With the jobless recovery underway and unemployment continuing to rise, we can’t turn on the news today without hearing more doom and gloom. As a result, jobseekers today are completely missing the good news, and many have given up on their search. But how many of you have heard that in a recent industry survey, half of the workers that were laid off in the last three months found new jobs? Or that the government stimulus plan has saved/created 650,000 jobs and that Uncle Sam is planning to hire 300,000 more for newly created positions? Hey – even GM realized they over-fired, and they’re restoring another 3,000 jobs. There are jobs out there, and companies are indeed hiring.
My top advice for everyone – from recent college graduates to executives earning over $100K – is to embrace social media and start a proactive job search. The recruiting industry has changed dynamically over the past year alone; rather than posting ads on the traditional job boards or hiring headhunters, many companies are searching through candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn and doing their own due diligence online. If you haven’t already done so, take some time out of the day to create LinkedIn, FaceBook and Twitter accounts. In today’s competitive environment, you have to keep up or else you’ll be left behind. With limited space, I’ll skip the basics and concentrate on personal branding and differentiating your job applications with LinkedIn.
One of the easiest ways to start extending your personal brand online is to join and participate in discussions on FaceBook and LinkedIn. Both sites have specialized groups, and LinkedIn also has a Q&A section. Promote your expertise by answering questions and participating in discussions. Be sure to leave a signature at the bottom of your messages with your email address and other social media information so people that enjoyed reading your posts, as well as headhunters scouring the web, can add and connect with you. The key is to be sincere and consistent. If you haven’t started, the JobConcierge Facebook Group is a great place to start. Many people quit in frustration, but the ones who succeed are the ones who are dedicating small chunks of time on a daily and weekly basis.
The second phase of differentiating your job applications is integrating social networking with job applications. Combing through the various job boards is extremely tiring, time consuming and a job by itself. A great place to start is the Best Niche Job Boards. But if you want to be thorough and maximize your chances of finding your next job, it’s a must-do. When you’re looking at jobs online and find jobs relevant to you, you should mentally be classifying the jobs in one of the following categories: (1) ideal job or (2) willing to work there. Applying for jobs is purely a numbers game – the more jobs you apply, the higher the chances you’ll earn interviews. Some people may say it’s about quality, but everyone I know who literally applies to hundreds of jobs a week has been getting interviews on a consistent basis. This is where the JobConcierge service helps - you get assigned an HR recruiter who manually sorts through over 300 job boards to find you the right jobs and applies to them. It’s an executive search service that works.
Within LinkedIn, there’s a search box on the upper right hand side where you can refine the search by Company. If any of the jobs you see online apply to the first (ideal job) category, I recommend that clients contact LinkedIn members working there that are within 1st or 2nd degree connections. If you don’t have any relationships and there’s someone you want to contact, you can find common grounds by joining interest groups that the person is in. We recommend messaging people and asking them to speak on the phone to learn more about the company. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to help others. Depending on how the conversation is going, you’ll see whether they have any information on the posting, know anyone in the particular division, can provide HR contacts or, better yet, submit your resume directly to HR with a recommendation. You’ll be surprised at how successful this strategy is at getting your name out there and increasing your chances of getting the interview and ultimately the job.
Now, think strategically and take things one step further. I’ve had two JobConcierge members in the past seven days thank me and tell me they’ve each received job offers. How did they do it? It’s not magic. Their Job Concierge took care of the online job search and found relevant jobs each week for them. For ideal-level jobs, they reached out and networked with people on LinkedIn. For all the other jobs, their JobConcierge filled out and submitted their applications. Searching for a job really is a full-time job in itself. It’s all about using your time in the most efficient way and maximizing your results. The average jobseeker is spending 50 hours a month searching for jobs online and is getting no where. Start taking things one step further by classifying jobs you find online, starting a proactive job search and reaching out to various connections on LinkedIn. You might be surprised how far you get.