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It’s no secret that the economy is lousy in the United States and Europe, and that means that competition for job openings are higher than ever. With everyone jumping on the social media bandwagon, it seems like a logical place to post and look f
or jobs. But you can waste your valuable job searching time and energy without a plan. I interviewed job search expert and blogging guru Jacob Share for his top tips on maximizing LinkedIn and Twitter for hunting job openings.
1. LinkedIn is clearly the most professionally-oriented major social network. But with apps like BeKnown for Facebook, job searches on Twitter, and emerging startups like Zerply also trying to be a job resource, do you think that will change?
There are definitely competitors salivating to become the next LinkedIn, but so far I don’t see any serious competition; LinkedIn is still the default place to post your resume online, and the default place that recruiters go to search for resumes online.
According to a recent article, LinkedIn principally makes money 3 ways:
- Selling recruitment services to employers
- Selling premium advertising, and
- Selling premium subscriptions to employers and users.
Of the options you mentioned, only BeKnown has the potential to take some of that business from LinkedIn, but while the concept of sourcing candidates via Facebook is attractive to recruiters, there isn’t yet much motivation for non-job seeking users to use BeKnown and it will take a large push from Facebook itself to convince most of its users that it’s also a professional place to be for them.
2. What are your top tips for getting found in your niche on LinkedIn?
To be found, you need to understand how you’re being looked for.
Less sophisticated recruiters and HR managers on LinkedIn will search by querying various keywords plucked from their job description, coupled with a search filter on location, to find relevant candidates in the area.
The more sophisticated recruiters and HR managers have tools that search LinkedIn querying for various keywords with long, complicated queries that are designed to only find fewer, more relevant candidates. Then they will use their Talent-level LinkedIn accounts to filter them again and then contact them directly.
In other words, for recruiters, pertinent keywords in your Public Profile and personal information are how you’re going to be found.
So when you start your job search, make sure your profile contains the right keywords. And what are they? Take 5 job listings that appeal to you and create one big Wordle with their texts. The largest words are a good start for your keywords.
Everyone else that might find you is a non-recruiter, and they will find you if you have a memorable personal brand.
The idea is that by smartly building your brand on LinkedIn, other users who know of relevant openings will think “wow, Jacob would be the perfect person for that position. I wonder if he’d be interested?”
The way to build your brand on LinkedIn is to:
- Have a Public profile that showcases your achievements in your niche
- Connect and help other users, especially in your niche (but not only!)
- Be an active participant in niche LinkedIn groups
- Ask and answer questions that show off your expertise in LinkedIn
For more ideas on finding jobs with LinkedIn, read my Gigantic Tips Guide for Finding Jobs With LinkedIn.
3. Larger companies generally have more resources to dedicate to social media and even create separate twitter accounts for their job postings, thus making them pretty easy to find, but how can a job hunter use twitter to find jobs in smaller companies, or openings that aren’t blasted out to thousands of other people?
First of all, Twitter Search is only good for real-time search. Instead, one tip that I talk about in my Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide is to use Google to search Twitter’s tweet archive, and its Advanced Search filters for better results. For example, Twitter Search only includes tweets from the past 10 days. Using Google, you can find relevant job listings that were posted 11 days ago and beyond.
As you correctly point out, larger companies have larger budgets and will try to do things in a more rigorous, professional way, using automation tools that will post job listings on Twitter using a standard format. Smaller companies, on the other hand, will simply tweet out what they’re looking for using more common language such as “we need a …” or “looking to hire a … “. You can then use a tool like LocaFollow to search for similar tweets in a certain location, i.e. where you’re looking to work.
4. When job searching through social media, a person is likely to come across offers from companies they are unfamiliar with. What are some precautions you can take to make sure you don’t get
The first rule of not being scammed is that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. So if anything sets off alarm bells in your head, skip it. There really are other leads. Don’t set yourself up for a fall; job search is hard enough as it is.
