Where Is Social Media in 2012 As a Job Hunting Tool?

By Steven J Nicholls

     There are many better qualified people than myself to talk about the nuances of social media in today's recruitment market. What I'd like to focus on is how you can practically leverage the various platforms to your own benefit. With many job decisions being close run affairs these days, it's often that extra 2 or 3% which can tip the balance in your favour. It's these subtleties that I'd like to focus in on. I'd be interested to hear if any resonate with you.

     Linked In still dominates as a source for both recruiters and candidates, although there are other options appearing on the web. From a candidates perspective then, I seem to come across the same issues or shortcomings on a Linked In profile: Photograph... Dear oh dear! Some are either taken with a mobile phone (fine, but think of what it actually looks like to a stranger), or with an expression that can literally be scary! I suggest a neutral "smile" dressed in appropriate clothing. It's great that you love your spouse by the way, but a photo with half their head in it? Well, you get my point I'm sure
Sticking with Linked In; does your Title text state exactly what you're seeking or offering? Plenty of people have got this right, I appreciate, but I'm talking to those who have got perhaps a past role, or a hobby job, or a voluntary role as their headline. The headline is your big chance to "get in there" and state your case. I know that this isn't always easy, as some of you won't want to broadcast your intentions to the world, due to current employer possibly looking at your profile - fair enough in that instance.

     Moving onto Twitter, my experience with this has been that it's an underestimated tool for business networking, and can be seen as a bit "lite" re the job hunt. Not so, I've known of many folks who have built a modest following and have reaped the rewards from this. There are employers and recruiters on Twitter, that much is definite. It's how you engage with a person that dictates the outcomes; I suggest following those people and organizations that interest you, try to keep your following/followers ratio fairly balanced. Retweeting people's tweets is the best method of creating relationships - but my philosophy is that it must be based from a win-win perspective (Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People covers this better than I can!), which should be at the core of the way you "think" around Twitter. Give first, it's as simple as that. No simply wading in asking for things from people please... simple human engagement will show that you're a good person to follow, and make your tweets interesting - and not all about you. I'm still learning, but these are fundamentals that can take months to "get", so I hope this will help you.

     Continuing briefly with Twitter, Hashtags (#hr for example) are a means of appearing in peoples timelines who use the same hashtags. Don't just invent them randomly; you can search for them in Twitter and see which ones give you the best potential audience for your tweets. Use something like Buffer, Hootsuite, or any other preferred tool to manage, schedule and monitor your interactions.
There are other social media tools out there, but if you begin with the above two, you'll be on your way! I'm always happy to talk to people individually, so connect with me, and let's talk. Good luck with your career plans!

     Visit my Facebook page to get your copy of the FREE Top Job Interview Tips EBook, and let's chat there too:-

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