Blogging regularly on the subject of social media and my job search has helped me realize some of their similarities. While they are two very different activities, doing them well can require some of the same principles.
Know how to reach your target audience:
Social Media- As I’ve mentioned before, the social media landscape is vast and constantly evolving. Those hoping to capitalize on social media need to be aware of emerging platforms as well as be informed of how their target or existing customers are using social media. Jumping on the Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Foursquare bandwagon can waste company resources if customers have no interest in those applications or your brand doesn’t find a way to properly engage customers in a manner appropriate for the specific site. Check out these detective tricks to find your customers on social media from Jay Baer.
Job Hunting- Where are the companies you want to work for posting jobs? Solely on their website, LinkedIn, or Indeed? Do they only consider applicants who know someone within the company? You need to find out how to help them find and engage with you. Learn what you can about their company culture, hiring process, and what makes someone their ideal employee. For some companies, sending an unsolicited email requesting an interview may produce results, for others your best bet may be reaching out over LinkedIn or through a mutual contact. Learn the most effective way to reach your target audience aka your desired employer.
Content is king: While I hate this saying because it is greatly overused it is very true.
Social Media- If you just set up a social media account and link to feed automatic content from your website you won’t get results. That’s not social media, it’s one-way broadcasting like TV or print ads. You have to tailor unique social media messages for each specific platform to create value for your followers or fans.
Job Hunting- If you use one standard resume and generic cover letter to apply to every position you’ll have applied a lot and hear from none. Each resume and cover letter should be customized to match the specific job requirements and incorporate the company culture. The SEO of a resume will help you make it past the computer screening process by matching the keywords the computer looks for in order to decide whether or not your resume deserves to be looked at by a real human. Then when your resume makes it to the human screening phase your accomplishments will already be translated into the sort of candidate they’re looking for, instead of leaving it up to their interpretation. See this post to learn more about SEO for resumes.
Balance is necessary:
Social Media- Consistently updating your social media accounts is vital to providing value to your followers. But balance is key here, Tweet or post too Facebook too much and you’ll annoy them. Keep it up and you’ll also lose followers/fans.
Job Hunting- Job Search 101 tells you to send a thank you note after an interview. This is more than good, it is expected if you want to secure the position. Taking the initiative to contact someone in the company you want to work for is also a smart job search move. But I’ve read some horror stories from recruiters about candidates who have called 17 times in one day to get information on the progress of the hiring process. While taking the initiative is wise, borderline stalking is not. Repeated unwarranted contact will annoy your potential employers and result in you quickly landing on the “Do not consider for future hire” list.
Overall, just doing it isn’t enough.
In order to be successful at either adding value for your customers using social media or landing the job you want, you have to work at it.
Find your target audience, customize content to be relevant for them, and use the appropriate amount of communication to maximize potential results without annoying them.
Check out these articles relevant to successful social media marketing and job hunting: