IAN GREENLEIGH

Author | Marketer | Speaker

I help companies turn data, ideas and relationships into reach and influence. 

How Social Media Opens The Side Door For Job Seekers

It's pretty humiliating to not get an interview at a mall kiosk. But this is the kind of discouragement I had to deal with for making the choices I did. Or so I thought. under_construction

My resume isn't great. Actually, it kind of sucks. I graduated in December '07 and decided to write a screenplay (I'm into clichés). The jobs I took were low-intensity, non-managerial and perfect for recent graduates who had yet to decide on a career path. While this allowed me to focus on writing, it didn't do much for my resume. To an employer, it probably looks like I bounced around aimlessly. Nothing on my resume screams "commitment" or "experience". Although I'm sure all my former employers would give me good marks if contacted, I wasn't about to depend on this.

Screw my resume. It's not doing much for me, so why keep leading with it? Because they tell me to? That's not me.

The companies I want to work for value initiative, work ethic and ideas over adherence to orthodoxy and knowing one's place. Traditional job hunting tactics rarely put us in front of the people that can recognize talent and bring people in that don't quite match the job description.

Webtreats Glowing Neon Social Medi Icons

Social media lets us lead with our strengths. It helps us get past the gatekeepers. All that it asks is that we get creative. Here are a few of my recommendations:

  • Use tools like Listorious to find influencers and engage them via Twitter. There's no secretary screening their tweets and DMs. Chances are, if you ping them, they will see it. That's the kind of access job seekers couldn't have dreamed of 10 years ago (or less).
  • Comment on their corporate blogs. If it's like most corporate blogs, you'll be one of the few doing so. This is great, because not only do they often respond, they also tend to check out whatever you provide as your anchor link (I use my “Hire Me” page, so I think they get the message).
  • Take out a Facebook ad and target it well. This is the technique that has brought me and others I know the most return. You can see exactly how I did it here.
  • Build a social network and let people know you’re looking. I’m fortunate to have an online network comprised of caring, helpful people, but it’s no accident. This amazing group has aided me in more ways that I can describe here. When they found out I was looking, their level of assistance reached new heights. I could not have done it without them, and you should not do it without a similar caring circle.
  • The first rule of social media is: There are no rules. Get creative and make it work for you. Use it how you see fit. Social media is the best way to show the world that you’re the one they want. But they will only notice if you stand out.

Job seekers: How have you used social media in your job search?

Employers: How have job seekers stood out using social media?

© 2016 Ian Greenleigh