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The Bird – Navigating the Virtual Jungle (Twitter)

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 22, 2013 in Job Search

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For those of us who don’t tweet on a regular basis, or at all, Twitter can be confusing. For instance, what are all those people trying to say when they use a hash symbol (#)? When you only have a limited number of characters to write for one tweet, what kind of communication is that symbol going to convey? Twitter Help Center: What Are Hashtags? And how can that help your job search?

Using the # symbol in front of a word in a twitter post allows those tweets to be grouped with every other tweet that has that same word tagged with that symbol. This allows you to more easily search for that word. Clicking on the tagged word in a tweet post (using the hashtag will create a hyperlink) will automatically produce the search, or grouping. Manually searching for the tag in the search bar of Twitter will also generate the complete grouping. This is also how Twitter trends are produced. The more people with the same hashtags at the same time means something is a hot topic (“trending”).

When you are searching for a something with multiple items, such as names (first and last) or companies, if only the first word is tagged, only the first word will group. Searching with spaces will only produce the separate words that were tagged. i.e. #Dixion #Hughes #Goodman. This can help you find “Dixon Hughes Goodman” or separately all of the tweets that mention any or all of the words. Most of the clutter can be reduced by eliminating the spaces between the words and searching the entire term as one word. If you needed to tag a company with more than one word in its name in a post, tagging the first word would not allow a search of the following words. Group all the words together, i.e. #DixonHughesGoodman vs #Dixon Hughes Goodman (where only “Dixon” will tag), or even #DHG.

The recommended article on the Twitter Help Page from the New Yorker explains the first part well, and then elaborates on the “other” use of the hashtag. The article describes the use as similar to an emoticon (read: smiley face), and has nothing to do with searching or grouping. The author described the use of the tag “like coughing into a handkerchief”. #notmystyle

You would probably not have an occasion to search for such a group of words as #justanotherdayatwork but the sense of muttering or sighing after a sentence is almost instinctive with this use.

The twittering birds can be useful in the job search jungle. Any recruiter with a twitter account will be tweeting up a storm about the positions that are available. The hash symbol will let you search exactly as it appears. #accounting jobs will only tag “accounting”. #accountingjobs means that only if you search “AccountingJobs” will you find the grouping. #Accounting #jobs is probably better for searching purposes as it will grab posts that tag both “jobs” and “accounting”. Want some quick tips on job searching or links to some great articles recommended by career coach gurus? Search tags like #jobsearch, #jobhunt, #networking, #jobsearchadvice, etc.


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The Extinction – Employment Advertising

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jun 12, 2012 in Job Search

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Things change.  Flowers bloom, technology advances, leaves fall, consumer needs and buying habits evolve. Even the way we do business is changing largely due to the emergence of social media which is also threatening conventional job search methods. This may not be a species to save and there are gads of ways to tap in to these emerging trends before the extinction of the traditional wanted ad.

I know we have said this many times on this blog. So, if you’re a job seeker, I’m sure you’ve seen the statistic that 80% of jobs are obtained through personal networking.

It never fails that when a friend of mine is faced with job change, I am one of their first calls no matter what their field of expertise.  While this makes sense – I have thousands of contacts and am happy to help them – the first thing I ask is what they are doing to look for a new job. They express how frustrated they are that when they reply to ads that they get no response but that is the only thing they have been doing. Here are a few avenues you can search to gain control over your job hunt so you won’t have to rely on blind luck; which is what you are doing if you are only selectively responding to ads.

In my book TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB one of the first points made is that it is fiscally impossible for companies to professionally advertise and post every job they have open. They would go broke!  It’s expensive to advertise on even the most common job seeker sites. If an employer is looking for hard-to-find people (programmers, DBA’s, tax, audit, etc.), many times the right people aren’t responding so the companies stop advertising and look to referral methods.

To tap into that network of unadvertised jobs you have to do some research.  Who would have needs for you and your skill sets? Classified employment advertising is a great place to get leads even if the job advertised isn’t perfect for you.  For example, if you are a Hyperion System Administrator, looking for companies that post other positions requiring Hyperion skills on their websites or on job boards would make that company a target of yours. Why? Because they, at some point, will need a person like you and the employees there who use Hyperion know other former employers and co-workers they can refer you to as well.

