Mastering social media for job seekers Pt1. + video seminar

 By Neil Patrick

One of the most common questions I am asked by followers of this blog, is ‘why can’t I find a job even though I’m on Linkedin and Twitter? I already hunt the job boards, I subscribe to recruiters’ job feeds, what am I doing wrong ?’

The answer to this question is to understand two key things about social media:

  1. The most obvious and accessible options are not necessarily the most valuable to help you. Why? Because online, the first things you’ll find are also the first things that thousands of others will find too. So by joining that group or subscribing to that newsfeed, you are just becoming just another face in that crowd. Not much different from having your resume sat in the middle of a pile of a hundred others is it?

  1. The second and key point is that you must learn how to work smarter and how to leverage your social media presence to do that. As I explained in point 1, you won’t do that just by using social media passively. You have to use it actively. To do this successfully, what you need is a strategy that’s uniquely relevant to you and your goals. That’s the essential difference that will take you beyond where everyone else is.

So you ask, ‘how do I build a unique strategy?’ Here are my first three introductory tips to get you started.

  1. Be objective, but strike the right balance. Be really specific about what you want to achieve. Ah, that’s simple, you say, ‘I want to get a job.’ Wrong answer. A much better answer would be something like, ‘I want to get a job within 50 miles of Dallas, Texas, in the field of B2B sales, with a firm that’s growing’. Notice that this isn’t so narrow that you’ll be unlikely to find any matches, but it’s also not so wide that you’ll be wasting time on positions that you’ll be unlikely to be considered for.

  1. Do  your wide research Now, you’ve got some clarity about your objective, the next stage is to find all those  firms within that business sector and geographic area. Google is great for this, but don’t just use a general Google search, search news, discussions and blogs too. This way, you’ll turn up plenty of news stories where firms are bragging about their growth and accomplishments. You’ll possibly also find negative postings from customers or journalists. That’s great - it’s all valuable intel. Extract from their websites, key peoples names and their job titles. Write down a summary of whatever issues and news you uncover about the organisation. Record all this information  on your database.

  1. Narrow your research Now you have a list key employers and senior people in your target organisations and territory. It’s time to go deep now. Switch to Linkedin and search the companies to find as many key people on Linkedin as you can that work at or have another connection with those firms, such as key suppliers. Record this info on your database too. But here’s the trick. DO NOT reach out to connect with them. Most people on Linkedin will decline approaches to connect from people they don’t already know. Worse, once you start building multiple declined invitations, Linkedin will classify you as a pest and downgrade your status. Instead, look to see which Linkedin groups these people are active members of. Do not join these groups just yet. Wait until you’ve discovered the most common groups across the whole of your target list and then join those groups.

Next time we’ll look at the second element of this social media job hunting strategy and start to build your personal profile and brand value. This is where we start to get really  smart. In the next installment, I’ll reveal how you can do this and turn yourself from a job hunter into the go to expert that everyone wants a part of!

To finish up for today, here’s a really useful seminar that provides valuable background to the strategy I have begun to unfold above. Its from the Froogle Institute and I urge you watch it to reinforce the reasons why the strategy I’m explaining is the most logical and best investment of your precious time and resources.

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