If you are unemployed, looking for a job is probably your new full time occupation. There’s no getting around it. You are now a sales person and you are your product.
Likely your first step was to tackle your resume and perhaps you have made a few phone calls to friends to see who might be able to help. Here’s the question: Are you harnessing the power of social media? Social networking is often overlooked yet it can be your most effective career management tool.
Step 1: Assess your current online presence
Google your name. What do you see? How well (or not so well) do these search results represent you? And more importantly, how well do these search results support your job search? Check out your profile on all your social networking sites. This includes Facebook, MySpace, Spoke, Plaxo, LinkedIn – don’t exclude any of them. What is your profile saying to recruiters and prospective employers? This is your brand. And in case you’re wondering, yes we do look. Pay particular attention to your posts. Eliminate any posts you have made that do not reflect well on your career aspirations.
Step 2: Use Google Alerts and LinkedIn profiles to learn about your target organizations
Make a list of all the companies you admire and would love to work for. Set up Google Alerts to notify you by email each time a news item or web release comes out. They’re quick, easy and free. These alerts may show you how to get your foot in the door. At the very least you might learn something new about the company that you can include in your cover letter to get yourself noticed.
Online profiles of current employees will sometimes give you a peek into the culture of the organization. It’s easy to do this type of research on LinkedIn. Just set up an advanced search (click on the word “advanced” to the right of the search bar) and type in the company name. Change the company drop down menu to “current” to obtain the most relevant results. Once you have your search results, take a look at what people are saying about their employer. Can you find anyone in a role similar to the one you’d like to procure? You might phone them for advice – or check out which groups they belong to. Group discussions will tell you a lot about their current concerns and projects.
Step 3: Activate your personal brand
Make an intentional decision on how you want yourself represented online and start making it happen. Get on Twitter. Find interesting people to follow – people who work for the companies you’re interested in, people who hold positions similar to the one you’re seeking, people who live and work in your geographic area. Pay more attention to your Facebook and LinkedIn status lines. Make them positive and graphic. Find association meetings to attend and place this information in your status line and in your tweets. Remember: You are what you put out there.
Thanks for stopping by.