4 Ways Google+ Can Help You Land a Job
Yes, it's time to master this social network.
Perhaps you are skeptical about how social media use can improve your chances to land a new job. After all, the traditional media never hesitate to showcase people who make mistakes using Facebook and Twitter, causing them to lose their employment. It's likely you've barely even heard of Google+; what can this network possibly offer job seekers?
In a nutshell: a lot. The caveat? You need to know a thing or two about Google+ to make the most it. To get started on the right foot and break out of your job search rut, keep in mind these four things all social media tools offer job seekers and the ways Google+ helps accomplish them:
1. The opportunity to demonstrate expertise.
If you and the people you work with are the only ones who know how great you are at your job, it will be difficult to land a new opportunity down the road. Luckily, Google+, offers a platform to demonstrate what you know for people who do not already know you.
Make the most of Google+ by posting updates that highlight your expertise. Are you a health insurance expert? Post links with news about how new regulations affect your industry and include your comments. Does your expertise include fashion or interior design? Create a stream of information and photos in your Google+ profile showing that you are up-to-date about what's fashionable and what is passe. Include pictures and commentary to illustrate what you know.
When you use Google+ to post public updates, Google indexes your expertise, and you have a chance for your posts to appear as search results for other people's queries about the topics you include in your updates.
2. The chance to expand your network.
Have you ever wanted to connect with someone, but you couldn't access an introduction? Perhaps you considered cold calling the contact, but didn't feel confident you could actually connect? Using Google+, you can contact people you don't already know on line and communicate directly with them with no barriers to entry.
It's as easy as finding the target person on Google+ (use the search bar at the top to discover if he or she is using the social network) and using his or her name in an update. To make sure you have the best chance to win someone's attention, either use a + or an @ symbol before his or her name.
For example, if you want John Smith to notice you, you can add him to your Google+ circles (the equivalent of your friends on Facebook) and follow what he posts. When you want to get his attention, comment on his posts or repost something he shared and use his name, "+JohnSmith" in your post. Doing so will trigger a notification for John that you mentioned him.
Depending on the nature of your online conversations, you can easily impress John or other contacts and grow your network of people who know, like and trust you – and who may be willing to refer you for a job opportunity or for an informational meeting.
3. Opportunities to learn information that could make you more marketable.
Google+ can offer a great source of information you'd otherwise never know. Google+ Communities is one go-to resource in this network. Find it via the dropdown menu on your Google+ page; there are communities for just about any topic you can imagine. Search for people who post content and links that interest you and get ready to learn new things. When you find a strong community of people, these communities can be of a goldmine of information at your fingertips.
When you make a point to follow up and review even a small percentage of the information available, you'll be better informed and able to respond intelligently to interview questions and in networking conversations.
4. Be found: reverse the job search process from "push" to "pull."
One of the most important things Google+ can help you accomplish is to improve the likelihood that someone will find you when they Google your name or your expertise. How amazing would it be if someone were to Google "XYZ expert," and your Google+ content came up as the top results? It can happen, if you use Google+ strategically and create content online to support your expertise for your keywords.
Another factor in being found: Google's "search plus your world." You may have noticed, when you Google information while signed into your Gmail or other Google account, results you see come from people you know more often than not. The reason for this is that Google realizes that you are connected to these content creators and assumes their information is relevant for you. Similarly, when you have a robust Google+ profile and encourage people to add you to their circles, when they search online, your content is more likely to come up.
Wouldn't it be great if you can capture the attention of recruiters or other influencers in your field because Google delivers your information in response to questions they pose in Google? This is a way to attract job opportunities to you, instead of you always having to apply for jobs,which you can't beat when you're on the prowl for a new gig.
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Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Business Success, Social Networking for Career Success and 100 Conversations for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success. Get her free white paper: 5 Mistakes Job Seekers Make and How to Avoid Them.