Will Facebook and Google make LinkedIn obsolete?

At the time of this blog being written, LinkedIn is the number one professional network. It is home to around 116 million users, a number which continues to climb. Its profits have risen and its stock remains buoyant. It operates within its own niche, tactically deciding to avoid competing against the social network powerhouse that is Facebook. It seems to be doing everything right, so why is there the feeling that this may change in the future?

Well, there has been a lot of debate recently surrounding the battle for social dominance. Facebook, the current King of the social networks, is now not looking so comfortable on its throne. As I have discussed in previous posts, Google+ is on the rise and poised to take that crown. But what’s this got to do with LinkedIn?

It is clear that Facebook itself has purposefully avoided targeting the professional crowd and Google+ has only just begun its exploits in the world of “social business,” and it certainly hasn’t outlined plans  to target professionals from the get go. But as the struggle for dominance grows it is becoming clear that the only way to win/succeed will be to offer new, and better, features for users.

Unfortunately for LinkedIn, the job market and the professional crowd seem the perfect area for Facebook and/or Google to expand into. With these two internet giants entering into this niche, and therefore directly competing with LinkedIn, it spells trouble for the current, almost unchallenged, professional network. Now, I’m not suggesting that this is going to happen right away, but what must be underlined is that it really is a question of “when” rather than “if”. It is a natural progression for both Google and Facebook and it’s one of the key strategies to keep the competition alive. But can we just write off LinkedIn?

Well, a lot of people are. LinkedIn has experienced a barrage of criticism recently and there have been a number of hints at its potential downfall. The “problem” associated with LinkedIn is that it’s boring. There’s no sex appeal and a clear lack of imagination in its creative team. Although it does have an impressive user-base, the number of unique visitors is much lower and many current users have admitted to ignoring the site. So does this mean that LinkedIn is heading for a fall?

Well, not necessarily.

Yes, LinkedIn isn’t the sexiest social site and it’s not one that constantly updates and adds new features to enthrall its user-base, but it never wanted to or said it was going to.

LinkedIn is the professional network.

I would happily bet that an overwhelming majority of LinkedIn users also have a Facebook profile. This is simply because they want to separate their personal and professional lives, and this seems the general consensus amongst my colleagues and my friends. LinkedIn has been described as social media with no buzz and no sex appeal. For example: Facebook can get you friends, Twitter and YouTube can make you famous but LinkedIn is unexciting and unstylish.

Whilst I do agree that it could use a “sprucing up” I also feel it’s important to stress that it isn’t a site with no buzz. The buzz, or appeal, of LinkedIn is that it can get you a job or get you more business. So do I think it’s just going to disappear whilst Facebook and Google take the reins?

In a word, no. LinkedIn isn’t going to just disappear any time soon. It has a loyal (and growing) user base and remains the preferred professional network. LinkedIn’s critics say its downfall will be a result of its lack of sex appeal, but what they don’t seem to have recognized is that the LinkedIn user-base don’t want sexy, they want professional. The young users want jobs and the older executives want to generate business. That said, Facebook and/or Google are sure to start targeting the professional crowd in the coming months and they will be prepared to fight for market share. What is certain is that it promises to be an interesting future for social business. But if you remember one thing, let it be that LinkedIn will not go down without a fight.

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You’re being watched: Privacy is dead

Sharing is great. It’s easy, it’s fun and pretty much everyone does it. With the technology available today you can share anything, with anyone, from anywhere. Unfortunately though, there is one major negative impact of this for professionals: Privacy is dead. And Facebook, with its 800+ million user base, is the main culprit.

In 2010 Mark Zuckerberg labeled sharing as “the social norm.” What he didn’t choose to bring up, or even consider, was the other side of the sharing equation: Privacy. Now, there are various problems or dangers that can arise from the privacy issue but the one that’s most prevalent, and perhaps most influential at the moment, concerns the job seeker.

There’s been a lot of buzz about Facebook privacy in the recruitment world recently. According to a recent survey, around 70% of recruiters in the US have rejected an application based on information found online. That’s a pretty high number, and it’s important to underline that it isn’t just a trend confined to the US; it really is a global phenomenon.

So how are job seekers reacting? Well it is now quite commonplace for a jobseeker to invent a Facebook alias to protect themselves. By changing their display name and tightening their privacy settings, in terms of who sees what content, jobseekers (mostly young professionals/graduates) are essentially having to “hide” from potential employers. And with stats like that who can blame them?