The second rule is to do a background check. Read up on the company’s website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Google+ page, etc. Are actual employees portrayed there, with names and pictures? If so, look for them on the social networks, especially LinkedIn, where you can often also find former employees, who are less constrained in what they have to say about the company and might be more willing to give you inside information.
As you can tell, this background check also serves as great research for potential interview questions you could ask, if the opening really is legitimate.
I’ve also blogged about why job search spam should scare you.
Thanks Jacob! You can check out his Gigantic Tips Guide for Finding Jobs With LinkedIn and Ultimate Twitter Job Search Guide for more tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn and Twitter in your job search.
Want to get Linked In to one of the fastest-growing social networks but aren’t sure where to start? Try these 7 tips to get the most out of LinkedIn.
1. Fill out your profile 100%
/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/linkedin_100_complete_profile.jpg”>The more complete your profile, the higher you will be in the Google search rankings, and the more credible you will be to users who view it.
2. Participate in the “Answers” Feature
It’s a gem tucked away under the “More” section of the top-navigation on LinkedIn. In “Answers”, users can ask industry-specific questions and get advice. Get and receive helpful knowledge, and let the networking begin. By answering questions, you can demonstrate how you are an industry insider with a lot of helpful knowledge. And one of the best ways to make meaningful connections is to provide helpful information that people are looking for.
If you have blog posts or other content that provides helpful information about another user’s question, you can link to it in your answer.
For more information, see my blog post on Using LinkedIn to Get Quality Answers Online .
3. Update Your Status Regularly
Each time your status is updated you’ll show up in a news feed when your connections log in. This helps you stay fresh in their mind. Keep your connections updated with links to new business ventures, links to articles you have written or in which you are quoted. Looking for a job? Tell people here what you are looking for (and in your headline).
You can also keep your status updated through Twitter and other social networking sites with an automated feed. If you tweet a lot, you may not want to have all of your tweets automatically go to LinkedIn, because it will clog up the feed. Instead, you can add the hashtag #in to send a select tweet to your LinkedIn update feed.
4. Add LinkedIn Applications
This is an opportunity to further personalize your profile and set it apart from the rest of the pack. Create a video related to your business or a video resume and add it via Box.net or the SlideShare app. Add a stream of your latest blog feeds. Let people know which business books you’re reading with Amazon’s ReadingList app.
5. Join LinkedIn Groups
Like the “Answers” feature, this is a way to network with fellow industry experts, receiving and providing valuable information. You can post questions to the group to start discussions, share articles that may be of interest, and add or view job postings in a targeted field.
You can join up to 50 groups, so go nuts. Just be warned that by default you are signed up for e-mail updates, and if you join a large number of groups, the updates can quickly get out of hand. I suggest subscribing to updates for the groups that you find the most interesting or helpful and check the others at least once a week.
It’s tempting to join the obvious groups in your industry, but actually participating in groups that are outside your industry are more likely to help you grow your business. Extend outside of your industry circle to reach new leads, new people who don’t know others in your field.
6. Conduct a LinkedIn People Search
This is a terrific tool for salespeople, job hunters, or business owners who want to get their foot in the door at a large corporation. Just do a people search for your target company using the upper right-hand search box. Refine your results on the left to view your first connections (also known as direct connections) and your second-degree connections.
You’ll then see a list of names of people at your target company. On their individual profiles, you’ll be able to view your shared connections. Send a message to your mutual connections to introduce you via LinkedIn to the people at the target company, and you have a personal in!
LinkedIn recently revamped their mobile apps and updated their website for better browsing on mobile phones. The free apps help you network on the go, by staying in the loop with industry news, updates from your contacts, and more. Perhaps the most interesting feature is “In Person”. If you are meeting a new connection face-to-face and both have the LinkedIn app, you can utilize this feature to connect wirelessly with a light “bump” of your devices and connect wirelessly. LinkedIn will transfer contact information between phones using Bluetooth.
If you really want to invest in getting the most out of LinkedIn, I suggest that you read The Power Formula for Linkedin Success: Kick-start Your Business, Brand, and Job Search by Wayne Breitbarth