Put a Little Social Media in Your Job Search Tool Kit

Candace has sent resume after boring resume for positions as a Human Resources Generalist with little or no response. John’s 15 years of industry experience as a project manager is netting him absolutely no interviews. After 10 years as an account manager with an IT company, Tanya is having trouble making any connections and her unemployment benefits are running out. If you can relate to these three candidates, it’s time you jumped on the Social Media Marketing bandwagon – become your own PR manager and start promoting your biggest asset…YOU!

In this age of high-speed connectivity, we are accustomed to immediate answers. It’s no different on the corporate front. Businesses are utilizing social media as an avenue for not only checking your “background”, but testing your knowledge base and relevant connections. With all the free exposure you can rack up online, why aren’t more people doing it? Because it’s just not commonly known. Yet search engines diligently crawl all over these mediums and the more sites you register with and participate on, the more search engines love you!

Using Google as your e-presence gauge, type your first and last name into the google search bar. Are you listed on the first page of results? More importantly, are the instances where your name appears at all relevant to your industry? If not, it’s okay…hire yourself, starting now.

The big three of the social media world are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When looking for a job, be selective of the types of postings you submit…especially on Facebook where users have free reign. Keep it light and show some of your personality – but the biggest advantage to you is found when staking ground in your expertise. Build your credibility by joining groups that have common professional interests, post links and helpful tidbits about your industry…let people know what you do and where your passion lies.

Facebook – Facebook lets you easily create “Pages” from your profile. Create a page that is dedicated to discussions, news and tidbits about what you are currently reading, learning, working on, or interested in. If your background is in Human Resources, you might post a link to an article you recently read, “5 Tips to Improve Employee Relations”. Dedicate this special page to you as a professional. Invite your friends and family to become fans of your page…each person who “Fans” you will essentially be advertising for you which means your name will pop up on each of their recent news listings. Bingo!

Twitter – Allowing you only 140 characters per post, Twitter can be a challenge. Your best bet when tweeting for PR is to avoid the commonplace status post of what you had for lunch and how you hate the rain. Make every post drive your credibility in your chosen profession. Here are a few examples:

“Great lunchtime read about social media marketing! [Paste your link]”

“Published 1st article! Take a peek [paste your link]”

“Just registered for IT Professionals Conference! See you there!”

“Love HTC’s new Droid release! Super graphics!”

LinkedIn – This is a giant MUST for professionals in the job market. Register for your free account and connect to any and all co-workers, colleagues and business associates from you past and present. If you’ve been out of work for a while, you might be a little self-conscious. Overcome that hurdle and be sure to post your resume in whole or in part…depending on relevancy. One of the many fabulous features on LinkedIn is the “Recommendation” feature which allows you to ask your contacts to write a recommendation for you. Some businesses value these recommendations so highly, they actually require you to have 2-3 on your profile in order to consider you for a position.

Other honorable mentions that can only help your self-promotion efforts include:

WordPress – A stellar blogging tool with free registration. Use it to promote yourself and your abilities. Blog faithfully once a day or once a week. What should you blog about? If you don’t have time to come up with original content, simply post your thoughts on an article you read with a link to the online version of the article, find a free article at EzineArticles.com or announce your latest reading materials and a personal review. Keeping your blog posts to 200-500 words each is essential – make it much longer and you’ll lose your audience.

Ping.fm – According to Wikipedia.com: “Ping.fm is a free social networking and micro-blogging web service that enables users to post to multiple social networks simultaneously.” This tool will add a multi-dimensional touch to your social media marketing and provide virtual “cross-links” that search engines will sniff out. Results = more exposure to the brand of YOU!

EzineArticles.com – Allows you to share your knowledge by writing and publishing articles that anyone can use as content for their site. While there is no direct monetary value, every article gets a “by-line” which allows you to create links. See the author by-line on this article which provides self-promotion to the author’s website as well as contact information and a short bio.

Once you get started you will find there are countless other sites on which you can soak up the exposure. Keep it up! You may find it tedious to set it all up…but in the end it will be well worth the time spent.

Michelle Minix is social media junkie and a 12-year veteran of graphic design for print and web. http://www.michelleminix.com

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