It’s definitely becoming more and more important to manage your online reputation.

But it’s not just jobseekers that are at risk. It seems like every other day that I hear a “horror story” about someone who’s lost their job because of something they’ve said/done on Facebook. Anything from an inappropriate comment or an unsuitable photo or video to a criticism of a former employer/colleague or even a comment left by a friend or family member have landed people in hot water.

According to the same survey, 79% of US companies admitted to having used the internet to “better assess applicants.” As the world, and more importantly the working world, becomes more social, a site like Facebook becomes more and more influential for professionals. Although it did begin as a purely social site used for personal connections, it is now widely used for networking, job hunting and recruiting and therefore to ignore the privacy issue is a mistake which you are likely to regret.

So, what should (and shouldn’t) you be doing?

Number one for me is to take a look at your privacy settings. Make sure you only share posts, information, photos etc with the people you want to see them. Facebook “lists” make this an easier task. Secondly, make sure never to criticize or complain about your work on Facebook – nothing good can come of it! Thirdly, and this one’s probably less common but not unheard of, only accept to add people you know. The reason for this is that sometimes a recruiter will create an alias, friend you and essentially spy on you. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t believe that this occurs too often, and certainly none of the recruiters I know do it, but as I said it’s not unheard of and you should always be careful.

Remember a recruiter is well within their rights to research you. They will happily throw away your CV if they see something they don’t like and they can fire an existing employee for the same reason. So be careful! Your life is not as private as you think it is.

How To Improve Your SEO (and why you need to)

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important things to consider when building an online marketing strategy. The challenge lies in maintaining relevance in the eyes of search engines, and as Google is by far the largest and most influential search engine (with over 1 billion hits per month) one of the most important aims of your online marketing strategy has to be to dominate Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Without implementing solid SEO strategies you’re website will be about as useful as a shop with no windows and no sign. You want, or should I say need, people to find you online and with a few simple strategies you can.

So here are some ways to improve your website’s SEO strength.

Firstly, you need to think about your URL with regard to two things: Format and Content. Now I’m going to assume you know not to use spaces in your URL but what is quite a common mistake is putting in an underscore to separate words.  Due to the algorithms embedded in a search engine like Google, this will cause it to identify the URL as one big word and therefore will reduce your chance of people finding you in a keyword search. However, what you can do is use dashes – problem solved. The content of your URL is also crucial. If you include what are known as “stop words” such as “the”, “what” or “it” the chances are most search engines will actually ignore them and therefore weaken you’re SEO. So take a look at your URL(s), make sure they are formatted correctly and remove stop words.

Another classic (and essential) trick to improve your SEO ranking is by identifying and utilizing keywords. By using keyword rich title tags on each page of your website you can give yourself the best chance of dominating SERPs and therefore maximize potential income. It’s important to take <title> tags (found in the title bar of the browser) into consideration as search engines use them to ascertain what type of content appears on the page. If you enter keywords into your <title> tag instead of your company name it will prove advantageous for your SEO ranking. Be careful not to exceed the 60 character limit though, as it would be cut-off.

To track the progress of your site rankings you can use an analytics program, the largest being Google Analytics. Using the different tools involved you will be able to track which keywords, search engines and traffic sources are proving most beneficial in terms of bringing in business. This information is invaluable when it comes to identifying how to improve your SEO ranking.

It can also be very beneficial to add a blog to your site. If you regularly update your blogs with new posts and fresh content you can drive traffic to your site through an improved SEO ranking. This is because search engines love fresh content. So, updating regularly can give your site’s SEO a massive advantage. Blogs can also be a great way of interacting with customers, and potential customers, which not only helps you in a marketing context but also increases the value in an SEO context. Now more than ever “the fresher the better” applies to your website and its SEO ranking, as Google have recently announced a change to its search algorithm. So keep it fresh!

So there are some simple SEO tips to get started with.  And if that wasn’t enough, it’s now becoming more and more apparent that you need to stay up to date with potential future trends so you can adapt, and maintain and improve,your SEO ranking. With the buzz around Google+ being “the next big thing” for business the result is sure to affect SEO in a big way. I won’t go into too much detail or attempt to predict the future but it seems that the “+1” feature is likely to become particularly important when developing an SEO strategy. Companies will have to adapt their strategy to optimize for recommendations to stay ahead of competitors.

