Many people don’t realize how different the job search of today is from the job search of not even a few years ago. Many others find it difficult to learn about today’s different kind of search and therefore shove the issue to their back burner, planning to deal with it later—if they do at all. Yet others, often younger ones, embrace the new wave and benefit from it.
Social media are open for two-way communication and are important for more than social interaction. Those media are especially important for job seekers because more than 80 percent of recruiters use social media to find job candidates. In 2008 and 2009, many company human resources departments eliminated part of their staffs, and thus the recruiting responsibility fell directly on the shoulders of the hiring manager. An advantage offered by social media is that they reveal people’s personalities, and after all, companies are looking for candidates who will fit into their cultures.
Using social media, job seekers should follow the following steps.
- Identify target companies and the people in your specific area of expertise.
- Research specific problems you can help with.
- Identify people within the target company who might be willing to be of assistance to you. This requires tenacity!
- Connect to those people via social media.
- Start interacting with them to establish credibility.
Admittedly, accessing the Internet to find a job is tedious, laborious, dull, and exhausting, but it can be made easier with several existing job search tools and organizers. For example:
None of those organizers are perfect, and users experience a steep learning curve to set one up and master it. Some of the organizers connect easily with LinkedIn and Outlook. Others require a fee. And yet others do not connect with certain job boards.
It’s all about building mutually beneficial relationships. But it’s worthless unless the other party can help and is willing to refer you to others. Of course, the same is expected from you. The advantages of online networking are numerous: It’s free. Job seekers can do research before meeting the other party. The connection is fast and easy. And such communication is effective and speedy. Regrettably, though, in many cases the relationships are shallow and not durable.
In the past, job search networking meant going to meetings, shaking hands, smiling, exchanging business cards, and following up. That still holds true today, but via social networking, one can do preliminary research in order to make an event more effective than it would be without such advance research.
One way or another, to benefit from networking, one needs to vastly increase one’s sphere of acquaintances. And that process itself needs to be managed carefully. Luckily, several programs can provide some help in this area. For example:
Again, another learning curve with advantages and disadvantages.
Looking for a job is very time-consuming, but it can have a fun component if one has the patience, tenacity, and foresight to see that at the end of the job search tunnel will be a wonderful job waiting to be found. Good luck on your journey.
by Alex Freund