Stop relying on your resume if it's weak. Weak resumes have very little work history, massive gaps in employment, and show little interest in professional development. The resume isn't dead, but it's completely ineffective if you don't have strong skills and experience to display. What can a job-seeker do?
According to a Jobvite study (you can sift through them here), 89% of U.S. companies are recruiting with social media. Although 79% of those recruiting efforts are through LinkedIn, there are so many useful ways to use social media to market yourself to an employer.
First and foremost, have a LinkedIn profile. Your profile is essentially an online resume, so you're already shooting yourself in the foot if you don't have a profile. What's even better is to connect with (a.k.a. follow/like) your friends, family, and colleagues and ask them to endorse your skills. Ask colleagues to leave "Recommendations" (a.k.a. reviews) to help build your credibility.
LinkedIn has Company Pages (like Facebook business pages) that you can "follow" and receive updates such as... job openings! Some companies pay for premium accounts where they'll even have their job board available for you to apply right there and then. Even if you don't follow the page, you can see which of your connections are also connected to the company in a simple search. Once you know who is connected, you can let them know you're interested in working for the company and ask if they'll recommend you to employers if they hear about a position opening.
1. Fill out a profile, upload a headshot, and make yourself visible to LinkedIn recruiters.
2. Ask friends, friends, and colleagues to endorse your skills and make Recommendations.
3. Use Company searches and Company Pages to your advantage.
Yes, Facebook. Did you know hiring managers will use Facebook to screen applicants after their resume passes the Applicant Tracking Systems? Are you cringing right now? Employers look for apparent drinking and drug use, inappropriate comments about race/gender/orientation/etc., and even poor communication skills. Face palm yet?
You can transform your profile into a marketing tool that will help you get the job easily. Clean up your profile by adjusting your privacy settings. Make sure your education and work history is public so employers can verify that you're honest on your resume (please be honest), but make sure those weekend pics and videos are set to Friends Only. Facebook also recently added a Professional Skills section to the About tab. Do it!
Also don't be afraid to talk about your job search in your status updates. I'm not saying you should announce to the world you got laid off and how you feel about it. But you could say:
1. Update your privacy settings.
2. Fill out the Professional Skills section under the About tab.
3. Talk about your job search! Your Friends might have connections!
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where you're limited to 140 characters but it's best practice to tweet frequently... 5-10 times a day frequently. The reason being is it's common to have hundreds to thousands of followers and follow back just as many, so your Twitter feed right now will be completely obsolete in two minutes.
Companies have taken advantage of this by hiring Community Managers to monitor conversations about their company name. Here's what you do: Find the companies you'd like to work for, follow them, and tweet to them! Often companies will make announcements... leave a @mention (a.k.a. comment) on their tweet to show your interest. Better yet find where these companies are participating in Twitter chats, and join the conversation.
Another simple way to use Twitter to find a job is to find recruiters that post job openings throughout the day. Follow them, save them to a List (easy to do), and check that list for job openings you may never have known about elsewhere. It's pretty easy to search for recruiters on Twitter, but you can find company recruiters with @companynamecareers handles pretty often too.
1. Tweet @mentions to companies you're interested in working for.
2. Join Twitter chats that employers and recruiters use. Some general chats are #jobhuntchat and #careerchat.
3. Bonus: Use your name for your Twitter handle to help recruiters find and recognize you.
Did you ever think about pinning your resume? Hear me out: Create a board called "My Resume," take a screenshot of your resume and pin it, then create pins out of related pictures that have to do with your resume. For example, pin the logo of the places you've worked and summarize your positions and contributions to that company in the description. Search engines like Google index everything you write on social media and make it searchable. The more visible you are online, the easier you'll make it for recruiters to find you!
1. Pin your resume.
2. Fill out the picture description with relevant information about the position you've held, education, training, or skills you have.
3. Bonus: You can use industry-relevant hashtags in your pins to make them easier to find too!
This is key to effectively using social media and especially using social media to land a job. Don't be shy, just be cautious. Everything you post, tweet, or pin will be indexed by search engines so make sure it's accurate, spelled right, and professional. As stated before, employers are looking to see how well you communicate.
Also share your insights on the industry. Start a blog and talk about what you've learned and how you handle certain situations. You can then link your blog or website to your social profiles, share this information to your followers, and get feedback (even from potential employers). Work in retail? Start a customer service blog about best practices and motivational insights when dealing with difficult customers. Work in a technical field? Start a blog with how-to's and product reviews for the systems and programs you work with.
Get social today, and land your dream job tomorrow.