Searching is becoming social, make sure you stay ahead of the curve.

How Mobile can help you find your next job

 

If you haven’t got a mobile device yet, the chances are you’re going to get one fairly soon because, if I’m honest, they are taking over the world. Half of all mobile users have already made the switch to a Smartphone, and who can blame them? The Smartphone, and all the other mobile devices, are incredible pieces of technology. They magically manage to simultaneously help you become more productive whilst distracting you. They allow you to be constantly connected and provide you with another opportunity to carry the digital world out into the real one. So, on a personal level these mobile devices are considered genius. But, what are the implications for the job market? How can you include mobile into your job search?

Last week I talked about why, and how, recruiters should implement a mobile strategy. The demand is there and the revolution of mobile recruitment is upon us. Mobile traffic is set to become the number one source of online traffic in the next 5 to 10 years. Recruiters are changing, and will continue to change, the way they do things and that means you (the job seeker) have to as well. With just a few simple apps you can use mobile to maximize your chances of getting employed.

So, what apps should you use to help you find your next job?

Remember the rush to get on LinkedIn? Well, history is repeating itself in the mobile world. With a mobile-optimized version of the professional network you can use the app to function as your online resume as well as connecting with colleagues and joining discussions just like you would from your computer. As I have discussed in previous blogs, recruiters use LinkedIn regularly to find top talent. By using this app you can make sure to be able to interact with all your connections immediately and conveniently.

Second on my list of essential apps to include in your job search is Twitter. Most people who use Twitter do so to receive regular updates on things that interest them. If you are a job seeker then it’s job opportunities that interest you, so why wouldn’t you use Twitter? By following the relevant people, it enables you to receive constant job updates on the go. You can get there first by using Twitter as your “job alert” app. The Twitter-based app “Tweetmyjobs” is the most effective way of receiving information on specific job ads, in terms of industry, position and location and is a must-have for all job seekers.

A great way to connect with people at networking events is the mobile app “Bump”. This allows you exchange contact details (and more recently pictures and videos) with any other phone which has the software installed. It could just be the “21st century business card”. By using Bump you can provide a “digital leave-behind” for potential employers and at the same time show them that you keep up-to-date with the latest innovations in technology.

So you’ve got your online profile with LinkedIn, you’ve found out about a job you’re interested in from Twitter and you’ve exchanged contact details with some key people in charge of recruitment using Bump. But how do you actually apply for the job? Well, with the ResumeBear mobile app you can send your digital CV to the potential employer from your mobile device. The app also tells you when the application has been received so you can’t track the progress of your job application.

Finally, you receive confirmation that you’ve got an interview but you don’t know where it is. Google Maps mobile app works in exactly the same way as your GPS would so you will know exactly where to go. With some add-ons, the app can provide you with traffic information and can show you your surroundings. With this app you can make sure you won’t be late to the interview.

So that’s just some of the apps that you can use to improve your job search, and the best thing about these ones is that they’re all free. Mobile recruiting is the next generation of recruitment and you (as a job seeker) need to stay up-to-date with new technologies. What is certain is that the influence of mobile is only going to increase and to ignore the mobile generation as a job seeker will result in you getting left behind. So, go mobile!

The Perfect Interview

 

I’m going to start by saying that there is no such thing as a “perfect” interview.

There are only two types of interview: the one that gets you the job and the one that doesn’t. There is no step-by-step guide which can guarantee you success. Granted, that may seem like quite a negative start but you have to be realistic. You cannot get yourself a job through a “quick fix” solution. What you can do is maximize your chances of getting employed by knowing what interviewers like and, sometimes more importantly, what they don’t like. So let’s get started.

You will have all heard the phrase “Location, location, location: the three things that matter in property.” Well preparation, preparation, preparation is the most important thing for an interview. If you want to have any chance of succeeding and impressing your interviewers you have to prepare because (and I promise this will be the last cliché phrase I will throw at you) “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” But it is most certainly true. If you haven’t prepared, it will become very obvious, very quickly to your interviewer and that means you don’t get the job.

So, what should you do?

First, research the company. Read their mission statement; get to know what they’re about, how they work and learn about some of their history. Think about how you could fit into the company and convey this to your interviewers. This shows them that you are interested and dedicated.

