Thanet Star

Find and Keep a Job Thanet in the Year 2009

The twenty first century presents some interesting and difficult challenges to the job seeker. This is doubly true for Thanet where jobs are hard to come by at the best of times. If you are dead set against starting your own business then you need to be the best competitor in town when it comes to the game of "get a job".

Here are a few tips that can help

Beware of Facebook!

Our Tony recently pointed out the dangers of saying even simple things on places like facebook. Comments that we would have always have shared such as "my job is boring" are written down for everyone to see and that encludes our current employer (if we have one) and all future ones too.

If you wouldn't say it on a CV, not even a radical one (see "Be Different" for more on those), then you need to keep it private or keep it silent.

One way towards creating privacy is to limit some things to members of a specific contact list. To this list you can privately say whatever you feel without saying it to people that get to choose how much money (if any) they want to give you.

Use facebook

Just as facebook, linkedin, MySpace, Live in Thanet and other social media sites can be used against you (as mentioned above) they can also be used for you.

If you assume that the chances of an employer or potential employer will read your profile anyway then you need to make sure that you have plenty of good profile to look at. I would recommend setting up an account on every last one of the sites mentioned above and then dress them up with everything that speaks well of you.

Do you love to work hard? Do you play team games? Do you have a positive passion (such as a charity you support)?

These things need to be mentioned so that your friends are fully aware (and then so too are strangers deciding if they want to offer you an income).

Talk at length about any time well spent.

Were you designated driver? Then make sure how you show how everyone got home safely.

Job hunting? Then mention the 100 letters and CVs you sent off on speck this week (this makes it clear there is going to be competition for your services).

Write a note about the industry you want to join that shows you understand it. This goes further than anything else to show that you care about the job you are seeking. That caring will give you the edge and that edge could win you a good job even against better qualified people with poor social media profiles.

Even just being friendly and sociable without being negative can have a huge benefit on your job hunting. Trust me when considering a stranger for employment social media is a good indicator of who they are when the guard is down.

Keep reading for more ideas on how to use the modern world to find and keep a job

Seek out and friend the bosses boss

While stalking is bad it would not hurt to try and make friends with those who work in your industry. This is doubly useful if you make an on-line friend of the CEO, Managing Director or Area Manager prior to sending your CV.

This can be used to find out the mode of behaviour that they might like to see and you can match tone to that (or at least make the other stuff more private and hide it).

This method of making friends in the industry is not new although doing it online is not all that old yet. It can also help you to have a better industry focus for our next idea.

Be your own recruitment agency

You may wish to take leaf from Seth Godin (author of "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking") and convert social networks into job finding machines.

How do you do that?

Across all of Facebook, Twitter, Live in Thanet, MySpace and LinkedIN how many contacts do you have?

Depending on the network the average is often in excess of 300 that you have some contact with and around 30 to 75 that you have regular contact with.

Now if the 300 people you come into contact with also come into contact with 300 people that's 90,000 people that you have a reasonable chance of bumping your message out to. More in some cases.

Consider ways in which you could be remarkable enough to get noticed in your industry. For some people simply talking about the industry might be enough but if you could present something that the 90,000 people wanted to pass on then you might reach as many as 27,000,000 people which is frankly a vast number of people.

Target that within your industry and you could be the most famous name therein. As long as that is positive a job should only take a few well timed phone calls (not even necessarily made by you).

I would recommend that you take a look at Seth's book "Unleashing the Ideavirus" which will teach you more than I could on this form of outreach.

Be Different

In his book "Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable Seth Godin (again) explains why the traditional methods of marketing don't work so well these days.

If you have never seen a cow any cow is interesting but after you drive past billions of more-or-less identical cows you stop noticing them. A purple cow, on the other hand, might be worth stopping to look at.

If your traditional yet safe CV has not yet got the goods for you then maybe it is time to up your game?

Instead of just methodically listing your work experience and qualifications take the time to show how you are not good but remarkable. Dare to be different.

Maybe that means you take a risk and use pink paper to print on or more expensive paper with fancy edging. Maybe you make your CV a website, or email an interactive PDF or Flash Media. Maybe you send a DVD documentary about yourself.

The worst that will happen is that you continue to fail to find work but at least you have a chance of having fun while you do so. What is more you will be remembered and that in itself could be a good thing. Especially if the boss-to-be later finds your stunning article on the pros and cons of Widget style X on your facebook note.

Conclusion

The job hunting landscape has in 2009 changed considerably. Just nipping to the job centre to see the jobs they couldn't shift is not going to cut it any more. It time to make the things you do for fun pay you back in work.

What are you doing differently today that might help you find and keep a job tomorrow?

UPDATE: Here are some books that might also help.

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