It goes without saying that the economic downturn, jobs have been scarce. An average position in an average company in Pakistan easily garners 200 to 3000 resumes; in better companies the number is even greater. Thus the additional approach the job seekers take – creating a resume and a cover letter, locating jobs and submitting your resume to corporate HR departments or even to our local job portals – is, for the most part no longer very rewarding.
What has added to the problems of potential employees is the evolution of technology. The internet revolution has also increased the number of touch points and information by which recruiters seek out information about prospective hires.
There is no dying that a majority of jobs available aren’t advertised in the media or on corporate websites. And even when they are, the HR departments create a list of employee-referred candidates who might sometimes have been pre-selected even before the first resumes are viewed from the later submissions.
Yet few seek to use the web to search and locate people and companies that would be useful to them in terms of finding a job.
The new approach towards getting your dream job is to ensure that you are visible to the decision makers in the company that they know about your talents and skills. Social media technologies allow you to do this seemingly impossible feat.
For the uninitiated, social media consists of internet/digital media channels which allow people to not only communicate with one another but also take part in the content creation. It has risen rapidly over the past few years allowing likeminded people to forge connections across the country or even overseas.
This has led to unprecedented opportunities for ambitious people to expand their list of contacts, generate business leads, or even develop a new career. Social media tools range from simply updating your statuses on site like Facebook to creating and broadcasting your own video channels on sites like YouTube.
The key is to find networks whose members include your target audience, whether potential employers or prospective clients, and showcasing your talent to them using the following three basic principles.
Are You Google-able ?
Here’s a secret: HR departments now uses Google potential employees before they are called for an interview. The fact that most newcomers to the corporate sector are already involved with social networks means these departments can easily verify many of your claims in your resume and build up a profile from your online activities prior to calling you.
It also means that any real or potential ‘red flags’ will result in a rejection without you making it to the interview level. So be careful what you post online. However, this also gives you an opportunity to market yourself properly, so use this tool very wisely.
Shout on your personal website/blog
If you have the required technical skills (or can rope in someone who does), the best way to promote yourself online is to have a yourname.com domain with a website explaining yourself in great detail preferably with videos and images. Having a website/blog totally reflects your interest your hobbies, what you love and all that, this is the only thing which HR of any company wants to see before they call you for the interview. If you can also spare time, nothing beats starting and developing a blog which will add more to your expertise and interest areas over time.
Promote yourself on LinkedIn
While Facebook is where the ‘fun’ is, being on LinkedIn is what will get you the ‘connections’ with the C-level and senior executive team of various companies. LinkedIn is by far the most popular business-oriented social network. Ensure that you have a detailed profile and that you get lots of recommendations from people regarding your suitability for your dream job.
Other good networking sites include Ning, which allows specific businesses to create their own social networks of clients, employees and interested parties; Ryze, which allows organizers to better sort contact lists and schedules; and Xing, which aims at connecting business people with experts or potential customers.
Tweet your interest and useful material
Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book, ‘The Tipping Point’ talks about how important it is to reach out to people who are ‘influencers,’ who will use word-of-mouth to spread information about you and your unique expertise to their own network of social contacts. This means that you should have at least around 20 to 30 people who should act as your brand ambassadors online. Twitter is found to be the easiest way to build up this list of such people.
However, this form of media requires utmost dedication. Tweeting one week and remaining silent for the next two will not help in building relationships. Out of sight is out of mind, So better regular posts with links to interesting material, is the key. The tool will also allow you to connect with and follow thought leaders of your chosen industry.
Get Hyper Connected with the World
Hyper-connectivity refers to the concept of, ‘one to many’ broadcasting of your interests sometimes also called life-streaming on multiple sites and on mobile devices. The magic number is seven devices and nine applications like SMS, IM, micro-blogging, SNs, web, VoIP, blog, photo sharing, video etc.
It is predicted that in the next upcoming years, being hyper-connected will become a necessity to be an active participant in the social world. Hyper-connectivity makes it easy to link with groups, events, webinars, tweet-ups, etc, as long as you’re being authentic and are unique.
Timing really matters
In the internet age, rapid response to your queries is expected. Listen to the web and aim for response time within the same hour on applications such as Twitter, where as the emails should be replied the same day as they arrives.
Using social media is time-consuming and requires regular attention. Its not just holding a Twitter account is nothing if it doesn’t provide interesting content to your subscribers. So never hesitate to tell your unique story, be repetitive in documenting your professional life: collect testimonials, photos and experiences and share them with the networks you’ve developed.