A synthesis of some of the best recent advice experts have offered for using social networks in the job search results in these tips:
- Ensure that your profile on the major venues is complete and compelling. “Your social network profile can be a great opportunity to enhance your image as someone who is truly passionate about what they do,” says “Bill S.,” a commenter to the blog ReadWriteWeb. Your LinkedIn profile should contain your photo, relevant keywords, as well as your skills, qualifications, and affiliations. Social-media superstar Chris Brogan recommends updating your LinkedIn profile’s summary every two weeks, freshening your profile’s work experience section every four weeks (and ensuring that the section is focused on experiences that support what you want to do next), and refreshing your overall profile every three months. He suggests viewing your profile through an employer’s eyes and ask yourself if you’d hire yourself based on this profile. Note that LinkedIn offers the option of a “vanity” URL for your profile — one containing your name, as in http://www.linkedin.com/in/katharinehansen; take advantage of that option.
- Conversely, “an incomplete profile makes you appear lazy and does not showcase all your accomplishments and abilities,” cautions Christine Hassler of The Huffington Post.
- Ask the people you connect with to critique your resume.
- Aggregate your social-media memberships and connections with tools like FriendFeed.
- Let your network know through your status updates that you seek a job and what kind.
- If you blog (see Chapter 5), link your blog content to your profiles and status updates.
- When you publicize your job search in Twitter and request assistance, politely ask folks to “Retweet” (RT) your information, and return the favor by Retweeting for others. Blogger Dan Zarella has researched Retweeting and found several trends that seem to boost Retweeting success: using the word “please,” giving a call to action, such as “Check out…” or “Help me …”, asking for Retweets Monday through Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern, and including a link. Retweeting also seems to beget more Retweeting.
- Include links to your Web site/portfolio/blog in your profiles.
- Ask and answer questions through LinkedIn Answers .
- Join or start sub-groups within venues like Facebook and LinkedIn that focus on your profession and interests. Communicate and connect with members of these groups.
- Research employers through company pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.