In the job-scarce USA and in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I think it has become even more important to “set yourself apart from others” and “get ahead of the game.” Using social media to create your “personal brand” has been all the rage for job hunters coast to coast.

What steps should you take to create such a beast to behold?  Let’s take a deeper look. . . .

1)  Get LinkedIn.

  • I cannot say enough good things about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a site that allows you to upload your resume to be viewable by recruiters and companies. LinkedIn provides these entities a way to contact you and inquire for additional information. Since LinkedIn began in 2002, more than 100 million people have accounts. Similarly, LinkedIn boasts executives from all Fortune 500 companies as members. Seventy-three of the Fortune 100 companies have used LinkedIn as a solution to hire employees.
  • In short, you cannot go wrong with a LinkedIn account. Be sure to ask for recommendations from previous employers on LinkedIn. With this information, recruiters can easily determine what type of employee you are. There are also many groups on LinkedIn that post job opportunities in your field. Play it smart; more and more companies are beginning to use LinkedIn to find future employees.

2)  Get Twitter. And start tweetin’ away.

  • Create your account and complete it 100 percent, with a profile picture, short biography and links to other social media and networking sites (e.g., LinkedIn).
  • Twitter offers an amazing keyword search (Twitter Advanced Search) that allows you to pinpoint a specific job, company or person. More importantly, however, you can form direct connections with others like you across the globe.  Connect with others in your nook.
  • Do searches that pertain to your area of expertise or a keyword search that pertains to an industry in which you are looking to obtain a job. There are countless companies that post job openings on Twitter daily. Follow and converse with them. If you tweet about your own job search, you may appear in others’ searches. Perhaps those individuals will lend a helping hand and be the means by which you get a job!  For an in-depth description of how to use Twitter’s Advanced Search capabilities to your advantage, see “HOW TO: Use Advanced Twitter Search to Find a Job” from Mashable.

3) Create a blog or a website.

  • This is a big step and will require dedication. Use your site or blog to brand yourself and participate in others’ blogs. Being an active participant in your niche will not only get you noticed by those similar to you (which can also help you find a job), but also by industry experts.
  • By doing thorough research and posting your ideas and thoughts, you show that you are knowledgeable and that you care about your field, which will captivate readers. In your web space, be sure to include a link to your resume, links to your various social media networking sites, contact information and even a photo if you’d like.

4) And for goodness’ sake — don’t post anything off-color or even slightly questionable on Facebook. Or, at least have the microscopic intelligence of setting your privacy settings appropriately!

  • This section needs no bullet point. End of Facebook section.

By following these four steps — and by doing other things (e.g., hard work, maintaining your honesty and integrity, eating well and not rubbing others the wrong way, etc.), I am confident that you will find a job of your choice. Through experience, I have determined that I want to spend the days of my life working with a company that I admire and with a job that I enjoy. If that is the case, the job won’t be work, but a conduit of creation and diversion . . . and won’t be so “work-like” after all. Cheers!

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