Social Networking Secrets For Job Seekers

Posted by | July 30, 2010 | Advice, Blog

You probably already know that hiring managers are using social networks to investigate staff members and potential new hires. There have been a number of well documented cases involving staff or job seeker (let us call them “indiscretions”) that employers have discovered thanks to Facebook. Regardless of you opinion on the fairness of this method, the fact remains that managers are using social media to uncover more details about who their workforce really is.

The good news is, social networks can benefit the job seeker too if you know how to utilize them correctly.

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Personal Branding With Blogging

The new way of job searching involves creating your own “brand” and then marketing yourself the way a corporation would market a new product. Think about the unique benefits that you offer and focus on your best skills. A good way to brand yourself is with a blog. You can share articles, tips and ideas about your chosen industry while cross promoting your availability for employment. This approach might even allow employers to come to YOU.


Tweeting

Once you have established your blog, you can “tweet” your updates to your Twitter followers. Be sure to make connections with people in your chosen career field by “following” them. The more connections you make, the more followers you will also receive yourself. To further enhance and market your brand, Twitter allows you to use the “@” sign in front of a name in order to bring a particular persons attention to your post. But use caution not to make the mistake of annoying recruiting managers with requests for help landing a job. A truly successful job seeker will establish their connections over time building trust and respect along the way. Therefore, if possible, its best to start building your network while you are still in college or training for your career.

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Linking Up On Linkedin

Linkedin is often overlooked but is probably one of the best platforms for networking with hiring employers because so many top recruiters, managers and directors are listed. To get the most out of Linkedin make sure you fully complete your profile, include details from your resume, and upload your contact list. You can use Linkedin to directly search for available jobs and then make connections with the executives who listed them. There have been hundreds of documented cases of people landing a job directly as a result of their Linkedin account, so spend quality time setting up your profile. Think about key words and phrasing associated with your career field. And when it comes to connections – its QUALITY not QUANTITY. Search out real connections only with those business professionals that you have had contact with or who you hope to work with. Do not attempt to connect with everyone and anyone just to increase your numbers because the relationship will probably not be beneficial. If possible, try to get some “Recommendations” on Linkedin from people you have associated with. These recommendations will help your with the legitimacy of your profile.

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Online Search

Who currently works for your top employers and what background do they have? You can usually uncover this information by using Internet search engines, Advanced People Search and blogs. Not only will this allow you to make connections on the social networks but it may also give you insight as to how that person landed the job. Besides search engines, you can also use business research databases such as Hoovers or WetFeet to obtain relevant and helpful information about the companies that interest you.



Make Connections With Key Personnel

After you have targeted your job search and narrowed down your interests to a handful of employers, begin making connections with them online using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social networks. The idea here is not to flood every hiring manager online with a friend request but instead to market yourself to a few top people who represent the employers that are a best match for your skills and interests. You do not need to limit yourself to hiring managers. Make connections with other employees, contractors and representatives too.

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Get To Know The Hiring Managers

Once you have a clear picture of the company, you might try connecting directly with the decision makers. Most people tend to use Facebook for personal friendships, so Linkedin and Twitter would be better options for this purpose. While directly asking for a job is not a good idea, it is okay to establish a connection based mutual affiliations that you might have. This will take some time and research as you will need to discover who the hiring manager is linked to and attempt to establish a connection of your own. After you follow the decision maker and get to know them, you will likely have a feel for when the time is right to mention a specific job opportunity or ask if you could forward your resume. Patience and professionalism are a must at all times. Again, this is why it is beneficial to start this process long before you need a job. If you are a college student, begin networking on the social network 6-12 months before you graduate.

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Facebook Apps, Pages and Groups

While Facebook is more of a personal social network it can still be useful in locating jobs and connecting with hiring managers. One of the best ways to accomplish this is via Facebook pages and the “Like” button. Many schools, businesses and organizations have a fan page that you can join in order to stay up to date on company news and announcements. Some larger corporations even have fan pages just for their human resources and recruiting departments where they list jobs for their fans. Often times, these jobs are advertised on Facebook before the corporate website or job board.

Another option is to use Facebook “Applications” for job feeds and resources. (You will find the “Applications” link along the left navigation bar). Do a search for the word “jobs” and then click on the “Applications” option for a list of related resources. Some of the most popular programs are the Careers and Jobs App which allows you to easily search for jobs on Facebook, Work at Home Jobs which publishes free home based opportunities from Homeworkersnet.com, and Jobster which allows you to get personalized job alerts. Better yet, this method enables you to keep your Facebook account social and personal while still allowing you to follow and connect with potential employers.

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Video Blogging and Video Resumes

YouTube is another option for creative job seekers. Simply create a YouTube account and then begin posting videos about yourself, your career industry or related items of interest. Video resumes are becoming very popular and are useful in marketing your personal brand. Remember to keep you video resume short (1-3 minutes is usually sufficient), and be sure to add links to your video resume on your blog, your social network profile and your hardcopy resume.

Youtube is also useful for locating information to help you get hired such as videos about dressing for a job interview, mock interview training, and more.

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Don’t Forget The Job Boards

Posting an online resume might seem “so 1998″ but it still holds some benefits to job seekers. Monster and Careerbuilder are still the top employment sites and many hiring managers continue to use these services to post jobs and search resumes. As a result, you might as well make sure that you have a quality resume listed on each site. Many of these sites also offer employer research information, career advice, emailed job alerts, resume tips and more.

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Niched Social Networks

There are hundreds of other social networks that could be utilized to establish connections with hiring managers and potential employers. Look for networks that target your chosen industry (such as Teachade for educators, MyWorkster for college grads, Yelp for business owners, StartUpNation for entrepreneurs or PartnerUp for business startups).

Most people have heard the saying “It is not what you know, its WHO you know,” and this certainly holds true for landing jobs. Years ago, networking meant making face to face connections with key decision makers through clubs or organizations. While this method is still one of the best ways to land a job, the popularity of online social networking cannot be denied. As more managers and corporations are utilizing social media for recruiting purposes, it only makes sense that job seekers take advantage of the opportunity to connect. Building your social network will take some time and effort, but the payoff will likely be worth the trouble.

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