Being new to the Wildfire team, what better topic for my first blog post could there be than writing about the Web 2.0 tools I used in my search for a job?
The job market has become very competitive and if used to your advantage, social media networks can give you a head start over the competition.
I thought that I’d start with the four steps I went through, and then an overview of the social networks that worked for me. If you have any other suggestions, please drop me a comment below.
First step: Google yourself
Search out your name and your email address. Take stock of your web presence. After reading your CV, a prospective employer may try to see what else they can find out you from a search engine. Beat them to it, so you can control what aspects of your life they have access to.
Step two: Take back control of your online portfolio
Remember that old LiveJournal account? You don’t want your future boss reading about the trouble you and your mates got up to when you were sixteen. Purge it.
You don’t want them seeing the Facebook photos from that holiday in Spain either. Change your privacy settings.
Keep the profiles and communities that you think will suit your job search, and future career, best. The rest should be locked down.
Third step: Personal branding
Let people know who you are, what you do, what you can do and what you are looking for. The personal bio section of your Twitter account or the about me section of your blog is a great place to briefly showcase yourself to a potential employer.
Step four: Make connections
Learn, meet and share. Add or follow people in your desired field, and don’t bombard your connections with requests for a job. Learn from them. Share with them.
If your CV says you are an expert in something, now is the time to prove it. The more you network, the more likely a job opportunity is to present itself.
Also, be aware: they say that a job interview starts the second you meet the receptionist. On sites like Twitter, it can start much sooner. Keep your interactions positive.
Here are the social media networks that helped me the most:
Twitter has been my favourite tool in searching for a job.
More and more recruiters are using it to advertise vacancies and find candidates and it gives you the opportunity to be the first to apply.
It can give you direct access to hiring managers and HR departments and is a great tool for getting your foot in the door.
It is also a powerful tool for research. Finding employment is as much about finding a job that suits your skills as it is about finding a workplace the suits your personality. Twitter can give you access to learn what it is like in a day in the life of an employee in a company.
Facebook is a more personal network, and might be best kept between good friends, but it shouldn’t be discounted as a tool for your job search. Talk to your former classmates, and your old work buddies. Let them know that you are looking for work. You never know what opportunities will arise.
LinkedIn is like your CV 2.0. Use it to highlight your past experiences. Complete your profile, connect with people you know, ask for recommendations and make it searchable.
The ‘who has viewed my profile’ module was my favourite little pick-me-up during my job search. It is always a great boost to your confidence when you see that “someone in a leadership function in the Public Relations and Communications industry from London” has checked out your profile recently.
Also, by joining the LinkedIn groups in your field can keep you up to date with new developments while you’ve been unemployed.
Have you used social media in your job search? What has worked for you?