The Highlands Ability Battery has helped you to identify what you should be doing in your career but how are you going to get the job? The old way was to look for a job you see advertised and submit your CV/resume and cover letter. With job sites you could be tempted to spend most of your job search on this method, but it’s passive, and you will be in a highly competitive field with literally hundreds of other job seekers.
Instead use social media and be active in your job search.
According to Jobvite.com, employers are using social media more and more to recruit new employees. Their research says that 89% of employers will have used social media in 2011 to research potential job applicants, so you need to be found. Having a LinkedIn account is not enough; you also need to be an active user of social media.
The top three social media sites are
- LinkedIn with more than 100 million members
- Twitter with more than 200 million members
- Facebook with over 500 million active users and more than 50% logging on daily
Why not choose two to start with? With a focus on job search and career management, my personal preference would be LinkedIn and Twitter.
LinkedIn is now taking over from job sites, as recruiters can search the profiles and find people who are actively searching, and also people they are interested in talking with.
Once you have set up a LinkedIn account you will find it a valuable way to build connections with people. Review your profile and make sure that it creates the right impression and is an interesting read. The first few lines are most important; too boring and bland and the recruiter may just quickly move on to another . Writing your summary in the first person makes you sound more approachable, and do include the keywords relevant for the sort of job you seek.
Also, think like a recruiter. If you were looking to fill a vacancy, what LinkedIn groups would you look at? Your LinkedIn profile can be the equivalent of a first meeting, so don’t be rejected at this point, just make sure you appear interesting and worth being followed up. Don’t forget to check that your LinkedIn profile and CV are aligned.
You can get an account set up quickly by following the advice on the site. Choose your full name as your ‘handle’; you might need to add a middle initial if your name has already been taken.
Start by following some people, then begin to post short updates and retweet (forward) posts from others. You may well find yourself followed by spammers, so block these to stop them contacting you. Get a photo on this site, and a short bio, and link through to your LinkedIn profile.
Using Twitter in job search
- Follow thought leaders and key players within your desired industry. This helps you to understand the culture.
- Follow businesses you would like to work for, and post links to items that show your knowledge and interest in your areas of speciality.
- Allow 2 blocks of 10 minutes a day to review Twitter and find something each time to retweet or comment on.
- Build connections gradually; as you make more posts people will find you interesting and will want to follow you too.
- Twellow.com can help you to find people in your chosen field. Twitjobsearch.com can identify tweets about vacancies to match your desired job title and location. Monitter.com allows you to monitor key words of your choice. Twitscoop.com helps you keep track of trending topics.
It takes time.
You can’t set up a profile on LinkedIn and expect to be offered a job, or send a general message and expect to get someone willing to talk with you. It takes time to build relationships, and that’s why you must get your profile created and start networking online before you need help from others. If you are looking for a job, why not mention this in your updates. Let people know that you are looking for a job, remembering to make it clear what you want. Of course if you are currently working for a company you need to be cautious about what you say.
About Guest Author Denise Taylor
Author Denise Taylor, MSc, MBA, C.Psychol, Chartered Psychologist, Registered Guidance Practitioner and award winning career coach, is the author of ‘How to get a job in a recession’, ‘Winning interview answers for first time job hunters’ and ‘Now you’ve been short-listed’. Visit amazingpeople.co.uk to learn more.
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