There is no doubt that the current recession continues to have an impact on the growth of social media. Job seekers are now looking for networking opportunities by embracing social media and joining and then becoming active on sites like LinkedIn as part of their job search strategy. This make sense because social media is also where recruiters may find you and where companies may perform background checks on you and your personality. Don’t you want to put your best food forward in your job search and show off your talents to the best of your ability since everybody’s watching?
Unfortunately, I don’t see enough of this happening. Just like many Internet marketers, who only see social media as another “channel” to start broadcasting their advertisements and self-promoting messages, I see some job seekers doing the same thing by blasting the message that they are unemployed in their LinkedIn profile name and status update or mass sending of their resumes to everyone in their network. The most important concept behind social media is about sharing, and job seekers can also share their experiences with others and actually start contributing and providing value to the community. In doing so, not only will your expertise be publicly displayed for all of those recruiters to see and help establish a stronger personal brand, effective networking with other professionals can now be done on a scale that reaches far beyond your own network.
Here’s another way to look at it: You can’t force recruiters and companies to look at your LinkedIn profile, but you can use social media in becoming more active in a pool of talent so that you can stand out. You have to be “productively active”—share your knowledge, expertise and experience to the world and don’t boil the ocean with your resumes.
Here’s how to use social media as part of your job search strategy:
Blogging is the best way to share your expertise the world, and your blog posts now become things that you can share through social media. You need to build out the business of company YOU, and a completely customizable blog can now become your “company” website instead of your static LinkedIn profile. Because you’re sharing knowledge and experience for all to learn by, you are not broadcasting nor blatantly self-promoting. More people will start visiting your social media profiles because they are interested in you for your ideas. They will start to seek you out!
Still not convinced? Here are 7 more reasons why you should start blogging, and here’s advice on what you should blog about if you are looking for a job.
Get Active on LinkedIn Answers
Providing one answer a day in your category of expertise is all it takes to share your knowledge with those who need it most. Find your category, “own” it, and make it a part of your daily routine. You never know what may come out of it! Here’s some etiquette advice on utilizing LinkedIn Answers.
Contribute to LinkedIn Groups
Join LinkedIn Groups for your industry and profession, engage in discussion, and share your expertise for all to see. Just by spending a few minutes a day looking for relevant discussions to participate on and engaging in them, you are displaying your expertise for a lot of people to see and truly Windmill Networking. Here’s some additional advice on what LinkedIn Groups are and their value, which LinkedIn Groups to join and the etiquette of LinkedIn Group participation.
Upload Your Work to SlideShare
SlideShare is quickly becoming the preferred destination for professionals to seek out information that is in a PowerPoint or presentation format. If you’ve done professional presentations, all you need to do is upload them for everyone to see. If you have expertise to share, all you need to do is create a PowerPoint and now it’s there for the world to see. There are many stories of small businesses who have found business from SlideShare…it wouldn’t surprise me to hear of a job seeker who landed because they utilized SlideShare as part of their job search strategy.
I will be honest that I am still a relatively newbie at SlideShare, but I plan to start uploading presentations in the near future. Please follow me on SlideShare to get my updates!
Create a You Tube Channel
Social media provides a lot of opportunities to learn because many companies and professionals are sharing lots of information. Many people prefer the video format over a written one, so why not take out that Flip Camera or your iPhone 4 and take a video of yourself speaking about your experiences and sharing your expertise? If you have a chance to speak at an association or meeting, bring your video camera to capture yourself and upload highlights of it to YouTube. By creating a YouTube channel and simply favoriting the videos that you recommend to others in your industry or profession, you are curating content and displaying your expertise. Become the “channel,” literally, on YouTube! Here are 5 more reasons why every professional should have a YouTube channel.
By doing any or all of the above, not only will you have reached many more people as part of your job search than through your traditional broadcasting of your message, people will also see you as a person with expertise, not someone who is merely using social media as part of their job search. This social media strategy for your job search is bound to lead to greater opportunities and attract more people who respect your knowledge and will be there to help you on your journey.
Any additional advice or experience in using social media as part of your job search strategy? Please share!