Facebook, How to, linkedin, recruiting 2.0, social networks, using social media in job search

Teaching social media

I just finished another course teaching social media to job searchers in downtown Toronto. The attendees were wonderfully diverse both in careers, interests, and backgrounds – so representative of diversity Toronto. I felt honoured to be in a room sharing with individuals so rich in experience. I really think I should add a coffee social afterward as I just wanted to share in their excitement… hmm. note to self!

As an indication of how heavily demanded this learning is, the course was signed up overcapacity (again!) at 35 individuals and ten more on the waiting list. (the room was small and so very hot). One of the nicest things said to me at the beginning of the course was from Eddie who grabbed my hand in hello and said “I’ve been looking forward to this ALL month”. And I believed him. What faith!

I mean to upload my current presentation and tools in my linkedin profile (coming!) and still – I wanted to share a very neat video link to anyone drifting through..

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Teaching social media“, posted with vodpod
housing / home building, recruiting 2.0, the 405 club, using social media in job search

New for me: Contributing writer for the 405 club

The 405 club, New York’s Official Unemployment Network, is a rapidly growing network and clever blog site started by Garrett Dale and Jose Gonzalez.

As you may not know – $405 is the maximium unemployment benefit you can receive in New York State.   So for those who were earning over six figures – its a pretty big fall during a great recession.    The Gotham Gazette, NYC paper, wrote an interesting article about the realities of being unemployed in New York.

I was contacted by Garrett to see if I would be a contributing writer for the blog.   I wrote back asking if he says this to all the blogs but Garrett confessed to liking my writing style and being serious.  AH .. his timing was wonderful and the news brighten my day.

I am pleased as punch to contribute.  The move make more of my volunteer work.

My only professional hesitation is that I really want to be much more than just ‘using social media in job search’ – I want to be about using social media to rock your customer, change the game, create idea jams and engage with customers on levels not yet imagined by most.   [not just me – many of my colleagues in social media pine for this]

The changes that I see that – for the home building industry, for retail, for insurance, for government, for every industry!  And yet – my work in social recruiting 2.0 and job search seems to be hitting a wild nerve – not surprisingly given the market realities.   So as much as I want to talk about how the condo market should be using social media more, or how under utilized youtube is, I continue to talk about jobs.

Now.. if I could just figure out how to get Employment Ontario and the federal government to fund my work…

Blogging, Charity / volunteer, How to, recruiting 2.0, small business, social networks, the 405 club, using social media in job search

For 405 club: Dodging the stigma of actively searching for work

yippeee kiyaaa mfff!  Here’s my first post to the 405 club.

I’ve been volunteering/consulting in social recruiting lately – a high demand and growing area – playing both sides of the fence between consulting with HR/recruiters & execs and volunteering with the painfully transitioned in Toronto.   I wanted to offer suggestions to those who choose not to open up their chest cavity and explain why they are out of work…  AND give a new blog post to the 405 club:  NYC’s official unemployment network who’ve just asked me to be a contributing blogger to the site. <blush>


Perception is Reality

Picture it – you’re sitting in the first interview you’ve managed to get in weeks, its a job that matches your working desires and the promise of pay is in line with your old self – the one that used to work.

The fumble you are trying to avoid is not whether or not you qualify for  the job.  NOOOO its whether or not to pretend that you are not the active job searcher you are.   Damn the stigma of being an active job seeker.

I touched on this in an earlier blog post – social recruiting 2.0.   Quickly – recruiters and hr managers break job searchers into three main groups –

  1. non-seekers – those who have a job who aren’t looking,
  2. passive job searchers – have a job and are mildly searching, and
  3. active job searchers – say no more.

Active job searchers are, at times, avoided under the belief they constitute the undesirable; the belief that they will jump at any job opportunity – qualified or not,  suitable or not and desert jobs when they find what they really want.   I’m sure this stigma is grounded in some reality and yet, in a great recession, employers should not ignore quality candidates regardless of situation.  [Excellent article on out of work stigma fading.]


