Smart Social Media Helps Jobs Find You – George Anders – Harvard Business Review
How does a customer-service expert in Seattle catch the attention of a hot San Francisco startup in San Francisco, 700 miles away? The answer these days is likely to involve networking and brand-building on social media’s “fun” sites — even the ones best known for their tweets, pokes and cat videos.
It’s been obvious since 2003, when LinkedIn was launched, that social networking could help job candidates and employers interact. LinkedIn’s commitment to this market is underscored by the 150 million career bios on its site — and the more than $260 million in revenue last year from businesses wanting extra ways of connecting with potential new hires.
But more playful sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Quora, and even Pinterest are turning out to be valuable tools for job-hunters, too. In May, I will be publishing “Becoming a Rare Find,” an e-book that explores today’s most effective new job-hunting techniques. Many involve online equivalents to networking at beach resorts or children’s soccer games. People may go online to banter. No matter; before long, they talk shop.
An especially instructive example involves Greg Meyer, who has helped run customer-service operations for nearly a dozen companies. Last year, Meyer became an enthusiastic participant on quora.com, a popular knowledge-sharing site. He joined discussions on everything from Batman to customer complaints. When others wondered about Twitter’s value in customer service, Meyer’s detailed answer became a Quora standout.
More Than 15% of Workers Get Hired Through Social Networks
In a survey, recruiting software platform Jobvite noted that more than 22 million Americans used social networks to find jobs in 2011. One in six people, more than 15%, say they found a job through social networking. Fifty-four percent of job seekers are using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter for their search. Even though there’s a higher job seeking volume on Facebook, more than one-third don’t use it to look for work. There’s far more actual job hunting on Twitter and Linked; almost all job seekers use LinkedIn for job hunting versus nearly 75 percent on Twitter. Overall, 86 percent (nine out of 10) job seekers have a profile on social media. Eighty-four percent of job seekers have a Facebook profile, 39 percent are onTwitter and 35 percent use LinkedIn.
How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to connect to people you know. It also allows you to see profiles of anyone else on LinkedIn, and gives you ways to connect to them. There are a few ways you can use LinkedIn in a job search:
Company Search – One of the best ways to use LinkedIn is if you have a very specific company you are interested in. You search on that company, and hopefully find people who are connected to other people you know. Then, you can ask your personal contact to connect you. allows employers to post jobs on the site. The jobs are usually high quality, professional jobs.
Email – When I was first laid off, I sent a large email to everyone in my LinkedIn network, letting them know of my situation, and asking for any help or people they could put me in touch with them.
Blog Link – LinkedIn now gives you the ability to link your blog post to your profile. So every time I post a new blog post, it updates on my profile, so anyone looking at my profile will see what I’m writing about. It also includes the updated post in the weekly update emails that go out to your connections.
Twitter Link – Similar to Blog Link, LinkedIn also pulls your conversations from Twitter. So, anyone who is not on Twitter, can see what you are tweeting about.
The best part of Twitter is that it allows you to connect with people you don’t know, based on common interests. What a great way to do some networking!
I use Facebook primarily for connecting with friends or people I know and reconnecting with people in my past. But, it can also be an effective networking tool.
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