Living in New York, I feel especially fortunate to have not lost anyone or anything due to the wrath of Sandy. Last week, especially on Tuesday and Wednesday, I found myself glued to the news, watching video upon video of the Katrina-like devastation that hit my backyard. I also couldn’t stay away from Facebook. The social media coverage was just as important, as riveting and as relevant.
For Sandy, Facebook is not only being used to express grievances and show horrifying imagery, but it is also being utilized as a vehicle for those of us lucky enough to be unscathed to reach out and offer a helping hand. It got me thinking a lot about the true power of social media — not in terms of advertising or selling a product, but in terms of raw, grassroots communications. Social media has become so integral to all that we do. With that in mind, I put together this post for those of us who, regardless of how hard Sandy has hit, are moving forward and searching for something new to look forward to.
Rule #1 — Search and Target
If you know there’s a job opening at the Widgetorium, instead of sending your resume through the company’s ATS, Website or to a recruiter that you don’t know, check LinkedIn to see who you might know who works for the company. If you don’t have any 1st degree connections, check out who is connected to you by the 2nd degree and see if you can get an introduction. Do the best you can to get in through the back door using LinkedIn as your primary tool.
Rule #2 — Sell Yourself Without Begging
There’s a guy in my LinkedIn network who makes daily posts that basically say, “Hey, I’m looking for a sales job in New York, so hire me.” Every time I see one of his posts, I cringe and want to reach through the computer and shake him.
I’m a digital media and marketing recruiter and there are more sales jobs open today then there is talent in this business. So one would think I’d be chomping at the bit to set up an interview. But, I just can’t bring myself to call him. He sounds too desperate and I am not looking for desperate, I’m looking for “qualified, but a little hard to get.”
The problem with “Mr. Desperate’s” postings is that he’s not offering any value. He’s just asking for favors (“hire me!”), and he’s doing it with crazy frequency. It’s like that movie “Swingers” when Vince Vaughn keeps calling his ex-girlfriend and crying on her message machine. PAINFUL!
Instead of posting over and over again to “hire me,” Mr. Desperate needs to be strategically combing through other social media posts to find out who needs someone with his skills and then sell himself appropriately on an individualized basis. A finely targeted, thoughtful approach is what’s going to lead to success.
Rule #3 — Tweet Smart
Recruiters use hashtags to locate candidates by searching words like “resume,” along with skill sets, locations and so forth. …Incorporate hashtags on your Twitter resume so you’ll be found when recruiters perform their searches. Your Twitter job search post should have a link to your resume (using TinyURL or another short-link application) and should include key words, and hashtags (preceded by the # sign) that will attract recruiters. Your tweets should mention your title and geography. “RT,” which means re-tweet, should start off the entire post as it will encourage your “followers” to forward your information on.
Rule #4 — Build Your Twitter Network
Create a wish list of companies you would potentially like to work for and sign up for their Twitter feeds. You can find out about hot jobs this way and stay abreast of industry news. And, speaking of industry news, follow experts and organizations in your field as well. The more you are in the know, the more you will know about job openings. If you see a company just received a cash infusion of $20MM, you can bet they will be hiring!
Rule #5 — Position Yourself as An Expert
Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to republish relevant and interesting information that pertain to your field. This provides a value and service to your connections, followers and friends and helps to position you as someone “in the know.” What better way is there to promote your personal brand?
Rule #6 — Put Your Contact Info Front and Center
It’s fairly easy for people to figure out a company’s email formula but if you were caught in a layoff or are out of work, and you don’t have free “In-Mail” on LinkedIn, make sure to put your personal email on your LinkedIn page so that people can find you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been unable to reach a candidate who actually WANTS me to reach out to him because — doh — he has forgotten to publish how to get in touch with him, even though the top of his LinkedIn profile page says “looking for next opportunity!”
Jane Ashen Turkewitz is an Executive Recruiter in digital media and can be reached at Jane@DotComRecruiting.com.