You need to start treating your job search like a marketing campaign. With a few simple steps, you can proactively monitor and manage the activity of your search…ultimately turning that information into relevant action and follow up. We are going to learn how to leverage URL shorteners (e.g. bit.ly) to evolve beyond the blind, frustrating application process of submit-and-wait.
As background, I have recently been spending a lot of time immersed in the hiring process filling a position on my team. In a few short months, I have received over 100 resumes and met with dozens of candidates. While there are a great variety of skills, experience, and resume layout concepts they are all (generally) missing the opportunity to measure my actual interest in their candidacy.
It seems that our resumes are not evolving at the same rate as our professional/technical knowledge. Sure, we’ve moved our resumes to electronic mediums but it’s essentially the same presentation…it does little more than make the document more portable.
I think we can do a lot better…
While a little lengthy, I promise this concept is quite simple…I’m not just an overzealous marketer giddy with a new, super-awesome-but-not-realistic vision (well not this time anyway).
How Do I Know Someone Looked at My Resume? | Tracking Your Job Campaign
In order to treat your job search like an integrated marketing campaign, we need to be able to track, measure, and relevantly respond to our audience(s). Doing so will differentiate yourself on the intelligence and pro-activity of your search; giving your unique professional profile much needed visibility.
With the concept I’m detailing, you could know that someone from XYZ company:
- Followed a link to your personal website.
- Viewed your LinkedIn profile.
- Read your blog post on thoughts relative to XYZ company.
This concept, in and of itself, is not revolutionary…it is the simple application of Internet tracking and analytics techniques.
Physced?!?! Alright…let’s get into the ‘how’.
Hyperlinks, Your Key To Creating an ‘Aware Resume’
The cornerstone of an ‘aware resume’ are hyperlinks. More specifically, tracked hyperlinks (more on that in just a minute).
The following is a list of hyperlinks that you should be including on your resume:
- LinkedIn Profile.
- Twitter Profile.
- Personal Website.
- Website of companies, schools, organizations, etc. that you have listed.
This list is not exhaustive (nor should you force these into your resume), however you should include links to any Internet-based property that relevantly presents your point of view, perspective, or experience to the position you are applying.
For example, if you are applying for a social media position, your personal Qik/Vimeo/YouTube channel or Facebook Fan Page might be highly relevant to the position.
Tracked Hyperlinks For Your Resume
The growth in character-limited status updates (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have popularized URL shortening services – websites that essentially take the long string of an Internal address (i.e. http:// …) and shorten it to a more portable, more easily shared link. Additionally, you can even created personalized URLs using these services.
Example – the address to my LinkedIn profile is:
Using bit.ly (a popular URL shortener), it becomes:
http://bit.ly/Chris-Hewitt (shortened and personalized)
A collateral benefit of these services are the tracking opportunities that they present. When users click on a shortened link services, like Bit.ly, are collecting and storing important information about that click. By creating an account (free) with these services, you have access to that information!
Creating Tracked Hyperlinks
I have chosen bit.ly for this post and as my URL shortener (Wired: bit.ly working on improving security), but there are other services as well (there is even a Google URL Shortener).
Creating a tracked hyperlink is very simple, but before creating tracked hyperlinks you must start with a bit.ly account. Once created, you simply enter your URL, customize your link (optional), and insert it into your resume.
An Important Trick For Your Tracked Hyperlinks!
Bit.ly (and other services) organize tracked clicks based on the original (full) URL. In regular use, this is a great metric to compare your influence against all others sharing the same link. However, we want to track explicit traffic (interest) from potential employers.
As a result, we need to customize each of the URLs in order to make them unique. Otherwise each prospective employer’s activity would be grouped together and you would lose visibility to unique interest.
Using an old trick (a nod to the teachings of my IT colleagues over the years), this customization is simple; by adding our own ‘code’ to each full URL we can make them unique.
There are many ways to technically implement this concept, but for simplicity, add the following to the end of each full URL prior to shortening it with bit.ly:
?c=[company name you are applying to]
One caveat, if the URL you are shortening already has a ‘?’ you will use a ‘&’:
&c=[company name you are applying to]
From Tracking to Action
If you have followed these steps, you are now attaching powerfully ‘aware resumes’ to your applications. Rather than waiting for the phone to ring or inbox to light up with inquiries, you can be proactively (and relevantly) driving your candidacy based on tracking the interest of prospective employers.
1) Monitor Your Link Activity Closely
- Who is clicking through on your ‘aware resume’?
- What content are they interested in reading? How does that content relate to the position you applied?
- Is a particular company more interested in your experience (LinkedIn) or your current thoughts/work (e.g. Twitter, blog, etc.)?
- What days of the week and times of day are they viewing your information?
2) Follow Up…Relevantly and Thoughtfully
Based on your currently dialog with a prospective employer (e.g. application, email exchange, interview, etc.) and your insight into their online activity you can create your own nurture campaigns. For example:
- After seeing that a particular company is repeatedly viewing your current thoughts, you could write/record a blog post, Twitter comment, or other channel that shares a concept relevant to the position.
- Use intermittent activity over a period of time to send a follow up email with information you found relevant to the position/company.
- Watch your activity leading up to key decision points in the hiring process (i.e. interviews) to determine what information is most relevant and be prepare to talk about those topics in detail.
Most importantly, use your understanding of the company, the position, and the people making hiring decisions to create/continue dialog. Just like a marketing campaign, you have the responsibility to return value to your audience.