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  • The Real Way to Get a Job Using Social Media Revealed

    The question everyone is asking right now, after hearing about the 1.9 million layoffs in the past year figure, is “how do I get a job”? This is the wrong question to ask yourself because it forces you to apply to positions that aren’t the best-fit for your personality, passions and possibly, expertise. You have to think more broadly!

    The real question: How to get a job, keep a job, advance in a job and then get another job.

    You might be at different stages, but the movement and cycle is all so familiar. The old way of thinking, which is staying a job for a decade or more, is a total failure these days because that’s not how the economy works. The real way to succeed, I promise you, is to do everything you would now, and leverage everything you’ve already done in the past, in order to be successful in the future, while setting “flexible goals” because things change.

    This means that you need to have a career commandermindset. It doesn’t mean that you should let people know you’re looking, unless you have no choice.

    Two career situations and two sets of results

    Situation 1: One woman has felt job security after 5 years as an employee of a company. While working at this company, she decided that networking events were a waste of time and that meeting people inside their company was the path to career advancement. She had very little experience with the internet and got her current job through an old friend she doesn’t speak with anymore. She had a great relationship with her group members and executive management and was feeling really good about her current position, despite hearing about the economy. She woke up one day and  walked into her managers office, only to find out she had been laid off.

    Results: She struggles really hard to recover, forcing her resume into the inbox’s of her old friends, yielding no positive outcome. She emails her coworkers at work, that can’t do anything about the situation, as they are struggling to keep their job. She realizes that she might not be getting a job she’d be interested in for a long time, so she takes up a job as a waitress to feed her children.

    Situation 2: Another woman (let’s keep the gender the same 😉 ) is doing great at work. She’s only been there for a year, but she’s worked really hard to not only build relationships throughout the company, not just her own domain, but also outside of work. In the past year, she started a blog, went to professional networking events, signed up for social networks and kept in close contact with many of her friends of the past. She also was smart enough to gain new skills in her field, which led to her becoming the go-to-person in her company. She worked for an additional hour or two each day, making a strong case for why she should be working there. The woman wakes up one day and poof, her company decides that they are going to layoff her business unit.

    Results: She remains confident (career commander) and sends out a Tweet that says “Just got laid off, looking for an internet marketing job in Sanfrancisco.” She also sends an email to her email list of 400 that she had built up and starts sending nice notes to her Facebook network. She also blogs about her experience getting laid off and ends by talking about the jobs she’s be looking for, with a link to her LinkedIn resume. She also sends a note to her LinkedIn database of contacts and asks the people she worked with for references for the great job she had done. She ended up finding a job within 2 months.

    Dan, quit the storytelling and tell us how to get a job!!!

    Before reading my strategies, please be open-minded and remain calm. The new way to get a job requires that you invest time in creating content, building relationships and learning skills that you can apply elsewhere. You need to be a commander and not wait around for someone else to tell you what to do next. This involves having confidence in yourself and taking things seriously. OK, now please read this…..

    1. Conduct a people search

    If you were ever a Facebook stalker, then you should be good at this one. The first thing you need to know is that you get jobs through people and not random submissions or “hail marry’s.” The second thing you need to know is that most companies have people who can be contacted online. The third thing you need to know is how to talk to people you don’t know and ones that don’t know you. I want you to name a company you want to work for. Let’s say you that you choose DELL (this one is easy to explain because Dell is rather “naked” on the web).

    If you want to work for DELL, you need to find people who work there, especially the one’s in HR and managers in your field. For the record, let’s say you want a social media job there. I would start finding out names of people who are in those positions by searching for “social media interview Dell” or “Dell blog” or “digital media dell” or something like that. Let’s say you come across the name Richard Binhammer, who is part of the digital media team. You notice he has a blog and a Twitter account. You should subscribe to his blog, actively comment and do the same with his Twitter feed. Next, you find out that Dell is on Facebook in many locations. You become part of that community, by asking questions and talking to people on there. Next, after figuring out the names of more people that work there (possibly finding a Dell press release and a PR contact), you search for their name(s) on Facebook.

