Job Search with Social Media: Time Savings or Waste of Time?

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Networking on social media channels like Twitter or Facebook is seen by many as a waste of time - leisure fun, maybe, but job hunting? Certainly not. But are traditional ways of finding a job more efficient nowadays?

Job Search with Social Media: Time Saving or Wasting Time? I Looking for a Job with Social Media: Saving Time or Wasting Time?

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Here writes for you:

Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Job Search on the Web: Infidel Amazement

I always like to write about job hunting with social media or give lectures. And quite often the reaction is incredulous to horrified: that, many say, is too time-consuming and cumbersome.

At a lecture at a German university, economics students were sitting in front of me with their arms crossed and said that blogging was certainly a nice tool for journalists, but for them it was a waste of time. And the editor of a major German newspaper recently asked me during the interview: "Isn't it a bit like having your chest in the eye?"

Which job search method really saves time?

And what do I say? Always the same: Of course it's time-consuming. But are traditional job search methods more efficient and beneficial? To understand that, you may have to go further. Traditional job search methods work this way: You see a job advertisement that you think would fit and compete with you in terms of skills, soft skills, and so on. At first glance, it also looks like a purposeful act.

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On the other hand, looking for a job using social media or referral marketing is much less goal-oriented and at first sight seems to have more to do with luck and chance. Although you can also look for Twitter, Xing or LinkedIn for job offers, but real networking works this way: You know someone who knows someone who knows someone - and who has a job. After much stress, keep the whole contacts running and in the end still terribly vague - because you never know, which one of the many contacts that one cultivates so, then also leads to the desired result.

Job Search in Social Media: Poor planable, but works

And that's where the mistake of thinking lies: If you're networking properly, you do not have to worry about something like that. Then things happen more or less by themselves. I regularly experience blogging, where people come to me, for example, via Google or via a recommendation, because they have been looking for something specific. Or when I meet someone who appeals to me for a blog post he recently read - and turns it into an interesting dialogue and, ultimately, good cooperation.

Of course, this is difficult to plan, even if the social media prophets and search engine optimizers want to make you believe. Well, I can make sure that your own blog at Google as far as possible or I have the largest possible network. If you are looking for something the next day, I can not plan it. Exactly this randomness often leads to surprising results - serendipity. And indeed my VWL students had to admit to detailed inquiries: Most of the jobs are outsourced through contacts. What's more, some jobs are practically created by people talking about topics and then having ideas for new jobs in conversation - as happened, for example Regine Heidornwho finds 75% of her jobs on Twitter - including jobs she would never have dreamed of. Actually, the ideal form of looking for a job: A job that is tailored directly to the people and their personality and ability - and not vice versa.

Job Search with Job Advertisements: Pseudo-planning that works badly

So why do not people dare to rely on these coincidences? Because they still think the companies that advertise their jobs would have thought carefully about what they are looking for and you just have to apply - done. And then wonder why they get 50 cancellations and more, making the whole application procedure ineffective and nerve wracking. Actually, many companies are not sure what they are actually looking for - that is why in job advertisements often unintelligible phrases in which one can interpret everything and nothing into it.

Lateral thinker and Best of HR –®-Author Axel Haitzer shows how a job advertisement could look, with the absolutely suitable applicants are sought: Namely the example of the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, who was looking for 1900 men for a dangerous journey for low paid with uncertain outcome - and also found: Allegedly, he has received more than 4000 applications. If Shackleton had formulated a spongy advertisement according to today's pattern, Haitzer concludes, but would certainly have applied a lot of unsuitable candidates - and Sir Ernest Shackleton would have wasted time and money in the recruitment or even endangered the success of his expedition.

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Modern application error vs. Networking

But unfortunately plain text is not that easy - that's what they have Best of HR –®Authors and journalists Florian Vollmers and Anne Jacoby found out about the secret KO criteria of personnel when researching their job interviewer's book: Many who are looking for a job actually a man or a woman or applicants in a certain age (and in the end also do not say that before, let alone write it in the job ad.

Reason for that, according to Vollmers that General Equal Treatment Act, which is supposed to protect applicants from discrimination, but at the end often ensures that only vague information about what you are actually looking for exactly. And those who do not belong in the right target group, waste their time with the free of charge application, And the company also wastes a lot of time because it first has to sort out the many unsuitable applicants.

Is it not much more sensible to build up a suitable network and then to look for exactly the right job with precisely matching contacts?

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