Nicole Duhoski, founding partner of Chicago-based social-media strategy and public relations firm VineSprout (http://vinesprout.com), says anyone with access to the Internet can make the most of their job search by being smart about social media. Here are her tips for using key words in online profiles, downloading search tools, understanding how to use hashtags and keeping online resumes and other information constantly updated.
“If you spend a bit more time upfront and create solid resources online and thorough social media profiles, you can sit back and let Twitter, Google, recruiters and online connections do all the work for you,” Duhoski says.
• Build and develop a personal and professional online brand that reflects your skills, background, passions, experience, and personality. You don’t have to hide your identity or your personality just because you are job searching. Being a real person online and having a strong and consistent presence across all networks helps recruiters get to know you, and sets you apart from a list of names and resumes.
• Use the same picture across your networks to help with recognition. Create a vanity URL for Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks. (i.e. facebook.com/nduhoski; linkedin.com/nduhoski)
• Do not be shy about telling your online network that you are looking for a new opportunity, and remind them often. Do not try to hide that fact that you are unemployed and in search of a job online.
• Most jobs are found through networking and some of the best jobs are never posted on job boards.
• Create a simple, concise, easy to understand, 30-second job pitch and memorize it. Include it in your Twitter bio, your LinkedIn profile, Facebook and any other social network that you are on. Use it at networking events.
• Reach out to all friends, family and professional contacts and let everyone know that you are looking for a job. When people know exactly what you’re looking for, they are more likely to help you and to refer you to their network. Provide them with titles and descriptions and point them to your LinkedIn profile, or personal website with your resume.
• Attend as many networking events as possible. There is no shortage in Chicago. Conferences, local seminars, tweetups, social media/marketing/publicity clubs. Volunteer to work registration and you’ll have an opportunity to meet most of the attendees. Connect on LinkedIn within 24 hours.
• If you really want to get creative, Facebook ads, Facebook pages and video resumes, are some of the newer tools people are using to get noticed and stand out from the sea of resumes.
• Make sure that your profile is updated, and continue to update it regularly to reflect any changes.
• Write your resume/LinkedIn profile for the job you want, not just the job(s) you’ve had. Include keywords that are relevant to the type of job that you are searching for.
• LinkedIn, like most social networks is constantly evolving. Log-in daily and stay abreast of changes to the functionality and features offered.
• Optimize your LinkedIn profile to let recruiters find you. Think about the top three to four keywords that you use to search for jobs, and make sure that they are included in your profile.
• Monitor how often your profile appears in searches and how many people are viewing your profile.
• Update your status and make changes and updates to your profile to stay current in the feeds of your connections. Try changing your headline often to see what works best and what keywords attract more views.
• Upload your resume and portfolio using Box.net.
• Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Job Search — Use the “Request Referral” button to find people in your network who know and can connect you to the contact that posted the job listing on LinkedIn.
• Use LinkedIn ‘Groups’ and ‘Answers’ to network and demonstrate your expertise in your field.
• Download the ‘JobsInsider toolbar’ so that you can see if you or any of your LinkedIn contacts are connected to a particular company when you are viewing external job listings on other sites.
• Be reachable. Make sure to include your personal contact information (email address, phone number and URLs for relevant social networks) on your resume, business cards and in your email signature. It sounds silly, but a lot of people forget to include their phone number or have outdated email addresses on important networks where people expect to be able to connect like LinkedIn or Facebook.
• Search Twitter for job openings. Search by location, job titles, company names, or hashtags such as #jobs, #job, #jobsearch #jobseeker #career. Monitor keywords that relate to the jobs that you are applying to as well as words like opening, position, etc.
• Follow relevant recruiters and people working in your industry, and people that have your dream job.
• Follow the brands and businesses that you have an interest in working for. Companies often have HR specific handles that are used to announce job openings.
• Use TwitJobSearch: a job search engine for Twitter that aggregates job listings and posts on Twitter.
• Set up Google Alerts to help you monitor job leads that never appear on major job boards. Test what works best by starting with a broad search string, and then play with your keywords and narrow your search until your results are completely relevant.
o (Chicago AND marketing) AND (manager OR director) AND (position OR listing OR job)
• Set up a Google alert for your own name to monitor your personal brand.