Here are some tips to find the right job in the age of social media; how to make your skills searchable and accessible to recruiters online

It is a new year and for many it is the time to be looking for a new job.

The newspapers are 'full' of job supplements; the online job boards tout their listing volumes.

But the rules are changing; many of the really good jobs are not being listed in the traditional way.

Perhaps it is easier to see the shift overseas, but those trends will come here fast.

The reason is that kiwis have adopted social media and it is via social media that many savvy companies are finding qualified candidates and posting their openings.

So what do you need to do to position yourself in this changing jobs market?

Basically you need to be searchable. Old fashioned personal networking will always be important, but using online tools can amplify that.

Here are some ideas.

Depending on the type of position you are seeking, it may help a lot to start a blog. Recruiters are impressed if you are seen as a 'thought leader' - but of course, you need to have something worthwhile to blog about and it needs to attract an audience.

A YouTube video always impresses, perhaps showing a speech you gave, a presentation, or a training session you ran.

Companies are starting to use Twitter to post job openings. You will need to be savvy and cool when using any social media as it is very easy to come across naive and needy. Maybe Facebook is blocked at your workplace; and if you use Twitter, remember it can consume a lot of your time - which is never a good look.

Facebook can be useful, but comes with some well-publicised and real risks. This is the place where your past - and your 'friends' - can haunt you when a recruiter or employer is reviewing your timeline.

LinkedIn is probably the most directly useful tool. Get on, get an updated profile, and be active, spending a few minutes a day connecting. Join industry groups.

And the last trend to be ready for is the use of mobile phones by recruiters and companies. If they are using them to do their job, you will need to get your CV ready for them, and that means it should be in .pdf format.

What all these social media hiring channels really mean, is that you really, really need to develop the skill of brevity. That does not mean you should skip any important stuff, but you must learn how to market yourself actively and concisely.

A final note: are cover letters still important? Perhaps not, but then again they are very useful way to identify the unique skills you have that match what the company is looking for. Perhaps a short relevant cover letter (note) will make a comeback.

Social media is pervasive these days. Some people think it is intrusive. We may be racing to the situation where the old-fashioned ways become unique and you may stand out using them.


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