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Sunday, February 14, 2010

How to Market Yourself Successfully in the Job Search

Following is an excellent overview of the use of social media in your job search by Colleen M. Brueummer of Target Marketing Success, LLC

The job market has fundamentally changed and is more competitive than ever before. To market yourself successfully, you must understand and be able to quickly communicate your value to targeted employers. If you do not already have one, you should have a marketing plan for yourself. Other tips include the following:

1. Networking is the number one way that job seekers typically find new positions so once you have a clear understanding of your unique value proposition, you should spend most of your time on this activity.
2. Online social networking using social media is becoming a huge trend as we move into 2010. It does not replace offline networking but is a place you need to also be. According to Charles Fellingham (a personal branding expert), “if you are not visible online today, you do not exist”. He says that you should own the first three pages in a Google search on your name. Search engines love to see multiple mentions and the appropriate use of social media can help you to dominate the results for your name. Monitor your online reputation using a Google search agent to see when and how you are being mentioned.
3. The key benefits of using social media include networking, being able to publish, commenting, sharing interests and being able to conduct research about target companies as well as individuals there. Using social media can help you to build credibility and demonstrate subject matter expertise. It demonstrates to potential employers that you are aware of and can use new technology, but you must have a strategy. This is particularly important if you are a person with many years of experience.
4. Companies and recruiters are starting to use social networking more. A survey conducted by JobVite in May 2009 found that 68% of HR professionals were using social media/networking with 13% saying they were starting to do so in the next year. Of those using it, 66% said they have successfully hired through an online social network. LinkedIn (LI), Facebook (FB) and Twitter are especially important.
5. LinkedIn: 95% of companies surveyed use this professional site to find candidates and 76% use it to research candidates. Some tips for using LinkedIn are to: (1) be sure your profile is 100% complete and optimized, (2) grow your network and make it easy for your network to find you, (3) give and obtain recommendations, (4) establish your personal brand by joining groups and participating in discussions, and (5) remain top of mind by updating your status weekly and staying in touch with your network. You may use the advanced search feature to identify target companies and networking contacts at the companies.
6. Facebook: 59% of companies surveyed use this site to find candidates and 44% of them use it to research candidates. A June 2009 survey done by CareerBuilder found that 35% of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate. Often times, it is content on Facebook that results in candidates not being hired. Be careful what you post on Facebook and ensure that your privacy settings are set appropriately for what you want to share.
7. Twitter: 42% of companies use this to find candidates while 21% use it to research candidates. Twitter is a tool that offers a communications platform and search engine. It takes only a few minutes to set up a free account and is a great relationship tool. It is a wonderful way to build your personal brand since you may use it to drive people to your blog (the number one marketing tool), your LinkedIn profile or your website. Given the ease of following targeted people and having them follow you back in many cases, you can quickly establish yourself in your own area of expertise as a subject matter expert and connect with people you might otherwise never be able to reach. You can set up keyword and job searches based on the Twitter service since there are a number of applications available, e.g., Tweetmyjobs,

Colleen can be reached at 216-973-4847, 330-225-5629 or at

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