This post was originally published at www.skillstorm.com
More than 900 million people are on Facebook. 300 million visit Twitter daily. At least 10.4 million are on Pinterest (probably a very low estimate considering the site has around 1100 users per minute) and LinkedIn has 7,610 searches per minute. What does this all mean? There's a heck of a lot of people out there and you have the potential to share your resume with almost all of them. But how?
The main thing to consider is your representation on each of the networks. Each network is a very different culture from the others, which is why they have such success, so how do you best represent yourself on each?
First things first, don't delete all of your photos. You don't have to have a public profile in order to get your resume out, so adjust the settings on your photos so that your friends only can see them (feel free to delete the Spring Break or Vegas photos - they probably shouldn't been online at all anyway!) Facebook is the most social of the networks in my opinion, meaning it's where we share details of our everyday life and it's not the top place to find a job. But, that's what makes it a good place for stealth networking because your connections feel like friends rather than mere colleagues or stepping stones in your career advancement plan (see LinkedIn).
Before you put on your Mission Impossible outfit though, consider your level of desperation. If you have a job, move directly to stealth mode so as to not risk upsetting your current employer. If you are not currently employed, go public and aim for viral representation. Change your status to let all of your friends know that you are looking and include all of the basics - what position you want, where you will be looking, when you can be hired, how you can be contacted, and why you should be hired. You'll want all of these details in one post because you only have a few chances to get the word out. Remember, Facebook is social. If you shove your job search down the throats of your Facebook friends, they won't be willing to help. They'll get bored of your updates and probably filter them out of their news feed (Google "Facebook post about kids" and you'll see how quickly people tire of hearing the same subject over and over)
Hopefully you have some target companies in mind for where you'd like to work. Using Facebook, search for those company pages and you'll see how many of your friends Like the page. These are your primary targets. Talk to them (you can message them, but actually picking up the phone - gasp - will be your best bet) send them your resume, and find out who they know that they might be able to introduce you to. Then ask for the contact info.
Upload relevant content. If you're a developer, start using Facebook to show off your work. Upload photos or screenshots to an album labeled My Portfolio. Use your status update to say, "Completed ABC job using DEF tool and GHI skills. Check it out!" and put in a link to the work.
LinkedIn is probably the easiest social network to use to find a job. I won't go in to too much detail because a million bloggers before me have already done the legwork. Here are some basic pointers:
- Make sure your information is up to date before you start, especially your skills, and contact details.
- Update your status daily.
- Join relevant groups and make conversation within them.
- Connect with employees at target companies and converse with them.
And here are two that will make you stand out:
- Upload a slide show of your portfolio. Everyone has a portfolio - people in sales can present graphs that show sales growth thanks to their work, developers can show sites that they created, even a mailman could show his routes and the speed with which he covers them. Hiring managers love graphs (everyone loves graphs) so use this opportunity to show how you could make improvements at the target organization.
- Find recruiters. LinkedIn is a hotbed for great recruiters and, as you'll see, they've already got the connection to your target company. They want you to find a job, they belong to the same groups as you, and they have the connection to your target company - they are everything you're looking for!
Twitter is a funny little world. The people that tweet regularly are incredibly loyal to their social network and you'll quickly learn that it's different from all of the other networks. For one, you aren't just posting, you're chatting. Don't expect to post "Looking for an IT job in Raleigh, please message me." and expect results. In marketing, even when marketing yourself, you have to answer the questions what and why: What do you want your listener to do and Why should they do it? You want them to help you find a job by introducing you to people with connections. Start by looking for hashtags (the # symbol) that are relevant. Hash Tags for a Java Developer looking for a job with SkillStorm in Raleighmight be #raleigh #NC #IT #SkillStorm #NCjobs #java #developer... the list goes on and on. The people with those tags are people you want to chat with. Chat with them, find out who else follows them and chat with those folks too. You can try going directly to the Twitter account of your target company (and you should), but my way is much more likely to get a conversation started.
Why should I? Why should people you don't know help you? (I should've mentioned that the easy way to start build a following is to follow and tweet your friends - real friends and online friends from other networks) Empathy and friendship can take you a long way and considering most people have been out of work at some point in their career, you could simply tell your new Twitter buddies that you need a job!
To stand out on Pinterest you have to be original and useful. Most of the pins on the site are simply repins rather than originals, which provides almost no opportunity for someone to find you. You want to be able to pin images that will get you recognition for you. To do this, make the majority of your pins your own work and pin them from your own sites (your blog, your website, or your portfolio) so that when viewers click them (which they often do for more info) they will be transported to your site. This will happen even when it's repinned, so if 500 people repin your image and each one has 100 followers, your site could potentially get 50,000+ views (obviously this is the very best case scenario, but you get the point I hope!)
So, the potential is there, but you have to be repinned 500 times. How? Be useful. The most common pins are things like decorating ideas, recipes, or motivational posters, but graphic design, infographs and technology ideas get a pretty good following too. So, to get repinned consider the portfolio album you built for Facebook or the slide show for LinkedIn and use those images that stand out. And keep adding new material - people that repin are considering how your material will work for them, so to stay original you have to keep inventing.
There are, of course, other social networks, including YouTube,that I haven't mentioned, including some that are relevant to specific industries and locations. Here's a few tips that you MUST do in order to increase your chances of getting a job through any social network:
- Create a master site. A website or a blog where all of your info is housed. Keep it simple and make sure your contact info is on every page.
- Link as many of your sites as possible. If somebody is following you on Pinterest, make sure they have every opportunity to find and friend you on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn as well. Also, link everything back to your master site. All of your files and images can be watermarked (you can use MS Word, or Photoshop) with your website address and always pin from your master site.
- To make it easier to identify you, make sure your screen names match everywhere.
- Check all of your info/ details/ contact pages. Make sure the information is correct and up to date.
- Use your who, what, where, when, how and why (see Facebook above) as much as possible as this will help to search engine optimize your details and make it easier to find.