  • Build your own website – not a online resume, a small business site.  Consider using free blog publishing to get up and running fast.
  • Invest in your own domain name.   I wouldn’t necessarily go with your personal name as a domain but if you can’t dream up something cheap and available as a .com, then go for it.  Some instructions in a previous “how to” blog post of mine using godaddy.
  • Volunteer in a relevant capacity and make an “in-kind” deal allowing yourself to claim the organization as a client, and get website or other exposure for your business.
  • Make the bloody most of every volunteer/contract experience – blog about it, status update it, twitter it if you are on twitter, talk about it.  Use popular tag words in your blog title post so that your post gets auto pulled into silly blogs that add posts based on key word terms rather than content.
  • Update all social networking sites to your new business – linkedin, etc.  [I’m assuming here you are on linkedin.. and you should be]
  • Use a powerful signature linking back to profiles, @twitters or blog posts.  Start commenting as the president and chief pipeline filler in relevant forums, questions & answers paying attention to well attended blogs, websites, facebook fan pages or linkedin discussions as they will feed back traffic through the comments you make.
  • Cross pollinate your social networks.  Add linkedin applications that display your blog in your linkedin e.g. wordpress app, then add linkedin badges to your blog.

At the end of the day – an hr mgr and recruiter will still ask you why you are applying for full time moving away from your business.    My response has always been about the opportunity.  Personally, its hard to fill a pipeline as a small business and work on it.  But being committed to playing in a field you love means that you may have to take on different roles to do it.  Some of those roles are full time – others are contract and others are volunteer work.

Good luck.

Facebook, recruiting 2.0, social networks, twitter, using social media in job search

Teaching Social Media in Job Search

Its not what you know but who you know.  Provocative.  Not entirely true – I’d say its both but ‘who you know’ is on steroids with the advent of social networking hitting the recruiting industry.

The recruiting industry is undergoing profound changes in 2009.  Hiring managers and recruiters are more satisfied with the quality of candidates from employee referrals and social networks  (sns) over job boards.  And social network sites are making finding passive job seekers easier, background checks a snap all the while making the route to placement faster and cheaper.

The better ROI on referrals and social networking use is shaking up the industry.  Major placement firms will need to adjust and develop social media strategies pdq as from what I’ve seen online, in-house hiring managers are exploring how to better leveraging employee referrals and sns.  An easy statement to say in a great recession.

I delivered a course yesterday requested by Tcet – an employment resource centre in Toronto.  As a sign of the times and the need, 85 people registered, 65-70 people turned out for what was anticipated to be a 20 person course.

The audience varied from newcomer to Canada, to boomers, from all industry backgrounds, many of who had been laid off and looking for over three months.

I was advising those with no linkedin, nor facebook to focus on those two medium first.  Not to worry about twitter until the first two are done.   From Dan Schawbel’s excellent blog on personal branding —  of the hr professionals using social media – 76% use linkedin, 67% use search engines, 44% use facebook and 21% use twitter.

I suggested that while the room was full of people trying to understand sns for job search, that the next room was likely recruiters doing the same thing.  Its a wild west world in recruiting.

I look forward to posting my presentation on slideshare.



search, using social media in job search

INDEED.com Finally – a job search site aggregator

Check out indeed.com – a job board aggregator operates like google, aggregates the highly fragment Canadian job boards, with 12 million unique visitors.

I’m doing a lot of research into social recruiting 2.0 [thank you Sacha for debrief on Social recruiting summit] and the modern job search for a course I’ve giving at Tcet. 

And I’ve just discovered Indeed.com – which aggregates all kinds of job boards making a ‘google’ type search very easy. 

Now, I’m actually speaking on the value of social networking and using linkedin, facebook and less so twitter, youtube, etc (based on target audience) so I didn’t have job search on my radar.  But I came across it in an article stating indeed.com is the no. one job search board – with 12 millon unique visitors a month. 

Who knew?  Now you do.

social networks, using social media in job search

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.  🙂