Random Social Media Thoughts for #Jobseekers

Lately, I’ve offered quite a few thoughts on how to use social media if you’re a jobseeker. Here they are in one place. What do you think of them?

Twitter

Before you start sending out 140s, do some homework. Identify the twitter handles for (a) target industries AKA industry associations – like @PRSA if you want to be in public relations, (b) target companies, and (c) target skillsets – like @Java if you want to be a software developer. Create Twitter lists from each entitled, MyTargetProAssociations; MyTargetEmployers; MyTargetSkills. When the “handles” see that they’ve been added to a list, many will investigate; this is one way to get onto their radar screens.

From here, go to each Twitter account and start looking at the bios of whom these accounts follow and who follows them. In many instances – especially for the company accounts – you’ll see many of the company’s employees as Followers. Make note of these people; we’ll return to these later.

Be sure you d/l Tweetdeck; it (and Hootsuite) are pretty good social media clients where you can create columns from your lists – and thereby “see” what’s taking place in your target associations, companies, and skills.

As far as content, each of these provides fodder for tweeting. DO NOT become a serial retweeter or favoriter; when you see a 140 that is interesting, engage the tweeter by adding an opinion or asking a question (as in, “I’m not sure what this means to a newbie; can you explain it a bit more? ty”). When someone responds back, Follow them and if they don’t fall into any of the 3 categories, add them to another list entitled, SmartKindTweeple (and also add this column to Tweetdeck/Hootsuite) – they’ll notice.

Twitter and LinkedIn go more hand in hand than any other 2 social media platforms – let’s see how.

Contrary to what some might think – Twitter and LinkedIn will be your primary social job search tools.

LinkedIn

So with these target companies, head over to LinkedIn and perform and Advanced People search. Plug in the name of a target company in the Company field and select “Current”; in the Title field, enter the name of the function where you want to work and select “Current.” Run the search. Now start looking at the search results; depending on what your level is, consider anyone with a title of Manager or above as a potential future boss.

With these names in hand, check to see if they have a Twitter account (I’ll talk about connecting with them on LinkedIn in a bit): Under contact info, you just might find their Twitter handle. If so, follow them and add them to a new Twitter list entitled, MyFutureBossMaybe and also add this column to Tweetdeck/Hootsuite. More people with whom you’ll actively engage.

Back to connecting with them on LinkedIn…you want to connect with all folks you add to MyFutureBossMaybe. When you do so, send this – or something like this – in the invite…

Frick-

I hope you don’t find this presumptuous but I’m in a quiet job search; not only have I identified XYZ as a potential employer but also YOU as a potential future boss. While this might appear to be stalkerish, I prefer to think of it as ‘professionally proactive’ and would like to stay in touch. Thanks!

Frack

Twitter? Check…

LinkedIn? Check…

Blogs

As a veteran of the Blogiverse, blogging takes time and the ability to not only ask the Andy Rooney question, “Ever wonder why?” but to come up with plausible stories that support your point of view. In other words, if you’re going to blog you better keep a little notebook handy to record all the random thoughts you have about topics to be blogged about.

I disagree that you want to be seen as a SME; IMO you want to be viewed as entertaining and insightful. If your purpose is to blog to enhance your social media footprint, then you’re going to have to address the past, present, and future of the area in which you want to work. It has to be a combination of yes, no, maybe, and I-don’t-know. When I recruit, I want to see people’s divergent POVs; suck-ups and egoists are quite frankly boorish and annoying. If you believe a target company’s posturing is offbase, tell them; if they don’t respect your POV and engage you because you hurt their feelings, that sure says quite a bit about them.

Branding Yourself

Whatever you believe your brand is, others will likely read into your social media footprint and think of things you missed. My advice is to forget about consciously branding yourself; instead, focus on engaging people on tough topics and offer your truthful POVs whether some might find them objectionable or not. It’s like lying – if you can’t be yourself, you WILL get caught up in a lie. Always happens – and will happen during an interview.

Facebook

Meh…as the commercialization of Facebook continues it will lose its luster as a social media platform for job search and recruiting. That’s my story…

Vine/Vimeo/YouTube

If you can tell me a story in a 6 second Vine video (Vine is owned by Twitter), you’ll win my recruiting love. A short and powerful message is very liberating. As for Vimeo versus YouTube – I don’t care; I look for creativity and content. Both are fine; your choice.

Bottom-Line

Job search – like recruiting – is a contact sport. For all the press given social media, in recruiting we like to say that the two most important social media tools are the telephone and the handshake.

Believe it.


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