It is also important to prepare an outline of what you are going to say. However, DO NOT over-prepare to the point where you are practically reciting paragraphs you have written. It will be obvious to the interviewer and if you get caught off guard you may crash and burn. Know your strengths and think of possible answers for classic interview questions;

e.g.

  • What are your strengths? (And possibly the more frequently asked, what are your weaknesses?)
  • Why did you leave your previous job? It is very important to know your CV as they will most likely ask you about previous roles you have undertaken
  • Why should we hire you? This is where you can combine your strengths and experience with the research you have done and impress the interviewers

Finally, you want to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer(s) at the end. They will ask you if you have any questions. You want to show them that you are interested in the company. Now, the questions to ask will depend on how the interview has gone and what job you are applying for but, some typical questions which you can ask are:

  • What is the business environment/culture like?
  • What opportunities are there for advancement?
  • What is the dress code?

I would avoid asking about salary straight away as you don’t want to seem too pushy and the interviewer will probably bring it up anyway.

So, there’s a few things you can do before the interview to maximize your chances of success. But what should you do during the interview to make sure you impress the interviewers?

Let’s start with the first impression, as this is one of the most important aspects of any interview and it is very difficult to impress after a bad first impression. Get there on time and if you are running late let the interviewer know. You also want to dress appropriately. In my opinion you should dress like the person who does the job that you want to do in the future. Maybe you want to be a CEO, so dress like one. Looking smart isn’t going to work against you. The handshake is also an important moment in the interview. Give a good, solid handshake, make eye contact and smile. Don’t look at the ground or give a weak handshake as it creates an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Now, once you are in the interview room there are certain things that you want to do to increase your chances. As I have said there is no list of interview tips which you can follow so you are guaranteed a job. However, there are certain things which are essential in any interview which if you don’t do will probably result in you not getting a job.

  • Firstly, maintain eye contact and really listen. You want to respond to everything they are saying effectively.
  • Remember your plan. Pick up on opportunities to impress the interviewer. For example when the interviewer asks what you know about the company, show them that you have done the appropriate leg-work and make it relevant to you and how you would fit in.
  • Be positive. Everyone likes an upbeat person, someone who will get along with the team.

Finally, when closing the interview, end with a handshake and thank the interviewer(s) for their time.

I’m not going to tell you that if you follow this advice that you are going to succeed in your next interview. However, you can most certainly maximize your chances.

Good Luck!

For more tips on how to get employed check out our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TMIParis

Google+ vs. Facebook: Google’s Battle Plan… (Part 2)

In Part 1 I focused on the explosion of Google+ onto the social business scene. I talked about the ever-increasing rivalry between the two tech giants, briefly mentioning some benefits and ultimately recognized Google+ as a force to be reckoned with. What I didn’t do was go into too much detail or discuss the future implications. Now unfortunately I cannot predict the future, but what I can do is explain what is happening right now and offer some suggestions on what I think is likely to happen in the next few months and the New Year.

Already, since Part 1, things have changed. Google+ was getting a lot of negative attention, and had been since its launch. Many people had written it off before even giving it a chance. But, in the last week or so, opinions and attitudes seem to have gradually changed. People are recognizing that Google+ is not a fad and it will not just disappear; it is something that has to be taken seriously. I mentioned a few of its benefits in Part 1 but the key to Google+ is its potential, and its potential is huge.

Everyone wants to know who will win the battle for social dominance. Marketers are dying to find out so they can plan their strategy and know how they will need to think. So, will Google+ overtake Facebook? And ultimately can Google beat Facebook?

As you are probably aware by now, this is not a question with a simple, or definitive, answer. The reason it isn’t as simple a question as: who will win the battle? is because the competitors are fighting for different things. Google and Facebook work in completely different ways and they have very different ideas when it comes to what makes the best social site. However, despite these differences, the rivalry between the two will continue to escalate and will without doubt impact you as a business.

So, in this part I am going to focus on what Google are doing (and planning to do) to “beat” Facebook.

Firstly, we have the +1 button. This is the fastest growing social recommendation widget in history, with over 5 billion impressions a day. Not bad. These +1’s are going to be connected to your Google+ brand page. This will allow Google to extend your brand on a global scale; and by analyzing who is recommending you and where you are being recommended from, Google can put your brand where relevant people are.

