Using Internet Marketing to Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired

February 17, 2010 at 9:05 pm 12 comments

You need to start treating your job search like a marketing campaign.  With a few simple steps, you can proactively monitor and manage the activity of your search…ultimately turning that information into relevant action and follow up.  We are going to learn how to leverage URL shorteners (e.g. bit.ly) to evolve beyond the blind, frustrating application process of submit-and-wait.

As background, I have recently been spending a lot of time immersed in the hiring process filling a position on my team.  In a few short months, I have received over 100 resumes and met with dozens of candidates.  While there are a great variety of skills, experience, and resume layout concepts they are all (generally) missing the opportunity to measure my actual interest in their candidacy.

It seems that our resumes are not evolving at the same rate as our professional/technical knowledge.  Sure, we’ve moved our resumes to electronic mediums but it’s essentially the same presentation…it does little more than make the document more portable.

I think we can do a lot better…

While a little lengthy, I promise this concept is quite simple…I’m not just an overzealous marketer giddy with a new, super-awesome-but-not-realistic vision (well not this time anyway).

How Do I Know Someone Looked at My Resume? | Tracking Your Job Campaign

In order to treat your job search like an integrated marketing campaign, we need to be able to track, measure, and relevantly respond to our audience(s).  Doing so will differentiate yourself on the intelligence and pro-activity of your search; giving your unique professional profile much needed visibility.

Building hyperlinks in your resume

With the concept I’m detailing, you could know that someone from XYZ company:

  • Followed a link to your personal website.
  • Viewed your LinkedIn profile.
  • Read your blog post on thoughts relative to XYZ company.

This concept, in and of itself, is not revolutionary…it is the simple application of Internet tracking and analytics techniques.

Physced?!?!  Alright…let’s get into the ‘how’.

Hyperlinks, Your Key To Creating an ‘Aware Resume’

The cornerstone of an ‘aware resume’ are hyperlinks.  More specifically, tracked hyperlinks (more on that in just a minute).

The following is a list of hyperlinks that you should be including on your resume:

  • LinkedIn Profile.
  • Blog.
  • Twitter Profile.
  • Personal Website.
  • Website of companies, schools, organizations, etc. that you have listed.

Links to Include in a ResumeThis list is not exhaustive (nor should you force these into your resume), however you should include links to any Internet-based property that relevantly presents your point of view, perspective, or experience to the position you are applying.

For example, if you are applying for a social media position, your personal Qik/Vimeo/YouTube channel or Facebook Fan Page might be highly relevant to the position.

Tracked Hyperlinks For Your Resume

The growth in character-limited status updates (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have popularized URL shortening services – websites that essentially take the long string of an Internal address (i.e. http:// …) and shorten it to a more portable, more easily shared link.  Additionally, you can even created personalized URLs using these services.

Example – the address to my LinkedIn profile is:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/chewitt

Using bit.ly (a popular URL shortener), it becomes:

http://bit.ly/deGeXE            (shortened)

http://bit.ly/Chris-Hewitt  (shortened and personalized)

A collateral benefit of these services are the tracking opportunities that they present.  When users click on a shortened link services, like Bit.ly, are collecting and storing important information about that click.  By creating an account (free) with these services, you have access to that information!

Creating Tracked Hyperlinks

I have chosen bit.ly for this post and as my URL shortener (Wired: bit.ly working on improving security), but there are other services as well (there is even a Google URL Shortener).
Creating a tracked hyperlink is very simple, but before creating tracked hyperlinks you must start with a bit.ly account.  Once created, you simply enter your URL, customize your link (optional), and insert it into your resume.

An Important Trick For Your Tracked Hyperlinks!

Bit.ly (and other services) organize tracked clicks based on the original (full) URL.  In regular use, this is a great metric to compare your influence against all others sharing the same link.  However, we want to track explicit traffic (interest) from potential employers.

Bit.ly analytics are grouped by the full URL

I was not the only one to create a bit.ly link for Phoenix information; my link resulted in 4 of the 20 total clicks.

