Career and job searches are popular subjects of late; I have read and heard a number of stories on using 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 concept for a job search that I haven’t seen discussed; candidate awareness.
There are plenty of articles with strong warnings about the ‘digit self’ you present to potential companies and recruiters. Ask any job seeking Millennial or Net Genner about how often they have been ‘warned’ by older generations about their ‘Facebooking’. “Just look at what happened to Michael Phelps,” we wisely caution. I think it’s time we moved past the scare tactics and encourage job seekers of all ages to actively use their online profiles to enhance their job search.
The same tools that we are cautioning against can be used to provide valuable intelligence in your search.
Profile Views | The Foundation of A Social Job Search
Many social media websites provide you with information on who is viewing your profile. Social media websites, like LinkedIn, give you insight into the people that are interested in your profile.
This information is critical to an active, engaged career search. Do not wait around to be contacted, proactively monitor who is viewing your profile…especially for those people that you expect to be viewing your profile.
LinkedIn For Your Job Search
LinkedIn has become an integral part of many managers/recruiters selection and hiring process. The free level of LinkedIn provides you with a glimpse into the activity of those viewing your profile.
The information displayed depends on your level of connection to a person viewing your profile.
Those paying for premium versions of LinkedIn have even greater visibility and detail into the specific people viewing your profile.
Being Socially Aware in Your Job Search
The hiring process places a lot of knowledge in the hands of the hiring company. Your candidacy is largely at the mercy of their schedules, messages, and updates. As a result, a candidate must follow up with calls and emails to assess the situation. Unfortunately, however, this is usually this is a anxious process…balancing our desire for knowledge against the threat of being too pushy, inconsiderate, or desperate.
Using social media tools like LinkedIn, we can acquire some of that knowledge ourselves and gain visibility into our candidacy. For example, if you applied for a position with a Boston IT company? There may be a good chance that they are interested in your candidacy.
Use the link provided to research further into the people, or type of people, that are potentially interested in your candidacy. Learn about those people and develop plans on how this information could be used in follow up notes, discussions, and interviews. For example:
What is there professional background?
Where did they go to school?
Follow links to their blog and read about their perspectives.
Competitive Intelligence In Your Job Search
This next concept, around connections, is equally important for recruiters/hiring managers as it is for candidates. Today many recruiters/hiring managers are connecting to some of their candidates via LinkedIn…opening both sides to a wealth of information.
Candidates, Get To Know Your Competition!
As you engage with prospective employers, I would recommend connecting with them on LinkedIn (note: as long as this is inline with your overall ‘connection’ strategy). This is especially important if that person initiates a connection request. Actually…it is CRITICAL.
Wow, why the capitals?
As you may know, when connected to people on LinkedIn you are able to view their new connections. As they are connecting with you, they are likely connecting with your competition!
Connect and then watch those recruiters/hiring managers profiles closely and their new connections (you can even turn on RSS feeds for your network updates). As you monitor their new connections, look for people with profiles/experience that are relevant to your position of interest. Those are likely your competitors (yes, I know, they are very rude for trying to steal your position).
Then, as outlined above, research and understand your competition. Using that information to prepare to compete against them in interviews by strengthening areas you may be weak, dialing up areas of differentiation, etc.
Recruiters, Are You Revealing Your Candidates?
Reading the above, you can see that you may be ‘showing your hand’ of candidates for a position. You may be comfortable with exposing that information…I can certainly see how it could breed a more constructively competitive and honest dialog with candidates. However, if your search is confidential, or your candidates have requested confidentiality, you may be unknowingly exposing your company, search, or candidates.
You are likely already on LinkedIn…now leverage the tool and create actionable information for your next position!