Social Networking’s Guide to Finding Employment

Social MediaWith the unemployment rates at an all time high, it is essential, now more than ever, to tap into alternative ways of getting noticed—and getting hired. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have relied mainly on the job boards for their pool of resumes. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Dice.com, and many others are over-flowing with resumes from every industry and educational level. With such a large pool of competition, how can anyone become noticed?

Many recruiters rely on a well-crafted Boolean search string and wait for the website to spit out a handful of resumes that match their job description. But this method can only give recruiters a list of skills, completely overlooking the essence of who these job seekers really are. Most job seekers do not understand the processes recruiters use to find talented professionals, and as a result, become overlooked. The use of social networking creates a new layer for job seekers. The power of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are drawing attention. There are millions of users on these sites. This is no longer a want-ad kind of world—this is a world of cut throat competition based on who you know and who you impress. Social networking can bridge the gap between a nameless resume to a memorable meeting with executives and recruiters ready to put you to work.

LinkedIn is a networking site geared toward professionals. This site has over 135 million members with the majority over the age of 25 making an annual income in the six figure range. LinkedIn members are serious about their professions by linking up with other professionals in and out of their industries. LinkedIn members conduct themselves in a more professional matter than members of Facebook which is geared more towards casual contact. LinkedIn also comes up in the top 5% of all Google.com searches. It is a key site to present your best professional face to the working world. Connecting with co-workers and friends on LinkedIn is appropriate; however, the key is to not limit yourself to those you know. By expanding your LinkedIn connections, there are more opportunities to network with professionals working in companies you might be interested in. Also, joining LinkedIn groups can give you an inside view of company news.

LinkedIn is not the only social networking site that can help land jobs. Facebook and Twitter also have a huge web presence. Many potential employers scan your Twitter feeds and Facebook posts in an effort to get to know you. Updating your statuses to reflect that you are job hunting will get attention. People are more than resumes and companies recognize that. In fact, recently a company posted an advertisement for an investment analyst but instead of receiving traditional resumes, job seekers were asked to provide their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook links along with a video message as to why these candidates wanted this job. They are most interested in what people are like, what they are like to work with, how they think. By utilizing social media, hiring companies can get a better feel for potential hires and avoid the jungle of faceless resumes.

If you are still not convinced that social media can help you land a job, try these statistics on for size. For every six people, one gets hired using social media. Over half of job seekers use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find jobs. When polled 18,400,000 people say that Facebook got them a job, 8,000,000 give Twitter credit for their jobs, and 10,200,000 people credit LinkedIn with their current positions. And remember, the average LinkedIn user makes over $100,000 in annual income. Do I have your attention?

So, how exactly do sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help you network and land a great job? First, it is common knowledge that having an inside contact is incredibly beneficial for finding a great job. That’s how I got my current job, but not everyone has a second cousin or friend of a friend that can give inside information or push your resume to the top of the stack. This is where savvy networking can educate you and bring attention to your profile with the big bosses. For instance, searching LinkedIn for company employees can bring you to the person that might end up interviewing you. This is the time to send a private message to connect—only. Pushing your resume during this first contact is ineffective and will most likely get you nowhere. Begin by asking questions about his or her job and develop a relationship. Your contact will be more likely to endorse you if you begin this way—trust me. Also, use groups to connect with people. You will most likely link up with someone in the same group verses going straight for the HR person who will delete your Inmail. And don’t stop there, find out about the person doing the interviewing. Pointing out commonalities goes a long way in relationship building and elbow rubbing.

Using social media has its advantages for getting you noticed. Millions of members take part in professional websites. It is a bridge that fills the gap between an anonymous resume and your professional presence. Recruiters and hiring managers alike troll these sites for potential hires. Introduce yourself and you will get that virtual handshake—that’s a promise.

I wouldn’t hire you as my recruiter…and neither would you!

Have you ever gotten the call from a friend because you are a recruiter and they need a job? As the conversation unfolds and you hear the woes of the market, the reason the current job has wronged them, and all the other reasons the work world is not kind to them. Admit it, in the back of your mind you are thinking… NO WAY is this person getting a new job anytime soon. They have to change their mindset.   

Why then do we exude the same behaviors and expect to be that GO TO person for our clients and great candidates?

Attitude:  When looking for a job, really anything good for that matter. attitude is everything. Positive attracts positive.

  1. As a recruiter are you positive with your clients and candidates?
  2. Do you think the next call could be a hire?
  3. Do you attract and teach that a great attitude is key in getting your next position?

No Excuses: When finding a reason for leaving or not being successful in a current position we as recruiters don’t want excuses we want to know how you will win in your next role and why we should bet on you.

