Having done my fair share of interviewing in the relatively short time since I graduated, I was blown away by the number of options available to reach out and touch someone, as I searched for a job ahead of my impending relocation to San Diego this past May. The advent of the Social Web has fundamentally changed the way people connect, communicate, and get introduced. In fact, I wouldn’t be writing this post, if social media hadn’t come through for me, (you can see how it all started by scanning the comments right here…), so with this in mind, here are some useful tips for job hunters across some of the major social media destinations:
Fill out your profile
Research cuts both ways – you can be sure that while you’re using LinkedIn to find out more about that dream job, some interviewers are likely looking you up also, so give them something to work with, and get a better sense of who you are, and what you’re like.
Know somebody who knows somebody? Request an introduction through that contact. You’d be surprised at how easily you can get your foot in the door at a company you want to work for. Kevin Bacon would be proud.
Talk about achievements, not responsibilities
This is an evergreen tip that still holds true for traditional job-hunting as well as in social media. Interviewers often want to know how you did, not what you did at your previous jobs. Stats are your friend here – did you make or save the company money? Did you reduce turnaround time, or help them win an award? Quantifying your performance makes it real for your interviewer
Harness some social media karma, and say nice (true) things about others in your network – they’ll likely return the favor, which will only give you bonus points when interviewers look you up
LinkedIn is an incredible networking tool, with tons of functionality – check out this great article on Mashable to dive even deeper.
Follow the latest news
Many companies have been blogging for a while, and others are using Twitter too – some are even using these channels to announce new hires, rather than go the Monster/HotJobs/CareerBuilder route – subscribe to/follow them, and watch them for any new openings. In some cases, you may even get advance notice over the traditional listings sites, helping you get your application to the top of the pile. Thanks to this tweet from @BGIndra, I managed to get my resume towards the front of the queue referenced in this tweet!
Engage in a dialogue with the author, retweet them, ask them questions, and follow other people from the same company to get a clearer picture of day-to-day life there. People notice this, and pretty soon, your name will become familiar around the office, before you’ve even dealt an introductory handshake.
Keep your private life private
Facebook offers its robust privacy settings for good reason. Hide any content you wouldn’t share with interviewers before you start your search. With that said, leave your profile open to be found in searches – you want interviewers to know you exist, but not what happened when your buddies challenged you to drink a quart of milk in an hour.
Join relevant groups, fan relevant pages
As with blogs and Twitter, groups and fan pages give you another opportunity to get your name known in the right circles, and raise your profile among companies who may be looking for someone just like you.
Get a Google Profile
Google’s recent response to the now widely-known phenomenon of googling people’s names was to allow you to create your own ‘official’ profile. This is powerful in that it allows you to take control of your online reputation, rather than whatever results pop up. It also means that you’re less likely to be confused with the frat boy who shares your name, and insists on regularly posting outrageous drunken party pictures to Flickr.
Put your resume online
There are a number of ways to do this, including using an online resume service, or simply adding a page to your personal website. For ease and speed, I imported my resume into Google Docs, and made it publicly viewable.
Bonus: use TinyURL & you can reference it in your cover letters, biz cards, etc. with a vanity URL, e.g. http://www.tinyurl.com/yoursmarttaglinehere
Use an RSS reader
Many of the larger job listings sites allow you to create a custom RSS feed for the types of jobs you’re looking for. Use an RSS reader and subscribe to these feeds, as well as industry/company blogs, to consolidate all this info into one place – you’ll greatly expand your ability to monitor the new jobs being posted in your area.
Comment, tweet and post on industry blogs
Not only does this get the attention of people who read/follow these streams of content, it makes you more likely to appear in related search results. Sharing your opinions on relevant industry topics helps establish you as an expert and leader in your field
Turn on your email/sms notifications
These days, time is of the essence, so make sure you have your finger on the pulse of all fronts of your online presence, and are ready to respond at the drop of a hat no matter where you are.
Be genuine & make it fun
Nobody likes a poseur, so just be human and let your personality come through online
Don’t forget that all of the above should be employed in addition to traditional jobseeker methods. It’s a new reality we’re living in, folks, and job opportunities can come from anywhere, so take steps to be prepared. The multitudes of outlets for your online presence is a way to extend your traditional search, not replace it.
Do you have any social-media job-hunting tips or anecdotes of your own? Let us know in the comments!