You can use Social Media to Find a Job, but Social Media won’t produce a job for you out of thin air – it takes work. So let’s get going with the Top Ten Tips for finding a job using Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, YouTube…and more:
1. Choose Your Career Path WIsely
Decide what type of job you want to pursue. This is serious business because you’re going to learn how to build a brand for the long term, so don’t take this step lightly.
Search the web to learn what careers are available, then get the real scoop by asking industry veterans for their perspective using social networking sites like Twitter.
For example, Sarah Evans is a PR Maestro who shares journalism and public relations industry news Online every day. Find your industry mavens using Twitter Search, then identify the top ten companies you want to work for.
2. People Search
Most people looking for work visit job boards first and begin submitting resume after resume. This is a mistake. You want to connect with the people doing the hiring, otherwise your resume is just another one in a giant stack with little hope of standing out.
“But Joe, how can I connect with hiring managers?” Well first off, don’t limit yourself to HR. Use search engines to identify the ‘decision makers’ in the department you want to work in and contact them via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or specific people search hubs like Wink.
Social Media has made it acceptable to contact people you don’t know or haven’t met in person, just don’t spam these potential career advocates. Get to know these people with a few back and forth messages, and after three to four you can safely ask for help with your job search
(Hint: position yourself in a way that is helpful to the recipient; maybe you can provide them with information or introduce them to someone who should be in their personal network, but isn’t. Just letting people know you care means a lot and speaks volumes about your character).
3. Produce Content to Attract Industry Attention
Most people – over 95% – simply consume content Online. This means there’s a terrific opportunity to stand out from the rank and file by becoming a content producer and distributor.
Why is it so important to distribute information on the Interwebs?
Well let me ask you this: When someone Googles your name, what’s the first impression you want them to receive? When you own a website with your name on it (and all those wonderful, high ranking Social Media Tools) then you control the message content.
4. Create a Web Video Resume
Web Video Resumes are growing in popularity thanks to accessibility to simple video equipment and high speed Internet connections. Once you’ve shot a video resume, upload it to your YouTube Channel (see if your full name is available for your channel). There are several advantages to this.
First, you can attach your video resume URL to that boring old resume document for recruiters and hiring personnel to watch. This is powerful because well done videos tell your story better than any written description can. Second, videos rank very well on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). I recommend using the Google Keyword Tool to find popular, less competitive search phrases to help label and tag your video.
(On a personal note, I am working on a community effort to help every unemployed person in the state where I live – Vermont – get a free web video resume. Please follow our progress and tips at the Vermont Video Resume Project).
5. Join Twitter and Use it Purposefully
No more jokes about Twitter being a place for sharing your dining habits. When you join Twitter and actively participate in the community you get direct access to a global community of thought leaders. Think about what you want to discuss and never forget that micro-blogging is a two way conversation.
It helps to share links, recommend people with common interests to one another, and incubate your new ideas with your community. I find that karma is very strong on Twitter – the more I give, the more I receive.
OK, one more thing. Make sure you upload a photo and add a description to your Twitter profile page. This may seem unimportant, but most people worth following will not follow you back if your profile is blank, because it looks like spam.
6. Join Groups on LinkedIn
Don’t just sign up for a LinkedIn account so you can connect with hundreds of people – make an impact on your chosen industry! First, import all your contacts from Gmail (or your email service) into LinkedIn and invite them to connect. Second, ask some close friends and colleagues for a recommendation (qualified references are great to share with potential employers).
Next join groups that you can actively participate in. Be bold and challenge others to tackle a problem or opportunity. People love gathering around worthy causes.
7. Do you use CareerBuilder and Monster? How about Blogs?
Everyone is on CB and Monster because that’s where the big dogs list jobs. But did you know lots of targeted job listings go to blogs these days? Check out sites like MediaPost if you’re a marketer or advertising professional.
Cruise the big job boards and apply for what interests you, then move on and storm the gates of all the niche blogs with job listings that you can!
8. Search Engine Marketing – I Can Haz Job Now?
Businesses use Google AdWords to advertise their products everyday, and you can too! Just learn how to write decent copy first (Copyblogger has professional tips). Here are a few more recommendations:
Target a small radius.
Unless you’re really looking for job options in Denver and Detroit, pick a 30 mile radius and stick to it.
Truth in the Title
Don’t try to trick people into viewing your ad, it will just cost you money. Instead try describing yourself as something like a ‘Motivated Billing Specialist’ that grabs attention. Just don’t call yourself a ‘guru’ or ‘expert’ if you cannot back up the claim!
Copy Copy Copy
Before you spend money on PPC, surf the web a bit for phrases you think people use to search for new hires or look for industry news. What do the ads on the top and side say? Do they catch your attention in a good way? Keep a log of the best ones for use in your ad. Remember the Google Keyword Tool? Use that for inspiration because it shows you popular but not overly competitive words.
9. Comment on Blogs
This one is so simple that most people overlook it. Leave a ‘contextual’ comment here and there to act as breadcrumbs to your blog, YouTube Channel, Twitter feed…
…But don’t spam! If you design websites and someone has a question about web design in a particular forum, it’s ok to post a response with some tips and an invitation to learn more on your site. It’s not ok to leave blanket comments on every website you come across.
10. Share Across Multiple Networks
Finally, remember to integrate your networks. Let ‘em play together. If you shoot a video resume then you’ll want to share it with people, right? Tweet about it thoughtfully. Share the link to it on Facebook and YouTube and LinkedIn. See? This stuff isn’t so hard.
What you’re doing is creating a brand, soldier. You can do it, I have 100% faith in you. Start out small by signing up for free accounts on the social networking sites
listed in this post and just start contributing good content.
Once you’ve become comfortable using the sites then you can cross-promote ‘Brand You’. Now fall out and go conquer this mission!
Follow the Commando on Twitter for Real Time Social Media Tips — He wants to hear about your progress!