On Friday I spoke to a group of career coaches and entrepreneurs about Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air (see slideshow here). Google Hangouts is a great tool for connecting virtually with up to 10 people at a time in a really collaborative way. Google Hangouts On Air is perfect for broadcasting yourself or livestreaming an interview to the whole wide world. Best of all, they're both free and great for careers and job seeking.
But first of all, let's be real: nothing beats face-to-face networking. If you're looking for a job or career change, you've got to get yourself out there and connect in person. In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is spend all day submitting resumes to monster.com. But, your online presence and access to Google Hangouts is key for expanding upon the relationships that you've formed in person. Not to mention, I think it's an excellent platform for creating a presence for yourself in an particular industry or field.
So here are my top 5 ideas for using Google Hangouts/Google Hangouts On Air for careers:
1) Establish yourself as a knowledgeable source. Do you know a lot about a certain topic? Do you have an interesting perspective on an industry? This is your chance to share your thoughts and ideas by broadcasting yourself on Google Hangouts On Air. After your broadcast, it will be uploaded to your YouTube Channel so you can create a career webcast series. Not only does this show that you are social media/tech-savvy, but it also showcases your public speaking skills.
2) Connect with people that you've met. Yes, this one might seem a tad obvious, but Google Hangouts has a lot of collaborative features to make meetings more productive. Use Cacoo for Google Hangouts to brainstorm and create roadmaps, watch a YouTube video together, share a PowerPoint presentation, import your Google Docs and work on them together, etc. The list goes on and its an excellent opportunity to meet with up to ten people at a time.
3) Host an expert interview. Looking to gain more knowledge about a particular field? You're probably not the only one. Broadcast an informational interview with someone using Google Hangouts On Air to share the info.
4) Get involved. Search for people, companies, and organizations that are broadcasting on Google Hangouts On Air and participate in the event. This is a perfect opportunity to gain some more knowledge about a field, meet like-minded people and share your own perspectives.
5) Get creative. Virtual office hours, accountability meetings, tutorials, webinars, meet-and-greets and so much more. Think about your career goals and your proposed industry and see what you can do to set yourself apart from other applicants. On a whim, my colleague and I organized the first-ever library conference held completely on Google Hangouts so there are literally endless ways to use this free resource.. Think outside the box and see how you can incorporate it into your own career.