The +1 button is revolutionizing the world of recommendation. You should never forget the fact that people trust people. A recommendation could become more important than your advertising strategy, a reality that becomes a lot more real with the growth in influence of +1’s.

Now, I mentioned Google Direct Search in Part 1 but what does this mean for the future?

“Typing in ‘+YouTube’ goes straight to the Google+ YouTube Page and automatically adds YouTube to your circles on Google+ for easy following. An on-going relationship gets established through one Google Search. This isn’t about Google — it’s about Plus and your brand, putting you at the center of everything on Google.”

So, Google is giving you the ability to connect with customers in the easiest possible way. You will be able to develop much deeper relationships and this will prove invaluable because relationships are the most important thing in business. Google+ aims to transform your relationship with Google; they want to give you the power.

Another benefit I underlined in Part 1 was the importance of Google+ for SEO, but how will that become influential in the future? This is quite simple. Google+ will become more and more important for businesses because it is your Google+ page that will appear when customers search for you. Google’s updated search engine will ensure that all features of Google+ are inter-connected with all things Google, something which is quite simply going to become crucial to your company’s SEO. You need Google+ so people find you.

If your business isn’t on Google+, it quite simply should be. But will it beat Facebook? Well, Google+ is going to win, but that doesn’t mean that Facebook is going to lose. As I mentioned, they are fighting for different things. Google+ will transform marketing and search branding. They are going to have an influence on you; that much is certain.

For now Facebook remains in the lead, and in Part 3 I’ll look at what Facebook are doing, and what they have to do in the future, to make sure that there remains more than one social superpower.

The Mobile Generation: Is the future pointing to mobile recruitment?

 

The world’s gone mobile. We now live in a time where the lines between the digital and the real world are blurred. You can’t walk down the street without seeing a Smartphone or a tablet in the hands of every other person you pass. Mobile has revolutionized the way we live our day to day lives.

Mobile technology is taking over the world, but strangely it seems like the recruitment industry has turned a blind eye. According to a recent survey by Potentialpark, only 7 percent of corporate career sites are optimized for mobile devices. Now, you might be reading this and thinking that sounds about right, no one’s looking for a job on their mobile; mobile business just isn’t relevant to the recruitment industry. However, according to that same survey, 19 percent of job seekers have reported use of their mobile device for career activities. Even more interestingly, a further 50 percent said that they “could imagine” themselves doing it. So how influential is mobile business really?

Let’s have a look at some stats. A report by Comscore mobile last month showed that 6.8 percent of all US web traffic came from mobile devices. They also estimated that, by the end of 2011, over 91 million consumers will be using mobile devices. And this is in the US alone. These are some impressive figures. What is much more astonishing to me though, is the lack of attention companies in the recruitment industry are paying to these figures. It now seems that, if you don’t have a mobile strategy you should be figuring one out rather soon.

“Job seekers are using their mobile devices for job search whether employers like it or not,” explained Julian Ziesing, a spokeman for Potentialpark.

One of the reasons the mobile generation has evolved and succeeded so quickly is that people like to be connected on the go. It’s becoming clear that job seekers want to search for jobs and be notified about jobs on the go too. 30 percent of subjects in the Potentialpark study said that they would happily apply for jobs using their mobile device.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Job seekers are saying they would apply for jobs using their mobile device, but being able to do so is something completely different. As I have mentioned, the majority of career sites are not mobile-optimized, thus greatly restricting site operation for mobile users. What you will have probably noticed is that, the people who label mobile recruitment as a myth, or simply express negativity towards it, all argue the same point: mobile technology isn’t ready for recruiters. In fact they are right. At this moment in time mobile recruitment has not really taken off, but what is becoming clear is that it will.

The demand is there and the phenomenon of mobile recruitment is a very real one. For me, it’s something which is guaranteed to take off in the New Year. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. It improves the candidate experience and as we all know, this is one of the most important things in today’s social-orientated world
  2. It improves you as a brand – you will have a more positive image
  3. It can enlarge your talent pool, giving you access to higher quality candidates

So it seems that “Traditional” recruitment is gradually disappearing. Social recruitment is becoming more and more influential and it won’t be long until mobile recruitment explodes onto the recruitment scene. My advice is preparation. It isn’t quite there yet, but the key to your company’s success could just be a good mobile strategy. So get planning!

