Adventures of a Twitter Fanatic

Posted on July 2, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, social media | Tags: , |

Twitter Job Search

Twitter & the Job Search

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)Welcome to installment 3 of my series on social media marketing for job seekers. My first post was called Confessions of a Facebook Snob, which I followed up with Facebook and the Midlife Crisis, two posts highlighting what I see as issues for job seekers in using Facebook as a tool in the job search process.

[In a nut shell, I think job seekers need to be a little snobby when it comes to Facebook. Facebook’s real value to the job seeker is in its company pages and groups areas, less so in its “friend” connections, and too many people are wasting time there on things that aren’t productive to the job search (but still accounting for it as “job search time”).]

My approach to Twitter, however, is completely different (as it should be; Twitter is a different environment with a different etiquette). Second to LinkedIn, I believe

Twitter has some great potential for job seekers when used STRATEGICALLY.

Without a doubt, I am a Twitter fanatic…I love it. For this introvert, a better networking tool could not have been invented. I never have to worry whether I have anything stuck between my teeth. There’s never that awkward “hello” and “goodbye” moment. We get right to the point.

But my fanaticism for Twitter comes from a firm belief that it only is really effective when you have a clear target audience and you market to that niche.

Yes, market.

Social media comes down to marketing.

(It’s important not to get confused about that. It might be a different kind of marketing from what you traditionally think of as marketing, but it is still marketing nonetheless. For more on that, don’t miss my post on Social Media Layering.)

The challenge is not to let it suck up all your time, especially on things that bring little value to your goal: finding the next career move.

That’s why niche marketing to your target audience is so important. The biggest benefit Twitter allows is for each participant to present or “brand” himself or herself in a certain way, and you can position that brand in front of your market relatively easily. The problem, however, is that people can get way off track with Twitter (I know from experience).

Here are some mistakes most job seekers make with Twitter:

  1. Combining business with personal. Conversations and genuine engagement is encouraged, but yapping with friends/family about personal issues while then turning around and marketing to the CEO of Intel is not recommended. Twitter does let you have more than one account. You should try that instead.
  2. Following too many trends. Because Twitter moves at such a fast pace, it allows for trends to come and go quickly, very quickly. If you’re not careful, you can get off message and off target following them all. Never forget why you are there and stay true to that purpose.
  3. Only talking about yourself. Honestly, no one is really interested in you…harsh, I know, but social media, despite some people’s hopes, is not changing human behavior. Just like you don’t enjoy sitting down to dinner with someone who can only talk about him or herself, the same is true on Twitter. People “like” or are interested in those who bring value to a discussion, who make them feel like they are being heard, who come across as problem solvers.

Overall, the great thing about having a niche market with Twitter is that it scales the Twitterverse down for you and lets you have a specific purpose for being there. It becomes so much more than a “What is happening?” toy. After all, the whole concept behind social media marketing (and conducting a job search is just another form of that) is really to turn these “toys” into “tools” that can work to your advantage.

So be sure to meet up with me on Twitter, and when you do, tell me (and my audience) what your niche is. I look forward to hearing from you there!

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Social Media Job Search: It’s All About Layering

Posted on June 26, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Personal Branding, social media | Tags: , , , |

social media layeringby Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

Many people ask me which social media site I think is the best when it comes to a job search. On the surface, it seems like a logical question. After all, who wants to spend time on sites that aren’t effective? And let’s face it, social media is time consuming.

The problem with the question, however, is that it completely misunderstands social media.

Social media is about marketing.

Most people fail with social media (or at the very least give up trying) because they only see it as a networking tool, a place where they can connect with old friends (Facebook), colleagues (LinkedIn), build followers (Twitter), etc. Although networking is certainly part of it, it’s not the essence of it. Social media is about marketing, pure and simple.

But it’s not your old school MBA program kind of marketing (although I am hoping they are catching up); it’s one that takes your networks and creates communities of influence and engagement that “market” to one another…not in a “sales pitchy kind of way” but in a “value proposition kind of way.” At least that is what social media marketing should be anyway.

Therefore, the social media job search is not about using one particular site.

(It’s also not about becoming a rock star.)

The social media job search, just like social media marketing, is about layering.

Yes, layering.

Like any good marketing campaign, it starts with a message. Not a slogan…a message.  That message is then distributed across social media, but not as advertisement, more like as an ongoing story that recognizes the environment it is in.

For instance, say you are an IT project manager. Maybe you aren’t actively looking for a new job, but you’re starting to get the itch. At the moment, you have a Facebook account that you basically use to post pictures of your kids, a LinkedIn account that’s halfway filled in with connections to some colleagues, and you opened a Twitter account, but you don’t really know what to do with it. Right now, social media hasn’t been anything more than a basic networking tool for you.

Here’s where layering comes in.

You begin by developing your value proposition and personal brand message. In other words, what problems do you solve? What unique expertise do you bring? Think about how you can articulate that, and how you can use the different social media environments to do it.

Now let’s begin with LinkedIn. The first thing you can do is post that messaging in your profile. Then you can write blogs (using WordPress or Blogger), which you can feed into your LI profile, that detail some of your knowledgebase. You can also join groups where you can share your expertise on this subject. Another great option is to upload some presentations that you’ve done that again reinforce your main message.

After that, you take it further and go on Twitter, where you can tweet out links to your blog posts and LI updates. You participate in a chat or two each week that provides a forum for you to share your background knowledge and meet others with similiar interests.

Then you go to your Facebook account, where you look for industry groups you can join. You also find apps that let you upload some of your professional background info in a more casual way (like talent.me). Maybe you go a step further and feed in some images from Pinterest that make jokes about or highlight people like you (techies, organization freaks, etc.). It reminds your friends in a more casual way of the work that you do.

And so on. And so on.

I know…here’s the burning question…does all that lead to a job?

Well, the answer is the same as it is for the thousands of entrepreneurs out there trying to make social media work for them: “It works for some.”

It works for those who have a consistent, clear message and who figure out how to articulate that message, leveraging their communities across social media. It’s a lot of work, but it can work and has worked. But it starts with an understanding of what social media is and is not. And it requires a shift in thinking about marketing and messaging. It also requires a fair amount of research, finding and developing your target market and how to reach them.

It also isn’t something you can do overnight. It takes at least 6 months to build these layers on a basic level, and to build communities around them.

Sounds like a job in and of itself? It is. In my view, it isn’t so much as a job search tool as it is a career management one. It’s something you put in place and keep in place as you move throughout your career.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Personal Brand Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount. 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: What Are They Good For?

Posted on April 10, 2012. Filed under: Job Search Tips, Recruiting | Tags: , , , |

by Sheree Van Vreede (@rezlady)

Here is a follow-up post to today’s #peoplechat, a relatively new Twitter chat that takes places at 1:30 EST on Tuesdays. From what I gathered (it was my first visit), the purpose of this chat is to discuss talent acquisition issues. Today’s topic was supposed to be “what’s good about recruiting.” Here are some snippets from that frank conversation.

(P.S.: For those of you offended by the use of the word “stupid,” as I said, it was a “frank” discussion.)

Question 1: Why do people hate recruiters?

Question 2: Why do most recruiters hate hiring managers?

Recruiter feedback

There was also some discussion about the importance of the recruiter giving a candidate feedback after he or she is turned down for a position. Here, again, are some comments from that discussion. As you can see, some got right to the point, whereas others waxed a little more poetical.

What say you? What do you think recruiters are good for? Do you think a recruiter should provide feedback? Do you think most recruiters are only looking for the ideal candidate? 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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