Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 Ways Social Media Gives Job Seekers an Advantage in a Recession

This is a republication of an article I wrote for NewMediaHire at .

In today’s hyper-competitive, recessionary job market, job seekers are finding more barriers than good news. Creative social media use gives job seekers a way to beat the odds. When government figures list unemployment as 6 times greater than job openings, you’ve got to try something different to be noticed.

The good news is that Social Media gives job seekers plenty of opportunities to stand out. While most job seekers recognize Social Media’s help in networking, few take advantage of Social Media’s power in branding, Subject Matter Expertise, research and differentiation.

Here’s a list of 5 Ways Social Media Gives Job seekers an Advantage:
  1. Networking: Many job seekers use Linkedin to build their networks for job search, but what about Twitter, and MySpace? While these three are often viewed as non-professional, they can be gold mines, especially for media job seekers, content creators, artists, musicians, and designers.

    • Linkedin is great for more formal contact with hiring managers, and to discover who to contact within a company. Linkedin has tools that overlay major job boards, so job seekers see who to contact in their network are at target companies where jobs are advertised.

    • Facebook’s sheer size, viral distribution and groups make it a great place for media professionals to build network contacts. Facebook is great for more informal networking, especially to use common interests to contact hiring managers (Identify contact manager on Linkedin, discover common interests, search for them by name on Facebook groups with common interests and start a discussion about something other than your job search…build a relationship first, and the decision maker will ask what you do).

    • Twitter is fast becoming a leading force in job ad distribution (see my list of top job tweeters at . In addition, Twitter is a megaphone for content, enabling media professionals to announce links to their work to a wide audience.

    • MySpace has long been the social network of choice for artists, photographers, videographers, musicians, and other content creators. MySpace is an excellent platform to build a network of people who communicate via content portfolios, allowing you to find potential collaborators and professionals who appreciate your work.

  2. Publishing: Social Media Publishing platforms have exploded over the past 7 years, enabling marketers, writers, and creatives to display their work. Now Social Media can help accountants, bankers, IT professional, Lawyers, and others promote their expertise. Social Media platforms allow for easier content creation and distribution to a wide or a targeted audience.

    • Photos, Music, Writing, Video, design: Blogs are great platforms to showcase your work, and can easily be used as an online portfolio. Blog links can be marketed to gain greater notice through Facebook Status and Twitter.

    • Photos, Video, & Artists: Flickr gives visual artists an easy platform to share their work, whether freely, or promote it for sale to businesses/websites needing visual content.

    • Video, Musicians, & Consultants: YouTube is more than just wannabe video producers these days. It’s a great place to load music samples/videos for distribution. It’s also an easy place to distribute podcasts, and videocasts for consultants promoting their business or training sessions. One of the bigger success stories is Gary Vaynerchuk the Wine Guy, who produced regular wine podcasts via YouTube, becoming an internet celebrity and exploded his online wine sales.

    • Even non-creative types can publish, as most content creators allow republication, because it helps their Google rankings (you have to ask first). Republishing articles can help a non-writer demonstrate thought process, decision making ability, and subject matter expertise.

  3. Commenting: Both creative types and non-creatives can get noticed by joining the conversation and commenting. There are so many places to comment…blogs, online news publications, groups, forums, even Facebook & Twitter. Find sites that are in your subject matter expertise, industry, or field, and comment on what others have written. Again, if you’re not a strong writer, share links to other articles that express your view.

  4. Sharing: What you like can say as much about you as what you create. Delicious is a large social bookmarking site, allowing you to share your bookmarks. Bookmarks can help you build your reputation by demonstrating articles or content that’s helpful to others. Facebook allows sharing, by posting articles to your wall, others' walls, or walls of groups. Twitter encourages sharing, by making it easy to share links to a wide audience. Social Media applications like Digg and StumbleUpon are voting sites, allowing users to vote for content they like. Facebook can be set up through applications to integrate and share your Twitter postings, blog postings, comments, Delicious bookmarks, Digg & StumbleUpon votes, YouTube & Flickr postings.

  5. Information: Social Media can help you learn what’s important to the companies you are targeting. Follow the Tweets of the CEO’s and VPs of your top target companies to learn what they’re thinking. Get connected to them on Linkedin and Facebook if possible. Find what they like on Delicious, Digg, & StumbleUpon, so you can engage them in conversations and build a relationship around something other than your job search. If the Decision Maker at one of your target companies is a runner and you are too…find a way to talk about running, and share running articles. If you start and continue a conversation, eventually the hiring manager will ask what you do. At this point you’ve already established trust and friendship, and you’re not asking for a job…like everyone else.
Notice a common thread…Social Media gives job seekers the ability to share interests. Sharing work interests builds credibility and subject matter expertise. Sharing personal interests builds relationships. Both can help you stand out against the competitive field in today’s recessionary job market.

Job seekers need every chance they can get. How will you use Social Media to increase your chances?

US Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

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