I always think one of the most frustrating aspects of job search is believing you’ve “done everything,” but aren’t finding an opportunity. I’ve never met a job seeker who actually has “done everything,” though, which I think is good news! Most people are very focused on out-dated tools and spend a disproportionate percentage of their time doing the same thing, over and over, without different results.
This month, the Career Collective (a community I co-coordinate with my colleague Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter) addresses the question of how to use social media in a job search. (Please click through to the links I’ll add soon at the bottom of this post to the other responses to this question.)
There are so many great ways to use social media in your search, most of which I address in my book, Social Networking for Career Success.
There’s no doubt social media tools offer an underutilized opportunity to:
- Help you connect with new people and keep track of contacts.
- Easily learn new things.
- Share your expertise and expand your brand.
LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all provide easy-to-use, free tools to get-in-touch (and keep-in-touch) with people who may be interested in learning more about you and what you have to offer. However, I think the best, and most important tool the majority of job seekers do not have is a personal website, or social resume.
Why have your own website?
- Hiring managers will Google you. What will she find?
- A personal site is a way to control how your name appears online.
- Statistics show your online presence matters, and that employers are looking for personal and professional data about you.
- NOT putting up your own site only gives people an incentive to look deeper in the web for information about you. Take a look at these sites to learn what the “deep web” knows about you: pipl.com, Polymeta.com.
- Managing a site is important for career insurance and professional development. Showcasing your expertise online (even if it is in a new field) helps demonstrate what you have to offer, even when you aren’t looking for a job. An online presence can grow and change along with your career and help attract people to learn more about you. This could result in opportunities to speak at conferences or events, or even invitations to apply for jobs down the road.
- Having a website suggests you have some technical savvy and understand how to use online tools to communicate. That, in and of itself, is an important skill many employers value. It’s known as “social proof.” You may say you know about technology on your resume, but actually using it to showcase your own information goes a long way to prove you have what employers want.
Especially if you are transitioning to a new job or an experienced job seeker who needs to overcome age discrimination, having an up-to-date online presence and maybe even a viable blog helps show prospective employers you’re willing to learn and are perfectly capable of keeping up with technology.
In my book, I suggest starting out using WordPress.com to try out an online presence. It’s a great resource, and it’s free. However, there are limitations to free tools — not the least of which is you don’t really “own” that online real estate. With some know-how, or an investment in someone who does know how, you can have your own site. If you’re lucky, you can even have “YourName.com,” which will help you rank high for your name in search and help direct people to find the information you want them to find about you.
I hope you’ll visit my site, GetASocialResume.com, to learn more about what you’ll want to include in your social resume. If you don’t want to figure out how to do this yourself, I can help. With a relatively small investment, I can offer you an online presence you’ll be proud to use as a hub for your social media activity, and help you create a site to tell a compelling story describing your background and experiences.
The following are posts from other Career Collective members answering this question
Make Your Career More Social: Show Up and Engage, @WalterAkana
How to Get a New Job Using Social Media, @DebraWheatman
Social Media: Choosing, Using, and Confusing, @ErinKennedyCPRW
How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman
Updating: A Social Media Strategy For Job Search, @TimsStrategy
Your Career Needs Social Media – Get Started, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland
Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach, @careersherpa
Social Media: So what’s the point?, @DawnBugni
Tools that change your world, @WorkWithIllness
HOW TO: Meet People IRL via LinkedIn, @AvidCareerist
Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets, @resumeservice
Jumping Into the Social Media Sea @ValueIntoWords
Sink or Swim in Social Media, @KCCareerCoach
Social Media Primer for Job Seekers, @LaurieBerenson