27 August 2009

HOW TO: Leverage Twitter When Hiring

Here are 5 ways to leverage Twitter to find employees

1. Connect with People in Your Industry or Local Areas
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with quantity on Twitter. But for recruiting purposes, the name of the game is quality. Once you start meeting and following the “A” Players in your industry or geographic area, stay on top of the conversation by separating them from the rest of your Twitter followers.

I’m not saying you need to drop your other friends, rather I am suggesting that you’ll want to stay on top of what’s happening by putting this conversation is a separate place.
Two of the most popular Twitter applications that allow for categorizing followers are Tweetdeck (TweetDeck) and Seesmic (Seesmic). 

3. Post Jobs Directly (and Get Your Network to RT Them)
Serendipity would be if the job opening and the perfect candidate arrive at the same time. Unfortunately, in the real world that doesn’t happen very often. So when you have job openings… post them in your Twitter stream!
And don’t be shy about asking your followers to retweet the posting. Most people are happy to retweet items of value – and having a job opening is always a very valuable thing, especially in a down economy.

4. Search using Hashtags (or Create Your Own!)
I believe the real power of Twitter lies in hashtags. Hashtags are essentially a way for Twitter users to organize tweets under topical tags that are included in the tweet itself (for a full guide check out Ben Parr’s Getting the Most Out of Twitter Hashtags post). So let’s say you have a job opening and you’ve sent it out to your network, but you want to get it out to the masses. You can use a hashtag to have it show up more readily in search queries.

One good example is the #JobAngels hashtag. This hashtag was created by Mark Stelzner who wondered what would happen if each of us helped one person find a job? Those looking for jobs post using the hashtag and others can help them find open jobs that match their skillset. Employers have used the tag along with job postings as well, so that job seekers can more easily find the listings.

Another way to use hashtags is to search for candidates. Maybe you’re not ready to spread the word about a job opening but you want to see who’s out there. In May, I created a hashtag called #whatido, because that’s the first question people ask when they meet: “What do you do?” I wanted to find out the answer to that question about my followers, so I asked them to post what they did for a living along with that hashtag. I later discovered my recruiting friends were using #whatido as a way to search for candidates – both active and passive.

Finally, here’s an example of a company that’s using their company name as a hashtag (very creative!) If you have a lot of employees on Twitter, this could be a valuable way for candidates to find you.

5. Set up Alerts
Many of us use alerts to monitor what is being said about our companies or ourselves. But you can also use services like Google Alerts and Notify Me to see what jobs are being offered. Call it competitive intelligence in the job market, if you will. Let’s say you’re recruiting for a specific position – set up an alert for that position so you can see if anyone else on Twitter is also recruiting for it.

Using Twitter to post jobs might not work for every position but it can be a valuable resource for getting the word out and monitoring the job market. 
There is also a strong community of experienced recruiting professionals on Twitter that can help you with your efforts.

26 August 2009

Keep your Facebook profile private - (via Dennis O'Reilly cnet news)

Keep you Facebook profile privite:

Earlier this month, an 82-year-old man in Auburn, Calif., was scammed out of $5,200 because his Facebook profile was too forthcoming. The first thing I did after reading his tale of woe on the Auburn Journal site was to examine my own Facebook profile from a stranger's perspective.

I didn't like what I saw.

What I saw was too much, so the second thing I did was edit my Facebook profile to remove some personal information and further restrict access to it. Unfortunately, the process took longer than I expected.

A Facebook privacy makeover begins by hovering the cursor over Settings and choosing Account Settings. The Settings tab shows your name, contact e-mail address, and other basic information. The Networks, Notifications, Mobile, Language, and Payments tabs are self-explanatory, although I unchecked several of the Notifications options that were selected by default.

The real work begins when you rework Facebook's privacy settings. Hover the cursor over Settings and choose Privacy Settings to open the service's Privacy Overview. Your privacy options are presented in four categories: Profile, Search, News Feed and Wall, and Applications. You can also add someone to your Block List by entering his or her name in the text box near the bottom of the page and clicking Block.

Facebook Privacy Overview page

Facebook's Privacy Settings are listed in four categories along with a tool for adding names to your Block List.
(Credit: Facebook)

Click Profile to view your personal and contact information. Your options in each category are everyone, people in your networks and friends, friends of friends, only friends, and a Customize dialog box, which provides a bit more granularity to your options. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page once you've finished making your selections.

Facebook custom privacy settings

The custom options in the Facebook privacy settings let you limit access to your personal info.
(Credit: Facebook)

I reset each privacy option to Only Friends, with the exception of the Basic Info category, which is viewable by everyone. To see your profile as your friends do, enter the name of a friend in the text box at the top of this page. (You can view and edit the entries in your Basic Info by clicking Info on your profile page and choosing Edit Information.)

You might be surprised by the amount of information about you that Facebook's search function makes available. To change Facebook's search settings, click Search on the Privacy Overview page. The default option under Search Visibility is Everyone, but you can change this to Friends of Friends, Only Friends, or a custom setting for people in your networks.

I chose to show in search results only a link to send me a message. I also unchecked the option at the bottom of the screen to create a public search listing for me to submit to Web search engines. When you're done, click Save Changes.

Facebook search privacy settings

Uncheck options on the Facebook Search Privacy page to restrict your personal information shown in search results.
(Credit: Facebook)

The default selections in Facebook's privacy settings for News Feed and Wall are similarly too open for my liking. It wasn't so much the options under Actions within Facebook, although I did uncheck several of these. The settings under Facebook Ads were a bigger concern to me.

