Tag Archives: google

5 Tactics land a job using social media (plus tips to do it right)

Times are tough right now and only getting tougher. This means finding a job right now amidst mass layoffs and a tanking economy is definitely not easy. But I’m saying fret not, and use the power of social media to land a new gig.

Whether you’re looking for a job *in* social media or a traditional communications role that probably involves social media, you can definitely use it to your advantage in your job search. In fact, I’ve had great luck with job opportunities through social media and I’ve done the traditional job searching and it’s never worked to my advantage.

Here are some tactics you can start right now which can help you find job opportunities and also to put yourself out there and let the opportunities find you:

Get on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image by via CrunchBase

This is the first thing I tell anyone who’s looking for a job. Actually I pretty much tell everyone to join Twitter for any reason really. I’m sure you already know networking is the best way to land a job and I consider Twitter to be the ultimate networking tool. If you aren’t sure what to post about (You don’t have to take “What are you doing?” so literally) start by posting articles, blog posts and web sites that you find interesting.  Build a profile that includes a real photo (doesn’t have to be a photo of you, but something personal yet professional will work best). Include a brief bio that includes what you are interested and what you like to tweet about. When you’ve got a few posts up, head over to Twitter Search and start searching topics that interest you and find interesting people tweeting about them and follow them. When you start to follow people, reply to their tweets (by starting yours with @[username]) to start a conversation. Once you get going it’s a lot of fun and you’ll meet lots of interesting people. Once you join, follow me and let me know you read my post and I’ll send some interesting tweeters your way. (Oh, and if you’re in Ottawa looking for a job you may want to follow @ottawatweetjobs – my other Twitter account.)

Join relevant social networks

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...
Image by via CrunchBase

There are literally thousands of active social networks these days and chances are there’s a handful that touch upon your interests or that can help you in your job search. First of all, if you aren’t on LinkedIn, get on and start finding all your past colleagues and acquaintences. Complete your profile and consider asking for recommendations from former bosses and co-workers as recruiters do regularly use the sites to find candidates. I can recommend a handful of others depending on what you’re looking for, so feel free to contact me if you’re having problems finding ones to join.

Build an online portfolio

Showcase your work so it’s not only easy to send to potential employers, but it will come up in Google searches and also allow for others to pass along. If you’re worried about your technical abilities, worry not–just head over to Blogger.com and start a blog as a hosting place for your online portfolio. Put links to social networks you’re a part of (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, if it’s not too personal) and include a link to your resume. For an example, you can see an online portfolio I put together a while back on blogger…

Once you’ve built the portfolio (and tested all your links!) be sure you reference it in cover letters to potential employers and even include the link in your email signature. You never know when a potential opportunity may be hiding in a regular email communication.

Read and comment on blogs that interest you

If this is all new to you, you may want to start with iGoogle. It is a personalized Google homepage that displays RSS subscriptions as widgets (and you can get other handy widgets like the weather, your gmail account etc.) The City of Ottawa has a fabulous page that explains how you can set up your iGoogle page for RSS. Once you’re all set up, use Google Blog Search or Technorati to scope out blogs that interest you and click the RSS subscribe button (usually a little orange icon).

Start your own blog

If you’re really passionate about what you want to do, and can dedicate the time to maintain a blog, then consider starting your own. Blogging is a rewarding experience in its own, especially if you love to write. Check out my previous post “Social media and community management resources” for links and resources for blogging. Consider joining communities like MyBlogLog or the Bloggeries forum to help learn as you go and to promote your blog.

Tips to succeed in social media

Think you’re ready to go out and conquer social media to help find your dream job? That’s great, but it also involves a lot of ‘putting yourself out there’ and if you’re not careful it could backfire. So here’s a few quick tips to keep you on the path to success:

  • Consistency across social media – If you’re building a personal brand you want to make sure you get credit for all your effort. Build your own ‘brand’ by developing a user name, photo and brief bio to use across all social networks so that people will recognize you at each and it won’t seem like you’ve developed a multiple personality disorder.
  • Think before you post – Sometimes when we finally open our mouths, we can’t seem to shut them again! Remember that *anyone* could be reading what you’re writing so you may want to steer clear of controversial topics like religion or politics. Also you’ll want to ensure that you come across as a responsible professional so don’t drink and tweet!
  • Commit time to do it all – An abandoned profile or blog may give off a negative impression of you, so before you start, make sure you can commit the necessary time to keep it up.
  • Remember it’s about conversations – Be kind and polite to others, and always try to respond to comments posted on your profile page or tweets or however some one may be reaching out to you… Even if they don’t have a job offer for you.

