Everywhere you turn, you are bound to see a career expert writing about the need to incorporate social media into your job search. Why? Social media has become the forerunner to job boards much the same way as job boards became the forerunner to classified ads in the late 1990s. You still see classified ads, even today. Job Boards didn’t replace classified ads, but became more of a go-to resource to find jobs. Now, we see the shift towards social media. Let’s look at the Top 5 ways to incorporate social media into your job search:
1) Make sure your profiles are searchable: LinkedIn has 3 main places (headline, summary, and skills/expertise) on your profile page where you can add keywords that are industry-specific. Twitter gives you a 160-character space for your Twitter Bio. Think about what type of keywords an employer or recruiter will use to find someone with your skills and expertise. Stumped? Print several job postings for which you are interested in applying and highlight the nouns and noun phrases. Find common themes and if they apply to your background and expertise, sprinkle these words into your profiles. Make sure it’s reader friendly!
2) Locate companies on social media and follow them: I give my clients an assignment when they begin working with me. Go to Zoominfo.com and select the ‘Company’ tab. Type in your Industry and where you want to work (state, city, or even narrow it to a zip code). When I did this with an engineering student, we returned 644 results in Alabama. He then made a list of his Top 10 companies where he wanted to work and we placed that in his Tier A list; the next Top 10 went into his Tier B list; and then the remainder went into in Tier C list. We then used a Twitter yellow pages directory called Twellow (www.twellow.com) to locate companies on his Tier A and B list and then went to LinkedIn to search these companies to ‘follow’ them on social media. He paid particular attention to announcements – product launches, press releases, etc. and would share this information to his followers/connections. He made thoughtful comments about what he read and asked good questions to these companies. He started building his relationships with these employers/companies before he graduated from college!
3) Network, Network, Network: Networking is VITAL in your job search. In fact, research states that anywhere between 50-80% of all jobs landed are achieved through a networking contact. Sadly, many people spend their time applying for job after job WITHOUT leveraging their networking contacts. Social media has actually made this easier for you. For example, LinkedIn’s job board gives you insider information about who posted the job and who in your network knows the job poster. Amazing information – most job boards do not offer this type of information.
4) Join industry-specific groups and chats: Again, networking is pivotal in a job search. LinkedIn has an entire groups directory that you can search to find industry specific groups. In fact, you can find groups located in your geographic region (search ‘sales and Alabama’ as an example). Join Twitter chats in your industry. At this writing, there are more than 740 Twitter Chat Groups (for a complete list including meeting days/times, visit http://bit.ly/oA4cTZ). Build networking contacts, online and offline. Many opportunities have come my way as a result of people I’ve never met in person – I met and engaged with them on social media. Give back to your networking contacts – if you see a need that could be filled by someone in your network, refer that need to that person.
5) Hyperlink your resume: You have a plethora of websites that offer online resume services, such as DoYouBuzz.com, so that you can showcase your resume online. These services will provide you a unique URL to direct an employer or recruiter to your online resume. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to list 3 websites – use one of these to provide a link to your online resume. Likewise, Twitter gives you the same ability to provide one website link, so this is a perfect opportunity to share this information with prospective employers and recruiters. The bonus? By doing this, you are showing some social media/technical savvy skills and that is a plus in today’s job market.
Article first appeared in the Atlantic City Weekly