Tips on how to use social media to job hunt

 real-time marketing book by David Meerman ScottOctober was a good month for job seekers. The private sector added 151,000 new positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A job agency website called Indeed.com showed strong growth in manufacturing, information technology, retail and health care.

And yet, the unemployment rate remains at 9.6%, unchanged since May. As many have discovered, firing off resumes and trolling online job boards and business conferences are no longer enough. David Meerman Scott -- marketing expert, blogger and author of Real-Time Marketing & PR -- gives tips on how today's job hunters can get noticed:


• Sell your skills, not yourself. Employers "don't care about you, I know it sounds harsh," said Scott. What businesses want to know is what you can do to help them solve their problems. While it won't get you a job right away, it'll make you more attractive and hence shorten the time you are searching for work.

• Use traditional methods of networking but also be adaptive and use social media tools beyond LinkedIn and Facebook. "I am on a board of advisers on half a dozen companies and they are hiring people who can show that they understand the new world." said Scott.

• Highlight your expertise by exploiting social media tools like YouTube to create content sharing your knowledge in your industry. "If you are an accountant, do a video or a blog or ebook about topics like accounting regulations," explained Scott. "This serves as a much better way to show who you are instead of a stupid old resume. The job seeker becomes a publisher of information."

• With information moving 24/7 within seconds thanks to the Internet, reprogram yourself to think in real-time. That means if you hear a company in your area of expertise or the company you aspire to work for received capital funding, contact them and cleverly pitch how your skills can help them.

"If you're a sales person -- say you're on Twitter -- use that company's Twitter ID, say congrats on the funding and how you've been doing a lot of writing about sales in the industry, check out your blog, and how you hope you all can connect," said Scott. "I've seen this done. You will get noticed."

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