry.
I asked him openly whether his company is looking for personnel. He told me that they do not have open vacancies, but in perspective they need people who are familiar with the topic of recruiting staff on the Web 2.0.
My new hobby: Employer Branding
When he added that the need for HR professionals in this area would increase across industries, he put the “employer branding worm” in my ear. That same evening I made a contact request, which he promptly accepted.
Two days later I received from him via Xing an invitation to an event organized by Scholz and Friends on the subject of employer branding, which of course I also visited. Personnel from the larger companies in Düsseldorf and the surrounding area and I in between were invited. I got to know many interesting people that evening, with whom I networked via Xing.
The network is growing
I signed up for groups on the topics of Employer Branding, Recruiting on the Web 2.0, and so on. I learned what RSS feeds and alerts are, watched Youtube videos from staff conferences, and started to read the blogs of staffs and recruiters such as Gero Hesse, Lutz Altmann, Manuel Koelman, etc., and then connect them with Xing ,
At that time (early to mid-2010), I worked freelance as a lecturer and helped unemployed people, among other things, to exploit the opportunities of the Internet in finding work. The various HR and employer branding blogs and my Xing experiences were of course a great help to me.
First of all, have a chat ...
In July 2010 I received a contact request from a Mr. Lars Hahn about Xing. He would have read my introductory email in the Xing Group Ruhrstadt network and remembered me. I would have been to him for a consultation for further education and he would find it exciting to network with me.
Of course, I immediately agreed, because the conversation with him had remained in positive memory. When he posted a few weeks later about Xing that he was represented with the LVQ as a continuing education provider at the job fair Essen, I went. My former lecturer job ended and I was still looking for a permanent position, so I could combine my job search with a casual chat about training.
... then find the job
I visited Mr. Hahn at the LVQ stand and we talked about further training opportunities. In addition, he would find it exciting, what I had last professionally and with whom I would be so all about Xing networked.
Actually, this would exactly match the job profile that the LVQ had defined for a position in the marketing. I should just let him send me my application papers and you could meet for a coffee in a loose threesome with the managing director of the LVQ. After a one-month trial, I was then taken over in a fixed position.
Xing: Jobs search for Schüchterne
So much for my job search on Xing. I know other examples of people who got their jobs through Xing. In my opinion, Twitter would not work for many of the people I have looked after for job acquisition. In addition, my experience in adult education shows that many people have reached the limit when it comes to job acquisition in social networks with Xing.
Before I started my job at LVQ, I worked as a lecturer with a few smaller providers in adult education. In addition to the “classic application training”, I explored the possibilities of the Internet for job searches with the participants.
To be found!
I looked after a participant who was rather reserved as a type. Although he was skeptical of Xing, he created a profile there. He limited his activities to networking with direct contacts and tracking group contributions in Xing groups that he was interested in. He created his profile so that he could be found for his specialist area and looked in the power search for people who offer what he is looking for. During his search, he ended up on the profile of a production manager and looked at it without making contact.
However, the production manager became aware of the visitor to his profile and looked at his profile again. He was so taken with it that he wrote to him and asked for his contact details to be released. First there was an exchange of communication over the phone, then the invitation to the interview came. Ultimately, it was possible to agree on a collaboration.
Facebook only private, Twitter too abstract?
On Twitter or Facebook it would probably not have come to this contact, since the participant of me was not represented in the two mentioned platforms and did not want to.
“I only use Facebook for private purposes and Twitter is too abstract for me” - This is a statement I often hear while Xing is understood and accepted as a business network.
However, it is not just the skepticism of many people about the meaningfulness of many social media job search platforms that gives Xing a head start over Twitter as a job acquisition platform: Often, there are also missing cognitive or technical skills to understand and handle multiple platforms.
I have supported a wide variety of people who differ according to age, nationality, educational level, as well as according to communicative, technical and analytical skills. Accordingly the work on the online presences of the participants was different.
The creation of profiles in Monster or Stepstone under guidance worked mostly well, even if there were already crumpled faces, if one pointed out the necessary regular profile care.
It usually became problematic with social media profiles: the participants who jumped on the social media train came at most to the Xing, occasionally to the LinkedIn wagon. After that, it was mostly the last stop.
Twitter and Facebook many too fast
Twitter (and Facebook) may be the more innovative, faster, more direct communication medium than Xing, but that's where the problem lies for many jobseekers - many are too fast, too dynamic, too present.
And I include the 28-year-old literary scholar ("I've been trying Twitter for two weeks, I don't get it") as well as the 58-year-old engineer ("Do I need a Facebook now?").
Many participants with whom I speak appreciate the communication skills of Xing, as they are not constantly under communication pressure. They consider it much more important to have gathered their contacts, to be informed about what they are doing, and to be able to easily find out about events through which they can expand their network.
Comparing Xing and Twitter as a tool for job search with each other, always take into account who is using it. Twitter may be faster and more innovative than Xing as a communication medium, so it is not the same as the more effective media for job search.
In the end, it is important to find suitable tools, to know their functions and to use them properly.
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