With Twitter celebrating it’s fifth birthday this week, with LinkedIn now boasting more than 20 million monthly visitors and nearly 33 million US members and with Facebook now calling itself the 3rd largest population on earth (after China and India) you would be foolish not to use these dynamic tools to find yourself your next job.
Paul Borgesse and Sherrie A. Maddia, Ph.D. have written a book on using on-line tools to assist candidates in finding the right job. In On-Line Job Search Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Land a Job Now, the authors provide point by point actions a job seeker should entertain if they are serious about using the internet to find employment.
1) Access Your On-Line Presence. Google your name, when possible, remove content that doesn’t align with the image you want to project.
2) Assess Your On-Line Presence. Know where you would like to work. Position yourself as an expert in your industry. Be authentic.
3) Become a Joiner. Join communities that suit your professional interests. Get a sense of tone and content, then add meaningful comments that advances the dialogue.
4) Become a Joiner. Establish your expertise by consistently offering useful insights. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to begin.
5) Work the Room. Within Communities, get to know as many people as you would at a networking event; seek common interests, ask questions, build relationships.
6) Work the Room. View networking not as part of a one-time job search but as a fundamental for your career. Your on a people search.
7) Link In To LinkedIn. Complete the profile, not just a partial version. Search the site to make sure your network is as broad as possible.
8) Link In To LinkedIn. Ask former employers, employees and clients for an “I would recommend,” a feature that functions as an on-line letter of recommendation.
9) Link In To LindedIn. Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers. Respond consistently and with value, and you will become known as an expert.
10) Follow that Recruiter. Use Twitter to find ideal companies and people who represent them. Follow relevant streams, getting to know staffers who maintain them.
11) Follow that Recruiter. Tweet meaningful responses that position you as a knowledgable contributor; as relationships grow, carefully use the Direct Message (DM) feature.
12) Your Facebook Job Fair. Tap into your existing network. Stay positive. Be professional in describing your job preference. Link your resume.
13) Your Facebook Job Fair. Create a Facebook ad that highlights your skills and the value you would bring to an employer.
14) Have You Hugged Your Community Today. Post routinely – at least once a day is ideal. Engagement draws an audience and demonstrates commitment, follow-through and discipline.
15) Have You Hugged Your Community Today. Be sure to promote your Community activity within your resume, letters of inquiry, and so forth.
16) Smart Tactics On-Line. Purchase a URL in your name, post key info there. Blog and contribute to existing blogs.
17) Smart Tactics On-Line. Make a short video in which you answer interview questions and highlight your skills. Post to You Tube, using industry related key words. Create a podcast, post to your Facebook page.
18) Smart Tactics On-Line. Create connections across social networks so that recruiters can find one consistent image of you.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are just a few of the tools that a candidate should use in his/her search arsenal. You never know where or how you are going to connect with your next contact. The days of just sending out resumes to prospective employers are long gone. You must promote and package yourself in the most positive light possible.
Unfortunately job seekers must remove the idea that you are just a commodity and that one candidate is not very much different than the next one. Like any product or service, a job seeker must promote themselves as a unique entity with unparalleled talents and abilities and incomparable experiences in the profession or industry in question.
It is vital to create an image for your candidacy but you must also be careful not to go beyond the acceptable. Let’s be honest, despite the fact that you hear time and time again that potential employers are looking for something different and special, I think most will admit that they aren’t looking for something too far out of their comfort zone.
Zany and extraordinary is obviously in the eye of the beholder. I would certainly hesitate to exceed professional standards to make yourself stand out (e.g. Gorrilla Marketing might be a bit much). The only result of such “out of the box” actions would be that you would be standing out of the mainstream for any consideration for the job.
The bottom-line is that you need to be creative and use all the tools in your tool box to get the attention of potential employers but as is always the case, don’t act unilaterally until you have asked others who you trust what they think of the actions planned and by all means – plan, rehearse and practice. Yes you are a professional, but last time I checked even Sir Laurence Olivier rehearsed Hamlet on occasion.