The Social Media Job Search: Is It All Over but the Shouting?

Posted on May 12, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Lately I’ve noticed an interesting trend when it comes to social media and the employment process. Everyone in the hiring world seems to have something they need, be it a job seeker looking for a job or a hiring pro looking to fill a position, and from both sides, I keep hearing that there is no one out there to fulfill these needs. Somehow there aren’t enough jobs, and yet when there are jobs, there aren’t people to fill them.

How can that be?

I spend a lot of time on the main social media sites. I joined as a career professional, and quickly found that many wonderful recruiters and job seekers are out there. As someone who spends his day trying to help job seekers through the job search process, I saw this as an opportunity to build connections for my clientele as well as for the candidates I meet on these sites. After all, isn’t that what these sites are for? To build connections?

But here is a typical day:

Job seeker: “Looking for PHP Developer position; willing to relo; 10 years exp.”

Recruiter: “Filling PHP Developer posting; must have 5+ years exp.”

Seems like a no-brainer, right? At the very least, these two people need to speak! But I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to be the conduit to make that happen, and I hear excuses from both sides as to why they don’t want to pursue it BEFORE they have even met!

On the one hand, the job seeker is skeptical of the recruiter and, I don’t know, maybe a little gun shy or something. So the job seeker is content to spend all day scanning job boards for positions that are likely no longer even open. Give the job seeker a name of yet another job board, and off they go happy as a clam!

On the other hand, the recruiter really doesn’t want to speak with job seekers after all. The recruiter would prefer someone currently employed or … something. Sometimes they actually seem to want me to screen these candidates for them instead of actually making a phone call and finding out.

I have to admit this is a head-scratcher for me.

To the recruiter: If you’re not there to recruit, what are you there to do? Talk with other recruiters?

To the job seeker: If you’re not there to actually speak with someone, what are you there to do? Shout out how no one is helping you?

Some wise soul out there might argue that this an old conundrum playing out in a new scene, and that is probably true. But it makes me question the ability of social media to really sustain itself as an effective job search tool. And let’s face it, in many regards, job seekers (those active and those “passive”) as well as career professionals are really driving the movement right now.

Of course, I am speaking in generalities here, and people love to tell the news media all the success stories they’ve heard of regarding job seekers finding leads for positions through social media connections, but as someone who is out there each day trying to help foster these success stories, I’m seeing mostly just disconnections. A lot of chirping with very little action behind it.

Believe me. I like a good idea, just like the next guy. I have certainly met some wonderful people through social media, but as a job search tool, sadly, I am not that impressed. And it’s not because the possibility isn’t there for it to be a good avenue. The problem isn’t the technology; its just good, old-fashioned human nature.

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The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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Recruiters Are Not “Employment Superheroes”

Posted on March 30, 2009. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sadly, this basic concept seems to have eluded many job seekers out there. I’m not sure how it started exactly, but somewhere along the way many candidates began to lump recruiters and headhunters into the same category as social workers, believing that simply out of their own generosity they tirelessly look for just the right job to suit each candidate.

In other words, they are “employment superheroes,” out there doing the work for you.

Now don’t get me wrong…there are many kind-hearted recruiters out there who do care very much about candidates and who would like to see them achieve their goals.

But that’s not what the recruiter is there for…solving all your job search woes.

It’s pretty simple. A recruiter, typically, will only be looking for candidates who fit with the types of positions he or she is being paid to recruit for (or will be paid for if a suitable candidate can be found).

If you don’t fit with what the recruiter needs, then he or she can’t help you. The recruiter might keep your info on file and contact you if anything does come up, but basically it is time to move on.

I’m not sure why this relationship then becomes so complex for many job seekers. Instead they hang on every word the recruiter says. “He told me he would call me in a couple weeks.” “She said my resume doesn’t have enough business development in it.”

They can’t seem to capture the code words here for “I don’t have anything right now.” It’s kind of like the “let’s just be friends” speech so often given at the end of a dating relationship.

Instead of getting the message, the job seeker runs off to their resume writer screaming, “why did you short-change me on business development?” (Never mind that they are looking for a technical job.)

I also find that once many job seekers begin talking to recruiters, they stop putting much effort into their job search. Instead they play the waiting game. (It’s kind of like the job posting boards, where the resumes go in, never to be heard from again. Yet everyone keeps posting anyway and then waiting for something to happen.)

I’m not saying recruiters won’t contact you, but again, only if they have a specific position for which you are suited that happens to come across their desk, not because they are staying up at night worrying about finding a position for you.

This point is very important, especially now when position openings are few and job searches are taking longer and longer. So don’t just talk with one or two recruiters; talk with several. And find ones that work in your field or industry.

But whatever you do, diversify your job search approach. Networking! Group Job Hunting! Every year they consistently rank the highest in effectiveness for job seekers, and every year I have to spend hours convincing candidates of the benefits. Instead I hear, “I just know this recruiter is going to come through for me!” Ah, the employment superheroes…

Did you find this post helpful? If so, please share it! Or send us a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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BREAKING NEWS!! What’s the #1 Impediment of Any Job Search?

Posted on November 19, 2008. Filed under: Job Search Tips | Tags: , , , , , |

ANSWER:

The Job Seeker

Ouch. I know it’s exactly what job seekers don’t want to hear, right? Instead you want to believe that you are doing all the right things, that you have invested your time and resources wisely. Instead you want to hear that the reason you haven’t landed a position is because we are in tough economic times, that the holidays are approaching, and that the recruiter or resume writer you have been working with hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Yes, it’s true that we are in tough economic times, and yes, it is also true that the holidays do slow things down a bit. And of course recruiters and resume writers play a significant role in the job search process.

But who’s guiding this ship anyway? The economy, the time of year, the recruiter, the resume writer, or you?

Well, if you want to be successful, it better be you! And you better have a game plan.

Listen, the job search process is nothing more than a sales negotiation. So start thinking of it like one…

• Identify market strengths/weaknesses and develop a strategy for using them to your advantage.
• Know how much time you have and where to spend it.
• Key in on a niche market. The more focused, the better.
• Follow-up and follow-through. Many job opportunities are lost for this very reason.
• STOP spending so much time on the Internet and get out there!

And whatever you do, stop feeling sorry for yourself! So when you hear yourself blaming the economy or the government or whatever else seems to be in the way, stop it!

The sales rep who goes around feeling sorry for themselves or spews forth bitterness is seldom successful.

My company, No Stone Unturned, has spent years guiding job seekers through the swampland, and there is only one obstacle that we have found that we cannot overcome: the job seeker’s inability to take control of his or her search.

We have wrestled through job search coaching sessions. We have tried desperately to get people to follow our No-Nonsense Job Search Strategy approach (because we know it works!). But for some reason, job seekers like to think that if they just throw their resume out there, talk to a recruiter or two, or make a call here and there, then they can just sit back and wait for something to happen.

I seriously hope that people are not performing like this on their jobs!

Ask any sales person or small business owner. We wouldn’t have much success if we just waited for the opportunities to roll in. A phone call, a resume posting, a conversation with a recruiter…those are all good starts, but they are hardly much of a job search.

Do you know that most job seekers don’t even know how much time they have to devote each week, much less each day to a search?

Yet when that 40-day mark hits and they still don’t have an offer, what do job seekers do? They start blaming everyone else.

C’mon! Cut that out. Let us help you get that plan going and keep with it. Let us help you set the proper expectations. And let us teach you what you really need to know about recruiters and headhunters and resume writers. Contact us today!

Get armed. Get ready. And go!

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