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Social Networking Job Search

Monday, May 17th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Social Networking
 
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Q:
I need a job badly. I have been to every internet job site available, to no avail. I had heard that Social Networking can help one get a job. How would I go about doing this?

A:
Yeah, a job is a rare commodity these days. Everybody needs all the help that they can get, so you’re on the right track. Great question!

A friend of mine has been looking for a job forever. He has posted his resume and cover letter on all of the major job sites, and a few other not-well-known ones, as well. He has grown old and gray while waiting for a call back from someone. The thing is, looking for a job this way is kind of stealing away into the night. I am not saying that you should quit looking for a job this way, but that you should only concentrate on that way of job searching a small percentage of the time. This is because that there are fewer jobs available, and more people competing for the ones that are out there. Enter Social Networking.

I am going to give you 6 techniques that will help immensely towards getting a job using Social Media. You have to be open-minded about this, okay? Every day is bringing something new technologically and you have to be ready for it, blah, blah blah. I know you’re ready, so let’s go!

1. I am going to start with – surprise! – LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become a major contender for finding a job via Social Media. It’s free, so recruiters are using it as the main place for identifying talented candidates.

Let me say this: Your profile is by far the biggest thing you have going (or against you) while on the internet. With LinkedIn make sure your profile is filled out 100% (just like on a resume) and for your avatar you should use the same one that you are using on Twitter (I’ll explain more about that next) and make sure that your summary section is complete. Try and get at least one recommendation from a former (or current) supervisor or friend. This will earn you a “1” next to a thumbs up, which is good when people are searching for you.

Next, import all of your contacts from your e-mail client (Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) so that you can start building your network. If you get a premium account you can contacts extra recruiters that can help you. And don’t forget to always use LinkedIn to search for jobs and find people that will supply you with a referral or an interview.

2. I mentioned that your LinkedIn avatar should be the same as the one you use for Twitter. Let me explain why.

Yes, Twitter is already a huge part of job-finding success (the website also has an new section called TwitJobSearch). It is considered one of the top ways to directly connect with recruiters, and with employees with companies that you would like to work for. By the way, the only way you can do this is completing a complete profile on Twitter; a short biography, where you’re from and an avatar of yourself. If you have a blog or website, provide a link to that, as well a link to your LinkedIn account (if you are a member). By doing these things, you have a better chance of finding and building a relationship with someone who cares about you profile. And believe me, there are lots of people who do!

If you get on and tweet, “I really need a job; I have been laid off. I am in graphic design”, you will receive some direct messages form people who want to help you. It works!

3. You can always become a movie star. By that I mean create a “video resume” for YouTube. A lot of people haven’t caught on to this so this creates a unique part of your profile. When you make the video, make it short and concise. Tell your viewer why you would be valuable for a certain position, and explain why you would be the best person for the job. Give a basic background. It’s a resume – starring you! And don’t forget to put the link in your profile.

4. Identify the top five companies that you want to work for, and use a focused approach instead of sending your resume out to hundreds of companies. Tell the potential employer what you would contribute, but makes sure that you present yourself as eager, enthusiastic, and earnest – hey, call it the “The Three E’s of job seeking”! (I just made that up, so feel free to discard the idea.)

5. Going hand-in-hand with #5 comes searching for employees that work for those five companies via the social media itself. There is Technorati, which has over 130 million blogs (I’m not exaggerating). Search the blogs to possibly find someone at one of the companies. You can search through Twitter and Facebook for corporations and people with connections to one of the five companies. Go to a people search engine, such as pipl, peek you, and wink. Once you find someone, Google them and try to find out more about them.

6. All of this begs the question, “Should I even bother with paper resumes anymore?” Social networking has people saying yes. Well then, the internet it is. How do you go about making a great internet resume? There are companies such as VisualCV, who allow you to compose a free interactive web resume. Potential job seekers can add work samples, audio, pictures, and video resumes. In addition, there are “modules” that can help to highlight job skills, capabilities, and work history. (Added note: CV stands for curriculum vitae, which is a summary of your work history and academic record.

When I was going through all of this information, a few things occurred to me.

Using any of these tools (or combining them with others) will definitely put you in the running for a job that you enjoy. The one thing I get out of all of this is that the key is to have a killer profile. Represent yourself professionally by using appropriate keywords and related information in your profile. Have a professional photo taken for your avatar (it’s worth it!). Provide links to any website or blog that shows the quality of work you have provided companies in the past. And make sure that all of this is done before you even begin to search or make contacts!

Social networking is all about people. You use it to find other people from companies using the search tools that social networking sites provide. You can join groups related to your job interest/career and contact the people in these groups. In turn, these people will connect you with other people in that field.

Social networking is proof that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.

Happy job hunting!

~Lori

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