Park University Career Column May/June 2011
Social Media & Job Search
I have a ‘pretty good’ feel for social media…as I’m betting you do. I have my Facebook page(s) and I’m very active on LinkedIn but lately, and especially since I’m writing the new job search book and back on the speaking circuit, it’s really important that I be as up to date on possible when it comes to social media and job search.
My take? It’s a moving target. And I REALLY mean ‘moving target!’ The reality is that I can write this column today and it could potentially be out of date tomorrow.
Nevertheless, I’m prepared to “take the bullet” for you. I have an account on BranchOut.com—a reasonably new app working very closely with Facebook. And then there is Jibe.com—yes, I have an account there as well—which is also associated with Facebook but then Jibe adds the value of being further associated with LinkedIn as well. These associations with Facebook mean they quickly increase your social/job search foot print by bringing all your Facebook and LinkeIn contacts to your job search. Pretty darn smart.
I’m not sure how much I like the “voting” that you are first introduced to on BranchOut. In case you don’t know you are provided the option of determining who you would rather work with: Friend “A” or Friend “B”. Sorry but personally I’m not saying. That’s why they are friends and not employees!
To move on—the idea behind these two sites are to provide you with an opportunity to leverage those you already know and the companies they work for (or with). Not bad. Good, really, if you are OK with leveraging close, personal friends in your job search (as opposed to work/business friends which truly is a different category “friend”). This is, after all, what rich networking is all about, isn’t it? Personally I’m good with it. A lot of people might not be.
So far my vote is leaning toward Jibe since they are plugged into the 500 million folks who are on Facebook today (literally) plus the additional 100 million or so on LinkedIn.
But my real take away researching jobs & social media is APPS. Apps are the future—assuming you use an iPhone, Android, Palm, Blackberry or whatever is new, hip and important next week. There are some amazing job search apps. CareerBuilder & LinkedIn are already out there and available at no cost. But free or very inexpensively available to you are Job Compass, iJobs, Now Hiring and Job Finder. They all kind of pretty much do the same thing as the next guy but most—and this is cool—will locate employment opportunities within 5 to 100 miles of your location–you just dial in the range. Craigster (an aggregator—meaning they acquire jobs from all over the web much like SimplyHired and Indeed) is Craigslist’s entry into apps.
And then there is Twitter. The bottom line to a Twitter job search is that you have to make yourself known or somehow get yourself found by a recruiter (can you say ‘keywords?’) and then include a shortened link (http://bit.ly/) to keep your message at 140 characters or less. This is not difficult but it requires a fair amount of forethought since you have to have something for them to look at WHEN they find you. Can you say Personal Blog or Personal Website?
I think there are three primary take-aways to this article: 1) apps are the future of job search, 2) social media is the job search tool of the future (which could be here as early as, oh, a half-hour from now) and 3) you really need to plan on registering your name as a domain so that you can get started building either your blog, personal website–um, your brand!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this.
Success to You!
PS Of all the job boards still surviving the social media onslaught one of my favorites remains LinkUp.com. They have the neatest algorithm that signs into corporate job boards daily (meaning they have figured out how to ‘Username’ and ‘Password’ all those accounts!) and post REALLY new postings every day that aren’t necessarily found on the major job boards.