“A few days ago, I wrote on our Insider blog for recruiters why I believe Google+ is the place to be for recruiters and the modern HR Manager.
After writing that article, it was a logical step to suggest Google+ is also worthy of the attention of jobseeker too.
Before I continue, let me just qualify what I mean when I say ‘jobseeker’. I mean everyone of working age: employed, employed and looking for a change, unemployed, freelancers… everyone.
Whether you are in the market for a new job or promotion now or not, I think there’ll come a time when Google+ will help you start or progress your career.
There are a few reasons. Let me explain.
It’s a cliché, but it’s true!
When analysing the research from our recent Quarterly Recruitment Review, it became clear that personal and social networks were still an important recruitment option for businesses. For the UK’s small businesses (up to 20 employees), personal networks are the 1st choice recruitment method, with 37% preferring to hire talent they already know. Looking at the wider UK business community including businesses of all sizes, 48% of businesses use their personal and/or social networks when recruiting.
In other words, knowing people makes the jobs market easier.
Getting an interview, landing a freelance role, or being short-listed for a promotion are all easier if the decision-maker knows you, what you’ve done and how brilliant you are.
That’s not to say the jobs market is corrupt, but hiring is still a subjective process. People gravitate toward people they know and trust. Recruiters and HR managers are just the same.
As I suggested on the Insider blog, Google+ is fast becoming a valuable tool for the online recruiter, so if you’re looking to connect with, and impress, the HR decision-makers in your industry, Google+ is where you’ll start finding them.
Once you’ve connected with the people who’ll make the decisions that will affect your career, it’s time to shine.
Becoming an expert in your industry is now more possible than ever before. Social Media gives everyone the ability to share information, insight and opinion. In time, with enough effort, you could be the ‘go-to guy/girl’ in your niche.
But what Google+ allows you to do is become more interesting and entertaining with it. Speaking from my own experience, after using Google+ solidly for the last month, I have found it easier to share rich content like video and photos. Google+ lets me share and produce content without the clunky processes of Facebook or the character limits of Twitter.
So as a jobseeker, you can stand out from the rest of the potential applicants, by telling your story in a more interesting, visual way, using Google+.
This ‘power to be interesting’ is available to everyone on Google+. As a consumer of content, this makes learning about what’s new more interesting and entertaining too. Google+ isn’t ruined by advertising (as some are accusing Facebook of) and isn’t limited by 140 characters.
I’m a digital geek, an Apple-Fanboy and wannabe photographer. And in all cases, know-how makes me more productive and better at what I do. Using Google+ I’m able to keep my knowledge current with a stream of infographics, videos and visually-rich posts. Basically, it’s easier to scan and pick out the good stuff.
In the jobs market, knowledge is power too. As a sales professional, knowing how to solve your customers’ problems is what generates revenue. As a programmer, knowing the latest development language is what keeps your skills in demand.
By creating your own Google+ account and following people in your industry, or who share your interests, you can stay current on what’s important to your career. And then when you get the chance to engage your boss or interviewer in a conversation, you’ll have something memorable to discuss.
I hope by this point, you’ll agree Google+ sounds like it can offer you something.
So other than a lively community and visually entertaining information, what else can Google+ offer you?
We’ve all experienced the dreadful feeling of getting the notification email on a Monday morning, “your friend has tagged 37 photos of you on Facebook”. Let’s be honest, we’d rather our colleagues (or future employers) never get to see any of those photos, right?!
Google+ allows you to group people into Circles. This means you can share different content with different people. This filtering allows you to use Google+ for both work and play, safe in the knowledge that never the two shall meet.
As a jobseeker, it’s widely accepted your future employer will check you out on social media at some point during the decision making process. Google+ allows you to maintain a professional social profile (in public view at least!).
People are busier than ever, and as a result recruiters are more frequently using telephone interviews as the first step in creating their shortlist of applicants.
Sticking my neck out (again), I predict in the not-so-distant future, the telephone interview will be replaced by the Google+ Hangout.
So what is a Hangout?
It’s a video call/chat service, offered free by Google+. Hangouts can support up to 10 video callers, and Hangouts are supported on smartphones and tablets.
I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s easier to get across your point when speaking to someone face-to-face. So as a jobseeker, the opportunity to speak to an interviewer face-to-face (albeit virtually), is a no-brainer.
The best place to start is Google+’s start-up guide. If you need a bit more guidance on what happens after you click the ‘sign in’ button, there are plenty of useful how-to articles dotted around the web. Digital Unite’s article is pretty comprehensive and includes lots of screenshots which show you what to do.
Once you’re setup, start following people and businesses that interest you. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
BBC News – for breaking news
Cadbury UK – Chocolate
YouTube – New videos
Jobsite – Advice on the jobs market
As the videos, articles and images start filling up your news stream, join in the conversation, by commenting and sharing the stuff you enjoy.”