LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, job search, social media, e-mail list

It seems that at least once a week I read an article or hear something on the radio that goes like this:
“Jane Jobseeker has been out of work for over six months and is doing everything she can to secure employment. Jane, how many job applications have you submitted this week?”

Jane replies “Well I know for sure that it’s over 30. I’m on every job board and anytime I see something I like I fill out the application and submit my resume. But you know, so far I haven’t gotten a single response back from any of my applications. What is wrong with these folks? Why can’t they see I’m qualified and at least talk to me?

As is clear from this not-so-hypothetical situation, job boards have become almost entirely useless as a source of real job leads. Many jobs are close to being filled by the time the posting goes up on any of the national sites, or even on local sites. I’d like to suggest some other sources that will spare you the effort of throwing your resume into a black hole.

1) LinkedIn – OK the savvy among you already know about LinkedIn. So perhaps you can skip to the next section. For the rest, LinkedIn offers a treasure trove of information about jobs. You can find it by joining professional groups and following companies. And you should know that many recruiters are searching LinkedIn for potential candidates and paying to post jobs and contact potential candidates. So make sure your profile is up to date and presents you in the best possible light.

2) Twitter. Increasingly, recruiters are tweeting job postings. Try searching [Company Name] + [Recruiter] on Twitter to see if a recruiter at that company has a Twitter account. If they do, follow them.

3) Facebook – yes I know everyone warns job seekers away from Facebook, but there is a smart way to be present there as well. Your purpose is to find and follow companies with a Facebook presence that you would like to work for.

In the past 3 months, I have seen 5-6 job postings that were promoted first on Facebook as a “heads up” to friends and followers. Positions included Executive Director of a non-profit and a middle-management position at a local animal shelter. In both cases, the actual job had not been posted on the organization’s web site when the Facebook alert went out. One way to screen the candidate pool is to find out who is really passionate about what your organization does, and Facebook followers fit this criteria.

4) E-mail lists. This is a very diffuse category to describe, so let me give two specific examples:

I subscribe to a niche business publisher’s bi-weekly e-mail. Mostly this is about new books coming out, but they post jobs at their business as well as jobs at related businesses. Over the past six months, there have been Editor, Marketing Director and CFO positions listed. I’m not positive that these were listed only in the newsletter, but had I been interested, I certainly would have referenced it as the source. Can’t hurt and quite possibly would help!

I am also a subscriber to the national e-newsletter of an advocacy/education group. They make it a point to list open positions as part of the newsletter. Most likely their regional affiliates will post the job to a web site (or may have already done so) but just referencing the source puts you in the “in” group of those who have a genuine interest in the organization.

So what other sources have you found helpful to beat the Job Board blues?

Thanks Jason A. Howie for the great photo via Flickr.