Helping Job Seekers 102

Posted on August 5, 2009

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You’ve got a friend who’s looking for work. Maybe this friend is unemployed, possibly for awhile. Maybe this friend is sick of his current job. Your friend asks you for help, and since you’re friends, you want to. Your friend has a realistic goal. Now put him to work!

Believe me, there’s work your friend needs to do. Ask your friend if he’s on LinkedIn.com, Facebook, and Twitter. He should be on all three, and his message about his personal brand should be consistent across all the sites. MySpace isn’t a smoking hot place for job seekers or recruiters, so he shouldn’t spend as much time on that. He should have a professional photo for his profile, and it should be the same across all three. He should make doubly sure that his LinkedIn.com profile is up to date, and you or another friend should review it. Tell your friend to manage his endorsements on LinkedIn. He should have endorsements for all his positions, and he should display at least the ones that support his current goal.

His Twitter updates should provide useful content related to his goal. He should demonstrate expertise in his field, and how much time he spends reading in his field. That being said, he shouldn’t fall into the trap that many job-seekers do: He shouldn’t spend all day on Twitter. An hour of surfing and posting every day should be plenty, and he can split that up into 15 or 20 minute increments over the course of the day if he wishes.

He should also blog. The goal of his blog is to set himself up as a source of useful information and to demonstrate his expertise. He should definitely use Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to his blog. He should have a blog feed on his LinkedIn profile.

Your friend should not post information that he doesn’t want other people to have. Don’t trust privacy settings. Keep private things off the Internet. He shouldn’t be too afraid to show a little personality, either. His Facebook status, Twitter feed, and blog entries help potential employers evaluate how he’ll fit into their workplace.

Of course, there are lots of social media tools besides the ones I’ve mentioned here. Your friend might be more comfortable on video than in print, for example, and should set up a YouTube channel rather than a blog. There may be a specialty site where professionals in his field, or people who share his interests, link up. What he should not do is post a resume to a job board. Recruiters like fresh candidates, not ones that have been pawed over a thousand times – and if his resume has been viewed a thousand times and he’s still looking for work, that raises questions.

As a side note, job boards like Monster, DICE, and CareerBuilder are great research sources for finding out who’s hiring.

That’s a lot of work for him. Next will be work for you.

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Posted in: Leadership