As we discussed in Resume Reach: From Submission to Offer, your resume is a critical part of your job search campaign that acts as a guidepost to you and the hiring manager at each stage. While your resume provides the foundation for an effective job search, there are several other facets that should not be overlooked.
In today's digital job search environment, there are so many avenues available to job seekers that it can be easy to get lost. It is important to keep in mind that whether you frequent Facebook, actively engage on LinkedIn, or only occasionally log in to see what is new with your network, social media has become a critical component in the job search. The social media experts at Mashable recently suggested to job seekers that even if they are not using social media to actively job search, it is still a great resource.1 They suggest that you research and seek connections with a company you're interested in so that you have a sense of what they do, their corporate culture, and how your skills align with their needs.
There is also a recent trend in using Twitter in the job search. Arnie Fertig, a Careers blogger on US News, recently presented three ways that 140 characters can help land you a job.2 He suggests actively searching feeds for jobs, following the tweets of key decision makers at companies that interest you, and tweeting—carefully—about your job search, your career, and your accomplishments.
Fertig also blogged about arguably the best known name in social media: LinkedIn. All too often job seekers think that having a basic, thrown together profile is enough, but what you're saying and how you're saying it are as important as your connections. He suggests that your profile be constructed using the type of language your target audience's clientele might use to demonstrate you are an expert and thought leader. When it comes to building your connections, he suggests seeking out honest, specific recommendations from your peers and supervisors. The key is to showcase your strengths in as broad a geographic area as is realistic for your job search.
Of course, with social media and the job search, it is critical to be current. The conventional wisdom is that it is better to not use social media than to occasionally use it or use it poorly. Forbes recently presented 5 Essential Tips to Make your Social Profiles Resume-Ready. A key area of focus is to regularly update your information, including developing and revising a detailed bio, keeping your training, employment, and awards up to date, and ensure that your connections are active and current. The article also reinforces the importance of Googling yourself to ensure that your online image is what you want it to be.
Clearly social media has become a vital part of the contemporary job search; however, it is not the only one and restricting yourself to just a social media focused job search could be very limiting. It is still critical that you actively prepare for each interview, arrive early, be flexible about compensation and the position, and keep a focus on your career development.1 Career development can cover a lot of territory, from keeping your skills current to joining and participating in professional associations.
There is no replacement for a well-crafted resume in your job search: if you were to limit yourself to just one tool, a strong resume continues to be the best one. But why stop there? By conducting a thoughtful, strategic job search campaign that takes advantage of job search sites, social media, recruiters, and networking, you set yourself up for success!