That’s all I have for now! Have any tips that have helped you land a job? Have you tried something else I didn’t list here? Leave a comment!

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Can't-live-without web tools

Since my previous post was all about sites you’ve forgotten about, it seems fitting this one be all about ones you can’t live without. However, now I want to address web tools. I was just thinking the other day, I self-taught myself HTML when I was 13 and built a couple web site back in the day but of course it was a tedious, time-consuming effort. So after the novelty wore off, I gave up on building web sites because I never really wanted to be a web developer. However, I remembered just how rewarded and accomplished I felt to have my own little piece of real estate on the World Wide Web…

And look here I am again! However, this time, I built the blog from nothing in a couple of hours. First I bought some hosting and a domain. I went with a hosting provider that self-installs WordPress, so piece of cake… then I picked out a template, tweaked it a little and voila! Really *anyone* can do it. Really freakin’ cool when you think about it!

So on to the point, here are some web tools/apps/sites I just couldn’t bare to live without.

WordPress

I think I just explained this one pretty well, but I would also pick WordPress over Typepad, Movable Type and Blogger (yes, I’ve used them all!) because I just find it amazingly versatile and you can set up your blog ‘quick and dirty’ as I did with this one, or spend a lot of time making it absolutely how you want it (which is what I *want* to do with this one day). Also I’m constantly amazed with all the plug-ins, and constant updates. It’s just great.

Feedburner

Because what’s the point of talking if no one’s listening? I love the details Feedburner provides and tracking subscribers. Paired with Google Analytics you’ve got a full picture of who’s visiting your site, and after following for a while you can start to get a solid grasp on what works, what doesn’t, etc.

Google Analytics

Back when I learned to build web sites, as best as I can recall there wasn’t really much to measure your traffic aside from those stupid hit counters which never seemed to work. When my parents ran their own business I maintained the web site and I remember they had paid some company a lot of money to produce these “reports” about the traffic. Which were about as easy to read as a Japanese dictionary. While there are some great analytics tools out  there today, Google Analytics is fabulous…AND free. The great thing is, even if you don’t really know too much about analytics, Google makes it so easy to understand, within a couple of hours of poking around you will feel like a pro!

Youtube

Can you even remember life before Youtube? It’s only been three years, but for many of us, it’s changed the way we use the Internet.It used to be such a pain for the average person to post a video. I remember working on an e-newsletter for my college, and the administrative staff wanted to put a video in it. I remember spending hours trying to figure out how to convert file formats, compress the file as much as possible and posting a link on the landing page that subscribers would have to click to download the video file. It was ridiculous.

And finally… My *all-time* favourite…

Twitter

Twitter has literally changed the way I communicate. (Now it is only in 140 character intervals!) but seriously, via Twitter I am able to quickly find answers to probably any question I can imagine, “meet” people in my field or with similar interests around the globe and network/get to know each other without it being creepy or overly personal–which I love. I could go on all day about how handy I think it is, the versatility and many uses… but it’s Friday, so I’m out of here! (Oh yea, if you aren’t already, don’t forget to follow me!)

So what tools have changed the way you live/work/socialize? What could you absolutely never live without again?

A few Web 2.0 updates…

So I’ve been without Internet for over a week now! I’m calling tonight to get it set up, but in the meantime I wanted to post a few quick updates from the Web 2.0 world…

  • Sixent – Is a new social networking platform launched by Ottawa-based Ramius Corp. I’ve been meaning to write a full review, but for now, I really like it and it’s gaining some great momentum… So check it out and don’t forget to add me as your contact! Oh yea, also when I was playing out with it I created a Web 2.What? group too, so join in and post a comment for suggestions of what I should do with it!
  • In other Ottawa Web 2.0 news, Overlay.tv officially launched last week out of Beta and has been creating a media storm. Check out the coverage on Tech Crunch featuring a vid with Ashton Kutcher… 
  • LinkedIn now has a discussion feature for its groups! Previously if you were a member of any LinkedIn group, you were probably wondering what the point of it was… Well now you can discuss with other group members. A definitely long-awaited feature.
  • Google announced the launch of Google Chrome. A new browser that promises to be faster and more efficient than any other. In fact they have a cute little comic explaining how that is. I haven’t had a chance to download it yet (having no Internet except for iPhone) so if you’ve tried it, drop a comment and let me know what I have to look forward to.

