Are you in the job market again? If so, a few things have changed since the days when you used the internet to send your resume and cover letter to a company or hiring manager, and hoped this was enough to land an interview. It can still happen, but statistics show that only about 11% of jobs are obtained using the Internet.
Now, more than ever, to compete with many applicants for the limited job opportunities, one needs to be in “sales”, to really sell yourself and show that your skills are the best fit for the job opening. What will separate you from the pack and what steps can you take to get that phone appointment that might lead to an interview?
While it’s still true that most jobs are found through networking, you still need to research the industry and employer to show you stay current, understand their business, are not only interested in the position, but possess the skills to do the job.
The way networking is done today has evolved and changed drastically. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more recently, Google+, provide an online community to showcase your skills and expertise. Social networks can provide the tools to amplify your brand, and create a “social footprint”, that can showcase your talent, and skills to a prospective employer.
In today’s job market, the hiring manager or someone at their company, will more than likely check social media sites to see what content exists for a potential employee.
A strong social media presence shows you are current and keep up with the latest tools and technologies.
Posting updates on social networks allows one to share valuable content, relating to a job or industry, and may provide the Social SEO (higher marks in search engine results) that will separate you from the crowd and boost your visibility.
Frequent updates on social media sites can amplify your brand recognition, give a wider reach to your “online voice”, and make you a “trusted” resource – someone who adds value. If your social media activity attracts the attention of the company where you seek a position, the content you share might highlight you as a more desirable candidate.
Just as positive search results may attract potential employers and help land a job interview, “digital dirt” (negative comments, controversial topics, online arguments) can be the showstopper that eliminates you and awards the interview to someone else.
Remember the “Las Vegas” rule of social media, “What happens in social media, stays online for ever.”
Why use social media?
"If you haven’t introduced Social Media into your marketing plan you are missing out on a larger audience for your product or service. According to The Nielsen Company (November 2010) US Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email. That means that a prospective client will spend 3 times more time reading your blog article than reading the email you send to their inbox!"
- From Examiner article 9 Social media tune-up tips 4u (September 20, 2013)
Are you using the social media 'Power Trio' to help with your job search?
Of all the social media sites, the 'Power Trio' of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can prove very beneficial for building a wide network to help with a job search. Having career professionals, industry leaders, and like-minded professionals in your 'Power Trio' network enables one to leverage their knowledge, stay on top of the latest industry trends, and better utilize social media in a job search.
- From Examiner article 3 sites to help in your job search: the social media 'Power Trio' (February 16, 2010)
#1 Leverage social networks for job search
Social networks can provide an online presence to increase your visibility and highlight your skills and expertise.
Leverage the “Power Trio” (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), and Google+ to create a strong social presence, showcase your talents, amplify brand awareness, and heighten visibility for potential job opportunities.
Social networking “channels” can help you research, find, and follow companies that have openings related to your career interests, skills, and type of work desired.
Making good use of social media can create a strong online presence that will heighten your visibility, enable you to showcase your skills, and increase your chances of attracting the attention of a potential employer on your target company list.
Social networking sites, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, are great resources for career networking and information gathering. Through the people you follow or "friend" on social networking sites, you are able to stay current on the latest industry trends, and job search tips. You are able to stay "connected" with career professionals who share valuable information, which affords you the opportunity to also share something of value. Sharing tips, links, recommendations, and your own articles, will serve you well and build your brand as a trusted connection, and encourage better engagement with your community.
