Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Use Social Media to find Jobs

A social media executive has always used Twitter in his job seeking. Here, he shares some tips and insights

I've been a massive fan of social media since I first joined MySpace in 2003. I love the way it allows you to communicate with your friends for free and learn more about people you may have only met a handful of times.
It's this passion for social platforms that led me to design and develop my own social network – a website which allowed Nottingham-based businesses to communicate directly with their customers – while still at university, with the financial help and support from a business enterprise agency called The Hive.
The venture didn't survive past its difficult first year, but it did lead me into working with businesses in Nottingham, helping them develop their online presence on social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Upon graduation I wasn't about to give up on social media, so I decided to incorporate it into my search for a job. In less than two years, I've become head of social media at a digital agency called Crab Creative.
Twitter has always been a key tool that I've used to create career opportunities. I've either found the roles advertised via Twitter or first made contact with a company this way. Here are some tips and insights I've picked up along the way.

Don't follow everyone

I began my job search by following the 10 to 15 companies I really wanted to work for. The rest I added to a "list" on Twitter; these lists are designed to help you organise the people and topics you are interested in, whether you follow them or not. This meant I wasn't bombarded with a mixed feed of friends, companies and brands. I checked my list everyday while I was searching for work and now that I have a great job I barely check it. I know it's always there if I want to get an update on the industry or make another career move, but it doesn't interfere with my regular use of Twitter.

Follow members of staff

I found following existing employees (particularly recruitment officers) much more helpful than following the company's Twitter account. Individuals are much more likely to respond. Plus it may help you stay one step ahead of the rest of the job market: they'll often tweet if they're changing jobs, which let's you know there's a vacancy.
I found lots of companies had a list called "staff" where you can find the employees, but you can also search by users' bios using Google – like I did here. I'd recommend following the list itself. It saves time and has the advantage that whenever a new member of staff joins the company you will get their tweets automatically (once they've been added to the list).
Increasingly companies are using Twitter to advertise jobs as well as message boards. The character limitations mean they have to be succinct. I recently worked with the Royal College of Nursing to devise a posting plan to advertise some upcoming jobs – so it's not just social media companies utilising this medium.

Use Twitter search

Google searching is very useful, but you can't filter by location. Twitter's advanced search allows you to specify a location followed by some keywords. (This is a basic search for tweets containing social media within 25 miles of central London.)
You can also get more specific by removing keywords or including hashtags. This can make finding a local job a lot easier and for me location was very important as I didn't want a commute that would take more than an hour. The majority of the previous positions I've held have been found via Twitter search, looking for tweets that include words such as "social media role".

Tweet about your work and experiences in your chosen industry

Don't do this every time you get told the report was good. But I've tweeted links to applications, blogposts and achievements that I am proud of. I've had people retweet these and reply to offer feedback on what they would do differently.
Additionally, replying to tweets from other people about their work is a great way of opening up the communication channels. If I am impressed by a campaign I'll be very quick to praise the company or team that created it. For example, I recently had a chat with Letitia Johnson from Punktilio about their Phones 4u game and YO! Sushi promotions.

Don't have a private account

When you make your account private, by definition, you make yourself less visible. I wouldn't advise it. If you're worried that your personal tweets will lose you a job or stop you getting an interview, either get a second Twitter account or don't tweet while you're on the job hunt.

Make use of your bio

Several industry (social media specific) recruiters found me from searching for people looking for jobs in social media. I had tweeted "looking for FT/PT/#freelance roles in social media" which helped them locate me. I wasn't following them, but I did meet them offline to discuss opportunities they had to offer.
Once the recruiters had found me they knew the role I was after by reading my bio and were able to tweet me links to job specs on their websites directly. You only get 160 characters for your Twitter bio, so you have to be specific. At the time my bio was "Social media bandit, 3 years experience looking for social planner/community management role." Followed by my email address and website.
Some organisations only use recruitment agencies so no matter how much you try and get their attention it will all be in vain. Recruiters are surprisingly active on Twitter (and LinkedIn) in my experience.


