The Best Approach to Job Search: Blend Traditional and Social Media Tactics

The most successful job searches are neither dumb luck nor magic. They are developed from strong networks that the job seeker has already built, both online and off. Effective job seekers must integrate social media outreach with the more traditional approach in order to present a consistent, aligned, professional image.

Recruiters are evaluated in part based on their abilities to screen qualified applicants, so they don’t react well to surprises, such as candidates whose interviews present an entirely different person from what is stated or implied on the resume. Job seekers often forget that human resource professionals are looking for the candidate they saw on paper, online, and in a profile photo-so consistency counts!

The best recommendation is that job seekers include links to their blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube video resume-whatever online elements they have created-on their traditional resume. Standardize profiles across all social media sites, and link them together.

Candidates must position themselves effectively where recruiters are searching, as well as become content producers in order to attract recruiters directly to them. Bear in mind the current state of the job market:

  • Fewer jobs are available.
  • More competition exists for those jobs.
  • More touch points exists for job seekers and recruiters to interact.
  • Smart job seekers must optimize their personal brand and seek out those who are on the lookout for great candidates.

In addition to the standard-issue background and employer checks, hiring managers-and even college admissions officers-are turning to social networking sites to delve more deeply into the background of applicants. If you think this is unfair, think again. The Internet is not a private club for you and your friends. It’s a public space.

The rule used to be that anything on your resume was fair game for an interviewer to consider. While this is still the case, the same is now true for anything on the Internet that has your name attached to it-including your Facebook wall. If you don’t like the odds that a recruiter will check out your wall of potentially inappropriate updates, the best advice is to clean your wall.

Like anything else in the realm of social media, candidates should not forego traditional job-search fare in favor of a strict social-media diet of job search. Candidates should continue to post their credentials to job banks, respond to corporate postings, attend career and job fairs, and so forth.

That said, note that this type of activity would have been primary in the past, but today’s candidate needs to have a 21st century mentality about job search. While some attention should be devoted to traditional job search methods, the majority should be geared toward social media strategies-regardless of industry or job type. Social media is simply a more efficient way to find yourself a job sooner rather than later.

Good luck with your job search!

Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D. is an educator, author, and trainer. Her most recent books include The Social Media Survival Guide (Also available in Spanish), The Online Job Search Survival Guide, and S.E.R.I.A.L.PRENEURSHIP: The Secrets of Repeatable Business Success. She is frequently cited by the national media as an expert in social media. She is Director of Communications, External Affairs, and a Lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

To schedule an individual consultation or group workshop on online job-search, send an email to: contact@onlinejobsearchbook.com or visit http://www.OnlineJobSearchBook.com.


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