Get that job: Using social media to stand out

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 13 June, 2013 at

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We are in the midst of a global corporate culture change being driven by social tools and behaviours. One of the many ways this is occurring is within the hiring/recruiting processes.

No longer will a simple resume suffice to land you that dream job, or any job for that matter. Today, hiring practices have turned to Google as the defacto research tool; sometimes prior to an interview, sometimes even during the interview to vet the details you’ve provided on the spot. Imagine, for a moment, that nothing comes up in that search…. how likely are you to get the interview, or job if your knowledge and experience can’t be corroborated digitally? And what are your chances if the search returns no results for you, but does return results for another candidate?

Let us not kid ourselves: there is no such thing as “even footing” or fair playing fields when it comes to job searching and landing that right position. We all must do whatever we can in order to stand out as the right candidate for any job we may go after. In this new fluid world of corporate culture change, we have an amazing amount of tools at our disposal to help with that. Here’s a smattering of the easiest and most effective which can aid you as a buoy in your online presence:

  • LinkedIn: For professionals, this is a simple must-have these days. More than a resume, it is a network of opportunity that goes well beyond just job-seeking. Build your profile and join in some group discussion and you’ll begin to see the deep professional value both during the hiring process and within your day-to-day activities after you’ve been hired. While you are working on your profile, make sure you avoid these 14 mistakes and ensure you are putting your best foot forward.
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  • About.me: Some may call it a virtual business card, but this site is more than a simple card. It allows you to connect your other internet properties and act as a jumping off point, while also letting you stand out creatively with visual interest. Like LinkedIn, however, there are mistakes that can be made. Take the same advice above and apply it to this site as well to make sure you have a professional presentation and have the right text added to help with search engine optimization (SEO).
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  • GooglePlus and Google Authorship: If you blog or write articles you are doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t setup/connected your Google Authorship to your GooglePlus profile. I’ve blogged about how to claim your authorship before, and I’ll say it again: this is the single best way to improve your search ranking/results when people look for you. Setting up your GooglePlus profile with relevant bits of information will help your Google Authorship show more robustly and help you stand out even further in search results.
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  • Twitter: Yes, there is solid business value to Twitter. It’s not just a bunch of tweens speaking in acronymic code. Twitter is a great way to build a robust network of quick and easy shares pointing to even better content around the web. Links shared via Twitter and other networks also work to improve the SEO of that content, so when you share your blog posts or articles, you are increasing not only your reach but also your search results.
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  • Facebook: My advice here is going to differ from the above (and from what I actually do)- lock down your publicly visible content to provide only a professional image to anyone whom you’ve not added as a friend. This will help you keep in lock-step with your about.me and LinkedIn profiles so you present a consistent and professional image. This will also let you use Facebook for your more personal/casual use with friends behind the security of a more tightly controlled public profile. But don’t lock it down too tightly, having a little bit of content publicly visible will help give people a sense that you are indeed there and active.
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All of these channels will work to improve your search-ability and allow you to focus and drive the right content found about you. Call it building a personal brand, or just managing your digital persona; making sure the right content is available and searchable will go a long ways to helping you land that next job. If you still think it is okay to ignore social media channels, think again: it could be the difference between extended unemployment and that next six-figure-income job. Sharing your expertise and knowledge to help others is the new paradigm of corporate culture.

I can’t say it more simply than this:  if you don’t have a social presence, you don’t exist. That job you want? It will go to someone else who does share their knowledge socially.

 

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