As a result, we need to customize each of the URLs in order to make them unique.  Otherwise each prospective employer’s activity would be grouped together and you would lose visibility to unique interest.

Using an old trick (a nod to the teachings of my IT colleagues over the years), this customization is simple; by adding our own ‘code’ to each full URL we can make them unique.

There are many ways to technically implement this concept, but for simplicity, add the following to the end of each full URL prior to shortening it with bit.ly:

?c=[company name you are applying to]

One caveat, if the URL you are shortening already has a ‘?’ you will use a ‘&’:

&c=[company name you are applying to]

From Tracking to Action

If you have followed these steps, you are now attaching powerfully ‘aware resumes’ to your applications.  Rather than waiting for the phone to ring or inbox to light up with inquiries, you can be proactively (and relevantly) driving your candidacy based on tracking the interest of prospective employers.

1) Monitor Your Link Activity Closely

  • Who is clicking through on your ‘aware resume’?
  • What content are they interested in reading? How does that content relate to the position you applied?
  • Is a particular company more interested in your experience (LinkedIn) or your current thoughts/work (e.g. Twitter, blog, etc.)?
  • What days of the week and times of day are they viewing your information?

2) Follow Up…Relevantly and Thoughtfully

Based on your currently dialog with a prospective employer (e.g. application, email exchange, interview, etc.) and your insight into their online activity you can create your own nurture campaigns.  For example:

  • After seeing that a particular company is repeatedly viewing your current thoughts, you could write/record a blog post, Twitter comment, or other channel that shares a concept relevant to the position.
  • Use intermittent activity over a period of time to send a follow up email with information you found relevant to the position/company.
  • Watch your activity leading up to key decision points in the hiring process (i.e. interviews) to determine what information is most relevant and be prepare to talk about those topics in detail.

Most importantly, use your understanding of the company, the position, and the people making hiring decisions to create/continue dialog.  Just like a marketing campaign, you have the responsibility to return value to your audience.

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Entry filed under: Personal Brand. Tags: , , , , .

Social Media Is Not A Revolution…It’s Still About Dollars The Social Media Job Search – LinkedIn Profiles

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ZannWalker  |  February 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Excellent post, Chewie! I may need to re-read this several times before this new system implementation project is over! (just kidding!)

    Reply
  • 2. katetheprofessional  |  February 18, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Excellent idea! A job search is selling onself, so it follows that the searcher should use metrics to see what’s working. I will begin immediately by adding this to the resume on my blog. I knew about tracking urls, but I gues it just didn’t occur to me to put this in a resume. Thank you for the post!

    Reply
  • 3. george naing  |  February 24, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    so what does marketing really do?
    is there such an article here?

    Reply
    • 4. Chris Hewitt  |  February 25, 2010 at 8:50 am

      Hello George,

      That is a great question and one – like ‘the meaning of life’ or ‘how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop’ – that is not easily answered with one post (although some of my friends in IT would incorrectly argue that a post titled ‘nothing’ or ‘SPAM’ would answer the question).

      The collective goal of my various posts is to present the broad thoughts of one marketing guy in a effort to share ‘what I’m up to’. Thereby sharing one person’s perspectives on what marketing does and what we [marketers] think about.

      Reply
  • 5. Linda VandeVrede  |  February 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

    It definitely is true that our resumes are not keeping up with our technical prowess – thanks for some helpful tips on closing the delta.

    Reply
  • […] social media to enhance a person’s candidacy.  In fact, I recently created a concept for using social media to track your resume based on my own hiring experiences.  That hiring process also lead me to another social media […]