#FF stands for "Follow Friday" and it's a way of people recommending other profiles they feel are worth following.
I helped a friend gain some recruiters attention about a month ago by using #FF to tweet that they were looking for a job. Three recruiters from my account followed them and contacted them about roles.
Simon Caine is head of social media at a digital agency called Crab Creative. And a standup comedian. Find him on Twitter@thismademecool

How to Make a Successful Career Change

The 10 Steps You Need to Take When You Make a Career Change

Who wants career success? You do, of course. Your career may be the most important thing in your life ... or it may not be. There's no arguing, though, that it certainly is a significant part of it. We spend at least 40 hours at work each week. That's a lot of time! In addition to paying the rent and putting food on the table, your career should be fulfilling. Following these 11 tips will help you make sure it is.

Choose Your Occupation Wisely

Before you decide to pursue any career, ask yourself this question: "Can I see myself doing this all day, everyday, for many years?" Life is too short to spend it wishing you were doing something other than what your are.

Don't Let Anyone Tell You What Choice is Best for You

Ignore those who say, "Pick this field because it has lots of opportunities right now," "You will make loads of money so it doesn't matter if you hate your job" and "I like this career and therefore you will too." Your career choice is a personal decision and it is one that will have a significant effect on your life for many years. Oh, and by the way, the relationship between earnings and job satisfaction is minimal.

Measure Your Own Success

How do you define success? Is it the size of your paycheck or having the corner office? Is it the feeling you get when you know you did a great job on a project (praise from the boss doesn't hurt) or the one you get when you know you helped someone? Perhaps you feel successful after putting in a day at work and coming home at a reasonable hour to spend time with your family. Since everyone measures success differently, only you can determine what it means to you. Your satisfaction with your career is strongly linked to how successfully you feel you have met your own, and not anyone else's, definition of it.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

As much as you think you know, you don't know it all. There are people who have more experience than you do and with that experience comes knowledge. In order to have access to that knowledge, make sure your network is filled with contacts other than your peers. More experienced contacts can help you with things like learning more about an occupation you are considering, getting the lowdown on an employer before a job interview or solving a problem at work.

Always Acknowledge People Who Help You

It may sound simple, but it's truly a significant gesture: always thank those who offer you assistance. Whether someone gives you five minutes of his time or an introduction to a potential employer, it's important you let him know that what he did meant something to you. And when that person or another needs help, you can return the favor. Consider it good karma.

Own Your Mistakes

You know what they say about mistakes. Everybody makes them and you are no exception. Of course you will do what you can to avoid making a serious error, but sometimes they happen anyway. While your instinct may be to run away and hide, that is actually the worse thing you can do. Admitting your error, finding a way to fix it or at least taking an action that lessens its effects, will help restore your reputation.

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Root for yourself because if you aren't your own biggest fan, who will be? Take note of and pride in all your successes and positive attributes. Don't wait for someone else to tell you "job well done!" Reflecting on your own achievements will spur you on to accomplish even greater ones.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

From time to time a little voice inside your head might whisper (hopefully not shout) that you aren't good enough or smart enough. Tell it to shut up! Unfortunately there will be plenty of people quite willing to bring you down. Don't do it to yourself. When you make a mistake, admit it, fix it and move on. If you are missing a skill or have some other shortcoming, take whatever measures necessary to improve.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Start Your Career

 The good thing about starting your career is that you have an endless number of choices in front of you. The bad thing about starting your career is that you have an endless number of choices in front of you. It's like being able to pick only one dish from a menu that is hundreds of pages long. Try not to be too overwhelmed. With a lot of careful planning, you can have a career you love. Use these resources to help you get your career off to a good start.

How to Choose a Career

To get started on your career you will first need to choose an occupation. Put a lot of thought into your choice and you will be rewarded with a career that is both fulfilling and successful. These resources take you through the process of finding the right career for you.

Explore Occupations

It is important to go out and research any career field you are thinking about pursuing, regardless of how you heard about it. Use these resources to help you gather information that will help you decide which career is most suitable for you.

Make a Plan

Once you've chosen an occupation, you have to formulate a plan that will help you reach your goal of working in that field. Before you do anything, write a formal career action plan that includes both long-term and short-term goals.

Get the Skills You Need

Now it's time to move forward with your career action plan. You will need to obtain the skills and training required to work in your occupation of choice. Here are resources to help you achieve your goals.