  1. Would you bet on you? Or do you make excuses about pay rate, location; skills needed and in what combination as reasons you may not win in this search?
  2. Do you find reasons to turn no into yes, or do you find a reason to move to the next more winnable challenge
  3. Solutions not problems are what we all want to hear from someone. Do you get creative and find a way to win? OR do you just concentrate on the issues at hand.

 

Somebody will fill that position! Why won’t it be you? We coach candidates to ask for the job at the end of the interview, to show interest, to leave no question unanswered. Are we willing to do the same thing?

  1. Don’t give up
  2. Ask one more question
  3. Don’t assume you have done all you can…. Ask for feedback?
  4. Just make it happen. Set a goal, and go after it. Someone will fill that spot.

Being Politely Persistent

Have you ever heard the phrase “politely persistent”? It’s not original, I stole it from another sales person a while back. The phrase resonated with me and I still think about being “politely persistent” almost every day. I take business development, or sales, very seriously, I always have. When I was young I read and studied every sales book I could get my hands on. I spent time talking with successful sales people in the effort to try and understand what is was that drove their success.

Equally, I have studied customers. I have worked hard to understand what motivates them, what turns them off, what their typical day looks like, how they schedule meetings, how they manage priorities, etc., etc. Several important things important things have revealed themselves to me over the years. For example, the higher level the executive, the more meetings they have each and every day. C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies typically break up there days in 15 minute increments. That’s why those who request 60 minute, even 30 minute meetings never get responses. Ask for a 15 minute introduction with a Fortune 500 executive and you’ll almost always get it, I do anyway.

That gets me back to being politely persistent. Customers are busy, some busier than ever before. They are trying to do far more with far fewer resources. I know too many sales people who write off a lead or a prospect if they do not get a response to their first voice mail or email. I follow-up, and I follow-up again, and I follow-up again. Honestly I will continue to follow-up until a person tells me to stop calling them. That almost never happens. Instead I usually receive an apology for not getting back to me sooner.

I actually had a customer that told me the reason they ended up doing business with me was because my persistence showed that I was genuinely interested in doing business with that person, at that company. They said that my follow-up made it clear I was not just a smiler and dialer like all the others sales people calling on them day in and day out. That customer turned into one of my biggest accounts ever, the contact became a personal friend, and she actually came to work for me when I launched my own firm.

Your customers, even candidates, get calls from people just like you 10 to 20 times per day. Email is even worse with them sometimes receiving hundreds per day. I know C-level executives who sort through thousands of emails every day. Persistence is one way you can stand out. Don’t mistake harassment for persistence. You need to be creative and non-intrusive. Add value to be sure you are not only persistent, but politely persistent and you will no doubt be viewed as different from the competition.

Top 5 Reasons Job Seekers should use a Recruiter…

I was asked this weekend,  why should they use a recruiter?   This was very easy for me to answer and decided to post the top 5 reasons Job Seekers should use a Professional Recruiter when searching for a new Job.

 

  1. We Interview people Everyday.   We can help you.
  2. We have jobs/opportunities that are not posted anywhere else. (Contract, Contract-to-Hire and Direct Hire)
  3. Contract work can lead to a PERM job/Career.
  4. You should always know at least 3 recruiters in your industry.  You never know when you’ll need one.
  5. We know the story behind the job and may be able to give you the inside scoop.

 

Extra Reason:

  •  I don’t push resumes – I share stories to verify it is the right fit.

 

Sales: Where Do I Start?

It has been some time since I have been asked to contribute to a blog. When I received my login information for The Recruiter Files I did the same thing I always do… I asked myself “where do I start?” There are so many topics I could write about related to the business development side of staffing but where do I start? As I was asking myself that question I realized that is how most of my days begin. 

I sit at my desk, or in my car or even while I’m still laying in bed and think about where am I going to start today. What can I do right now to meet my metrics? What can I do right now to find that next client and to get that next opening? What can I do right now to convince this client to hire my guy, or gal? What can I do right now to increase my commission? What can I do right now to kick my competition’s butt and dominate my local market?

One of the most brilliant recruiters I have ever worked with/for once told me never hire a guy that smokes a pipe. Why I asked? He said because if you watch them, they’re always pacing around, puffing on their pipe, pondering where to start. They are usually brilliant people but they never get anything done because they never get anything started.

The point is to just start! Or, Just Do It as Nike once said. Don’t get me wrong, I prioritize and I have my running to-do list. But once I pick up that phone the ball starts rolling, momentum is gained and before I know it it’s 5pm. Then I ask myself… where will I start tomorrow?