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August 1, 2009
Twitter for Job Searching: So June 2009

Remember the old-fashioned job post? You know – the one in town square’s General Store, where all local employers posted their latest-and-greatest job openings. People would gather, and word spread like wildfire. It was an exciting place to be. (I know – I was there.)

Okay, so I wasn’t there, and I have no idea when the job board was actually founded. The point is though, the chance of finding your next career on a cork board or in the classifieds of a newspaper (yes, those still exist) is slim to none. Add a staggering economy to the mix, and you could soon find yourself up unemployment creek without a paddle … against the current … with more clichés on the way.

I think, for the most part, job seekers today understand it takes more than checking online job banks and printing out resumes on marbled stock to land a job. It takes creativity and determination. And, in recent months, it takes comfort with social networking tools to find openings and connect with employers.

Beyond the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, there are a few online tools – many not widely known – that current job seekers may benefit from looking into and creating a presence on:

• Career Scribe (http://www.careerscribe.com)
CareerScribe takes the popular social media profile (i.e Facebook, LinkedIn) to the next level, harnessing it for professional application and recruitment purposes only. On the site, job seekers have the ability (on their own or by employer invitation) to create a free profile, upload a video introduction, outline career goals, showcase accomplishments and share relevant documents. Within CareerScribe, job seekers are able to tell their career story more effectively than they could in other flat media, in a format that is easily updated. Private or public options let users choose whether their profile is available for employer search, or only via invitation.

• TugLink (http://www.tuglink.com)
Just as word-of-mouth referrals from family or close friends are the number one driver of product purchase, employee word-of-mouth referrals of job candidates are a trusted method of recruitment for many employers. TugLink takes advantage of this fact by providing job seekers an avenue for connecting with company “insiders” who they would not have contact with offline. Job seekers are rewarded by landing the job, while insiders are monetarily rewarded for their time and effort – a definite win-win.

• Guru (http://www.guru.com)
A final site job seekers should keep on their radar is Guru.com – the go-to place to match up freelance talent with “employers” and vice versa. In today’s economic environment, freelancing on a full- or part-time basis can be a great alternative to traditional employment, or an effective way to fill the “unemployment” resume gaps. Freelancers can choose from more than 160 work categories and post public reviews from past contractors to boost credibility.

You already know that standing out in the growing pool of job seekers can be tough, especially in an industry where “tech-savvy” is an expected qualification for hire. It makes sense though: Organizations in evolving fields that require social media experience want candidates who are comfortable using the tools. What better place to scout them than online communities they’re part of?

Although I don’t own a crystal ball, I can predict with some 100 percent confidence using my trusty Magic 8 Ball that job searching through social networking means is far from fully developed and will only evolve into something more effective from this point on. So, now it’s your turn: What online job-seeking gems have you uncovered in recent months? How do you think the scope of hiring and recruitment has changed with the advent and rise of social media use among businesses?

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Jaimy Szymanski is a sharp, Gen-Y associate consultant at full-service marketing firm Blue Door Consulting, specializing in online social media. She also provides clients with market research, strategic planning, branding, public relations, Web, and digital services and is a regular contributor to the company’s Out of the Blue blog. Connect with her on Twitter.

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