Despite all of the advantages of having so much information at our fingertips, we often feel overwhelmed and frustrated when it comes to searching for a job online.
Understanding how to manage content online, collect and share information is increasingly becoming an essential survival skill.
Today, looking for a job is more than putting together.
We need to be able to manage our online reputations as well as present the best possible face on the web.
According to CNN:
Job postings requiring social media skills rose 87% from 2011 to 2012, topping 13,000 in one month alone earlier this year.
Among Fortune 500 companies, 73% now have Twitter accounts and 66% have Facebook pages.
Among 2,100 companies surveyed by the Harvard Business Review, only 12% of those using social media feel they use it effectively.
There are many many ways to search for jobs on the web, but unfortunately Google isn't the only answer. Conducting a Google search for a job in engineering is like getting lost on a buffet line. Too many choices and the content may be a little stale.
So many people lack the fundamental skills of using social media wisely. We've got all this stuff but we don't know how to used it to meet our needs in diverse ways. What we are talking about here is a type of social media literacy.
Over the past few years a new buzz word has been flying around around the web -- it's called curation. The term refers to the collection, use, and management of diverse streams of content coming across the web. Mostly, curation is a form of organizing and disseminating or re-disseminating information on the web. When we learn to monitor the streams of information we are interested in in a manageable way, we are more focused and less overwhelmed.
It's difficult to keep track of email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, websites, and other online content in a reasonable way.
Ideas for Job Searchers Using Social Media and the Web
Know the market: Recent or soon to be grads need to understand where the jobs are in their field, how hard are they to come by, what salaries look like, and what companies stand out as industry leaders. Knowing the market requires more research than a simple Google search.
Start out by identifying the major players in your field. For example, which firms appear the most robust and stable. Is the company hiring? Is the company on the stock market? How much competition is there in the field? How many patents have been filed in a given year by the company? Does the company have a website, blog, Twitter feed, or are they on Facebook?
Use your time wisely. Create lists. Set priorities.
Curate information using a social media strategies.
There are applications such as Google Plus, Hootsuite, Rebel Mouse and others that let uses aggregate information from various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter,Tumblr, Pinterest, RSS feeds, and social bookmarking sites. Rather than going to five different platforms to read posts and keep up to date about a specific search, you can have it all right in front of you. Visualizing all this information in one place puts you in control of your content, not to mention making it appear less intimidating.
Join an association in your field, or the very least, following the trends and job positing they offer.
Manage your reputation. This is a biggie. Many people apply for jobs not realizing that future employees will sometimes conduct a Google search or review Facebook and Twitter posts. The most damaging content are posts that are self-incriminating.
Join Linked-In and other professional social media sites.
Join like-minded groups of people on Facebook or other social media to share ideas and ask questions.