By Heather Struck
Welcome to Job Search 2.0. In today's challenging economy, employers aren't waiting for you to click on an online job listing or drop your application into their inbox.
"A resume is not enough anymore" even if you post it on all the right websites, says Lindsey Pollak, author of "Getting from College to Career," and a promoter of what she calls "disruptive" job hunting.
Hiring managers scroll through hundreds of profiles a week on LinkedIn.com, a social networking site with a professional bent. That means that job seekers need to be aggressive about building their own distinctive brands and promoting them on networking sites as well as in blogs and emails.
CREATING THE PERSONAL BRAND
When you build, the trick is to highlight personal details that could connect you to recruiters or raise your profile. If applying for accounting jobs, for example, don't assume your passion for playing piano is irrelevant - it could paint you as a patient, creative and disciplined.
"You have to be willing to show who you are," says Shara Senderoff, founder of InternSushi.com, a website for people searching for internships that allows users to create profiles that may be browsed by potential employers.
The idea is not to multiply the number of social networking accounts, however. It is to use the social tools on the Web to leverage and promote key details about yourself.
That's what Margaret Jung, a New York University film student, did when she started looking for a summer internship. Last November, she uploaded a one-minute animated video onto InternSushi. "I grew up learning that promises and deadlines are two of the most important things to keep," she says in the video. It became one of the website's most popular profiles, garnering 1,500 clicks. It also led to a dozen interviews, and eventually an internship at Mark Gordon Company, a Los Angeles-based film producer.
Even less technically savvy folks can start at LinkedIn. Use your profile to anticipate and answer key questions before recruiters ask them: What do you love to do, how can your passion be turned into something that can make or save money for a business and what do you want to do in the future?
Develop an email signature with a link to a personal blog or website. Use those spaces to present articles about your topic of interest or attractive images of your visual work.
When venturing into social media, be sure to understand the privacy features of each site. Facebook and Google+ allow users to assign their online friends to different groups and prevent some groups from seeing particular personal content.
Use Twitter to establish legitimacy in your field. You can follow and retweet experts, and you can use your tweets to highlight articles and developments of interest to people in your chosen industry.
"We follow people who are authentic," says J.T. O'Donnell, a workplace consultant and founder of Careerealism.com. "When you really care about a subject, your passion comes through."
BE PERSONAL, BUT NOT TOO PERSONAL - Read the rest of the Personal tip and the complete article