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What they don’t tell you about Social Media and Job Hunting

My Google search on Tuesday turned up over 138 links and 23 blog posts on social media and job hunting. Crazy but true.

When I started to review many of the links and blog posts in my search, most contained some really great information for job hunters like: reviewing your online reputation, knowing where to look on social media sites, what’s the best way to communicate with relevant players and how you should always be willing to learn... all great information but, do you really want to read another blog post on how to find a job using social media?

Read on, because I’m going to tell you what they don’t tell you about social media and job hunting.

First thing – Social media increases the odds against you finding a job rather than putting them in your favor.

Why? Because of conversation volume.

The sheer number of conversations going on is incredible. Job hunters, recruiters and others are using social media in record numbers. Example: Let’s say you want to use Twitter to target a few companies that are hiring. You send a few tweets either to an internal employee or to the company’s Twitter account. Do you get heard, or even noticed? The odds are increasingly unlikely. An internal employee (using Twitter) might forward your resume onto recruiting. The company’s Twitter social media manager may do the same thing. This adds up to more of the same red tape that you were see if you applied for the job on their website.

How can you breakthrough the conversation? The best way is to become a pest. If you are serious about a company you need to constantly be involved in the conversations that they are having on social media channels. Be an advocate of the company, suggest them to your friends and associates and let them know you are out there on a daily basis.

Second thing – On social media channels, everyone says the same things, in order to get a job.

Why? A major reason is because of human nature, but also because like it or not social media is a gigantic echo chamber. A story, or comment is retweeted, reposted and shared over a million times once it hits various social media channels. Example: An interesting news story about any industry related topic is retweeted 200+ times on Twitter and is liked 300+ times on Facebook. That’s a lot! So much for new and inventive thoughts.

How do you become a star? Start with an idea about who you are to employers, “I am a wizard when it comes to PR” take this idea and branch interesting stories off of it. Will there be some stories that are mediocre or have been tweeted and posted before, sure but the important thing is to always stick with your idea that’s what employers will gravitate to. Instead of being John who retweeted this mornings story on PR, you are John the Wizard of PR that retweeted the story.

Third thing – More bad things get noticed than good things on all your social media channels.

Why? Because bad news always travels faster than good, but also because bad comments and pictures attract more attention and feedback. Another important thing to keep in mind is that social media is like a gigantic ecosystem. Example: what happens on one social media channel is usually seen on others. A comment could originate on Facebook and it might be tweeted, posted and shared on multiple channels before it ends up once again on Facebook in a recruiter’s news feed.

How can you be prepared? Keep consistency among each social media channel and platform you are on. That means your voice and tone are the same, your message is always consistent. I constantly tell audiences that I speak to that – “your social profile is as real as your social self.”

To sum up, social media is a great way to promote yourself and reach out to perspective companies for a job. But it’s important to understand the potential pitfalls that still exist in this new medium. By arming yourself with a little more knowledge you are one step closer to landing that dream job.

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