That’s all that comes to mind for now, but I’ll have some exciting news to announce very shortly…

It's not about the tools! It's the new way of marketing…

I’m almost embarassed to admit–but I’m just reading the Cluetrain Manifesto now. I’ve long known about the book, and specifically that it is about how the Internet has changed the way business works. Nevertheless, it’s an inspiring book and reaffirms a lot of the theories I’ve always believed, and I’ve also learned some new stuff too. There are two big takeaways I want to emphasize right here and now:

1. It’s not about the tools.

Despite the fact that this blog IS (mostly) about the tools, the whole concept and ideals behind social media are not. It’s about better communication because people are now able to connect, grow, learn on their own, at a faster pace than ever before. And businesses need to adapt. Those who’ve grown accustomed to ‘old’ marketing often dismiss terms like social media, user-generated content etc as a passing fad, or just another tool for the marketing toolkit, but it’s really so much more. Personally I’ve never been a fan of “interruption marketing” or broadcast media, simply because as a consumer, I hate tv commercialsand the fact that over 50% of my magazine is ads and especially those ugly flashing banners on site, they’re all in my way and wasting my valuable time. However, I love when a brand engages me with a fun flash game, or sends me emails with exclusive offers I can pass along, or even follows me on twitter and participates in my (sometimes) silly conversations. I really love it. And while some believe the old marketing is a necessary evil, I don’t. I’m done with it, before I ever really got started…

I started my career as a PR girl working in the email marketing biz. Like marketing, PR often gets a bad wrap, but for different reasons. I was always taught the key to PR was respecting your audiences and giving them exactly what they want in order to acheive your goals and objectives and that honesty, ethical behavior and transparency are absolutely essential. It makes perfect sense to me, and I saw it as very relatable to email marketing, which is probably why it was so easy for me to understand, embrace and tell others about. (BTW I still blog about email marketing, over at Tamara Gielen’s Be Relevant! Blog)

2. Sadly, though the book was written nearly 10 years ago (eons in Internet years…) So many companies still don’t get it.

By “it” I mean the fact that “mass marketing” is no longer effective, that employees are a company’s greatest asset and that open, honest and personal dialogue between a company and its customers is the new key to success (these are the points Cluetrain Manifesto is really driving home). I’m only now realizing the reason I get all this social media/online stuff is that as a teenager I was secretly a big geek–on newsgroups, IRC, early bulletin boards, etc. I loved that I was able to learn and get to know people potentially on the other side of the world. I’m super curious by nature and the Internet has always been my portal to ‘the rest of the world’ outside the suburb I grew up in. Now though the tools have evolved and changed greatly, although Facebook and MySpace and the likes have brought these things into the mainstream, really it’s all the same. In fact, in 1999 I joined a local nightlife website which became my obsession for years, it was membership driven, had bulletin boards, the ability to ‘friend’ other users, share photos and toggle event attendance… It *was* a social network, and it was a huge part of me, before I even knew what the term social network was!

Ok, wait, back to my main point here. The point about companies getting “it” has been proven 100 times over. Take Google for example – have you ever seen a Google TV ad? What about banner ads? How did YOU here about Google?(My mom actually told me about it!) What about its slogan ‘don’t be evil’ and have you taken a peek at the Googleplex lately? It’s pretty obvious Google has evolved into the type of company that embraces new ideals brought on by the communications shift, and I don’t have to tell you it’s working for them. Consequently, not only is Google bringing in bazillions of dollars ever quarter, it’s got hundreds (probably thousands, actually) of brand evangelists walking around–employees that is…Who doesn’t love working with those who absolutely love their jobs?

I haven’t posted in a while, so please excuse my wacky tangents. My time for blogging is tighter than ever, and the hardest part is finding inspiration for writing (I could write for hours on end, so long as I’m inspired)… If you have any great topics, ideas, or suggestions, drop me a line at kelly(at)web2dotwhat.com or, of course, comments are always open!

