I'll bet you five bucks that my cat Scrubby can get a job before you. Like the brother-in-law who lives on your couch and has no major plans to find employment, Scrubby doesn't bring much to a prospective employer. He can't type. He is prone to sleeping late and taking naps. He doesn't have thumbs.
But even though my cat is a lazy sack of butter, I could put his résumé on a job board and receive more responses from corporate recruiters and Fortune 500 companies in one week than you would get in a month. OK, so the offers might cease once they realize he's a cat, but up until then he'd seem like a shoe-in.
It's not a mystery how this would happen, although Scrubby is scrubbilicious and does have a super-cute face (shown, left). His skills come from having an owner who knows a little something about optimizing your job search through social media networks and tools.
Copy his tricks and you may find yourself getting calls about jobs.1. He Works the Web
Scrubby has a blog
where he writes about himself, his personal interests, and his passions. He posts pictures, links, and articles about the important things that interest him: sleeping, eating, and pooping. He is an expert in those core fields, and thus, people want to read what he has to say. Moreover, he responds to each comment and actively comments on other cat blogs.
So if you take one lesson away from Scrubby's actions, it's this: Write about your passion and go have a conversation on another blog with someone who shares a similar passion. Conversations are the core backbone of social networking, and you will absolutely meet someone who has an opportunity for you.
2. He Tweets It Up
Scrubby has a Twitter
account and has over 2,000 followers. In fewer than 140 characters, he gives you all the news that's fit to print about being a rescue kitty who loves tuna.
Corporate recruiters, journalists, and HR professionals use Twitter as a search engine. They visit http://search.twitter.com
and type in keywords to find people who are writing about specific subjects. If I were a Human Resources professional looking for an accountant in Ohio, I would search for ACCOUNTANT + OHIO and then read the tweets.
Scrubby's presence on Twitter doesn't make him an expert, and it certainly doesn't make him relevant, but it makes him easy to find. Journalists have found my cat and quoted him in their newspapers. They have looked to Scrubby for guidance in crafting kitty-related stories. It's yet another credential to add to his résumé.
Furthermore, Scrubby knows he can look for jobs on Twitter by using the search function to reverse-engineer his way into the arms of recruiter, HR professional, or company. You can do this, too. Just go to http://search.twitter.com
and type the words JOBS + YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE into the search box. You will be amazed at what you find.
3. He's a Social Being
Scrubby has a LinkedIn account
and a Facebook account
; he accepts all invitations to be friends. He is not snobby, he tries to be generous, and he will recommend anyone who has done a good job in his eyes.
He also looks for opportunities on LinkedIn's job board, which is free, and he sends word of job opportunities to his friends on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Looking for a job isn't just about being selfish. If you hear of a good opportunity, throw it out there to your community. Trust that someone will do the same for you.
Those are the basic ways that Scrubby leverages social media and could land a job faster than you. If you give him enough tuna flakes and belly rubs, he might be willing to share his secrets on how to get behind the scenes of these social networks and meet the people who do the actual hiring.
Laurie Ruettimann is a writer, speaker and HR exec with Fortune 500 experience. She blogs at Punk Rock Human Resources.