The Use of Social Media in Job Search

I’ve been asked to present on ‘the Use of Social Media  in Job Search” at two of the eight Centres for Education and Training (Tcet), a non-profit organization providing free  employment services for job seekers.    I’ve done a lot of web 2.0 education (for executives, marketing departments and consultants) so this will be an exciting course to pull together.   You will see a number of posts on this topic supporting a course I’m conducting later in June and July.

I was referred to Tcet by Sacha Chua; a person I greatly admire who knows a heck a lot about social media and networking but also admitted to me that as a full time happy IBMer, she hasn’t done a job search for a while.

I, on the other hand, have.   This is a Great Recession – and it is an absolute bear of a waiting game with the market behaving so very differently than before.   You can not search for a job the way it was two years ago.   And the responses from recruiters and companies are also very different. 

I am very aware of how difficult it is for job seekers.    If any employed person is under the illusion that the market has picked up, then they need a second look.  At a recent party I attended, 2/3rds of adults had been laid off or had contracts not renewed.   These were directors, vps, pretty high up folks.

For me, having exhausted my EI on mat leave, I am seeking the self-employment benefit which pays EI to those starting a business.   I still haven’t jumped thru all the hoops to get that benefit but I did complete a mandatory course on ‘transitions to employment’ which was required just so I could talk to someone about my business.    [its true – ask anyone on ei – you can’t talk to anyone in the government unless you do this course.]   During this course I could not believe the pressure to cold call companies for a job.  To search job boards for a job.  And absolutely no mention of linkedin (not to mention blogs, twitter, facebook, youtube, etc).  When I suggested Linkedin to the presenter – she needed to know how it was spelt – she never heard of it!!  And beyond two people in a classroom of 25, no one knew about linkedin.

Sometimes, I forget how connected I really am.  I blog, I now twitter.  I’ve been bragging about linkedin for over six years.  I’m on Facebook.  Its natural albeit time consuming.  So it comes a surprise sometimes when I realize how other friends are not yet taking advantage of these tools to drive their personal brand forward.  

I welcome any comments on how these tools have helped you.  And I definitely look forward to meeting people at Tcet.  Apparently the St. Clair session has just hit 58 enrollees – breaking past all expectation they had for the session.  🙂

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5 thoughts on “The Use of Social Media in Job Search

  1. Nikhil Vaswani

    Good tips and very nicely written! Social networking will soon become the most effective way of building your professional career and creating a personal brand. However, one will have to invest time in learning the effectiveness of these sites and ways to use them properly.

    If you are looking to learn LinkedIn usage, a good reference is a new book called “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” by networking expert Jan Vermeiren. You can find a free lite version at http://www.how-to-really-use-linkedin.com/

  2. Laurie Dillon Schalk Post author

    Nikhil!
    Excellent comments – you are so bang on.

    Yes personal branding is a big part of the course. Its funny how a lot of brand marketing is easily transferred to personal branding (consistent use image & message). Beyond my own tutillage, I’ve been finding some very good information on personal branding from Dan Schwabel at http://personalbrandingblog.com/ (good twitter feed here).

    But I didn’t know the linked in reference – bravo! Excellent add.

    Thanks so much. Laurie

  3. Hugh Munro

    Laurie;

    We need to talk! Thanks for your comment on my LinkedIn profile – but this dialogue really caught my attention. I started off in the search business with a mid market firm that was very aware of everything going on in the digital space. I then went to a global executive search firm and found they were completely unaware. They and the other major firms have very little idea of how social networking and other technology-enabled communication tools are changing the way candidates and employers interact, and eliminating the exclusive access that search professionals once had.

    I have an idea about how search should evolve, and that’s what my new search practice will address. I’ll bet you could offer some useful advice – and perhaps I could add to your thinking as well. Time to talk!

    Hugh

    1. Laurie Dillon Schalk Post author

      Hugh – this is the most exciting message I’ve read today! Wow – I’m surprised to hear the global executive search firm were unaware but then, this was also my experience in IBM and the housing industry. There are *huge* changes a foot. Now that I’m pulling together a presentation from the job searchers’ perspective – I can see that both individuals and executives search firms must change or be left out on huge opportunities.

      It is time to talk – How about next Thursday? I’m going to read your blog now
      Laurie.

  4. Ann Clement

    Laurie I was at your presentation and I am excited about this new way of relating. May I have my digital picture so I can post it on my Linkedin. I’m new at this technology and have many blind spots. I have lots to learn. Incidentally, why is this called Linkedin? Best Wishes, Ann

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