    Once you find them on there, you should send them an “informational” message. Something like “Name, I just discovered that you work for Dell. I’m really interested in your social media job there and enjoy participating in your Facebook group. I was wondering what your day-to-day job requirements are and anything else you could tell me about it. Thank you.” Wait a bit to hear back and then send a follow-up. If that fails, then do the same routine with your second company choice. This strategy works better if you have an online presence to point people to.

    2. Put up your billboard advertisements

    Aside from being proactive, you will want to be reactive in your job search. Companies like passive candidates, just like girls and guys like challenges in dating. I would recommend stationing your personal brand on the leading social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook), joining social networks that are related to your field, establishing a blog, website and possibly advertising yourself using Facebook social ads or Google AdWords as mentioned before. The idea here is to have your brand exist where people are searching for qualified candidates. Every minute your brand isn’t there, another person is getting interviewed instead of you. I think VisualCV offers a great product for capturing most of your professional brand in a clean cut and precise website that is searchable in their database. I’d also recommend that you ensure your resume is on Monster.com, eRecruiting.com and Careerbuilder.com, in addition to JobFox.com and Jobster.com.

    3. Sleeping is not an option

    I’ve talked about how sleep is an opportunity cost in a web 2.0 world. Sleep is unnecessary if you’re in a job search because every hour you don’t have a job, that’s money you can’t use to support your life. Instead of sleeping for 8 hours every night, why not try 5 or 6. The more time you invest in your job search, the better chances you’ll have. Work on posts for your blog, become part of communities on social networks and blogs and do some crazy research to find people who are in companies that you want to work for (see #1). Conduct job searches on corporate career pages and vertical search engines, such as SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com.

    4. Find “head hunters” the web 2.0 way

    There are a lot of headhunters around and they are easier to find than ever. I think the easiest way to find people who can be your “job search agents” is to join Recruitingblogs.com, which has over 14,000 recruiters and is situated in a Ning network. Many of these recruiters have blogs, as well as corporate HR people. If you want to find the top bloggers in this area, go to Alltop.com. Head hunters are great aids in a job search because they’ve placed candidates before, have connections, industry knowledge and can help position you for a good job. They also get paid based for helping you, so the incentive gives you a better chance.


    I pretty much just handed over many secrets that I’ve had for a while and haven’t gotten on “paper.” Please note that if you aren’t an extraordinary candidate, with a strong brand, even these tactics might not help you in the short-term. If you’re smart, you’ll work as hard as you humanly possibly in these times.  Realize that we have to work twice as hard for the same salary now. I would like to reiterate that you need to treat your entire life as a networking event (including your friends, family, teachers, etc). One person you meet can change everything for you!

    Leave comments if you have any other secret strategies that can help people.


    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, eBrand, Networking, Personal Branding, Recruitment, Social Media, Success Strategies
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    21 comments on “The Real Way to Get a Job Using Social Media Revealed
    1. avatar

      This article is filled with your usual good stuff Dan, but sleeping *must* be an option.

      Cutting down on sleep is not a good idea *if it will impact your job search performance* and it most likely will.

      Among the many consequences – poorer decision-making, increased vulnerability to sickness – being a tired job seeker is more likely to lead to slower job seeking e.g. less effective time spent browsing the job web in a comfy chair as opposed to getting out and reinforcing your brand. So you’d get worse results spending more time searching while being extra tired. No gains.

      Remember your 4HWW- It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality of the time spent that matters.

    2. avatar
      Dan Schawbel says:

      @ Jacob – I was more insisting that you limit the hours you sleep. 8 hours is too much!

    3. avatar

      Target a list of companies you want to work for and job titles you can perform. Do your homework based upon this list. Google, LinkedIn, Facebook are all good to find the people who you need to talk to.

      Chamber of Commerce websites are a fantastic source to get right to the top leaders. Find them, then communicate by any means necessary! Intros, email, show up at social event. Be specific about what you can do and why this company can’t live without you.

