Traditionally a network of family, friends and business contacts was the best way to get leads to find a job. Right now, 15 million Americans are looking for a job and as many as 70 million are looking to change jobs. That means 42% of all workers are in the job market, in one way or another. That fact pretty much eliminates the personal contact network as the most important source lead generation for jobs.
Fortunately, there is social media and the growing number of jobsites offering to lend a hand. In 2010 personnel departments reported in surveys that 47% of new hires, from outside the company, were found via online sources.
What things should a job seeker do to maximize their chances of getting a job matching their qualifications? The answer is the same but the meaning is different. Networking is still the best way to find the job lead. The network you use now is social networking combined with your traditional network of friends and contacts.
When look for employment, you are selling yourself. The best way to sell on social media is promoting content in a way that is helpful to those interested in what you are selling. Simply put, selling the product, in this case you, without overtly asking to close the sale. If you do things the right way, the sale, in this case the job lead comes to you.
Promote your self by showing what you know. Getting involved with industry online and sharing your knowledge about your area of expertise is how you promote the content, which is you.
Here are some specific things to do when looking online for a job. Realize online connections are just as important as the contacts you have met face to face. There are opportunities and connections in social networking that fit you perfectly but they have not discovered you yet.
Do not flood the online world with a generic resume. Generic is not what you want to promote. You need to promote what is unique about you and your skills. When you send your resume (curriculum vitae) to companies you are interested in, make sure that resume tells the truth about you but is tailored to the company you are contacting.
Use a website builder or have a fan page on Facebook that lets visitors know who you are as far as abilities, interests and qualifications. Leave out specific contact information about current employers but make sure information is current on what skills you have and what you are working on now. Keep it personal and social. Selling in social media is promoting the product without specifically asking for a sale. Let the customers come to you. That principle works for finding a job too, believe it.
Keep that fan page updated as often as possible. Daily updates, when relevant are the best idea. As you get involved online in more and more activities this keeps your abilities current and gives you a better chance for a match with the latest job openings.
When you do apply directly to a company, only apply for one position. The company will review your application, and hopefully your fan page and notice any relevant abilities for other jobs they have open.
In addition to your personal and social fan page, keep strong professional profiles on sites like LinkedIn. Have a link to your social fan page in those profiles. If you do these things properly a job will come to you and you might have never expect or thought of the position you might be offered.