Using Social Media for Job Search

Image by SashaW

You mean you can use Facebook for more than playing games with friends?

What is Twitter?

Is it worth the time you spend online?

Should I become active in various groups and forums?

What is the value of social media?

These are all questions I’ve been asked. I love social media, it is of great value to me. I’m always looking for more business. I mean, who doesn’t want their business to grow? Let’s say you are looking for a graphic designer to quickly do a project for you. You want someone who is available right now who will do a great job for a reasonable price. Ask your friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, Ryze, etc. Who do they do who does graphic design? They pass on your message to their friends, who do the same. Within the hour recommendations come in along with introductions. In just a few hours the job is complete, money exchanged. A win for both sides.

But what if you aren’t self-employed? Can you find a job, employed by someone else through social media? Yes, it does work. Connections are important along with being visible.

Here are a couple examples from this past month. I started to look for local groups to connect on twitter. Pleasantly surprised to see local job offerings posted on Twitter, and I often retweet. One came through that looked perfect for my 15 year old daughter. They were looking for ushers at the Perot theater. Now my daughter has a very busy schedule with school, swim, driver’s ed, etc. Her schedule doesn’t fit a normal job. However, this one you choose the nights you can work. I responded to the tweet, and received an application in my email. My daughter printed it out, got reference letters from a couple of teachers and sent it all in. Within the week, she had the perfect job for her all because her mom was watching the local Twitter Tweets.

My son is a top-notch programmer. Ruby is one of his favorite languages, so he hangs out in the local Ruby online groups.
He set up a LinkedIn profile which works much like a resume with references. He set up a GitHub page (social media for open source programmers) to share his open source programs with others. He got a call from a company wanting him to come in for an interview:

“But I’m not looking for a job.”
“We want to talk to you anyway.”
“I don’t want to commute downtown.”
“Neither do we, we have an office near you.”
“You wouldn’t work around my classes.”
“Yes we will, come in for an interview”

So he did. Much of the interview was the company finding out what it would take for him to want to work for him. They’d already done their research through the Ruby group, his LinkedIn profile, and GitHub. Within an hour after the interview he had an email with an acceptable job offer.

Not all jobs are found through social media. This summer one of my sons needed a summer job. He’d put in an application and wait for a call. Surely they’d call him back soon. He go out and put in a few more applications and wait. I told him that
wasn’t working, you can’t just wait around a expect a job to show up because you need one. We talked about what his ideal summer
job would be. He decided he wanted to do yard work, but didn’t know who was hiring. I said call and ask, better than driving
around and applying everywhere. He went online, searching for local lawn care/landscaping companies and within a couple of hours
had an appointment with one that afternoon, and started work.

Now if my programmer son was looking on twitter local to me, he’d have never found his new job. My daughter would never have found hers by hanging out in the DFW Ruby group. Not likely to find a job with a Texarkana yard crew by looking among the DFW Ruby people either. Heck, lawn crews spend little time online during the busy growing season. Spend time where your preferred employer would hang out.

My tips for finding a job online:

      Use social media to show off your expertise, participate, be sure and fill out your profile.
      Be in the right places, go where those looking for your expertise would hang out.
      Let others know you are looking for a job or more business, have them keep their eyes open for you.
      Check local listings unless you are wanting to move, then check listings for your desired location.
      Be creative. Smile. Enjoy life.

Update:My programmer son has been hanging out with the nodejs programmers,developing code. One evening he wrote his own code to create his own blog, tutorials on using nodejs which were in short supply. We talked about his unique blog, how to make money with it. He wanted it a tutorial only, allowing others to provide content too. Consensus was if he got the traffic, there’d be a way to make money with it.

Within 2 weeks he had job offers in his email. Soon after speaking engagements. His blog was talked about in his niche, many tweets and links from top blogs in his field. Thousands of readers, quickly jumping to a PR5 site, further proving content is king. He was contacted by a publishing company to write a book, as a known expert in his field. When the time came to find a new job, he let his online connections know and several companies contacted him within hours.

Social media can and does work!

Making New Online Connections

Only so many hours in a day, and if we are spending some of the precious time online, using social media to connect and build relationships, we should learn to getter better at it.

When I first joined Ryze, it was a very active network, I learned much. One discussion was about drive by networking. People who never say a word to you, never had a conversation with in any of the network forums, never even left a guestbook message, but you suddenly get an invitation to connect and be their friend. And many of these same people, when you reply, they spam you with their stuff.

YouTube had a hilarious video (sorry I can’t find it) about the same thing on FaceBook. Guy knocks on the door, “Will you be my friend?” Who are you? I was in your physics class many years ago and sat 3 rows behind you. “Will you be my friend” etc.

There are more effective ways to spend your time. I do like the general rule, would you do this in a real face to face sitting?

Always open to learning ways to network more effectively, I appreciated Dean Hua’s post on how he used LinkedIn as a follow up tool. Thanks Dean!

Now if I can just figure out how my blog went from a google PR 4 to gray in the last update and how to fix it.