Dare to compare – How do you choose the right tools?

With so many social media tools out there, how do you find the right one for you?

The answer–and I’m sorry to say–is I don’t know… Or let’s go with the famous ‘marketing’ answer: It depends. However, I’ll document a few I use and why I chose to use them:

Micro-blogging
Twitter I’m a Twitteraholic. No doubt about that. However, I will admit I have yet to try out the competitors (Namely, Pownce and Jaiku, as well as Utterz I believe). Usually I like to try out a few before I commit, but I’m so in love with Twitter (aka addicted), I just don’t have time for the others! I’ll admit–I also love how the name lends itself to cute wordplays like twitterverse and twitterati etc., but that’s just one of the many reasons.

*Update*

  • Pretty much everyone agrees, Twitter rocks!

Blogging Platform
Wordpress First I started out my blogging life using Blogger, because it seemed the easiest for beginners. I wasn’t completely thrilled and contemplated switching, right until Google bought it out and re-vamped it. I fell in love, but when the company I worked for was acquired, Blogger wasn’t flexible enough. So I learned WordPress and I have never looked back. Recently, however, I began blogging over at Ottawa.Cityguide.ca, which uses Moveable Type. I’m no expert yet, but so far I’m liking it a lot. However I’m only a contributor on Moveable Type, so I can’t say for sure how they templates, set up, etc. work.

Therefore my favourite would have to be WordPress. It’s easy-to-use and I was able to set it up on my own domain quickly and easily. Though I have yet to use Typepad, which I know many swear by.

*Update*

  • Johann Burkard recommends a service called blojsom, I’ve never heard of it, but apparently Apple uses it for one of its web servers.

RSS Readers
Google I started out using Newsgator, not even sure why, but I noticed that a large majority of my subscribers were using Google Reader–I was intrigued–so I checked it out and sure enough, fell in love. I’ve also tried managing some feeds through my iGoogle page, but I think I consume too much for that to be a viable option. What I would love is a reader built into an app that could sit on my desktop and scroll through new headlines for all my feeds. I’m not even sure if it exists-but I would love it.

*Update*

  • Dave Barger recommends Outlook 2007’s built in reader. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard lots of good things from others. So if you have ’07, it’s worth checking out!
  • @heatherforce says she loves Attensa, which I’ve never heard of before. According to the web site it looks like an enterprise RSS reader. Heather particularly likes the plug in for Outlook. (Come on now, who’s really surprised we want to read our feeds with our email?!)
  • Johann Burkard uses Bloglines, which is another popular choice, but has also used Rojo & found it to be great, but unreliable.

Social News/Sharing Sites
StumbleUpon Ok, this is probably a vague area, as it could cover a lot, but I’m thinking of Digg, Mixx, Reddit, and even del.icio.us and StumbleUpon might fall into this category. However there’s tons of niche sites that could be included like Sphinn and PlugIM, for example.

Out of all of them, I’d say Stumble is my favourite. Actually, by far. It is a killer tool for driving traffic to your blog, AND it’s hours of fun hitting the “Stumble” button. My Stumble is also integrated with my Facebook, so all my friends can see the sites I like. It’s a fantastic tool

(Fun fact: I actually heard about Stumble over two years ago from my hair stylist, she was complaining that her husband stayed up all night ‘stumbling’ and I was intrigued to learn more)

I know I could probably go on for days, but I’d love your input: What tools do you use? Why do you use them? What else have you tried?

I’ll update this post with your comments.

*Update*

  • Colin brings to my attention that I missed a very obvious category: social networking. (duh!)

Social NetworkingLinked In
I’m still hooked on Facebook, because it’s my primary means of communication with some of my good friends. However, like Colin says in the comments, LinkedIn is a rocking place to be. I’ve pretty much abandoned MySpace. I’ve also joined and played around in a few niche sites like Chapter’s Book Lover’s Community as well as Group Recipes, but they just don’t have the ‘stickiness’ of the big guys.

*Update*

  • Linda Bustos points out some great niche sites for marketers: Gooruze, Sphinn, and SEOmoz. I’ve been involved a little in all three, so I’ll second the great choices.