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For many people, LinkedIn is THE website for social media networking. Without denying the wide reach and general usefulness of LinkedIn, it is just one out of the many ways social media can be used to network and apply for jobs. Creative job seekers have achieved results by effectively using other social media resources, and employers are paying attention. Some alternatives to LinkedIn that have been effective are:
The beauty of Twitter is it allows users to connect with people they do not know using common interests. If a job seeker is interested in working for a particular company, he or she is now able to connect with that company’s employees on Twitter. The Twitter tool Twellow searches user biographies and the URLs on user bios. Job seekers can search for a company’s employees using this tool to make valuable connections and to extend their professional network. Furthermore, job seekers can tweet about their job search process, which can both garner valuable information about open positions and remind the seeker’s professional connections that they are looking for employment. By posting a resume in the bio section of Twitter, job seekers can take advantage of this site as a proactive networking tool.
Twitter is also useful for finding job postings. Several job search engines scan Twitter for information about available positions. For example, TwitterJobSearch.com searches Twitter for jobs by keyword. By experimenting with the tools available on Twitter, job seekers can greatly improve their chances of finding new employment.
Blogs are often overlooked as a means of finding employment. However, recently, large blogs have started to include job banks in their websites using software from companies such as Job-a-matic. Some blogs that have embraced this functoinality include Guy Kawasaki’s blog, GigaOM, and Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategy Blog. By subscribing to these and similar blogs, job seekers gain exposure to a wider range of job postings, increasing their odds of finding a job that matches their needs and qualifications.
Smartphone Job Apps
Sometimes timing is everything. A recent survey by LinkUp found that 20% of job seekers use their Smartphones to look for a job. Other apps like CareerBuilder, JobCompass, Monster, BusyBee can help job seekers find a position customized and filtered to their needs. Also, these apps permit job seekers to take advantage of RSS or job alerts from these sites. A prompt response to a posting can give applicants an edge in the search process. Using these new Smartphone apps enable job seekers to apply for positions no matter where they are.
More and more, job seekers are making a video resumes and uploading them to YouTube or other video-sharing sites. These resumes give employers a chance to see the applicant “in action,” to observe their interpersonal skills, speaking ability, and other attributes that translate more clearly to video than paper. Video resumes should be concise, describe the value the applicant can contribute to a given position, explain why the applicant is the best person for the job and use a story-like format. For many people, video-sharing sites can function as quasi-interviews, enabling them to stand out from the crowd and to inject their resume with a touch of humanity and transform them into something more than a list of qualifications on a sheet of paper.
All in all, there is way more to social media networking than just LinkedIn. With a little creativity, job seekers can now reach out to potential employers in a plethora of ways and improve their chances of finding a great job quickly.