Hunting for jobs? Here are five foundational tips to get started marketing yourself electronically:
1. Start with the basics. Better understand how to break into your field by reading up on your industry at WetFeet. Search the job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, as well as niche job search sites like Beyond.com. Use Glassdoor to read interviews and reviews of companies posted anonymously by employees. Then hone your career development skills by reading top career blogs reading about your areas of weakness (interviews, resumes, etc.) on this blog and at Quintessential Careers, and JobMob.
2. Use LinkedIn’s “Company Search” to find who works at your ideal company on LinkedIn. Then look through its employees and see if any of them are within 2 degrees of separation, i.e. if you both share a mutual contact. (You can also use the Job Search function to sort results by “degrees away from you”). Ask your mutual contact for a favorable introduction to bypass the usual “gatekeeper” at that organization and get your foot in the door with a personal reference.
3. Claim your Google profile. Google profiles show up high in Google searches for your name, so use it control what employers see when they look you up online (83% of recruiters use the web to research applicants). In your Google profile, include a short professional bio, a clean headshot, and a link to your LinkedIn account for more full professional information.
4. Create a Twitter account specifically for your job search. First, upload a clean headshot, include a short professional bio, and follow major players in your industry using (find them using Twellow). Then post interesting, helpful, useful, relevant links related to your field such as posts from industry blogs and content from newsletters. This adds value to your network, makes you a person worth following and attracts other careerists who share your interests. Once you’ve built a following, tap your network by periodically Tweeting about your job search (what you’re looking for, where, and why you). Also follow Twitter Job Opening Feeds and organize them intro groups using TweetDeck.
5. Join relevant groups and discussions on LinkedIn. This is an excellent way to meet people in your industry and establish yourself as an active, passionate and knowledgeable player in your field. Use the search tool to find groups by industry, join the groups relevant to you, then start posting relevant articles, asking and answering thoughtful questions, and engaging others who might lead to new opportunities. Invite people to connect on LinkedIn who join in your conversation, then see if they know anybody at your ideal organization.
Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.