October 22, 2009

LinkedIn - Tools for the Social Media Job Search

If your job involves connecting with other professionals or businesses, then you're probably already using LinkedIn to help manage your professional network. If not, there's no time like the present. LinkedIn is the ultimate social networking tool for professionals.

Since networking is one of the most important elements of any job search, it therefore follows that LinkedIn is a tremendous job searching tool as well. It allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect with them. If you'd like to join my network, you can view my profile here.

Set up your profile then reach out via all channels (twitter, your blog, import email contacts, etc). Once you're connected to the people you know, you can then ask them to introduce you to others in their network. That's a powerful tool if that job opening is at a company in your network.

Other ways to use LinkedIn in your job search:

Job Postings - The most obvious way to use LinkedIn is to search their job openings. LinkedIn has its own postings, most of which are usually high quality, professional jobs. Then it also allows you to expand your search into SimplyHired's aggregated search results. Tip: use LinkedIn's advanced search function to do a zip code radius search.

Company Search - You can use LinkedIn to do research on a company you are interested in. Search for the company, and find people you know who are connected to other who work at the company. Then ask your personal contact to connect you.

Email - Use LinkedIn's email system to keep your network informed of your job search status. Send an email with links to your profile, personal website, portfolio, etc to your network when you're first laid off. Ask them for help or people they could put you in touch with. This has resulted in good leads for me.

Applications - A relatively new feature in LinkedIn is the ability to add 'widgets' or applications to your profile. Have a presentation on Google Documents or Slideshare? Add that. Use the Box.net application to post example documents or white-papers that would aid in showing your expertise.

Blog Link - One of the more powerful aplications on LinkedIn provies the ability to link your blog posts to your profile. Every time you post a new blog post, it will update on your profile. This is a great way to showcase your expertise.

Answers - If you have experience in an area, there are likely others on LinkedIn who can benefit from it. Answers let's you ask and answer questions to help others. Another great way to showcase your expertise.

Groups - Last but not least, is Groups. Join some active groups that relate to your career and industry. Even better, join inactive groups and make them active again with your contribution. There are also regional groups that will allow you to keep an eye on events and networking opportunities in your area.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

October 20, 2009

So you want a Social Media job?

Jeramiah Owyang is a business analyst with a strong grip on what it takes to make online marketing work for your company or brand. Last month he wrote about three essential qualities any candidate for a corporate social media position must have to be seriously considered.

1) Fulfill Meaningful Business Objectives
2) Bridge Both Internal Stakeholders and Customers
3) Show Credibility With The Technology

In truth, these are common sense realities. In the modern economy a company can't afford to carry a position unless it's contributing to the business objectives. Companies are becoming more and more dis-intermediated, in part because the way social media is changing internal and external communications, that's an opportunity for someone able to be the connection point. Finally, the proof is always in the pudding. You must be able to produce measurable results from predetermined objectives and strategies. Set goals and achieve them.

In short, you can't be web 2.0 unless you understand Business 101. 

These are the modern day business rules and social media is no exception. If you're a job applicant, you need to be prepared to talk about how your skills and experience help you meet those essential qualities.

If I could, I'd like to add a fourth point to Jeremiah's excellent summary. You must exhibit trust and authenticity. Those are your currency online. The dis-intermediation of markets means that more than ever it will be human beings dealing with human beings. Your online reputation plays a large role in how effective you are in the new market. What you've done in the past will affect how people view you in the present.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

October 19, 2009

Social Media Cover Letter

When I was blogging about resumes and job searches back in 2005, I envisioned the perfect cover letter as a sandwich. The opening and closing remained the same, but what goes in the middle depends on what type of details you think will land you the job. I think most of that advice still holds up today.

Since 2005, a whole new world of Social Networking has arisen. Do you include your Social Media Network profile in your resume or cover letter? If so, how?

The answer, of course, is "it depends." If being a capable internet user is important to the job, then yes. But if your online example would be a distraction to the job, then you'll probably want to leave it off. In any event, you should scrub your virtual foot print as best you can when you're looking for a job, but that's another post.

Your cover letter is still your sales piece and a chance to use those 10-20 seconds a human resources person will use to direct you into a pile. You want to be in the 'look at further' pile. In 20 seconds, or even a minute or two, the HR person isn't going to check your entire online footprint. But they may be interested in your virtual CV, especially if you're sending your resume and cover letter via email.

LinkedIn is a great place to host your virtual CV and do some networking. But you can also use other services, such as Emurse (which includes some neat features like the virtual job interview), or set up a stand alone CV on your own domain.

I would probably include a link to my virtual CV either in the final paragraph or after the accomplishments list that reads something like "You can learn more about how my skills and accomplishments will help me make an immediate impact in this position at my LinkedIn page - http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnsfrost "

A full Social Media Cover Letter could get really involved. Links to portfolio projects, work samples from previous jobs, and a video introduction. But don't let that distract from the cover letter's primary purpose, to quickly put your resume in context to the companies need to fill a position and as an introduction to your resume.

Help support Orlando Next: Download The DIY Guide to Writing a Killer Resume!

October 18, 2009

Who to follow on Twitter while between jobs

One of the very first things I did after learning my position had been eliminated was to set up a slew of RSS feeds to direct as many job openings to my attention as possible. In the past that would have meant hitting the big search engines and some company websites. But now you can get much of that by following accounts on twitter.

I used Twitter Search to find jobs near me. By searching  for ["city/metro name" job OR jobs OR hiring] (in my case [Orlando job OR jobs OR hiring], I get dozens of leads every day. To direct that to my RSS reader of choice, I copied the RSS feed link from the upper right corner. TwitterJobSearch.com and TweetMyJobs.com does some of this automatically, but I found that rolling my own solution worked just as well.

I also followed specific accounts that consistently give good leads in my region. Using Brizzly, Tweetdeck, or similar tool (and soon Twitter itself) you can organize these into lists or groups. So you just have to check on that tab to get the latest jobs.

This morning I found that TweepML has collected a list of the companies who use twitter to recruit. Using the tools on this page you can select the companies you want to follow and add them all at once.

Finally visit this post from Mashable for some more great suggestions. I hope you'll find Twitter as valuable a tool as I have during my job search.

October 11, 2009

Money where my mouth is....

My position managing online giving and the CRM database at an Orlando area non-profit was just eliminated in a series of budget cuts and now I'm looking for work. I've been using social networking with my personal blogging for years; plus I lobbied hard to get the company involved in Social Media. It's time to put my money where my mouth is and use those skills to find myself a new position.

Early in my career I worked at a placement firm that specialized in human resources professionals. I learned a lot about what it takes to craft a great cover letter and resume. I learned what you need to do before, during, and after your job interview. Those lessons have served me well each time I needed to find a new position. I even wrote down much of my collected knowledge over at Resume Upgrade. That blog has been in hibernation off and on for the last few years, but I hope it's still a great resource for those who visit it.

Yes, the tried and true methods are still important, crucial even. But using social networking can provide a new path for the job searcher. Back in 2008 when layoffs from the recession were just getting underway, Robert Scoble wrote this post about how the new job search works. I've thought often about Robert's advice, hoping I'd never have to use it. But now I'm revisiting it and taking it to heart.

I have been working my social media network and wanted to share what I've learned and what I've found while doing my research. Look for that here.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you connected with me on LinkedIn and viewed my resume from eMurse. These are important steps for anyone doing a job search today.

Tags: , , , , , , ,