I think that everyone knows that the economy is bad. While it is bad now, many people are predicting that unemployment will go up more in the next 18 months. So now is as good a time as ever to make sure that you are using all of your social media “skillz.” So below are a few tips to position yourself for people who may not know you personally, but can discover a lot of wonderful things about you online.
- LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn. I have not used this as much as I could or should since Facebook and Twitter are a lot more fun, but read any “How To Find a Job” book or article and it will tell you that the best start is by networking. It used to be hanging out around “Association of This and That” breakfast meetings, but now you can do it online. Seek out and use connections that could benefit you. When I went back and checked my own LinkedIn profile, I had forgotten that I was linked to the DC Recruiters LinkedIn group. This group has never benefited me, but I have never reached out to them either.
- Two Faced-Facebook. I have written about this in the past, but consider setting up a second, open-to-the-public Facebook profile. Not the one with you doing kegstands, but the one with you in a business suit listing all of your accomplishments and muckety-muck friends (whom you will warn under penalty of death not to tag you passed out on the floor clutching a Bud Light).
- Blog, blog, blog. You have to be smart or passionate about something. It takes zero time to set up a free Word Press account, and about $100 a year to do a self-hosted Word Press account with your own domain (what I have done). Then, with a career/personal brand-building focus, start writing about, and connecting with others in your field or desired field. As an example, when I started this blog (erasing my last one..sniff) if you Googled “Mark Story” I was about #40, making me virtually (pun intended) invisible in search engines. Plus, there are a urologist, sports writer, and photographer all named “Mark Story” (and the photographer grabbed “markstory.com.”). I checked the other day and was amazed that now, my LinkedIn profile is the #1 result and my blog is #5 and #6. I did not set out to do this, but it happened literally, organically.
- Play around with some other resume services out there. I tend to think that Monster.com is probably getting crowded, and there are a few executive recruitment firms out there that let you build your own online, schnazzy resume. Or you could just grab a domain that is your name (unless you are late to the game, like me) and build one yourself. You don’t have to be an HTML guru, just use WordPress as your content management system. If it’s good enough for Number 10 Downing Street, then WordPress could probably handle your resume.
- You might get mixed results now, but still try a recruitment firm. If you are an executive, there is a list of executive recruitment firms out there (some of which do not accept unsolicited resumes – they want to find you). Bottom line is that it better to have a bunch of people looking for you and you looking than just you looking for a new or even potential gig.
Next, ALWAYS make sure that you put your best foot forward for the “front line” person whose job it is to get to the right resume for the position. So if you do all of the above, you are in decent shape. To be in better shape:
• Customize your resume to the position opening. If they use the word “new media,” swap out the words “social media” for “new media” in your resume. Write carefully (and for God’s sake, error-free) and tell a story using your resume (in the order in which the job description does) of why you are right for the position.
• List ALL of the above in your resume. LinkedIn profile, personal Web site, Congressional Medal of Honor, blog, etc. They are going to look for it anyway, so make it easier for them to find the stuff that you want them to find.
Many of these things are decent ideas as “insurance” – even if you do not find yourself in search of a new gig.
Mark Story is a part-time, adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a full-time communications professional at a government agency in Washington, D.C. and writes the “Intersection of Online and Offline” blog. Prior to the government, Mark worked for 12 years in some of the largest online public relations shops in the world. Tweet him at mstory123.