Friday, October 23, 2009

10 Ways to Use Social Media to Get a Job

Step 8: Do a job search

Once you're hanging out in the right online neighbourhood, you'll hear about some of the best jobs going. That doesn't mean you have to stop being proactive, though.

"In a recent survey we conducted, when asked which tools they considered most important when applying for jobs, 40 per cent of IT candidates referred to using skills-specific job boards and 32 per cent said they would make direct contact with a company," says Teresa Sperti of The IT Job Board.

"Seasoned or specialist IT professionals candidates often favour skills-specific job boards, with only four per cent of candidates seeing generic job boards as very important to their job search."

In other words, using sites that cater specifically to your area of expertise pays dividends. At The IT Job Board – and most other sites – you can sign up for an email summary matching a keyword search.

A great way to keep tabs on job sites is an RSS feed, which is easy to add to your iGoogle front page or check in your favourite feed reader. For example, search by keyword at job site Computing Careers and you'll find an RSS feed link at the bottom of your returned results.

Step 9: Make a video resume

Hopefully your efforts at making yourself visible in a good way to the right people will not have gone unnoticed, and your name will start to surface when positions need to be filled. If that's the case, you need something more than your various social-network profiles to surface when somebody Googles your name.

Owning a website is an obvious first step, but another idea that is gaining momentum at the moment is the video resume. Thousands of people have posted CVs on YouTube, although the quality is highly variable.

If you can't afford professional production costs, keep things simple. Use the best quality camcorder you can, and make sure the lighting's natural. Record sound separately, using a decent condenser microphone if possible. You can do the latter directly into Audacity, an open-source sound-editing tool.

Many of the best video resumes feature a fixed shot of the subject talking about themselves to camera, but it's still fine to use software like Windows Movie Maker to add photos and clips too. Though making a video resume is still a fairly new idea, it's catching on as a trend – so you'll have to work a little bit harder to come up with something that stands out.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Mike Anderson's clever CV earned him a lot of attention online

Mike Anderson's produced his CV in graph form – and got to the front page of Digg and almost 200,000 hits on Flickr.

Then there's Australian games designer Jarrard Woods, who launched his freelance career by building his resignation letter into a Super Mario Bros level.

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