“When can you start?”
It’s music to the ears of every job-seeker, from recent grads to Baby Boomers. And thanks to social networking, it’s easier than ever to find those jobs.
Consider these statistics.According to a 2014 Jobvite study, 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media for recruiting. And research by the Aberdeen Group revealed that 73% of 18-34 year-olds landed their most recent job through a social network.
LinkedIn and Facebook remain the go-to social networking sites for professionals involved in a job search, but Twitter is gaining ground fast. Every day thousands of recruiters and HR execs comb over the platform, looking for ideal candidates.
Searching for a job through social networking may be more productive than scanning the help wanted columns of your local newspaper, but it also can be frustrating, confusing and, at times, overwhelming. To heighten your chances for success, keep in mind that word you want so much to hear: START. It’s a handy acronym for the five areas you will want to nail down before you start your journey.
Your strategy is simply what you want to accomplish while seeking employment. And there’s a lot more you can achieve beyond finding a job.
Are there specific industry leaders, personnel directors or other people you want to engage? Do you want to stay up-to-date on current events in your industry? Would you like to position yourself as a thought leader in your field? All are worthy goals and doable as you search for that perfect position.
Don’t just think about a strategy: write it out. It will help you clarify your goals. Keep in mind they may well change as you go along, and that’s OK. After all, job-searching is a fluid, dynamic endeavor. Plus, you’re going to learn a lot more about the capabilities of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook than you knew before starting.
The key is to know what you want before you start. Once you do, you can develop tactics – ways of achieving your strategy. And accomplish a succssful job search via social networks.
Now that you know what you want (strategy), it’s time to determine how to get it (tactics). Your tactics will be driven by your goals. They may include:
- visiting social networks and job boards regularly
- checking corporate websites for job opportunities
- networking with classmates or former workmates
One of your tactics of course will be to create a crackerjack resume. However, before you do, it may be prudent to take the next step.
Awareness covers two areas: knowing who you are and knowing what you want.
Here’s what employers want: someone who adds value to their companies. Your challenge is to convey that ability. In essence, you need to demonstrate that you aren’t a commodity, you’re a brand.
It isn’t easy. Personal branding requires honest introspection, clear expression of your special traits, and a commitment to reflect those traits in everything from your online profile to the way you dress for an interview.
However, it’s not enough to know who you are. Be aware of what you want. Make a list (yes, write it down) of what you want from your next position. Be sure to cover topics like salary, benefits, work hours, commute time, travel, opportunities for advancement, etc. You don’t necessarily have to prioritize them, but know what you expect in each category. Chances are you’ll be asked during an interview. Being able to give definitive, well-thought-out answers could land you that dream job.
There are tons of helpful online resources for job-seekers, and this is where Twitter really shines. Twellow collates Twitter users by category to help you find the right recruiters and others to follow during your search. With TwitJobSearch, you can look for jobs posted on Twitter using keywords. And TweetMyJobs delivers personalized job listings from AT&T, UPS, VISA and other companies via email, Twitter or mobile devices.
There are also hundreds of Twitter accounts that list specific jobs available or offer insightful job-search advice. JobMob did a great job compiling these a while back, and I heartily recommend you reference them.
Looking for a job takes time. There are calls to make, websites to visit, recruiters to contact, job fairs to attend, interviews to endure, etc. Scheduling that time – and tracking what you did with it – brings much-needed structure to the process.
One of the best ways to do this is using a spreadsheet to track what jobs you’ve applied for, whom you contacted, and other important details. You can find samples of these online or simply create one yourself.
Strategy. Tactics. Awareness. Resources. Timetable. If you establish each one before beginning your job search, you will be more productive, more organized, and more likely to hear those magical four words: “When can you start?”
Rhonda Serkes offers one-on-one instruction and corporate seminars on the power of Twitter. Known as “The Twitter Lady” in the Philadelphia area, she is also available for online instruction. For rates and availabilities, email Rhonda or call (610) 668-3020.