- Connect with like-minded people in your industry or field of interest
- Follow target companies to stay current and get updates
- Connect with employees at target companies (get introduced and ask for “informational” interviews)
- Join groups
– search your industry, interests
– check job listings
– become an “active member” and add value, share findings with others
– start a discussion, share updates, news, links, job openings
– comment on local news stories that cover topics relevant to your job search or
- Set up and ‘Save’ job searches, get email notifications when new are jobs posted
- Ask for recommendations for your skills and experience that highlight your value
- Follow companies, thought leaders, people in your industry or field of interest, and #hashtags, to stay current, track target companies, and get job leads
- Review who career / job search leaders follow and follow those that may benefit you. (this is a great way to expand your ‘Following’ list and stay current with thought leaders that share the latest news, tools, tips, job and career advise)
- Use Twitter Advanced Search to:
– Search on words, phrase, people, places, companies, # hashtags
– Near this place (zip code)
– Within this distance (miles)
- Use #Hashtags to follow job related tweets. Recommended links:
- Use Twitter tools
– Hootsuite (Twitter dashboard) to follow job boards, set up and ‘save’ job search results
– WeFollow – http://wefollow.com, http://wefollow.com/interest/jobs
⇒ Search on ‘jobs’
⇒ Jobs Career Jobsearch Employment Recruiter Hr Recruitment Careers
– Just Tweet It - http://justtweetit.com/twitter-tools/#business
⇒ Find other tweeters like you with common interests
⇒ Search Twitter User Directory and Twitter Tools Directory
- RichmondJobNet - Looking for a great job in Richmond, VA?
Follow @RichmondJobNet for job leads, careers news and more
- Richmond VA Jobs - Follow @JobsRichmondVA to find that perfect job in Richmond, Virginia... or go to http://jobs-central.info, and find thousands of new jobs posted every day.
- Follow @tweetmyjobs – http://www.tweetmyjobs.com
– Go to website http://www.tweetmyjobs.com to sign up for job matches
– Leading social and mobile job distribution network, provides job seekers with great job
– Have job matches sent to your Twitter account or mobile phone
Job search and career expert authors use Twitter professionally and share their findings with their online community.
Here are a few ”follow” recommendations to get the latest career, job search, and branding tips:
- Become friends with like-minded people in your industry or field of interest
- Connect with employees at target companies
- Follow career, resume, job search, branding experts.
– About Job Search - Job search, resume, cover letter, interview, career tips, and advice from Alison Doyle, About.com job search expert
– Meg Guiseppi - Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Strategist: Personal Branding, Executive Resume, LinkedIn, Online Presence
– Career Rocketeer - Career Search and Personal Branding Network
– JobHuntOrg - http://Job-Hunt.org/ links to employer recruiting pages, career and job-search resources, plus over 1,000 articles by experts
– Tim's Strategy (Tim Tyrell-Smith) - Ideas for Job Search, Career and Life
• Follow job boards and staffing firms.
– RichmondJobNet - The Richmond area's best source for job postings, career events, networking opportunities and tools to propel your career
– Simply Hired
– SnagAJob - The nation's largest site (www.snagajob.com) for full-time and part-time hourly jobs
– CapitalTechSearch - IT staffing and executive recruiting
– TECHEAD - Creative and IT talent staffing, training, and web solutions and consulting
• Follow company pages of interest.
- Follow like-minded people, and companies in your industry or field of interest
- Add people and companies to your circles to get the latest breaking news and stay current in your field
- Page examples:
• Enter #jobs in Google+ to get #hashtag listing, and select a category
- Join Communities of interest. Ex:
– Job Search Advice + Recruiter Contacts
– Career+ Connections
– Promoting your small business thru Social Media
– Social Media SEO
** Big Google+ advantage **
The content you share publicly in Google+ is publicly searchable -- Rumor has it that new URLs are crawled almost instantly. If you share new content on Google+, chances are that Google will index the page very quickly.
Example: I shared the post below ‘publicly’ at 8:16 PM on 8/20/14 and it was indexed and appeared on the first page of Google search results within 48 minutes.
Daulton West, Jr.
Shared publicly - 8:16 PM
Are you registered yet? 26 employers on growing list to recruit at #RVACareerExpo #JobSeekers see list @RVACareerExpo and register http://richmondhokies.org #RVA #jobs
Google search results for ‘Are you registered yet? ‘ 48 mins. later yielded my Google+ post –
Are you registered yet? 26 employers on growing list to ...
Daulton West, Jr.
48 mins ago - Are you registered yet? 26 employers on growing list to recruit at #RVACareerExpo #JobSeekers see list @RVACareerExpo and register http://richmondhokies.org ...
#2 Start a blog
Have a website or blog? Start a blog, write articles, create presentations, and share them on a regular basis to show you are current, understand the industry, and bring value to the table.
