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by Joe Turner, "the Job Search Guy" | October 14, 2009


Using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has been front and center on many job hunters' "To Do" lists these days. Most likely, you've made some forays into these areas already. While some are reporting success by incorporating these sites into their job search strategy, if you have little experience using these sites, you might not know where to begin.

Before you jump into the social media fray, first decide your overall purpose. In a recent interview, Shama Hyder, social media expert and CEO of the Internet marketing firm, Click-to-Client, advises job hunters to first start with a focus. The biggest mistake she notices is that most people post profiles to social media sites without having a future employer in mind. So start with a purposeful profile and think from the perspective of what overall first impression that employer will have of you. Hyder suggests only listing interests that support or underscore your purpose.

When we talk about purpose or focus, most job hunters think of themselves as a list of skills, job duties and responsibilities developed over the years. Unfortunately, this is not going to make you stand out in the world of social media. Two major issues today grip employers: too little time, and unfilled job problems. They don't have the time to leisurely read through hundreds, if not thousands, of candidate profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn. Furthermore, their mind is focused on their immediate job opening and the problems this is causing them. So, how do you break through these social media barriers?

Consider your BOD.

Before you jump into the social media world, make sure you have a clear understanding of why an employer would hire you. One good way to do that according to Hyder, is to develop what she calls a "BOD". This stands for Brand, Outcome, and Differentiator, and is a good way to answer the question "Why would an employer hire me?"

You can find a lot of personal brand information on the Web. Actually, a brand is a concise sentence or phrase that can quickly describe you to an employer. In the marketing world this is called the Unique Selling Proposition. What is it that sets you apart from other candidates looking for a similar job or opportunity? Since time is of the essence, Hyder goes even further by asking if your brand can be summed up with one word. While most of us may not be able to distill our brand into one word, we should at least have it down to a sentence or phrase.

This is what I see missing from so many resumes and profiles. What is the one clear benefit of hiring you? Remember, employers have no interest in pawing through lists of skill sets or past duties. They want to know whether you can solve their problem. Right now. So imagine that if an employer were to hire you, what is the single biggest benefit that YOU bring? This is the outcome of hiring you.

Employers today may look through thousands of potential candidates before settling on just a handful that they'll interview. So ask yourself, what makes you stand out from the pack? What do you bring that other candidates with similar skills and experience don't? This is your differentiator. Examples of good differentiators might be your expertise as a cold caller, your bi-lingual expertise or your combined technical and management abilities as a project manager. Look for factors that employers would highly value when searching for your differentiator.

While it's true that social media sites offer new venues for both employers and job hunters, start with a profile that is purposeful from your standpoint. Consider the employer's first impression and use your BOD to your best advantage to quickly cut through the white noise of your competitors. Once your message is clear, you'll enjoy more of the benefits that social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can provide you as a job hunter.

A former recruiter, Joe Turner spent 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. The author of Job Search Secrets Unlocked and Paycheck 911, Joe also hosts his weekly Job Search Guy Radio Show on as well as other locations. You'll find Joe's free tips and advice on landing a job in this tough economy at:


Filed Under: Job Search