Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Who Knows You?

Three ways to help recruiters find you online

By Annette Richmond

Even in today’s economy companies are having a tough time finding qualified candidates to fill open positions. Yes, job boards are still popular and ads generate a ton of responses. Unfortunately, many of the respondents are still using the “spray and pray” method not a targeted approach. The result is that most are not even remotely qualified for the job.

For this reason, recruiters, both internal and third party, still have to search for qualified candidates. While recruiters use a variety of methods they generally spend a lot of time online. So the more visible you are the better your chances of being discovered. Here are three ways to make it easier for them to find you.

Your Own Website

An often overlooked way to increase your visibility online is to create your own website. One of the techniques recruiters use to find potential candidates is doing Boolean Searches on Google. Their search criteria might include job titles, particular skills and geographical areas. Having your own website is a great way to come up in their search results.

Yes, having your resume on any site will give you some visibility but having your own website allows you to truly sell yourself. In addition to a resume you can include a brief bio and picture. You may want to include a blog where you can share your industry knowledge. If you’re a creative type it’s also an opportunity to showcase your work.

Twitter Chats

Today Twitter should be part of every job search strategy. But, having a Twitter account is not enough; you need to be part of the conversation. One of the best ways to meet people is by taking part in Twitter chats which allow you to actually “talk” to people in real time. While there’s no substitute for meeting people at live events Twitter chats are the next best thing.

The good news is that meeting people in chats is easy. First, chats have moderators or hosts who keep the conversation going and welcome newcomers. Second, it’s perfectly acceptable to “lurk” until you feel comfortable enough to jump in. Third, when you do want to join the conversation you have a few minutes time to compose your response.

Participating in Twitter chats gives you the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people. If you’d like to connect with recruiters (both internal and third-party) join career-focused chats like #jobhuntchat or #OMCchat. If you want to meet people in your industry there’s probably a chat for that as well. There are hundreds of chats taking place on Twitter every week. Whether you want to talk about social media or photography there’s a chat for that.

LinkedIn Groups

Being on LinkedIn is about more than creating a profile. While you can’t connect with people in “real time” like you can on Twitter, it’s important to participate. Yes, you can Share an update to stay in front of your contacts but that’s not enough. Joining and contributing to LinkedIn groups can help you increase your visibility.

Joining groups is a start. But if you want to be noticed by other members start a discussion and comment on other people’s discussions as well. What can you post? Articles of interest to the group are generally welcome. Posting blogs you’ve written is a wonderful way to share your knowledge. But don’t stop there. Spend a few minutes reading and commenting on other discussions. Offer help when you can.

As a bonus LinkedIn allows you to message others in the group for free. Also, many members will be open to connecting when you belong to the same group.

Beat the Competition

Even when the economy is thriving finding the right position isn’t easy. It a tight job market it gets even tougher. If you want to stay ahead of the competition it’s crucial to build your professional brand. Creating your own website is a great way to showcase yourself and your talents. Participating in social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can increase your odds of getting noticed.

In today’s competitive job market increasing your visibility is essential. A popular old adage is “It’s not what you know it’s who you know.” But the truth is it’s really all about who knows you.

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