Written by Dave Cullen
The modern online job search is continuously evolving. Today’s job seekers have had to become more innovative and creative when it comes to discovering new employment opportunities. Social networking has become an invaluable tool for connecting with key decision makers and hiring managers within your target organisation. To date, websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have been the most popular online portals to achieve this.
However, the social networking landscape is changing quickly, new networking services are being developed and Google+ is emerging as a potential front runner. No two social media websites are alike; they all boast their own unique characteristics and capabilities. In this article, we will explore the exciting and powerful features within Google+, and explain how they can be used to further your employment search.
1. Make your intentions clear: Once you have created your Google+ profile, make your connections aware that you are actively looking for work. It is important that you don’t come across as being too desperate. Your status update should convey your optimism and excitement at the prospect of discovering new projects and career challenges. Ensure that your post also highlights your talents and abilities.
2. Improve your brand: As with all social networking platforms, Google+ provides significant potential to build and develop your personal brand. This can be achieved by not only sharing relevant and engaging content, but also through performing some spring cleaning exercises on your profile. Make your professional bio stand out, with an achievements-based summary of your experience. Remove any inappropriate personal photos that might compromise your brand image. For more information on developing your personal brand click here.
3. Make use of your Circles: Google+ allows you to organise your contacts into different circles. For example, you can group them into such categories as friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances etc. In many ways, Google+ allows you to experience the best of both Linkedin and Facebook because it can be used for personal purposes and also as a purely professional communications portal. When it comes to finding a job, your goal should be to make connections with influential people in your target companies. Try to engage in their conversations and attract their attention.
4. Use the Hangouts Feature: Google Hangouts allows you to host a video chat with up to 9 people at a time. You can use this feature to communicate directly with important contacts in your job search. However, rather than focusing your chat on looking for employment, try to brainstorm some more creative topics that are relevant to your area of expertise. For example, if your industry of interest is IT, you might organise a chat with several key experts from your network, to discuss the topics of cloud computing or next-generation networking solutions. This is an innovative networking strategy that will allow you to showcase your knowledge and value. You can then subtly reveal that you are actively seeking new opportunities.
5. Strike a Spark: Another powerful feature to take advantage of within Google+ is Sparks. This search engine front-end service allows you to identify and recommend interesting content from your target industry. Additionally, the latest news and conversations from your Spark searches will be continuously updated live on the left-hand navigation pane of your Google+ homepage. This will help you to keep up to speed on the latest developments within your sector.