    4. avatar
      Jason Alba says:

      Great thoughts Dan… I have some thoughts regarding what you wrote:

      – “how to keep a job”… I think everyone should have the thought “what do I do if I get a pink slip tomorrow.” Whether you are in the mailroom or the boardroom, you can get the pink slip. Do your job, do it well, etc. but trying to figure out “how do I keep a job” might lead you to blaming yourself when you lose it, even when it had nothing to do with you.

      – “please be open-minded and remain calm” – so true. In the olden days it was a shame to get let go… something that you didn’t/wouldn’t talk about … today it’s just the way it is. Have lots of jobs on your resume? No problem, as everyone is becoming as dispensible as paper plates… it’s not so taboo anymore.

      – be careful that putting information in some job boards might lead to people getting personal info you don’t want them to have. I remember a recruiter called my cell once and I asked “how did you get my cell?” From Monster, of course. They just have to have the right account, and then they get your home addy, etc.

      – I didn’t sleep much in my job search but I wished I would have. I was to anxious, but know that sleep and exercise would have helped me think and perform better. Neglect your health during this period, especially if it turns into an extended job search, and you’ll regret it (I still regret it, and that was almost 3 years ago).

      If you do sleep less, like I did, spend more time on nurturing relationships, following-up, etc. than on technology, like job boards. Of course, I recommend a strategic/tactical tool like JibberJobber.com to organize your job search and keep all those relationships in check.

      – Instead of spending much time on SimplyHired or Indeed, make sure you set up the proper alerts, and then just let them come to your email.

      – headhunters are not the silver bullet – they will like you if you fit something they are trying to fill, otherwise, make sure you keep your relationship in perspective or it’s going to be a huge let-down.

      Jason Alba
      :: JibberJobber.com CEO, Author, Speaker
      :: http://www.JasonAlba.com
      :: ** check out the second edition of my LinkedIn book:
      :: http://www.ImOnLinkedInNowWhat.com **

    5. avatar
      Dan Schawbel says:

      @Jenna- great strategy

      @Jason – what about using JibberJobber 😉

    6. avatar
      Jason Alba says:

      @Dan, totally, I thought I put that in there 🙂

      JibberJobber was the website I created when my job search spreadsheet just wasn’t doing the job anymore… 🙂

      – Jason

    7. avatar
      Patti Church says:

      As a college professor, I continually see students that are not ready for the job market. They think that their piece of paper will be their ticket to success. There are so many new skills they need to learn. Thanks for providing some structure for a new generation that desperately needs to understand how to create a professional image.

    8. avatar
      Amy McGeachy says:

      Dan ~

      I love your blog post. As an executive recruiter and career coach I found it to be ‘right on target’ and a good synopsis of what I find myself repeating daily to candidates. You just saved me significant time! Thanks.

      Amy McGeachy
      Vice President, Career Movement

    9. avatar

      Great suggestions, Dan!

      Too many people don’t know how to start the conversation using social media. I watched someone post to a LinkedIn group, “Does anyone have a job in XXX?” Hmmm, that was painful to watch. Too direct. Better to use your approach.

      I also encourage people to go from online to in-person. So, find groups on LinkedIn and Meetup.com and Facebook…and go to their non-virtual meetings. Start conversations with interesting people you’ve met online. Bring resumes, and if conversations go in the direction of jobs, you’ll be able to ask for feedback on yours…or hand it to someone at the company. Or who knows someone…

      Although I disagree with cutting down on sleep (job search stress increases the need to boost your energy), I really appreciate your suggestions!

      Dr. Susan Bernstein
      Career Management Coach, Author, and Speaker

    10. avatar

      Great points Dan, luckily I have been on the social media marketing track for well over a year now, I got into this field before the economy started to take a dive. Now people are contacting me for music videos! I have worked with companies before doing cold calls, it’s amazing when a client sends you their # and looking forward to hearing from you.

