First Person: Passive Job Hunting and Social Networking

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When employers have a job opening, rather than simply waiting for potential employees to find them, they often proactively search the web to identify promising candidates. This is great for you as a job seeker, but only if you can be found. Therefore, do everything you can to help potential employers locate you. Here are eight ways to make the most effective use of social network sites as passive job hunting tools.

Post your resume on all the major job sites. No surprise here. This simply makes sense.

Keep your resume fresh. While you may know that employers search for resumes of promising job candidates, you may not realize that some searchers look for the most recent resumes posted. As a result, updating your resume frequently may mean it is more likely to be found by potential employers.

Have a presence on all major professional networking sites. Again, this is common sense since businesses looking to hire are likely to check out sites specifically aimed at professionals. When creating profiles on professional networking sites, keep the following in mind.

First, make your profiles consistent from one site to another. They don't have to be the same, but they shouldn't be so different as to call into question their accuracy or create confusion.

Second, they should always be consistent with your resume.

Third, highlight your achievements, experience and relevant activities outside of work.

Fourth, post your best work, such as articles you have written , research you have done or anything else that will make you stand out from the crowd in a positive way for potential employers.

Look beyond the obvious for other sites where employers might find you. These could include alumni association sites for your college and grad school, sites for professional organizations to which you belong, and even employer alumni sites.

List all significant credentials and skills. Be specific when listing skills and credentials on social networking sites so that they are easily found by search engines. For example, if you are proficient with certain software programs, identify each one individually by name, and, if you have professional credentials, list them by title. Likewise, include any professional organizations in which you are a member, boards on which you participate, and your charitable activities.

Focus on searchable key words. You are probably aware that one technique employers use to sort through resumes is to search for key words that apply to their open positions. The same is true of employer Internet searches of social and professional networking sites. Therefore, be sure that skills, job titles, qualifications, degrees, certifications, and achievements are part of your Internet profiles and that you are using concrete, searchable key words rather than vague descriptions of your achievements and experience.

Don't let poor spelling and grammar trip you up. Undoubtedly, you have scrubbed your resume to be sure that there are no grammar and spelling errors, but it is just as important to be sure that what you post on social networking sites is grammatically correct and is not riddled with spelling errors.

Show off your writing skills. One critical business skill often overlooked by job seekers is the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. After all, whether you are doing a job interview, writing memos, sending emails, making presentations at meetings, arguing your views to upper management, or writing reports, effective communication is essential. Most communication on websites is by writing, so be sure that what you write is clear, logical, and meaningful.

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