    Reply
  • 7. Tyler  |  May 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

    not to take away from your post, but I am a fan of Mystery…. Expecially when it comes to a future imployer. Think of it like this; My Mother has just recently joined the Facebook Movement so as to be able to look at pics, so on and so forth. I Have not “Friended” her for one reason, I do not want complete transperancy with my Mother. There are sides of me that I show just friends. By attaching a hyperlink to something like a twitter account, or a myspace account, you can see who is viewing you; but also they can see You in a scewed and slightly warped fashion. I use the word “Warped” because the person that I am online is not necessarily the same person that I am in life. There is an element of “false anonymity”., people are not as discrete due to the feeling that they are just typing into the blackness, sometimes not realizing who is reading. I am a horrible Drunk Facebooker/Texter. I hear it whenever we have a “Event” of some kind on ship, where they tell us at quarters that pics are “Not for the Internet/Facebook/Myspace”. CGIS (Coast Guard Investigative Services) monitor the web as well. The question becomes, who is monitoring your web? For that reason, I personally would kill off all my social networking accounts, and keep the stream of information coming direct from Me, where I have the strength to regulate what “Me” that someone is going to be able to see.

    Reply
    • 8. Chris Hewitt  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      That’s a great perspective Tyler, thanks for sharing.

      You are surfacing a popular point of discussion (related to my topic) regarding our personal brands and our ‘online’ persona (e.g. the rise in companies using social networking sites as part of their hiring process ). To me, we need to appropriately leverage social tools to best position our candidacy in a way that is authentic and relevant to who we are. If your ‘social media footprint’ is largely personal (capturing those wild, late night wall posts) then you are knowingly and confidently shaping your personal brand with that content.

      Those are your choices and, assuming you’re not hurting anyone (or breaking any rules), do not require apology. However, by doing so, you have accept that other people will use that ‘footprint’ to make assumptions about you. Even when we moderate and restrict our profiles, anonymity on the Internet is still an illusion…the data is still sitting on a server somewhere.

      Reply
  • […] previous posts, I have detailed my concepts on bringing more intelligence to a career search by tracking hyperlinks in resumes and monitoring your social media profiles.  I believe Google Voice can be used in a similar, […]

    Reply
  • […] The marketing applications of “tiny” URLs can vary from business to personal.  To check out a blog describing how you can use shortened URLs to track traffic on your resume and/or job campaign, click here. […]

    Reply
  • 11. Robin Thompson  |  March 14, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I am not from generation Y, who live and breathe technology. I have a Facebood page but only to keep in touch with family and friends long distance. I do not know anything about twitter and don’t have/want anything to do with myspace. I feel that is for children. For those of us who are mature, with 25+ years work experience and are now looking for work, how can I use your technique of creating a URL for the purposes of prospective employers who view my resume and then be able to track those responses and follow up on them.
    Thanks very much for your time in reading my question.

    Reply
    • 12. Chris Hewitt  |  March 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Hello Robin…thanks for the read.

      As the specific steps are outlined in the post, presumably your question is more about its practical applications – especially for seasoned professionals such as yourself – so my following response is in that vein.

      First and foremost, the solution should not be viewed as technology-restrictive. I chose this method, over others, as I found it to be the most accessible for a wide audience.

      The specific applications vary based on the specifics of your targeted position, companies, industries, etc. (note: I tried to find your LinkedIn profile to better tailor this response but was unable to find one). The foundation of this concept is linkable, relevant content that you can use to engage prospective employers. There are obvious linkable pieces of content like a LinkedIn profile (if you don’t have one already, get that built and updated), personal website/blog/fan page, etc.

      However, with 25 plus years of experience, you may have online content like portfolio, work examples, published articles (or news articles in which you were features), or projects you’ve worked on that you should definitely link within your resume. In lieu of that content, you could always find an article relevant to the position/company you are interested in and include an explanation and link in your cover letter, follow up email, etc. I know you have content…put it to use!

      Once you have your linked content established and integrated into your resume/application, follow the steps I outlined in the post to create ‘trackable’ links.

      Those trackable resumes now require diligent attention as you monitor activity to see if anyone is clicking through on your links. Use thoughtful follow ups (email, calls, etc.) with those individuals and companies showing interest in your candidacy with their clicks.

      Lastly, allocate some of your ‘career search time’ to creating content…start blogging about your experiences, answering questions on LinkedIn/Quora (all the social media ‘rage’ right now), etc. It is never too late to big/strengthen your brand.

      I hope that helps…Cheers and best of luck.

      Reply

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