How to use social networking to boost your career ladder Career Channel Guides. You’ll also find tips on what you shouldn’t do when it comes to social media and your career – and that’s just as important as what you should do.
LinkedIn is by far the #1 spot for job seekers, those currently employed, marketers who are looking to build lists and salespeople who are seeking out new clients. With 35 million users, including recruiters and job seekers, LinkedIn is quite a hot spot. Of course, due to the current state of the economy, it’s simple to understand why LinkedIn is more popular than ever.
The problem is that most job seekers donâ€™t optimize their profile, cultivate their network, join and participate in groups, use applications and exchange endorsements. That is basically everything you should be doing in a nutshell. I also recommend that you use a distinct URL (linkedin.com/in/yourfullname) and an avatar that best represents you and is consistent with the picture on your other social sites.
When you search for a job, recognize who in your network might help you get to the hiring manager. Youâ€™re given 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections on LinkedIn that you should be using to secure a job opening.
Plaxo is a social network that resembles LinkedIn to a certain degree. Youâ€™re able to create your own profile with a section about you, your contact information and your â€œpulse stream,â€ which is made up of your presence on social media sites such as Twitter. Youâ€™re even able to share your photo album and send eCards, which is a nice differentiator.
The real value in Plaxo is the address book that keeps track of all of your contact information, including a Yahoo! Map indicating where your contacts live. Plaxo, which is owned by Comcast, is also integrated with Simply Hired, which is a job aggregator that searches thousands of job sites and companies and aggregates them in a single location for you. After building your Plaxo profile, use it as part of the recruitment process when applying for jobs with Simply Hired for success.
Twitter is an amazing tool if you can unlock its power. Itâ€™s taken me months to understand how conversations flow and how I can add to the discussion. Twitter breaks down communication barriers and lets you talk directly to hiring managers, without having to submit a resume immediately to a machine.
Although Twitter is probably one of the best networking tools on the planet, it needs to be supplemented with a blog or LinkedIn profile. Thereâ€™s no way you can hire someone based on a Twitter profile, without having a link from that profile to something else that gives more information on that job seeker. You get to add one URL to your profile, so choose wisely.
Jobster isnâ€™t spoken about nearly enough, yet it is a powerful platform for networking with employers who are offering jobs, while youâ€™re searching. You can upload your resume, embed your video resume, showcase links to your site, your picture and tag your skills, which is a unique differentiator. You can search for open positions and see who the person is who posted the job. Then you can add them to your network and connect with them to find out more about the position.
Facebook can be used to get jobs. There are two main ways of acquiring a job through Facebook. The first is to go to your Facebook marketplace, which lists job openings or other opportunities in your network. Aside from jobs, there are â€œitems wantedâ€ and a â€œfor saleâ€ listing. When searching for jobs, youâ€™ll be able to see who listed the item and then message them to show your interest.
When you find a job opening that youâ€™re interested in, youâ€™ll be able to message the hiring manager directly. For instance, the subject line of the message will auto-populate with â€œPrincipal Web Developer in Littleton, MAâ€ in the subject line. The second way to get a job using Facebook is to join groups and fan pages to find people with common interests and to network with them.
Craigslist is an extremely valuable job search tool if youâ€™re not looking to work for a big brand name company, such as P&G or GE. Most of the positions on Craigslist are for consultants (design/programming help) and at small to midsize companies that are hiring. There are new listings every day and if you wake up to this site every morning and refresh the page, you have a good chance at getting a job sooner rather than later.
MyWorkster focuses on exclusive networks for colleges, allowing students and alumni to connect for exclusive career opportunities. This site isnâ€™t valuable to you if you didnâ€™t go to college though. This social network allows you to create a professional profile and network with potential employers.
For a free account, you get a profile, instant messenger built in the site, groups, events, your resume and more. The big differentiator is that it uses Facebook Connect to get your information. Here is an example of a profile page. MyWorkster also has job listings, which are provided by Indeed, a job search engine and aggregator, which is very similar to Simply Hired.
VisualCV understands the importance of personal branding in a job search. Instead of a traditional resume, you get your own branded webpage, where you can add video, audio, images, graphs, charts, work samples, presentations and references. VisualCVs not only let you stand out from the crowd, but communicate your value in a way thatâ€™s not possible with static text.
After youâ€™ve created your VisualCV, you can display it publicly or privately, email it to a recruiter, save it as a PDF or forward the URL, which will rank high for your name. On the site, you can search for jobs and apply directly using your VisualCV. Everybodyâ€™s favorite venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, is on their board.
Disclosure: VisualCV sponsors my blog and magazine.
JobFox, like online dating, tries to pair you up with a job that best fits you. Their differentiator is their â€œMutual Suitability SystemTMâ€ that enables them to match your wants and needs to those of employers to find the best relationship. The system learns about your skills, experiences, and goals and then presents you with jobs.
Then thereâ€™s the â€œJobfox Intro,â€ where both the applicant and company get emails to encourage the connection. Just like VisualCV, you get your own branded website, with a personal web address to send to employers. JobFox was created by Rob McGovern, the founder of Careerbuilder.com.