Your headshot: Alas, we judge people too much on looks, but such is the world. Your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter photo may be as helpful as your substance. Your pic needs to be a head-and-shoulders shot in attire you'd wear on the job. More important, you must look alert, engaged, and bearing a natural-looking smile. In upbeat-oriented America, most viewers prefer happy even to earnest.
Your headline: It needs to state your brand with sizzle but without sounding like hype. And keep it brief. Examples: "Search-engine marketer with 3 promotions in 3 years." "Hospital Manager with ObamaCare expertise." "College fundraiser who has raised $6MM." "Include keywords that your employer is likely to use in searching for new hires."
Your LinkedIn profile: Recruiters use LinkedIn to unearth applicants, so your profile needs to include a concise version of your resume, highlighting the skills and accomplishments most likely to impress your target employers.
LinkedIn-connect to your dream employer: Let's say you want to work for Apple. Search LinkedIn's company directory to see if any of your LinkedIn connections work there. Write a short inmail (LinkedIn's internal email system) asking for an introduction to someone at Apple who might provide some advice on landing a job. Describe the sort of job you're looking for and why you're worthy of an introduction.
A targeted blast: Consider asking all your LinkedIn connections and Twitter followers. For example, "I'm a medical devices marketer with 7 yrs top experience on both client and agency side. I'd love any advice on finding an opp in S.F. (link to resume.)" Ask for a job; you'll usually get advice. Ask for advice, you'll more likely get a job or at least a lead.
Post notes and status updates on your job search: Say things like, "I just had an interview with Kenshoo today. Keep a good thought."
Follow target employers and industry leaders, then pitch 'em: Following them on social media sites will teach you what they're prioritizing. When you have a bright idea that dovetails, direct-message them asking for an email address to pitch an idea. That can get you in the door for a job.
What not to do: An oft-recommended strategy that rarely helps people land a job is to be active in LinkedIn groups. Unless your posts stand out again and again as ahead of the pack, it's unlikely to be worth the effort. And one thing that definitely won't help is a social media presence that suggests you're mainly about hearty partying.
These tips may imply that your job search should reside heavily in "the cloud." In fact, chats over coffee may more likely build a connection deep enough to make the person want to go the extra mile in helping you land a job. Coffee plus the cloud is a one-two punch that can land you a job.
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