By Linda M. Van Valkenburgh, MS, CCMC, CJSS
If you were to ask me what one of the most requested speaking topics people have requested of me is, I would have to say that it has something to do with Social Media in job search.  Whether it is learning about using Twitter, or special tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, those involved in helping job seekers transition understand that employers are embracing Social Media in epic proportions. As a Twitter Certified Career Strategist, I can say without equivocation that Social Media must play an important part in your transition process. More than a million and a half jobs a month are advertised on Twitter alone. Can you afford to turn your back on metrics like this?

So, if you are not that well versed in Social Media, take the time over the summer to become knowledgeable enough to add Social Media to your career campaign. If you are using it now, see how you can improve on your ROE, Return on Effort! The following assignments are designed to help you get there!

Starting with LinkedIn, make sure that your profile is at 100%. Use all of the real estate that they provide you with to present your brand. Under your name, there is a place that most people think should just say the title of the position that they hold or are searching for. Use it as a place to insert some of your value proposition/headline so that you set the tone about who you are right after your name. This should also be loaded with the keywords that direct searches back to you!  Seek out at least 5 recommendations.  When you write 5 recommendations for colleagues and associates, usually 3 will write back and do the same for you! This continues to whet the appetite of the person that is viewing your profile. Research at least 10 companies that you might be interested in and then find 10 names of people to contact to set up informational meetings to learn more about the company and its culture. How do you do this? In the right hand search box, do a reverse look-up by putting in the company name. Up will pop people that work there enabling you to see if you have any connections. See who is there and if you have anyone that can help the process along for you. These tips can help you maximize your LinkedIn profile and increase your ROE.  Joining groups that these “influencers’ belong to is another way to be able to reach out and speak to them!

Twitter is the Social Media Tool that can provide a big return for 15-30 minutes a day. Read about how Twitter works. Buy a copy of The Twitter Job Search Guide written by Susan Whitcomb, Chandlee Bryan and Deb Dib. It is chock full of information to help you become a Twitter aficionado. It is easy reading that can help propel your career campaign to the next level.

If you have not established a presence on Twitter, establish your Twitter handle at once. Create one that ties into your brand. Create your 160-character profile which means convey your value proposition in as succinct and catchy a manner as possible.

Twitter is the one Social Media tool that allows you to follow people without needing permission. So, follow the rule of “C-I-O“.  Follow Companies, Influencers and find Opportunities as they are tweeted. Watch the jobs that they advertise on Twitter and listen to the tweets of the HR people. Yes, many of them are on Twitter and this allows you to peek behind the curtain of the company in a way that you cannot do with other Social Media.

Learn about using hashtags and play around with them. Also, practice tweeting 140 character tweets by writing them out on paper. This will help you become more confident before you start.

Lastly, I recommend that you attend my Twitter For Job Seekers Workshop to be held on June 20, 2012 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in Stamford, CT. It answers the questions What is this stuff anyway and how I am supposed to use it in Job Search???”  For those of you in the local Stamford, CT area, this workshop will prove to be invaluable in getting you on the road or enhancing your use of Twitter in search.  To register, click here .

Lastly, create your individual experience page on facebook. Research and like companies you have targeted so that you can follow the company and see what is happening including becoming privy to job openings as they come up.  Lastly, join or use which is the facebook equivalent of LinkedIn.

Implementing a holistic Social Media approach can pay big dividends for your career campaign. Working on the foregoing assignments will help you position yourself in Social Media in the best way possible. Please leave me a comment and let me know if this has helped you. As always, if I can help you in search, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 203-323-9977.

Every success –