Facebook Graph Search and your Job Search

facebook graph search job search tori randolph terhuneIf you’re anything like me, the word graph makes you cringe. Your brain recalls the tedious process of graphing points on an axis, drawing a straight line and finding the slope. Some graphs are your friend though, and Facebook’s new Graph Search, soon to be used by all hiring managers,  is definitely one of those.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search has started rolling out to users, and the graph data comes from Facebook users’ profile information. Using key search terms, recruiters can now dial in for graphic designers, in a certain city, who like coffee, the San Francisco Giants and have read three specific books…WOW! This makes Facebook much more useful in the job search, but also makes it important for jobseekers to make their pages the best representation of their personal brand. The information that you have in your about section, pages you’ve liked and any TV shows, movies, books, etc., you have listed are all game for Graph Search.

Here are three tips to help you promote your personal brand and hirability on Facebook.

1. Use a Vanity URL

Choose your name as your vanity URL. For instance, your URL should be facebook.com/firstnamelastname. Or, if you use your middle name or initial (like me), include that in your URL. This makes it easier for hiring recruiters to find you, which keeps them happy. Facebook only lets you change this once, so pick a good one!

2. Complete Your Profile

It is important that you fill out your about section with keywords relevant to your industry and personal brand. For example, you can list every title that describes you such as blogger, journalist or dance instructor. Don’t use cutesy quotes to describe yourself; think of your about section as a branch of your resume, and include any important descriptions of yourself there. You should also fill out all jobs, schools and relationships with those in your network on your profile.

3. Utilize Likes

Like companies, non-profit organizations, public figures, books, and anything that is part of your desired industry, or that reflects your personal brand. Graph Search enables hiring recruiters to not only scope out a candidate’s skills but also to determine whether he or she will fit in with the company culture based on personal likes on Facebook.

What do you think? Have you tried any other Graph Search optimization techniques? Comment below!

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Will Resumes Become Obsolete in the Face of Social Media?

Social Media Resume Job Search

Will the word “resume” become a foreign word to future job seekers? Using LinkedIn, job seekers now have a virtual record of experience, projects and recommendations that can be edited and updated with the click of a mouse. And with 98% of recruiters going social to find their new recruits, the resume has a much smaller role in hiring decisions.

Many of these recruiters are shying away from traditional resumes and going social to sites like LinkedIn because social profiles paint the bigger picture of a job seeker’s background. For example, LinkedIn provides wider descriptions of job seekers’ in-depth background, specific posts and content, recommendations, specific skills and expertise, a full biography, test scores, publications, organizations the candidate belongs to and more (as long as the job seeker in question has fully utilized their profile!).

Recruiters can also see which groups job seekers belong to and find out how involved they are in their industry. All of this gives the recruiter an in-depth view of the job seeker and how he or she could be essential to the company, much of which is simply not available on a resume.

My personal opinion: I don’t think resumes will become extinct in the near future, as many HR departments like to have a paper trail, and having some kind of handout to give potential employers at career fairs, etc., is essential. However, the face of resumes will change (and are already changing ) drastically in the coming years.

What do you think? Will resumes ever become obsolete?

Why You Need to Use Overused Terms on Your Resume

Resume_icon_jdI’ve been reading a lot about (and in fact tweeted about) overused terms on resumes. It seems to be a big topic, and many applicants want to stand out from the crowd by finding new terms. I hate to break it to you, but you’re almost always going to have to use those old, tired terms. Why? Because recruiters use them in job descriptions.

By now you should know that many recruiters narrow down applicants by using software to search for key terms in resumes. If they are using these key terms in the description, it’s a good bet they’re using them in their keyword searches as well. Plus, many career coaches will tell you to reuse terms the recruiter has used in the description to make your resume fit as closely to what they are looking for as possible.

Until recruiters get fresh terms and more interesting descriptions, unfortunately, it seems you may have to use those same overused terms over and over again as well!

What do you think? Should you shy away from those terms even if the job description lists them?

Twitter Vine and the Job Search

vine-twitter-logo-edit-large-370x229Twitter Vine has been met with a lot of criticism (most recently the app changed it’s rating to 17+ due to inappropriate content), but there is definitely an untapped potential to make a splash in your job search with it. At it’s simplest, Vine is an app where you can share 6-second videos, shot right on your iPhone. Brands have embraced this app, and even the porn industry wants in (ergo age restriction!)

Yet to be seen, however, is anyone using it to market themselves to potential employers. Job seekers should utilize this new app as a new, fun and easy way to stand out and show how innovative they are. Two ways I can think of:

  1. Try taking shots of you doing things related to your job, or images of how many followers you have on Twitter, YouTube, etc., or shots of you volunteering, or images of you on the news, or anything else pasted together into a quick slideshow-type video.
  2. Or take 6 seconds to quickly say, “Hi, I’m Joe Smith and I want to work for you, [company]. You should hire me because I can help your campany do [some specific thing that company would be excited about].

Or a myriad of other creative ideas!

This is a wonderful way to capture someone’s attention. Honestly, who doesn’t have 6 seconds in their busy day? I love this so much more than video resumes (which can be much too wordy, long and boring).

I would love to hear if anyone else has tried using Twitter Vine for their personal networking or the job search. Anyone have an example? Or a different idea?

The Challenge of a Mini Business Card

Mini Business Cards Tori Randolph TerhuneTa-da! My new business cards came in! I love them and I’m excited to see how people react to them, especially since they have a trackable QR code on the back!

They are the “mini” business cards which have been around for quite a while, but I’ve only received one mini business card to date (from a very forward-thinking, brilliant executive in New York City). I’ve kept the card simply because it was different. I loved the look and decided to emulate him and try it for myself.

The Challenge of a Mini Business Card:

You can’t fit as much information…obvious, right? But it turned out to be a great motivator to innovate! I could only include the top level of what I do and how to contact me. Then — with what little space I had left — I decided to include a trackable QR code to view my book on Amazon.com. I love the potential functionality of this, and can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!

So far I’ve had many positive responses and only one negative response to them on my networks. Has anyone else had success with mini business cards or QR codes on business cards? Do people like them? Do they keep the card? Use the QR Code? I can’t wait to share what I find from the tracking feature…Stay tuned!