In a recent career counseling session, Jackson lamented the world that seems for the younger generation.
“I am afraid I don’t have many marketable skills. Frankly I cannot even figure out how to find a job these days.”
Jackson went on, “Recently I called on a company, simply to leave off my resume, and they told me they could not take it. They told me to submit it online. Online? I am so tired of online.”
I was nodding my head in empathy more so than agreement.
“It took me to lose my job to figure what the heck a ‘tweet’ is. Now after 3 months of unemployment, I have 45 followers on my Twitter account. 45! Who is this Justin Bieber anyway!” exclaimed my client.
Jackson finished with, “I am ready to give up. Cash it in. I think the world is for the young.” He went silent and looked despondent.
Jackson feeling of being lost in the job search process is certainly common among unemployed and underemployed workers over 40 years old. The onset of increased usage of social media sites only confuses the process more as it does seem that the web is for the young.
Though the younger audience may understand better about Justin Bieber, the job search can be conquered by older unemployed and underemployed people as it can for those with less years on them. Here are a few tips:
LinkedIn is a Must
Put a profile on Linkedin and find people you can link with from your job search. These are colleagues, friends, acquaintances and even people you do not know. The idea of LinkedIn is to give you a database of people removed from you by a few degrees. So link to people and you will have access to their contacts also.
A good next step is to do some key word searches for high contact users within your prescribed job search. These people will identify themselves as “Open Networkers” and will welcome your invitation. LinkedIn punishes and restricts users that try to link to contacts they do not know. One group that marks themselves is Lion. Watch for this marking by their name. If you have a real link with someone from the community, employers, school, associations, or even activities, try to link to them.
Search for my profile (Derek Dostal) and I will be happy to link to you. I have over 13 million people in my funnel.
The final linking you should do is with specific groups in your targeted job search market. I do not suggest you link with recruiting groups as they will find access to you if they have a position for you. Instead stick with linking with groups founded by your targeted job search market. To identify what is your targeted job search market, here is a recent article.
Use LinkedIn as a place to get names. When you identify a company you would like to work for, this is a great place to get those names in the company. If you do not have the proper names available to you that you are searching for, do not despair. Use Google in the same fashion, identifying keywords that will pull up this individuals LinkedIn page. You will have access to their name and background as these pages are indexed.
Many use Facebook for family and friends but the network is growing so rapidly that I suggest you use it for your job search also. Set up your Facebook account and find all your friends an family to connect with. Get your page functioning, including daily updates on what you are doing. Give people an idea of your process.
For intensity in your job search, I suggest you start a page specifically for your job search. Give it a name pertinent to your job search. This is the page that you will be linking to LinkedIn, Twitter, and even on your resume. You will link it to your profile but will stay professional and about business.
Remember that all online, stays online. I don’t care if you delete it or not. It stays online. So much can affect your opportunity to get a job. Be careful with your words and opinions. Conduct yourself as if you were in the office while you are typing.
Twitter is a social game but a very powerful social game. It takes some management to get it right. When you make your profile, use a handle that will be appropriate to your efforts. I doubt @bigdaddy will be available anyway.
The first place for you to go in Twitter is “Who to Follow”. Browse on some of the elements of your targeted job search market and follow these people. Do no worry about quantity as much as quality.
Most say to not have more people you are following than are following you. Well, do not worry about that for your purposes. For what you are trying to accomplish, you want information. I do suggest to try and keep the following to follower ratio about 2:1. This is achieved by unfollowing people that do not follow you after a few days.
One tool people use to manage this follower and following situation is TwitterAdder. It is available for free for up to 250 requests.
Your comments need to be things people will find interesting and read about. Try to keep them pertaining to your particular business situation. Negativity is not a great idea.
Twitter is a place that you can market yourself if done well. Try to convey three simple things to people in your messages. That you are professional, an expert, and that you are available.
A Personal Website
Developing a personal website as a place to tie all of your communication together is a fantastic idea. With a personal page, you can link all your social networking and produce content that will be sent to all of the sites at one time.
I found a lot of candidates on the job board sites over the years. A lot. But they were not the people that were applying to jobs. The people I wanted were the ones that posted their resume two, three, four years ago that were now on with someone else. I also wanted the references. As a headhunter, I wanted everyone but the unemployed and underemployed.
When I ran a job on one of the large sites, I would get up to 300 responses in the first 48 hours. How many of those people do you think I contacted as fits for the positions I was working? If you said ten, you would be high.
If you wish for your name and number and email address and home address to be available for everyone to see on the internet for years to come then use the job boards. Rather I suggest use them as a source of research for who is hiring then do some work for the job.
If you must search online for jobs I recommend Indeed.com
Miriam Salpeter, of Keppie Careers, wrote this very good article about focusing your job search away from job boards. The article points out areas that you can set yourself up to have people look for you instead of you looking for them.
Embrace the technology available to us now in job searching. As a seasoned veteran of business, you have a distinct advantage to those that have not been in the trenches long. You know how to win and fight a battle.
Stan Lee, the famous creator of Spiderman, wrote this character at the age of 43. Judging from how many Spiderman comics my eleven year old son has or how many times we have watch the first, the second, and even the third movie, Mr. Lee was and is in touch with the youth. You can be also.
Jackson is still not wild about the internet but his complaints have turned more now to the “snotty nose HR Dweebs” that tell him he is over qualified. For the record, Jackson now had 135 followers on Twitter.