- Research and share something of value to your community – news, views, tools, tips, links to other websites, articles from industry leaders
- Blog about “free” offerings, give away something of value – downloads, eBooks, articles you have authored, or SlideShare presentations
- Make yourself memorable, engage your target audience, solicit comments and feedback, build your reputation as a trusted resource worth following
#3 Join Meetup groups for networking opportunities
This is a great way to get a calendar of events for career and job search meetings.
Social media, especially Meetup, is used to communicate the schedule of network events, share discussions, and send out invites to members. All members are encouraged to keep an updated LinkedIn profile that will be used for maximum visibility with employers.
The purpose of any networking venture, as with social media networking, is find ways to be a "people connector", help others with job leads, and refer them to someone who might benefit from the connection. By helping others, you create a stronger relationship with your contacts. People are far more likely to help you "connect" in return, thereby, increasing your chances to get quality contacts, and possible informational interviews.
Meetups are great networking opportunities to share your 30-second elevator pitch, use the online calendar to RSVP for meetings, and find out about events, topics on career transition, job searching, and networking opportunities.
Here are some Meetup and LinkedIn groups in the Richmond, VA area:
- Career Prospectors & JAM (Job Assistance Ministry) Meetup Group
This Job Seekers group is comprised of individuals willing to support each other during transition.
The purpose of this site is to provide a calendar of events for individuals in Career Transition. The calendar provides a simple online method for clients to RSVP for networking events, training, and Job Accountability Clubs events
- Career Prospectors LinkedIn Group
Career Prospectors was founded in 2002 as an organization serving the Greater Richmond Virginia area. The mission is helping job seekers and students navigate career transition. (3,058 members)
Charlie Wood - Group owner and leader
- St. Michael Job Assistance Ministry – (JAM) LinkedIn Group
JAM was founded in 2009, as a networking place for job seekers and supporters to come together in community, spirit and fellowship. (1,480 members)
Ed Landry - Jobs Assistance Ministry (JAM) Leader
#4 “Pay it forward” → share and recommend the work of others
Many industry leaders post articles, share blog posts, and have guest writers on their sites that contribute quality career, job search, and branding tips that benefit all job seekers.
“Pay it forward” by sharing and recommending the work of career and branding professionals, and social media leaders to other job seekers. It’s a good way to reward the industry leaders for their research, and share the latest social media tips for maximizing a job search. This is a win-win for everyone.
Be a "people connector" and help others get the contacts they need, recommend their work to others. Share job search tips, and social media tips with your network; the more you help others, the more likely it is that someone will help get you the next quality contact that may lead to that next job interview.
- From 8 tips for creating a social networking plan for your job search (January 24, 2010)
Alison Doyle, Meg Guiseppi, Tim Tyrell-Smith, Charlie Wood, Ed Landry, and others, stay on top on the latest career and job seeker trends, and share their findings with their communities.
Follow them on all the social networking sites, especially LinkedIn, to stay current on the latest job search and career news.
Job search, career, and branding website links to follow –
- About.com Job Searching - Job search, resume, cover letter, career tips
- Executive Resume Branding - personal Branding, resume, online presence tips
- Career Rocketeer - Career Search and Personal Branding Network
- Job-HuntOrg - guide to smarter job search, job search advice, social media help
- ResumeBear – a 21st century technological solution to the traditional job search
- Tim's Strategy - Ideas for Job Search, Career and Life
*** RVA Career Expo Event to be held in Richmond, VA on October 10, 2014 ***
If in the area, please register and attend the RVA Career Expo – Mark your calendar!
Go to this link to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/candidate-registration-rva-career-expo-fall-2014-tickets-11889131713
- All members are encouraged to keep an updated LinkedIn profile that will be used for maximum visibility with employers.
- Twitter # hashtags will be used on job tweets from employers to get the word out and increase visibility across the job related hashtags.
Ex: #RVACareerExpo #jobs #Hiring #Career #RVA_jobs #NowHiring
#VCU #ODU #UR #VSU #VUU #VT #UVA #JMU #GMU
This Candidate Database will be shared with all participating employers prior to the event. Note: The employers search this database as they register. In the past, candidates have gotten interviews before the date of the Career Expo, so register early.
*** Breaking news: I am honored to have the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) pick up my article, 4 ways social media can help tune-up your job search, and highlight it by publishing it on their BLOG.
Follow me on Twitter @DWestJr