It's true, the economy is turning around and the job market is steadily rising once more in the Motor City. But just because the recession has finally seen what analysts hope was the bottom of the downward curve, doesn't mean that jobs are suddenly falling from the sky. These days, it still takes a good amount of effort to land that dream career you've been aching for. With nearly everyone in Motown on some form of social media these days -- from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn -- you might as well give yourself a competitive edge while using these social and online sources...and here's how!
1. Alert the world that you're looking for work. This is the first step, and quite simply, the easiest step. Whether you're addicted to Facebook, Twitter or whatever else your social media poison may be, use a status update or two to tell the world that you're "on the market" and looking to work. If you're going to post that you are looking for a new job on one of your social media outlets, you'll want to be sure that the outlet you choose has an appropriate profile suitable for a potential employer. Perhaps the most important factor in simply stating your interest for a new career on social media is the fact that it gets your name out there. Even though that perfect job may not be available right when you make your declaration online, your friends and connections will likely remember you and your piqued interest should something come up that fits the bill.
2. Make sure your Facebook profile is set to private. One of the first things a potential employer will do when filtering though candidates being considered for an open position is a basic Facebook name search; it's fast, free and can reveal some startling details about folks if they're not careful. Do yourself a favor and set your Facebook profile to "private." Let your personal interviewing skills represent you, not your Greek rush party from your frat or sorority in college.
3. Before you apply, research the hiring manager. Finding out information about the person who holds your potential future job in their hands can be incredibly easy. Yet, this is still one of the things that so few people do when looking to start a new career. It's quite simple. If you're looking and applying for a new career with an organization, do a quick web search and see if a hiring manager or recruiter's name and information are available on the website. If so, you can use this information to seek the individual out on websites such as Twitter and LinkedIn to give yourself a winning edge when it comes to being informed and saying the right things in an interview or on an application.
4. Create a hyperlink to your resume. If you're lucky enough to have the right person come across your Twitter or LinkedIn profile, you absolutely must have your resume easily accessible and ready for the toughest critics at all times. Because when that person is looking for the perfect candidate and comes across your profile, if they don't have a way to see your credentials and education information in a fast and convenient way, they'll move on to somebody who does. It's not personal, it's strictly social media business.
5. Use the power of Google to boost your personal SEO results. It's nothing to be ashamed of. We've all "googled" ourselves at one point or another. If you go to www.google.com and type your name to see what results show up, you're likely doing the same thing as any hiring manager. Now, this doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, with a simple adjustment, you can have your own, personalized (and professional) resume appear as a top result. If you've already got a LinkedIn profile, just make sure to update it with all of your latest information (including contact information) and complete it in full so that your name, if unique enough, will pop to the top of the search result and you can "wow" them with your skills.
Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.
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