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Job search in a recession using social network tools

July 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Social Networking Tools

During a recession, the ‘hidden’ job market becomes a larger part of the total jobs market.  What is the ‘hidden’ job market? These are jobs that are typically not advertised publicly but hiring managers instead spread the word around among employees and their own networks that they are looking to hire.

What do you do then to position yourself to ‘hear’ of such opportunities? The old fashioned way of course would be to let your friends and relatives know that you are looking for a job and are open to new opportunities. One can also utilize the web tools available out there to ‘advertise’ one’s readiness for new opportunities.

LinkedIn provides a good way to signal your status on your profile page. You can ‘advertise’ that you are looking for opportunities in your area of interest and would be open to hearing about them.  You can also make sure that you fully develop your profile page and include keywords that would help hiring managers in your network to find you.  There are also groups on linkedin for many professional associations/industries – join those that are of interest to you and leverage the group members in your job search.

Facebook also provides a good way for you to indicate your current interest in looking for new opportunities. Your friends would generally look out for you should they see that you are on the hunt for a new job.

Twittering about your job search is a relatively new way of getting noticed.  If you already have a lot of followers for your tweets, this would certainly make sense. Otherwise, you generally need to build up your own network first on Twitter by offering something of value to your network before you can build up a following.

Blogging about your passion is also potentially a good way to get noticed.   Although this takes time and effort, blogs can lead to new opportunities if the material you present shows your passion and creativity.   There is no better time than today to start blogging about your passion – it may not help you in this recession but it might help you in the next one.

By getting the word out there of your interest, you may also find yourself getting referred to positions by the new job referral sites.  These sites incentivize professionals to refer other professionals in their networks to jobs by offering significant rewards.

If you are still currently employed and are looking, you should of course be careful about what you put out there on these social network sites as your current employer may just see that you are looking to jump ship. Otherwise, leveraging these social networks in your job search adds another dimension to your search beyond the typical job boards.

Sales Manager at Vawch is an online job referral marketplace targeting premium jobs, where professionals can refer other professionals to jobs and earn thousands in rewards if a successful placement is made. Based in Singapore, vawch targets the Singapore/HK/Australia and Southeast Asia market and referrals for jobs paying more than US$60Kper year.

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