 

 

Social media mistakes to avoid in your business

 

Some of my previous posts have been filled with positivity about using social media to benefit your business. This is quite simply because it can be a great marketing tool. BUT (and this is a big but) it is not a foolproof solution to improve your company’s marketing strategy. Often startups and existing companies make mistakes that can prove costly and in fact reduce the chances of success.

So, what should you avoid when setting up a social media strategy?

The most common (and probably worst) mistake you can make is failing to outline a plan for your social media strategy. So many startups just breeze past the planning stage without outlining any goals. You need to ascertain what you want to do, how you want to do it and what resources you will use. Without a detailed plan with clear business objectives you are setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even begun.

Within your plan you should be identifying when you are going to carry out the social media tasks that you’ve set. The second mistake a lot of companies make is going into social media overdrive straight away. This “too much, too soon” approach is likely to prove counter-productive. People don’t want to be overloaded with information every second of every day. It’s also important to recognize that you don’t have to be on every single social media site. Identifying which ones are relevant to your business (perhaps taking into account where your competitors are) will save you time and ultimately money.

I’m sure you are all aware of the phrase time is money, and it is important to spend time with social media to achieve worthwhile ROI. A lot of companies implement a social media strategy which can best be described as “if you build it people will come.” I’m afraid this is not the case. In the same way that building a shop and not putting a sign outside is unlikely to attract people, failure to promote yourself consistently online will not benefit you. Therefore the “set it and forget it” method should be avoided. Social media is all about relationships. It’s about networking and it is going to take time. However, if you are prepared to make the appropriate time investment to social media each day it will be worth it, if you spend your time correctly.

How you spend your time is key to your company’s success with social media. It must be understood that social media is not a one-way communication channel. You’re setting yourself up to fail if you think that you can just promote your company non-stop and not interact with customers and still succeed. We’ve come back to the importance of relationships and honestly it cannot be stressed enough. After all it is called social media. Failing to recognize this can result in complete failure; so don’t go out there and ignore your customers! Listening and responding can be the best way to lead your business to success.

It’s not only you’re customers you shouldn’t ignore though, it’s your competitors too. Keeping track of what your competitors are doing on social media and how they are doing it can be key to your survival in today’s market. Social media provides you with the gift of easily connecting with everyone around the world. This means it’s very easy to check up on your competitors. Visit their website, their Facebook and LinkedIn pages and most importantly check out their customer feedback. Knowing where your competitors are going wrong can prevent you making the same mistakes and help you achieve a competitive advantage.

Finally, it is essential that you are passionate in your social media marketing. Without passion you won’t succeed. If you feel that social media isn’t for you and you have the resources then hire someone who knows about social media so that they can help your company succeed. If you have someone running your social media operation that has genuine interest and passion for it then it will be well worth the money it takes to employ them.

The benefits of social media for business really can be incredible, but only if it is utilized in the proper way. If you implement a solid social media strategy and avoid the mistakes I’ve been talking about then I can promise that you won’t regret it.

Social media could revolutionize your company.

The Recruitment Revolution: What the job seeker needs to know

 

The world of recruitment is changing. The physical and digital worlds are converging, technology is King and the old school recruitment methods just don’t cut it anymore. It’s all about social recruiting.

This means two things.

#1: Recruitment agencies have had to change the way they do things

#2: The way people find jobs has been revolutionized

So, I’m here to help job seekers understand how social recruitment works.

Keeping up to date with the latest recruiting trends is essential for job seekers. You need to give yourself the best chance of finding that job and by understanding what’s changed, what’s new and what’s going to happen you can stay ahead of the curve and ahead of your competition.

By now, you should be familiar with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Most recruiters are now on these sites, as they want to enlarge their talent pool and ultimately find the best person for the job.

So let’s assess how recruiters use each tool.

LinkedIn: Recruiters mainly use LinkedIn to post jobs and search for candidates. They want to grow their connections in order to find top talent. They will often post jobs and discussions in groups to try to connect with the relevant people. They can also scan the profiles of LinkedIn members to identify the appropriate candidates. They are looking for a professional profile, a good employment history, and recommendations and ultimately they want to develop a relationship with you.

