Ask the Headhunter

By Nick Corcodilos, Contributing Writer,

Social-Media Job-Hunting In A Nutshell

Advice about using social media to find a job abounds, but it can be boiled down to this: Do it!

When job hunters ask me what to put in their resumes, what continuing education to get, or what to talk about in interviews, I tell them to ask their “customers”—the employers. Find out what an employer wants and do that. Such a concept, eh? We do focus groups to ask our customers that question, but then we fail to ask employers.

The work has already been done for us. In a great oldie-but-goodie column from The Boston Globe, columnist Scott Kirsner gathered some “evergreen” advice from companies that like to see a social-media presence. You can read it yourself, but here’s the nutshell and my spin on these tips from CEOs, HR managers, and recruiters.

1. Use LinkedIn to its fullest.

Make sure your complete resume is in there, along with your brief profile. Use a clear, descriptive headline or title that makes the reader read further. Don’t forget to include links to your blog, if you have one, and to other information that would be relevant to an employer. But if you’re going to link to your Facebook page, then make sure it doesn’t contradict the LinkedIn image you’ve carefully created.

2. Use Twitter for research.

Lots of companies tweet job teasers, and they want you to tweet back. But this isn’t enough. Use the job information you found in the tweet to track down the employer and hiring manager. Approach from multiple angles. Find people connected to the job and introduce yourself. Get a personal referral if you can.

3. Blog like you mean it.

The Globe article quotes CEO Brian Halligan from HubSpot, and I think his view on blogging is dead on: “We often find hires because of their activity in social media and, especially, the blogosphere.” But he emphasizes that your blogging must be top-quality, not cheap bait, for recruiters. Halligan offers this example: “Let’s say you are a beer aficionado and want to work for a cool brewer after completing college. . .start a terrific blog about beer while in school that reviews new products, talks about the competitive landscape, compares regions. . .and before you know it, the execs at the brewers will be reaching out to you.” Sound like a lot of work? It sure is if you want to stand out.

4. Use Facebook like a pro.

It’s easy to tell your friends on Facebook that “you’re looking” and need leads to jobs. But when you post requests so often that you start to look like a desperate loser, Facebook ceases to be your friend. Use it sparingly. Don’t ask for job leads; start posting interesting topics about the work you want to do and about products of the companies you want to work for. Talk less about yourself and what you want, and more about topics that reveal your professional interests and motivations. That’s how to impress employers.

5. Become an opinion-maker.

Choose the companies you want to work for. Plan your postings so you become a go-to person on topics that matter to an employer. Post links to topical marketing articles and add sound insights—then ask others their opinions. Cross-post related topics and comments without diluting your message. Gently teach the novices, but follow up with the experts using other channels, like e-mail. It’s how to make friends who can lead you to job opportunities—without having to ask.

The Globe article quotes Kerry Benson at Boston-based ad agency Hill Holliday: “We love to see that people. . .actively participate across social platforms. . .that tells us they’re more of a thought leader rather than a follower.”

Using social media to land a job isn’t a passive activity. Do the hard work to be successful. For a comprehensive review of the social-media tools that matter most, check out’s Guide To The Social Landscape. Then come share your best tips on the discussion forum


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