Saturday, September 20, 2014

Social Media & Your Job Search: 3 Reasons You Need It—Now!

Author:  Ed Han
              Wordsmith, Recruiter, LinkedIn Advocate, JobSeeker Ally
              Translating business objectives into strategies & tactics

I’ve been a fan of social media in one form or another since October 27, 2007. That was when I first joined LinkedIn and it took me until April 2009 to join Twitter. It took almost a year after that to join Facebook—after I joined Google+, in fact.

We talk about social media at every meeting but I know I’ve seen more than a few blank stares when it’s discussed. So I know that for a lot of people who are reading this, social media consists of Facebook updates. Stop thinking that way, because social media is a whole lot more than merely FB.

Here are 3 reasons why you should be using social media right now as part of your job search.

It’s just networking
I don’t know why, but sometimes people get this slightly apprehensive, glazed-over look when the subjects of networking or social media crop up. So let’s simplify things.

Networking is about being a decent human being and having a conversation. You’ve basically been doing this all of your life: talking with people. Now, some people are shy—but take a look at our LinkedIn group for conversations starters—and closers.

Let me demystify “social media” for you.

It’s just people having conversations online. The absolute worst thing that happens when you talk with someone on social media is something you can ignore. It’s even safer than talking to someone in real life.

So if you’re one of those folks who have a hang up about this: stop. It’s like dancing in a club: nobody’s looking at you.

And networking is how people get hired
As a recruiter, I can tell you with 100% certainty that every single employer on the planet prefers to talk with candidates that are referrals. It’s really simple: they’ve been vetted. When you refer someone as a candidate, you’re putting your professional reputation on the line with that candidate.

In fact, that’s how I got my last position. I’d gotten to know someone via Twitter. Back in November 2012, I received a call from her asking if I knew anyone interested in a recruiting role. She briefly described it and I told her I was really interested. A few weeks later, I started. Ever since the first day I knew it was the position I wished I had been doing from the start, and am still slightly resentful that I found it this late in life.

So be a referral
The odds are stacked against job seekers. On average, there are 250 candidates for every position out there. Of those, 25% are considered by the hiring party qualified. Rounding down, there are on average 62 qualified candidates who are phone screened. For face to face interviews you aren’t talking more than a half dozen prospects, tops. So there’s a 90% failure rate from the phone screen. And do you know who can often pass a phone screen more often than not? A candidate referred by an employee can, that’s who.

Social media sites work best when more people are more connected. That’s why every social media site you care about makes it as easy as possible to make connections with other users. LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest—all of them. This becomes particularly useful when you are targeting specific employers: then, LinkedIn & Facebook become a list of people with whom you might want to connect.

Now, remember that people generally only connect with people when they see a clear upside. So give them one. Connect with people on LinkedIn when you have a former employer, school or group in common: the reason there is obvious.

In closing
If you have any questions, ask!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Passive job candidates are in the “catbird seat”

Author:  Barbara Perone
              Writer | Editor | Reporter | Technical Writer | Proofreader

Sounds like a misnomer, but, translated, a passive job candidate is actually a person who has a job and is not actively seeking employment – and these are precisely the kinds of individuals employers want to hire nowadays.

Oddly enough, the very people who really need a job – the unemployed – are the ones recruiters aren’t exactly clamoring to interview, according to an article by Marc Miller on

In August 2000, conducted a survey of over 3,000 professionals who were gainfully employed. The survey found a third of workers were open to the idea of obtaining a new job, even though they seemed satisfied in their present careers.

These are the people you’re competing with today. So, if you want future employers to find you, first, make sure you remove any inappropriate comments or photos of yourself from all of your social networking sites. That picture of you giving the five-finger salute to a sleeping grandmother at your friend’s July 4th barbecue may have seemed hilarious at the time, but what message does it send to a company that may want to hire you?

Moreover, don’t be surprised if before they even talk to you recruiters have already talked to your bosses and co-workers, past, and present, to find out something about you, the article states. They’re trying to make sure they get the best bang for their buck. They want a near perfect employee, one with excellent work habits, great interpersonal skills all rolled into one happy, hardworking human being whose salary won’t break the company coffers.

Take care, though, even if you are a passive job candidate here’s a news flash for you – longevity is no longer in vogue. So, if you’re one of those people who have been doing the same job the same way for years chances are recruiters won’t be overly interested in you either, the article states. On the other hand, if you keep learning new skills, on or off the job, that might be a way to get a recruiter’s attention.

So, if you’ve already got a job and you’re constantly keeping your skills sharps, you’re in the “catbird seat” when it comes to finding a new position.

Writer’s Note: The phrase “the catbird seat” first appeared in print in a 1942 humorous short story, entitled “The Catbird Seat,” written by James Thurber. In the story, a character, named Mrs. Barrows, often uses this phrase, which means “being in an enviable position” or “having the upper hand” or “having a great advantage over others.”

5 Key Traits Recruiters look for in a Passive candidate by Marc Miller,