Facebook: Although most people still like to use Facebook purely for personal relationships it is important to know that many recruiters will have a presence there. A lot of recruiters now use it to connect with potential candidates via discussions and groups on their Facebook company page. Be aware that some recruiters will “check up” on you via Facebook to make sure you are professional, and it is not unheard of that people have lost opportunities and even lost their jobs due to careless Facebook use. Also, there has recently been a lot of discussion and rumour suggesting Facebook will start allowing companies to post jobs, something which would transform the recruitment field further.

Twitter: A lot of recruiters love to use Twitter solely as a promotion tool. This means regular job posts and updates which are essential for job seekers in terms of getting there first. By using the “#” companies specialize their search and can find the relevant job seekers. They will often assess your activity, in terms of what you tweet, how often you tweet etc so it is important to maintain professionalism. Finally, companies regularly post about events that are coming up which act as great networking opportunities for job seekers.

This is just a summary of how many recruiters are using the main social media channels. What’s important to take away is that “social recruiting” is very much in effect right now.

As a job seeker you have to understand how modern day recruitment operates. If you don’t, you will get left behind!

Google+ vs. Facebook: And the winner is… (Part 1)

Last week, Google+ opened for business.

You can now create a brand page for your company and, over the last few days, many have rushed to do so. The buzz surrounding the event is nothing short of astonishing. It is being considered by some as a revolution in social business, and the battle of the tech titans has now become a war.

Google now directly rivals Facebook in the territory of social networking, and although neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Larry Page will admit it out loud, the two heads are involved in what looks to become the tech version of the cold war. The sneaky rivalry remains in its early stages, but recently manifested itself with Zuckerberg’s jab labeling Google+ as a “little Facebook”. And, to be fair, at the moment Facebook is winning the “tech race” when it comes to social media, with its 800 million user powerhouse. However, writing off Google+ would be foolish as its potential, simply put, is infinite.

This conflict is likely to develop greatly over the coming months and the buzz surrounding it will inevitably grow. But I’m not going to discuss Google+ and Facebook on a personal level. I want to try to ascertain which one is (or will become) better for business. Should you have a Facebook business page, a Google+ one or both? How are they different from each other? And is Google+ just going to fizzle out like Google Buzz?

So that’s a few questions to get started with.

Google+ has been hit by a wave of criticism since its launch. Many have suggested that it has forgotten a number of key features and is simply not a worthy advisory to Facebook. I however disagree, and I am not alone in that opinion. Yes, there are some drawbacks or weaknesses at the moment but Google has promised improvements in the immediate future and my personal opinion has been shaped so because of the value I place on potential in a business perspective. So, to answer whether or not Google+ will fizzle out, I would have to say no.

Understandably doubts have arisen because, as a company, you probably have a Facebook business page now. You already have a social media presence and managing it already requires a substantial time investment. You don’t want to spend even more time on another site when you’re not certain it will be beneficial. Don’t get me wrong, I can completely understand this point of view. Google+ brand pages are brand new, they are not perfect and they have a way to go in terms of competing with Facebook. But what Google has planned is certain to rival the social media giant.

Google is the largest search engine online. YouTube is the second largest, and Google owns it. Armed with this power, imagine the potential that Google+ has as a social business network. During the internet boom, companies set up a website so people could find them. Google+ makes you easier to find. It is not unlikely that social media will become more important than a company’s website in the next few years. If someone requires your services they most likely search for you on Google. So why wouldn’t you want a brand page on Google’s own social network?

Google+ Direct Connect allows people to find your brand page easily. By adding a “+” in front of the company’s name you will be taken straight to that company’s Google+ page. It’s simple to set up and the returns can be great.

Another plus for Google+ is the +1 button. This drives traffic through word of mouth, which is widely recognized as one of the most important things when it comes to your company’s promotion and your customer’s opinion of you. It has been reported that some websites that currently use the +1 button indicate that they have experienced a 350 percent increase in visits; a figure that cannot be ignored.

As well as driving traffic, the +1 can hugely improve click-through rates. The influence of the internet and technology in today’s world allows people access to a wealth of information about the product they want to purchase. People trust people, and ultimately the +1 button lets consumers know if your company and your product are good.

These are just a few benefits of using Google+ in a business context. If nothing else, having a brand page will increase your visibility online and can simply act as another source of information about your company. What is important to remember though is that this is just the beginning.

What will Facebook do to respond?

How will the rivalry progress in the coming months?

What is the future of social business?

It won’t be long before we find out…