      I am doing better now than ever before but it’s only because of the efforts I have been putting in. I do agree with the other comments about lack of sleep not being good, clients and employers can tell when you look stressed out and tired; even though 8 hours isn’t necessary, the majority of people I know start to get weird on 5 to 6 hours everyday for more than a week.

      Thanks for sharing!

    11. avatar

      Follow up in a couple weeks and we can compare notes on results 🙂

    12. avatar
      Rob Kingston says:

      Excellent stuff.

      I’m getting ready to baton down the hatches. Our economy follows the US, so we could expect some turbulence in the next few months. Here’s what I’m doing.

      New blog
      New domain name
      Professional new design
      Getting involved in industry events

      Plus a few other misc tips that I’ve picked up here…

    13. avatar
      Josh Colter says:

      I just interviewed several college seniors for new positions last week. A couple of the students asked very intelligent questions about recent company press releases. The more a potential hire can communicate that they understand the business challenges that we face, the more they stand out above their peers.

    14. avatar

      This was an awesome post. I think it’s especially inspirational because all of the tips are things are you can control. I love the tip about sleep, couldn’t agree more 🙂

    15. avatar
      Bonnie says:

      You youngsters don’t need as much sleep as us old relics. 😉

      I agree with Jacob and Jason on the sleep issue. (But I am NOT implying that Jacob or Jason are old relics!)

      If you work “smarter” you don’t necessarily have to work “longer” — and using the tips in your post is a great way to work smarter, Dan! Your #1 tip is my favorite. Excellent advice.

      I also like Jason’s tip about setting up alerts. (I love Google Alerts.)

      The career search sure ain’t what it used to be!

    16. avatar
      Melissa says:

      A week and a half ago I was laid off from Yahoo. The next day I found myself at a Bay Area “Tweetup” for Twitter users where I networked with people in my field. This one night led to more than a handful of interviews/job leads that I wouldn’t have had without social media, networking, or thinking critically.

      I’ve been amazed by how many jobs are actually open right now– even in this horrible economy– if you’re dedicated, enthusiastic, and know your stuff.

      As for the debated sleep issue, I think it’s fine to skimp on sleep on nights when you don’t have an interview– on the nights that you do, definitely hit the hay early and get your rest. One of the worst things you can do in an interview (besides be a total fool) is yawn– makes you look disinterested.

      Thanks for all the tips!



    17. avatar
      Barry says:

      These tips are excellent.

      Is it possible in today’s wired world that some people just don’t get it. Your age, social standing or your education are just small parts of the big picture when you are hunting for the next great position. As a professional Outplacement counselor I can attest to the fact that the majority of people losing their employment have both neglected their network and ignored their personal marketing efforts.

      Please continue to spread the word and make sure that those in need are educated and organized.

      Barry Simpson


    18. avatar

      Excellent advice! As someone who was recently downsized, I have actually implemented many of your suggested strategies even though I hadn’t seen this post until tonight. I think it all starts with building your network before you need it and then acting transparently. The response from my network has been incredible with several friends even writing their own blog posts about my job hunting strategies. Hopefully, it won’t take much longer, but regardless, I am much further along in my quest due to my social media networking strategies.

    19. avatar

      Excellent article Dan. You revealed many of the strategies that we use as recruiters as well, not only to search for top talent but also for clients within organizations. You are absolutely right that social media is an important tool in obtaining that next great job opportunity, how you use it makes all of the difference in your success. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and strategies.

    20. avatar

      Good point Dan

      To perform best the job must fit and do keep insisting to my friends that you must build your Web reputation before you need it because when you need it is too late. Also by doing so better chances are that opportunity might find you.

      No is no longer enough to have a LinkedIn profile you must work all the tools available from you Facebook account to your Vizualize.me profile

      Times are changing are we adapting

    21. avatar
      Catherine says:

      As a person who graduated just a couple of years ago I can say that this post would be a great use for me then. I struggled a lot while searching my first job and not only websites like getbetterjobs.com, indeed.com and other databases scared me a lot but also thoughts about real duties and obligations to start.
      Basically, if I could have access to information like this I would organize my search somehow different and would have felt a lot safer and more calm.

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