You, inc - Three Tips on How to Market Yourself and Get a Job

Search for a job online

Hunting for a job can feel like a never ending cycle of CVs, applications forms and tears of desperation. Add to the mix, a diet of emergency biscuits and daytime TV and the job search could feel like a unique punishment inflicted on to the innocent.

With such fierce competition, marketing yourself online can help you to cut through the masses and become the victor. But where to start? Handily, we've come up with three easy ways of using social media to get ahead in the job hunting game.

#1. Network with LinkedIn

Since its conception in 2002, LinkedIn boasts 100 million users and is primarily used for business networking, a change from the usual offer from social networking sites. With such a specific purpose, LinkedIn has seen mammoth unique page views, with last month's figures hitting the 33.9 million mark.

For job hunters, a social networking site that is dedicated to making useful connections can seems like a panacea to all job woes, but like anything it helps to go about it in a carefully thought through way.

To stand out, your LinkedIn profile, which is effectively a digital CV, should be tightly written with immaculate spelling and grammar. Make the best of your experience by including day to day tasks while highlighting key achievements. For example, winning 'Tea Maker of the Year' three times in a row is is a key achievement (of sorts) while making tea for your colleagues every day, as gruelling as that may have been, is not.

Include your educational background, but focus on post-secondary school education for brevity and relevance. Add all training and other vocational skills and then if you can, add a professional but still personable image, trying not to use images showing your "zany" side. Facebook this ain't.

Once your profile is ready, it's time to actually start making connections. You can find people you may already know on LinkedIn by mining your email inbox, giving you a base of connections. Use this tool wisely however as although this is a great way to get started, you should be selective in your choices.

Finally, keep in mind that once you have a LinkedIn profile, people can now find you on the web. This is a good thing, but with great power comes great responsibility, so make sure you are always best face forward.

#2. Join the 'blogosphere'

As Alan Sugar barked in the final Apprentice, it makes sense to set up a business in an industry you know. Well, the same could be said for job hunting.

Being an expert in something will only stand you in good stead once you start the hunt. Being all things to all men could be seen as a positive but with so many all-rounders fighting for what could be your next job, a specialism can give you that extra something. With a wealth of information accessible for free, now is the time to start reading blogs and forums on your chosen subject.

Online you can find out who the key players are in your industry and their concerns. What kind of skills gaps are in your sector? What are the major societal, commercial and technological changes? And what's the next big thing? All these things can be found, so it makes sense to devour blogs and forums and mug up.

After awhile it might be time to actively participate. Insightful comments are always impressive and by writing your own posts on leading sites or setting up your own blog, you can prove that you understand the sector you so desperately want a job in.

#3. Tweet all about it

Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. For a website that encourages brevity, reams and reams of stuff must have been written about this powerful micro blogging site since its inception in 2006.

With claims that Twitter has brought dictators to their knees, started revolutions and with profiles from the Dali Lama and President Obama, its clear that Twitter is sitting at the top digital tree. As of March 2011, the site had had 200 million users and just like LinkedIn, professional connections are being made daily.

The key rule of successful tweeting seems to be, like everything, content is king. Only a handful of tweeters can use reputation alone to make an impact, for mere mortals, witty and interesting tweets make for successful networking.

The rules then for successful blogging can easily be transferred to tweeting. It's highly likely that the opinion formers and leaders in your sector are on Twitter so follow them and actually read what they're tweeting. Are they sending useful links to interesting articles or posts? It would make sense then to digest what's being said and contribute.

Remember that unless you make your account private (which defeats the purpose somewhat) your tweets are viewable by everyone so keep that in mind before sending another hilarious meme.

Marketing yourself online can give your job search the extra boost it needs whilst you'll be practising valuable digital skills. But does it always work or will it be seen as a cynical ploy?

Remember to check out Chinwag Jobs and let us know how you went about searching for you current job, here at the blog.

Photo (cc) Robert S. Donovan


good read, albeit with few news and..

..that's DalAi Lama to you ;)