Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pumping up your job search with social media

We're nearly halfway through the Journalism Launchpad course, the five-week, one-credit course that prepares journalism student for the job or internship search and the personal finance issues that come up after graduation.

Each year I have to change this course up to accommodate changes in technology and employment trends. And each year,  social media grows in importance, both for your job skills and qualifications, and for actually finding a job. Today's biggies are LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

New to LinkedIn? Here's Cat Knarr's HuffingtonPostPost on 8 Secrets to Building a Stunning LinkedIn Profile. Read this. I learned some new tricks here.

And this site, SocialMediaToday.com always has interesting material. Here's a really great post on  How to Get More LinkedIn Connections. New things here for me as well.

Want to get totally up to speed on social media? Take this free, five-week online online course, Social Media for Journalists: The Basics, courtesy of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Some random comments from my reading or conversations with employers:

I don't even ask for a resume anymore. I want to see an applicant's Linkedin profile, his or her Twitter feed and a two-minute Youtube video on why I should hire him or her.  No comment needed, right? And while we're on the topic of Hire Me Videos, check out this viral number, Google Please Hire Me. Very funny. But. Back to LinkedIn. It can be a super-powerful tool, and most students don't use half the potential. Take some time and get under the hood with LinkedIn. One Launchpad student is getting job inquiries from local employers since she added "social media" to her skills keywords.  You can also link to your online portfolio. (Need one? Try PressFolios.)

Jobs have moved away from big job boards like Monster and over to niches. Here's SmartRecruiter's list of 50 Best Job Boards.   The list on this page includes boards for sports,  book publishing, and even jobs and internships in Hollywood. (And follow these sites on the Twitter.)

If you're looking for a marketing job, don't bother applying unless you have at least 2,000 Twitter followers. Especially in public relations and marketing, employers want to know that you not only understand how these tools are used, but you're using them all the time yourself. Use it and Tweet smart things, like links to stories you're interested in. (I've also had students get interviews with sources through Twitter.) A lot of students put social media skills on their resume, but you need numbers to back this up. You also need to understand and stay up to date on social media metrics. Here's an earlier post on this topic, with a little primer.

My company doesn't advertise jobs online anymore, we only broadcast through Twitter. Think about it. If you're running a company, why would you hire someone who wasn't interested enough to follow you?

If you're looking for a job or internship, or want to share with fellow students, here's our hashtag: #journolaunchjobs. And please. Follow me, will ya? I need to get up to 2,000 followers. And fast.

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