Tuesday September 20, 2011
LinkedIn for Jobseekers: Part Two
My good friend and compatriot Caitlin Fisher of Hellerman Baretz recently asked me to write a blog article for them on Social Media for the Job Seeker. Since that is in perfect alignment with this 3 week LinkedIn for Job-seekers #LinkedInChat series we are doing, I though I would share my answers here as well.
And scroll to the bottom for the questions we will ask on tonight’s #LinkedInChat moderated by @SteveCassady. (I’d be there but I’m on my way to Mexico – woohoo)
Why should PR (and other) job hunters participate in Twitter and LinkedIn?
Twitter: Let’s address Twitter first – It has been, far and away, the best PR tool I have ever used. I would say 90% of my interviews, requests for articles, etc. have come through Twitter. It is a veritable hotbed of SME’s and Thought Leaders for PR professionals. That being said, a PR Job Hunter has an almost unlimited ability to:
- Monitor and learn from PR Professionals (Use Twilert, Tweetdeck, etc.)
- Create mentor / mentee relationships with PR Mavens
- Monitor PR jobs listings:
Some PR Job Listing Twitter accounts are:
LinkedIn is a phenomenal place for PR Job Seekers to:
- Search for jobs using LinkedIn’s “jobs” tab (hint: use advanced search)
- Connect to influential PR Professionals using the “Advanced Search” option
- Showcase their own expertise in Groups and Answers
- Use groups to grow your network and connect with Influencers: http://linkedintobusiness.com/2011/04/using-groups-for-better-relationships-and-more-business/
Once you find a professional you want to connect with, you can ask them to join your network. In your invitation you might say something like “I am beginning my career in (Industry) and in my LinkedIn search found your profile. You look like quite an influencer in the industry and I would like to connect if you are open to it.”
If you are nervous reaching out with a connection request, ask to be “introduced” to the professional, or simply join a group that they are a member of and send them a message through the group.
How should young people be using these platforms for job hunting?
All social media is about making connections and building relationships. And so is job searching! We all know that it’s who you know that usually get you the job. Use social media to:
- Connect to Influencers
- Find Mentors
- Connect in company employees who might give you the “real” scoop on who to connect to and how a company really hires.
- Research a company or company employees for insider information that at might help you get a job. (You find the person interviewing you on LinkedIn, see she has just read “Saving the World at Work” and you read it immediately. You can casually slip a reference into the interview. Or you see in their interest they play water polo, and so do you… common ground.)
- Search for job listings
- Connect directly with the individuals posting the jobs
- Follow Company Executives (all of the Executives of the Fortune 500 have a presence on LinkedIn)
If someone is just getting active on one of the platforms, what should he or she be doing to supplement their traditional job search?
Twitter: Start by lurking. Twitter is best for this since you can get essentially unlimited access to an Influencer’s tweetstream – or as I like to say – “Tweet Stream of Consciousness”. If you see a tweet you like, just retweet it! This is literally the first step in getting noticed by the people who can help you get a job.
Once you have “lurked” or monitored their stream for awhile, when you feel comfortable, reach out to them with a question or comment. That is literally the first step in building relationships with these people.
The more you interact with them, the more they will get to know, like and trust you. They might even bring up your name when a job position comes up in their company (or they might hire you directly). In other words, they might become your evangelist!
And of course, use www.twitter.com/search to look for jobs being posted and follow those job posters (see above)
LinkedIn: Make sure your profile is 100% complete (In case you need some help, here are some tips: http://linkedintobusiness.com/linkedin-tips-tricks/)
Use advanced search to find the influencers in an Industry or Company you want to work for. Reach out to them with a connection request or introduction (as above.) The worst they can do is ignore your request.
NEVER send a request to someone saying “Will you hire me?” Let them know you admire them, build up to asking them for an informational interview abut the company or the industry.
Facebook: Facebook Pages are a great source of “Insider” information about a company because they tend to be less conservative than a website. And of course they are interactive. You can always post a question on a page’s wall about a job they might have posted, or ask what the company culture is like. Be helpful. Share useful information.
Share your expertise: Once you are comfortable on a platform , start sharing your own knowledge and expertise – set yourself up as a thought leader. Join discussions on LinkedIn groups, participate in comments on Facebook and join a few Tweetchats in your industry. Get out there!
Do you have any success stories you can share about job hunters you’ve worked with who have found success using social media?
- I’d say at least 90% of my work comes directly or indirectly through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and referrals.
- I have a client who followed my advice about growing his network on LinkedIn and as a direct result was offered a job by a new member of his network in a matter of weeks. http://linkedintobusiness.com/2011/02/sometimes-it-pays-to-listen-to-the-teacher/
- By keywording your LinkedIn profile you are more easily found by Recruiters. One of my job seeking clients was contacted by an HR professional days after “optimizing” her profile. The professional commented on how good her LinkedIn profile looked and that she showed up first in the person’s search. http://linkedintobusiness.com/2010/10/b2b-best-practices-on-linkedin-part-two-optimizing-your-account/
- Several of my entrepreneurial clients have been contacted for work through LinkedIn after optimizing their profiles, growing their networks and sharing their knowledge in answers and groups.
- My Job Seeking clients are thrilled to discover how easy it is to find Influencers and Jobs on Twitter. One of my clients (just this week) got in contact with one of her favorite authors. She emailed me to tell me they have a call set up for next week.
- I have hired almost all my staff, contractors and vendors through LinkedIn or Twitter.
Once someone has found a job, how do you maintain the connections you’ve created?
- Stay active. You don’t have to devote more than a few hours a week.
- Reply to your @Mentions and DMs on Twitter. Post a few updates. (10 minutes a day)
- Like and comment on your Facebook wall every day (10 minutes)
- Interact in your LinkedIn groups, past an update, answer a question a few times a week (1/2 hour)
- And most importantly, any time you can, take your URL relationship IRL (In Real Life) through a phone call of F2F meeting.
- Keep your profiles up to date when you change jobs or get a job (10 minutes – one time)
Questions for tonight’s #LinkedInChat
Q5: How important is it for a job seeker to answer or ask questions? And why?
Q6: Whom should a job seeker connect with on LinkedIn?
Q7: Should a job seeker have a paid account?
Q8: What is your final word of advice for job seekers?
Bonus questions from above if we have the time:
Q9: Why should job hunters participate in Twitter and LinkedIn?
Q10: How should young people be using these platforms for job hunting?
Q11: If new to LinkedIn, what should he or she be doing to supplement their traditional job search?
Q12: Once someone has found a job, how do you maintain the connections you’ve created?