This is a guest post from Ross Simmonds, Digital Marketer and Speaker.After developing a name for himself online, Ross was able to land his current job using nothing but social media and a dash of ambition & hustle.
Allow me to state the obvious. Getting a job in today’s market isn’t easy. It’s even more difficult for young graduates and people looking to join the corporate world without any prior experience. Everyday people all over the country are submitting their resumes into job banks hoping and praying that they will get a response. It’s tough out there. That is, it’s tough if you’re not using social media. It’s tough if you’re not willing to put in the hours required to land the job of your dreams.
You see, the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Many people are using the same resume, submitting it to the same job bank and expecting different results. Simply put, it’s insanity! I recently met with a guy who had submitted more than 200 resumes in the past six months and informed me that he only had four interviews. Well I’m here to tell you, there is a better way.
There are many jobseekers out there using the traditional job search methods and as a result they are finding little to no success. Yet, social media is making it easier to find the right jobs, and the right people who can help you get them. More and more companies are going to websites like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook (Use Timeline to your advantage) to find their next wave of corporate talent. If you are on the job hunt these are some of the places you need to be.
Here are a few tips that can give you a social media advantage:
First, figure out what industry you’re looking to break into and how you can do it. Are you looking to get into Politics? If so, you’re going to be interested in finding any politicians on social media and follow them on Twitter or connect with them on LinkedIn. If you’re looking to break into the corporate world of management and business, LinkedIn is a great way to search various organizations to identify key decision-makers who can help open the door to your new career.
From there track down these key people on Twitter or LinkedIn and offer an innocent and polite introduction to yourself – While your at it, ask them something that will allow them to share their knowledge upon you. The fact that you’re engaging with them on a deeper level than simply asking for a job will help you develop an authentic relationship. By doing this, you may have started what could be a long-term professional relationship. This is a great approach for any young person looking to find a mentor in a specific industry.
This advice has helped get many of my friends and colleagues where they are today – believe it or not. Social media gives us an opportunity to connect and most importantly increase our visibility to a group we would only meet at a white-tie event. That said, once you have identified people who are doing what you want to do or are in the businesses you want to work for don’t harass them. Keep an eye on what they are doing and focus on developing an authentic relationship with them one day (or tweet) at a time.
When someone Googles your name what is the first thing to show up? Is it a random person in a random country? Is it a humiliating image of you on Facebook? Or is it simply a list of random links with no personal relevance? None of these are the best answers. The best answer is one that ensures that when someone searches you on Google, they find exactly what you want them to find. More and more are recruiters doing background checks by searching our names online (usually on Facebook). If you’re able to control your image effectively online you will find it easier to control your fate in the job hunt.
That final piece about taking charge and managing your professional image is an important one. If you’re looking to break into a professional field, you’re going to want to present yourself on social media in a professional manner. That’s right, you need to recognize that school is over and it’s time to start building and developing a personal brand that you can be proud of. Yes, that means having a head shot on LinkedIn and not a picture of you and your friends’ on a beach or doing shots before a big night on the town!
Remember, setting up a LinkedIn account and connecting with key individuals will not guarantee you a job. To do that, you are going to have to put in the time and understand the art of the hustle. Although digital channels have changed everything, the power of meeting someone face to face is still a necessity. Thus, I encourage you to take your professional conversations from being behind the screen of a laptop to being face to face in a coffee shop or even their office. Trust me, there’s nothing better than being able to put a face to the pixels.
Have you landed your current job using nothing but social media? What did you do to stand out from the crowd? I’d love to hear some of your stories or tips in the comments!