Recruiters prefer—overwhelmingly—to fill positions through personal referrals. To connect with someone with hiring power, you need more than a list of jobs; you need a network of people. To build a powerful network (translation: one that will find you a good job) in this era, you have to use social media. And to get the most out of social media, you need to have all your bases covered. So here it is: the ultimate social media job search checklist. Complete these setup tips and daily routines, and you will increase your job possibilities and drastically improve your chances of landing that job on the basis of being informed, connected, and visible.
If you would like print this checklist, a download link is available at the end of this post.
Most people (especially people with jobs and the ability to help you find one) tend to lock into one or two social media networks. This is a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse if you’re one of those people who are limiting their online visibility to an isolated section of the Internet. It’s a blessing if you consider that by building an identity on several different fronts, you can connect with well populated networks with relatively small overlap. We recommend you set up profiles on several different forums, though you don’t want to get so spread out that updating them all becomes a full-time job.
- [ ] Update your profile using your resume as a guide.
- [ ] Supply a professional photograph.
- [ ] Build your network through your address book, schools, and former employers.
- [ ] Seek out (and give) recommendations.
- [ ] Take the necessary steps to complete your profile to 100%.
- [ ] Follow these applicant-recommended Twitter lists
- [ ] Save twitter searches pertinent to your area of expertise. It will prove a big time-saver on your daily routine.
- [ ] Follow people in your field—they’ll keep you connected AND informed on relevant trends you could otherwise miss out on while you’re out of work.
- [ ] Connect your Twitter feed to LinkedIn—with the limited option so that only tweets marked #in get included in your status updates.
[ ] Local/Trade-specific Professional Social Networks
- [ ] Join at least 1 regional (and professional) social network.
- [ ] Join at least 1 trade-specific social network.
- [ ] Cross-connect with people in these networks on other social platforms—doing this enhances connections that are already very strong.
- [ ] Organize your facebook privacy settings to ensure that professional contacts see only professional information, OR
- [ ] Set up a fan page for your professional services
- [ ] Streamline your facebook applications and groups—not only to clean up your online image, but also to help you focus on professional endeavors. Mafia Wars will not help you find a (real) job.
[ ] Bookmarking/site sharing networks
- [ ] Digg
- [ ] StumbleUpon
- [ ] Delicious
- [ ] Insert one of the 100s of other services here: ______________
- [ ] Search for topics relevant to your industry and become fans/friends of the people who share them, like them, or vote them up.
[ ] FriendFeed—this service provides a great way to consolidate your social media experience and streamline your efforts.
[ ] Choose your favorite streamlining application (tweetdeck, seesmic, etc.)
Build Your Brand—Providing Content
[ ] Create a blog.
- [ ] Pick a format you can maintain. If you’ve got a knack for writing, designing, and/or linking great content, choose a platform that showcases your skills and knowledge. But you can still keep it simple with a tumblr account or posterous (which requires no setup).
- [ ] Populate your blog with a few basic posts, links, and, of course, your resume.
- [ ] Consider disguising a few answers to popular interview questions as blog posts—give them your personal spin and flair—and you’ll be armed with great preparation for an in-person interview.
[ ] Create a Gravatar/OpenID—This will make it easier for you to get your name and wisdom out there on relevant blogs and Web sites (on various platforms) without needing to register for every commentary format known to humankind.
[ ] Video Interview/ YouTube. If and ONLY if you have a strong visual presence and are comfortable and capable of doing your image justice.
- [ ] Do something that has nothing to do with the world of social media—stay grounded, and make a schedule.
- [ ] Update your LinkedIn status (with an #in tag via Twitter) with an enthusiastic summary of your core mission for the day.
- [ ] Check relevant job search areas on LinkedIn
- [ ] Check your key twitter searches and groups—at least 3 times daily.
- [ ] Spend at least 5 minutes or so providing updates/commenting on topics that have nothing to do with work—people need to know you’re a real human being.
- [ ] Make someone smile. Keep it clean and professional (stay away from NSFW posts) but remind people that you’re someone they like as well as respect and admire.
- [ ] Apply to jobs you’ve discovered.
- [ ] Email 10 personal contacts to catch up, including a reminder that you’re looking for a job and a request for any leads they might know about.
- [ ] Bookmark, digg, stumble, tweet, etc., a few helpful links you’ve discovered on any of your networks—comment when appropriate.
- [ ] Leave positive, meaningful commentary on blogs, articles, etc.. When you’re tempted to start an argument, leave it alone. Social Media spats are traps and time wasters, and they’ll ultimately reflect poorly on your image.
- [ ] Blog your reaction to the most helpful/entertaining item you’ve found on this search.
- [ ] Engage a handful of contacts on Twitter. Rotate through your professional lists to help foster relationships throughout your networks.
- [ ] Schedule/fulfill an appointment for a face-to-face contact. People who enjoy your input will converse with you or promote you. People who get a chance to meet you will give hearty recommendations that pay off.
- [ ] Limit your social media usage to 1-2 hours at most. Spending too much time leads to general ineffectiveness and even depression.
- [ ] Start at least one discussion about a company or companies you’re interested in. Ask around, and you’ll find that people give you very helpful opinions—and the conversation will organically help connect you to the people who can help you land a job.
Once You’ve Landed an Interview
- [ ] research the company and the department for people and information available on your social networks
- [ ] let your networks know you’re interviewing (if you are currently employed, we recommend NOT checking this box).
- [ ] thank the people you’ve interviewed with and talk them up on your networks.
Links You Must Visit
- [ ]50 Ways to Use Twitter as a Job Search Tool
- [ ]The Monster List of Freelance Job Sites
- [ ]45% Employers Use Facebook/Twitter to Screen Job Candidates
- [ ]10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
- [ ]30 Ways to Land a Job in 2010
- [ ]10 Job Listing Sites With Unique Opportunities
- [ ]Unemployed (or Preparing to Be)? These Sites Could Be Your Best Friends
- [ ]Twitter Job Search Engine
- [ ]The 101 Best Twitter Job Search/Career Experts Plus 6
- [ ]50 Twitter Users to Follow for Your Job Search
- [ ]100 Best Blogs for Your Job Search
- [ ]JobShouts!, a powerful social media job search tool
- [ ]Global Twitter Recruiting System
- [ ]JobMob – One of the leading career/job search blog
- [ ]JobDeck, an offshoot of TweetDeck customized exclusively for condensing your job search efforts.
If you would like to add anything else to this “checklist,” feel free to make suggestions. Did you find this checklist useful? Share your thoughts.