The Job Search According to Facebook and Twitter

 It was testimony to the tenuous state of the Sacramento job market that a full house attended the Sacramento Social Media Club’s May event, “Putting Social Media to Work: leveraging social networking tools to find and fill jobs.”  The panel discussion, held at the Urban Hive last week, featured four local professionals speaking of their experiences and expertise using social media to implement and accelerate job searches.

The overall message of the four speakers was that social media–Twitter, Facebook and the like–have the potential to vastly broaden the parameters of a job and/or employee search.

Speaking from one side of the hiring table was Curt Cetraro, CEO of ConnectPoint Search Group, a local recruiting firm that enables companies to establish an employment brand in social media, track applicants, and increase internal recruiting efficiencies. Curt uses his expertise in that regard by offering a free seminar series to help job seekers increase their job effectiveness, and he brought a number of elements of that series to the discussion Tuesday night. He spoke of the need to target one’s goal in the search as well as the ways social media can be used while you’re still employed to research what you want to do next.

On the other side of the hiring table was Natalie Paulsen, Director of Business Development for 3Fold Communications. Although she loved the job she had, Natalie saw a greater future in social media and wanted to work for a company that was effectively using it. So she quit her job and applied her well-honed face-to-face networking skills to social media in finding a new one. “I targeted the companies that I was interested in and then applied networking principles to Facebook and Twitter.” She friended the decisionmakers at those companies and over time established a connection with them. By the time Natalie interviewed with the prospective companies, she had established her identity and her persona with them. “They knew who I was and they were happy to see me,” she says.

Christina Rogers is a career counselor and owner of Angeles Career Consulting, LLC. One of the aspects of using social media to find work that she discussed came from the workbooks, guides, and curriculum that she has developed for schools throughout California. Specifically, Christina spoke to the issues inherent in presenting oneself online as a job seeker. “Your followers and friends are your network. Ask them for their opinion of your social media presence. What does your brand look like?”

The fourth member of the panel was Helen Scully, president of Scully Career Associates,  a Nationally Certified Career Counselor and corporate trainer as well as the author of Elevations®, an online career assessment tool. Helen advised job seekers to not target the latest trend in employment, but to go for one’s passion. “To find your future, you are the most reliable element in your job search…and that requires analyzing your social media presence so that it is in sync with your job search.”

The panelists spoke of how best to come across while using social media. Helen Scully, who tweets from @careertests where she sharies tips regarding jobs, career changes and the workplace, talked of the importance of creating a consistent voice on all your social media forays. Natalie Paulsen echoed that, “You can create a personality in 140 characters. My personality on-line is pretty much who I am.”

As far as what not to do when using social media tools in the job search arena, Curt Cetraro had this to say: “Keep your social media presence current. When you don’t update your Facebook page, for example, that raises questions about you in the employers mind that you don’t want them to have.” And Helen Scully added, “Don’t sit on the side of the swimming pool. People don’t think they know enough to qualify for a particular job and that’s often a big mistake. Jump in.”

The monthly events that the Sacramento Social Media Club presents are part informational and part networking. To that end, in addition to socializing over light refreshments before and after the panel, there was a SMCSac Tweetup Afterparty at the Lounge ON20.  Next month’s topic will be Social Media and Music.

photo credits: April Irene Fredrikson

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May 25, 2010 | 3:44 PM

This was a fascinating panel–I’m so glad I attended! One tip I got from the panel was to make frequent small changes to your online resumes on job sites like Monster and Careerbuilder. This helps your resume show up in searches by employers for “new” resumes. For more tips from the panelists, search twitter for #smcsac — quite a few people live tweeted last Tuesday’s event.

May 26, 2010 | 4:51 PM

Social networking is important but don’t discount the face-to-face meetings and then make sure to keep in touch with the people in your network. I’ve been hearing some great networking advice on a new internet radio show on http://www.jobtalkamerica.com

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