There are two options on this page: "Allow ads on platform pages to show my information to" and "Show my social actions in Facebook Ads to." You can choose either "Only my friends" or "No one." Opting for the latter choice was a no-brainer for me.

More unpleasant surprises awaited on the Applications Privacy page. What your friends do affects how far afield your personal information travels. You can read about it under the Overview tab, which concludes by promising that Facebook won't sell your personal information and that "(y)our contact information is not exposed by the Facebook Platform."

I'm sure the Facebook Platform offers some real benefits, but until I have a better understanding of those benefits and their potential risks to my privacy, I'm opting out. To do so, choose "Do not share any information about me through the Facebook API." Take that a step further by selecting the other two options on this page, which block friends from viewing memberships in Facebook Connect sites and prevent Beacon sites from posting stories to your profile.

These days, I spend more time in Facebook than any other Web service except Gmail, and Facebook is gaining fast on that top spot. Of course, the bad guys are spending a lot more time there, too. Minimize your chances of catching their eye by lowering your profile.

25 August 2009

Technology Tools for Job Seekers

1. Addictomatic.com – Create a custom search by topic for the latest news, blog posts, videos, and images; allows you to bookmark your personalized results dashboard for future reference.

2. Alltop.com – Search by topic for most recent top news on news sites and blogs; functions as “online magazine rack” for all the news all the time (24x7).
3. Beyond.com – Self-described as the “world’s largest network of niche career communities” covering employment in specific locations (such as cities) and industries (such as HR or insurance).

4. BlogPulse.com – Search the blogosphere (news, blogs, videos) for the latest buzz on topics; contains interesting analytics tools, stats, and BlogPulse Newswire.
5. CommonCraft.com – One of the best places to go for easy-to-understand explanations via videos of wikis, rss feeds, Twitter, social media, and Google web search.

6. Craigslist.org – Community-moderated website for local classified ads and forums for 570 cities in 50 countries worldwide; contains job boards and a blog.
7. Digsby.com – Application that alerts you to your new emails and social media contacts via a live newsfeed, and allows you to chat via a multi-protocol instant messaging client on AIM, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, and Jabber.

8. Facebook.com - Largest online social media site with 175 million active users and 25 million active user groups. Great place for networking!
9. Google: More Products and Options – For every type of custom search tools, such as Web Search, Maps, Book Search, Archive Search, Video search, Blog Search, Finance (and business), and Images, as well as communication tools, such as Blogger and Gmail.

10. Idealist.org – Find non-profit jobs, volunteer opportunities, internships, organizations, events such as career fairs, programs and more.

11. Indeed.com – Job posting aggregator with jobs from major job boards, newspapers, associations, and company career pages; you can set up email alerts and RSS feeds.

12. JibberJobber.com – Promoting itself as Career Management 2.0, JibberJobber has come a long way since its beginnings as a job search management spreadsheet. Founded by Jason Alba (a friend, but I would love this app anyway!), JibberJobber goes beyond tracking and organizing information and contacts you collect in your job search. It is a networking and relationship management tool par excellance.

13. Job-hunt.org – Touted as the “Best of the Web/Best Site for Finding Work” by US News and World Report, Forbes, and PC Magazine, Job-hunt lives up to that reputation with more than 12,000 links to employers and resources, including tons of articles from subject-matter-experts.

14. LinkedIn.com – The premier and best-known social networking site for professionals (whether employed or unemployed), where you can grow your network exponentially in very short time. With job postings (some only listed on LinkedIn), groups to join and network with, and a popular Q&A feature, LinkedIn is constantly adding features to enhance its members voracious appetites for more and more benefits.

15. Naymz.com – Another social networking tool for professionals where you can not only grow your network, but verify your reputation with a RepScore. Unique approach and valuable for search engine ranking.

16. Ning.com – You can create your own social network on Ning, or discover existing networks by doing a search for keywords describing professional associations, colleges, companies, industries, and hobbies…and then join those groups.

17. Ping.fm – Online application that eliminates logging into multiple accounts to send the same message to your friends and professional contacts by providing the short-cut: just one update sends to all your social networking and social media profiles! This time-saving app supports 30 services including microblogging, social networks, instant messaging, and blogging platforms.

18. Popurls.com – Aggregates multiple RSS feeds from sites like Digg, Stumbleupon, Google News, Reddit, del.icio.us, and Flickr on a compact, one-page “dashboard”. You can custom the color scheme, type of feeds, quantity of articles per feed, and order of feeds to suit your preferences. Pop over to Popurls in the morning with your cup of coffee, and see the breaking online news.

19. Reverse Email Lookup – Find email addresses, addresses, and names for free based on reverse lookup technology. Now that could prove to be the most useful app of all!

20. SimplyHired.com – Job search aggregator of online job postings (nearly 3 million jobs in late March 2009); added feature of More Tools option that lets you find connections in your LinkedIn network to the company in the posting as well as research salary, job summary, map of the job location, and people at the company.

21. Technorati.com – Massive search engine for the blogosphere, including blogs, audios, photos, and videos! Explore the Channels feature to read the latest news on a topic or use the “search the blogosphere” feature to explore in-depth via keywords. Either way you will come away with lots of meaty and relevant information.

22. Trackur.com – Online reputation tracking app which can alert you to both positive and negative online “buzz” for your name, brand, and products. Searches blogs, news sites, social networking sites, images, and videos for any mention of your search terms.