Tuesday, January 27, 2009
How to use Social Media to land your next job
So far this year has been very interesting. Some companies are using these turbulent times to make bold moves, while many are cutting back expenses across the board. An unfortunate side-affect of these cuts is that a lot of very qualified people are losing their jobs.
So that got me to thinking, if I were looking for a job right now, how could I use social media to help my efforts? Here's some ideas:
1 - Join LinkedIn and completely fill out your profile. Add a professional picture and clearly spell out your qualifications. Think of LinkedIn as your online resume, make sure you clearly detail your past experience, as well as what skills and qualifications you can offer potential employers.
2 - Ask your personal contacts to recommend you on LinkedIn. And make sure you let them know which areas you want them to focus on. If you have retail management and brand management experience, which area should my recommendation highlight?
3 - Contribute to LinkedIn's Q&A section. This is a great way to establish your knowledge and expertise, and a great way to help others. Both will get you noticed very quickly. Chris Penn has another great idea, start a group on LinkedIn for your local area and industry, like if you are looking for a marketing job in Wichita, start the Wichita Area Marketers group.
4 - If you are on Twitter, let your network know that you are available for work AND what type of work you are looking for. If there's one thing you can say about Twitter, it's that the users will bend over backwards to help each other. Everyone knows how tough the economy is right now, so if all we have to do is send a RT to help you get connected to a potential employer, almost everyone is more than happy to spread the word.
5 - Get connected to your local network on Twitter. Or the network for the city(s) you want to relocate to. If possible, start attending local tweetups. Social media is great, but offline networking is never going to go away. Use tools like Twellow, Twitter Local and TwellowHood to find people in a certain industry and location.
6 - Pay close attention to what others are doing. When Warren was laid off from his job, he went public with it, and tapped into his social networks for advice and help. Soon after, he was hired by Radian 6 as their Director of Content Marketing. Coincidence?
7 - Use social media to prove your worth. Are you wanting to use social media in your next job? One area where many companies are totally lacking when it comes to social media is in monitoring what customers are saying about them online. Let's say you have targeted Company ABC as one you want to work for. Start monitoring what is being said about them online, especially by bloggers and on Twitter. Then email them and show them what is being said, and advise them on how they should properly respond, and how they can begin monitoring themselves. Many companies are very interested in getting started with social media, but have no idea where to start, or who to approach to help them get started. When you help them solve an online brand management issue by using social media, you are establishing yourself as that person that can help get them up to speed on social media!
The two areas I would try to leverage with social media to help in my job hunt would be establishing my skillset to potential employers, and as a way to announce my availability. And I mentioned LinkedIn and Twitter because those are two sites I am active on. If you are active on Facebook, you can be doing many of these same things to reach out to potential employers AND your network.
How would YOU recommend a job seeker leverage social media to help them land a position? If you've done this, what worked for you? If you've hired someone where their social media usage was a factor, what helped them?
Bonus: Mashable's 7 Secrets to Getting a Job via Social Media
Nother Bonus: Chris Brogan's free ebook on Using the Social Web to Find Work
Spidey heading to work pic via Flickr user Eneas