candidates on a social networking site within seconds. The trick for
job hunters, then, is to make themselves easy to find on these sites.
An IT executive in Raleigh, N.C., discovered the importance
of this trick first-hand last spring, when he found himself out of
work after 18 years with the same company.
“I sure had not been in the job-seeking mode for a long time, and
I was surprised at the process of getting your accomplishments and
responsibilities ‘out there,’ ” says the executive, who recently turned
50. While he had established a LinkedIn profile when the site came
into existence, he hadn’t updated it in years, nor had he saved a
copy of his old résumé. “I was starting from scratch,” he says.
Recruiters agree that it’s best to start looking for a new job
while you are still employed and can build a robust network of
contacts. Here, recruiters and savvy job finders reveal the top six
must-have weapons in any job seeker’s toolkit.
Continued from page 24
having a conversation with an individual who worked in IT and
understands first-hand what their three biggest challenges are.
When you connect with an executive, you can [emphasize] the
skills you have that can address those issues,” Perry says.
1 Your First Stop: linkedin With more than 100 million registered users, LinkedIn is the world’s de facto job board and is
widely used by recruiters and job seekers
“Nowadays, LinkedIn is your first
interview, and it happens without you,”
says David E. Perry, managing partner of
Ottawa-based recruiting firm Perry-Mar-tel International and co-author of Guerrilla
Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0. “A hiring
manager or recruiter takes a look at your
background [on your LinkedIn profile]
The biggest problem with LinkedIn, he
cautions, is that most job hunters don’t
know how to use it effectively. Many
users, for instance, post their entire résumé on their LinkedIn
profile instead of capturing a recruiter’s interest with some key
words and saving the “meat” for an in-person meeting. “Those key
words will make your name pop up when recruiters are looking
for someone with your title, skills or experience,” says Perry.
IT job seekers can benefit from several new LinkedIn applications, such as SlideShare, which lets users browse and share
presentations, and Creative Portfolio Display, which lets programmers, analysts and others showcase creative work on their
LinkedIn profiles. “It allows you to differentiate yourself from
everybody else,” Perry says.
LinkedIn also offers a “Year in Review” app that lists all of the
status changes, such as a new job, that your connections have
made to their profiles in the past year. “You know these people.
What better way to network than to follow up with them and
find out what they did, how they did it, and if there are any leads
you should know about,” Perry says.
For job seekers who are targeting a specific company, LinkedIn
has added a feature called Company Pages. By clicking the
Statistics icon on a Company Page, or corporate profile, users
can find out where departing employees found new jobs. This
“networking with the newly departed,” as Perry calls it, can give
job seekers the inside scoop on what positions are available and
what skills the IT department needs. “Imagine the power of
2 Facebook: Not Just for Fun anymore While many job seekers regard LinkedIn as their professional website and Facebook as their friends-and- family hub, more recruiters are trolling Facebook to get
a feel for prospective candidates’, ahem, softer side, Perry says.
“As recruiters, we’re not just looking for skills and experience,
we’re looking to understand the three-dimensional person,”
Perry explains. “We can tap into them on Facebook and under-
stand their likes, dislikes, and interests — the music they listen
to, photos they post, games they play. Facebook can give you a
deeper understanding of ‘the person.’ ”
Those that blend their professional and personal contacts need
to be careful of the information they’re posting and how it affects
their brand image, says Coleen Byrne,
former sales director at Yahoo and co-
author of The Web 2.0 Job Finder: Winning
Social Media Strategies to Get the Job
You Want. For starters, keep your party
photos on your camera, and avoid blog-
ging or commenting about controversial
topics. “The taboos are always going to be
politics, religion, same-sex marriage — if
you have very strong opinions, all of these
things get a little bit dicey” with prospec-
tive employers, she says. Also, avoid
abbreviations (OMG!) and typos, even on
status updates. “At the end of the day, it
all represents you, and people are going
to make quick judgments,” Byrne says.
The concept of combining the social
with the professional caught Facebook’s attention, too, and in August
2010 it launched BranchOut, an app that lets users create their own
professional profile on Facebook and link their professional network.
The app had more than 800,000 active users as of June 2011.
is your first interview,
and it happens
david e. perr Y, CO-AUTHOR, GUERRILLA
MARKETING FOR JOB HUNTERS 3.0
3 Show Your talents on Youtube International staffing firm Yoh Services fills a lot of po- sitions at gaming companies, and it finds many content developers and 3D imaging artists through You Tube,
says Tammy Browning, Yoh’s West Coast senior vice president.
“They build mini videos and post them [on You Tube]. About
80% of our jobs that we’re filling [in gaming and 3D] are through
You Tube,” she explains. Microsoft is one of many tech companies
that use the video-posting site to “discover” talented programmers. Two senior managers in Microsoft’s gaming division,
whom the company won’t name, were reportedly discovered on
You Tube as teenagers and recruited.
But the video site doesn’t just benefit gamers, Browning adds.
“Even software developers who can speak about their portfolio of
projects or Web developers who can show the fresh, hot website
they’ve designed should post on You Tube,” she says. Prospective
employers and talent seekers can not only see your work, but
also glimpse your personality and communication style “to see if
you’re somebody who would fit in their world,” she says.