Remember, finding a job is all about timing so expanding your network when the timing is right can be tricky.  Adopting a constant approach to networking is a better plan than waiting until you are desperate.  People find it easier to help you when there isn’t a crucial deadline to be met.  Setting a goal of reaching out to a new person every day, as an example, that you have something in common with on LinkedIn is a great way to expand your on line presence and profile. To expand your sphere of personal influence, you have to network online, professionally and personally.

Your LinkedIn profile should be peppered with appropriate keywords indicating the work you would like to be contacted about.  Professional networking via industry conferences, association meetings ,and other business groups organized around geography (like the chamber of commerce) are great places to meet people that can help you uncover unadvertised opportunities.

People ask me all the time about Twitter.  If you look for #jobs you will see thousands of jobs popping up every day that you can link to on Twitter.  If you Tweet, make sure your profile, again, has all the keywords you want to be found for in it.

Be mindful of the companionship you keep on line. This past week someone was recommended to me as a person who was influential via social media but when I looked at this person’s profile I saw something different.  The posts from their “friends” and “followers” were littered with profanity, slang and were generally unprofessional.  We can’t control what others are posting but we can monitor it and remove it so, if you are looking for a job, you want to make sure you look as professional on line as you are for an interview.

Embrase the extinction with these new ways of job searching.

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The Ant – Get Powerful Together

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 1, 2011 in Job Search

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The ant is one of the most social creatures on the planet. As the saying goes: there is never just one. When you see an ant, you know there are at least hundreds, if not more, nearby. They are found on almost every continent. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves.

Over the past few years, I have successfully obtained both candidates and clients from Facebook, one of the leading social networking sites. My team is nearing the 100 mark for transactions closed in some way shape or form from my social media strategy.

I recently placed another hard-to-find person I located by scouring Facebook for keywords.  As I sat across the table having lunch with this person who had just started their new job, I was overwhelmed with the power of this particular social media.  He was so grateful that I had reached out to him. We chatted on and on about each other’s families, personal interests, and recent activities because we had a lot of knowledge about each other before we met.  The conversation flowed naturally like it was someone I’d known for some time when, in fact, barely two weeks had passed since my first invitation to connect on facebook and their first day on the job. This incident really drove home how powerful your personal profile is, or can be.

I met with a Pinnacle Society colleague this week as well and was recounting this accomplishment. My story was met surprisingly with some hesitation on her part to put herself out there in cyberspace.  I never really worried about the dangers of on-line interaction.  I mean, look how many people meet and marry their spouses on-line. Why not harness that power to attract candidates and clients both? 

Remember in Meet the Parents, Robert DiNiro talks about the inner circle of trust?  How can you create an on-line persona that allows people to feel like they are in the inner circle of trust without sacrificing your personal privacy? How much do you give up to cyberspace?

·         Mix personal and professional

o   Just like people who are very organized keep one calendar that includes their personal and professional appointments so nothing slips through the cracks, putting a little of both out there gives people a real sense of who you are; what types of jobs you work on and what activities you are involved in.

·         Don’t rant and rave

o   I am always amazed at the profanity and negativity people post on their pages.  Keep it light, professional and positive.  After all, this is how people will ultimately form impressions of you, so if you see things with the glass half empty, you might consider visiting the sink for a fill up before typing.

·         Post regularly

o   I know I find myself browsing postings when I’m bored, at the airport, or just to fill a few minutes.  There’s nothing more boring than to read someone’s profile that is filled with dribble. Make it interesting, but not over the top.

·         Reach out

o   Use keyword searching techniques to link with those within your niche. This will directly impact how well and how many people you reach people with your postings.  Invite them to connect with a brief note as to how you found them and why you are reaching out to them for their assistance or participation in your project.

·        Create your own social media strategy

o   Who do you want to connect with and why?  What’s in it for them? 

·         Consider your personal safety when posting your whereabouts 

o   This is one thing I am very careful about.  I promote appearances and speeches but don’t generally advertise when I’ve arrived for a spa day or gym workout somewhere.  Posting your gratitude to the establishment after your treatment is one way to handle promotions about your activities without sacrificing personal safety.

If you were an ant in a colony, you would only be as strong and successful as your peers made you. Just like the Ant, whether you are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media, the more the merrier!

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