Fired Now what? A Social Job Hunt beginning.

So you have been fired. You are not alone and unless you have been working under a rock; you already know that in the last 2 years America has shed a record numbers of jobs. Thousands are being “fired” by the month. A number even larger than the Great Depression. The largest decrease since the end of WWII. With more losses looming on the horizon, many people are wondering when will it end. Will I get fired too?

Well it does appear to be getting somewhat better as signs of hiring are being reported by the media. I threw this guide together to help some people that have been asking me how to “do the twitter thing”. Good luck to all of you 🙂

It takes some time to build and develop a solid social network. There is no 30 second quick fix networking class that actually works. Here are a few tips and some solid advice. Please share this by passing this along to your peers, friends, family members, or anyone else affected by the current employment downturn.

Using Social Media effectively after being fired.

There is no shame in being fired, employers know that the sagging economy has left many people displaced. If you have been fired for no apparent fault of your own, your chances of getting hired again are good. If and when the economy starts moving again. Fired banking executives, advertising professionals and journalists may be forced to career shift.

1. As soon as you find out you have been fired, create an account at Linkedin.com. This is where your online resume should live. Who, what, where plus the summary of your last 10 years of employment. List your accomplishments, goals, career objectives. Then reach out to everyone you can connect with personally, people you know that are members. Search for past colleagues that can help your search with recommendations.
2. Create a twitter account, facebook account, and possibly even a blog. Start exposing who you are, just don’t expose too much personal information. A simple email address or phone number should be all that is available.
3. Use aggregate job boards like Indeed and Simply Hired to see what jobs are available, and what companies are hiring. Create a short list of ten that you are interested in to start with.

What Can Twitter Do For You?

1. Provide access to other professionals in your field. When you follow key industry leaders, you’ll know who spends time with them, what conferences they attend, what they’re reading and what is on their minds. This is great information to leverage for your search.
2. Provide exposure and credibility as well as personal and professional relationships when you connect to others in your industry.
3. Offer you a venue to demonstrate your expertise and share information in quick, pithy bursts of wisdom. This is perfect if you don’t have the time or energy to create a blog.

Unique Aspects of Twitter

1. It is casual and immediate and a great place to “meet” informally.
2. You’ll find an array of people on Twitter, including CEO’s, top-level executives, hiring managers, recruiters and everyone in-between! It’s one-stop shopping for your networking needs. You’ll be surprised to find that stars in your field (mentors) may follow you if you reach out to them!
3. Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to “friend” people who are connected to your contacts, it is acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.
4. It forces you to be brief. Coming up with your “Twit-Pitch” – what you have to offer in 140 characters or less – will help you clarify your value proposition. Remember: less is more!

Convinced? What To Do First?

1. Brand yourself professionally. If you are planning to use Twitter for a job search, set up a designated profile and account. Choose a professional Twitter handle using your name or some combination of your name and profession that sounds good and is easy to remember. For example, JaneSmith or MarketingExpertJane.
2. Take time to create a professional profile that will attract your target market. If you don’t have a website, link to your LinkedIn profile.
3. Before you follow anyone, start posting some tweets! Don’t succumb to the temptation to share your lunch menu…Tweet about an article, an idea or share a link of professional interest to your targeted followers. Keep this focused on your career information. Share information from thought leaders in your niche. Do this for a few days. It may seem strange to be tweeting when no one is following, but you may be surprised to gain an audience before you even try. Once you have a great profile and a set of interesting tweets, start following people in your industry. Aim high! Follow stars – some will follow you back.
4. Continue to build your network by using Twitter Search and Twitter’s Find People tool. Manually review profiles and use Twubble to help you find new people to follow. Use directories such as Twellow and TwitDir. Grow your network slowly – you don’t want to follow 1000 people and have only 30 following you.
5. Give, give, give! Think about what you can do for others. Don’t blatantly self-promote. Instead, help promote others. “Retweet” (pass along information someone else shared, giving them credit) – you will earn followers and friends this way. Those who know (and like) you will become part of your network and will be willing to help you.

This will all pay of in the long run.

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