Social Networking Then and Now

When I started work as a recruiter in 1971, people mailed resumes in response to ads that they saw in the classified section of the Sunday newspaper. New listings were rarely available on any day other than Sunday unless you lived in a major market like New York City. Weekday help wanted ads were about 2% of the listings that were available on Sunday.

At that time, recruiters like me began trolling around companies looking for what we called “passive job applicants”—people who probably weren’t looking for a job but who became interested in a new opportunity when we spun a wonderful story about an opportunity that existed with a client of ours who would pay them more, appreciate them more and offer career advancement greater than their current employer.

At that time, social networking was “the old boys’ network,” a few user groups and the occasional referral.

Now, if you are you are someone looking for a job, you have many options available to you.

There are job boards and aggregators that cover every field you can think of as well as newspaper ads. There are still old boys’ networks but they have been joined by women’s and men’s groups eager to support women achieve professional and personal leadership. There are outplacement services and job search networking groups, too.

Yet the most significant change that has developed is the growth in importance of social networks to help you develop a brand for yourself and make quality information available to corporate and third party recruiters who are trying to fill jobs.

This social media revolution allows anyone with an internet connection to use them. Their success (and yours) depends on adding more people to the network and they have made it very easy to do that.

It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 70. Social media has a place in your job search tool belt. They are easy to figure out and there is a lot of help and information available to you on their sites. All you have to do is make an investment of time and the returns will be enormous.

Unfortunately, people rarely create a proper plan to tackle their job search, let alone a proper plan to use social media as part of a job search.  I am going to show you effective strategies that will pay handsome rewards. By the time you are done with this book, I expect you to be brimming with ideas and full of enthusiasm as you make a new start to your job search.

One thing you should keep in mind is that as you learn more about using social media to improve your chances of landing a job, you should not abandon other job search strategies. Social media will help to improve your chances of finding a job but they should only be one part of a job search strategy.

And if you are not actively looking for work, social networking should be the fulcrum of a strategy of making people aware of you and what you do professionally so that from time to time, there is a tap on your electronic shoulder with job opportunities, consulting assignments and business opportunities.

Many years ago, I attended a workshop conducted by Steve Finkel, a trainer for the search profession. Steve was teaching recruiters techniques to overcome objections by stating simple but true things to people we were trying to recruit via cold calling.

I remember Steve saying something to the effect of, “The person who gets ahead isn’t always the smartest or work the hardest, although, goodness knows, those are great qualities to have. The person who gets ahead remains alert to opportunity. Sometimes, those are internal to your firm. Most of the time, they are external to your firm. Has that been your experience, Mr. or Ms. Potential Candidate?”

This wonderfully simple statement should be at the heart of your job search social networking strategy.  As I told a friend who came to me for advice with his search, “Put yourself in a position where you can be found, instead of being in a position where you are always seeking out a job. Become a public speaker, write articles, and do things that would bring yourself  to the attention of search firms in your field.”


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2010, 2012, 2020 



JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter


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