Excerpted from article by Neal Schaffer.
You’re in transition. Fine. We are all, at multiple times in our lives, in between jobs and conducting a job search. And we all land jobs and don’t remain a job seeker forever. But the situation in 2010 is not like it was when you graduated from college in 1990 or even 2000. Now, you truly are your own company, and those that have been in transition during this recession realize it. If this is the case then, why don’t more people act like a company would?
1. Just Like Businesses, the Job Seeker Also Needs to be Active in Social Media-
Don’t get me wrong, offline networking is another vital part of your job search. But just like I tell lawyers, consultants, and other B2B business people who are used to getting leads from offline networking events like chamber of commerce events, the job seeker also needs to be wherever your target audience is. According to the Jobvite 2010 Social Recruiting Report, 92% of hiring companies in 2010 use or plan to recruit via social networks. You need to be where your audience is. Period. If you’re not active enough in social media as part of your job search, you may be going out of business…FAST.
2) I’m on LinkedIn, Now What?
So many companies can’t figure how to use LinkedIn for business. Some start becoming LinkedIn LIONs to expand their connections and opt you in to their “opt-in” mailing lists (I report them as SPAM every time I unsubscribe). They create profile names with business names and logos hoping to get contacted. I see many a job seeker also “optimizing” their profile in hopes of getting contacted. Sure, everyone is now trying to dupe the LinkedIn search engine so that they appear first on the LinkedIn search results (I really hope LinkedIn looks into how to stop this madness). I hope that these same people care about their personal branding. Can you imagine if you stuffed your resume with keywords the same way that some “gurus” stuff their LinkedIn profiles with keywords? It’s ridiculous. Go BEYOND the LinkedIn profile optimization tips and start developing relationships with kindred souls by connecting, asking for Introductions, and actually engaging in the community through LinkedIn Groups and Answers. Show off your expertise, and just maybe someone will spot you and contact you. Otherwise, although you may be appearing in more search results, don’t think that’s a guarantee that your transition will end any earlier.
3) Social Media for the Job Search is Not JUST About LinkedIn!
Whenever I write a social media strategy for my customers, the B2B customers always understand that they need to be on LinkedIn. You, as a job seeker, are the same. But did you know that Twitter has more users than LinkedIn? Or that, according to a poll that was conducted on LinkedIn, that business people thought that Twitter was more important than LinkedIn? And, once again, according to that previously mentioned Jobvite report, 60% of businesses plan to use Facebook and 50% use Twitter for recruiting in 2010. If you consider the fact that every part of an organization will become users of social media sooner or later, go out there, establish a presence on sites that make sense to be on, and show off your expertise and network with new people that may be able to help you out or vice-versa. I normally recommend 5 or more social media channels for my customers to be on. For job seekers, you have choices even outside of the Big Three (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) with sites such as Brazen Careerist, SlideShare, and Business Exchange. Your target audience is not always on the same platform all the time. You need to diversify your efforts as well to increase your chances of success.
Companies don’t network and certainly shouldn’t use social media without ROI in mind. Every job seeker needs to have the same mindset. Social media and networking, after all, are mere tools to help us with our job search (and beyond). And if we use both of them right, we can reach our objective while also making valuable friendships and connections that will help us throughout our life. If you spend a lot of time on one social media site and don’t see any ROI, move on to another where you may have better luck.