Let your network work for you!

As a recruiter I am constantly looking for creative ways to locate valuable available candidates.

Posting an ad on a major job board has plenty of positives – and probably just as many negatives once you factor in the cost and the usual onslaught of resumes bearing no resemblance to the job description posted.

I have branched out and am trying to use low- to no-cost options, including various Social Media Networks (or SoMNs -- pronounced psalms). LinkedIn is the ultimate professional network, and has a nice search facility (within my Three Levels of Separation network, plus the connections of mutual Groupies). It’s really pretty easy to find people who meet my selection criteria.

In today’s market there are lots of available consultants – and most employed people are not making rash decisions to jump ship. So I prefer to reach out specifically to candidates who I know are available and looking for their next assignment immediately. I click through my LI search results looking for candidates who a) match my specific needs; b) are currently available. Meaning, I look for LinkedIn profiles where there is no Current employer listed.

But LinkedIn appears to not be a good place to find available resources because most people aren’t advertising their availability on their profile pages! And I am so confused by this because we network so that we have a ready selection of colleagues who can help us professionally, but no one can help you if they don’t know you need help. The power of LinkedIn is not just that you have a repository of email addresses of folks you can contact – you can store that in gmail – but that you can post a tiny notification and have it blasted out to eleventy-million people, one of whom you don’t currently know who can help you land your next gig. One tiny change can prompt strangers to contact you.

So let’s all show our availability in our profiles.

At the top of your profile in a blue box there are categories: Current, Past, Education, Recommended, etc. By editing your Current, un-checking the “I currently work here” box, and adding an ending date, you move your most recent employment from Current to Past.

In this same blue box, above the Current, Past, Education, etc. there is a 140 character what-are-you-working-on-now box. While you are seeking your next assignment, update this box daily with tweeterisms on how you are seeking your next assignment, updating your profile, returning home from an interview, meeting with a networking group, yada-yada. Update this everyday, and people will notice.

And maybe, just maybe, some stranger in your Three Degrees who sees your tiny little notice will reach out to you!

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