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If you’re unfamiliar with Google+, you’re missing out on instant access to a hotbed of industry knowledge—top experts in your industry are posting valuable articles, videos, and tips on the social networking service right now.

There are two significant benefits of using Google+: First,social media in general is essential today to immerse yourself in industry knowledge and stay ahead of the curve on the latest trends in your field. Google+ is a more organized, comprehensive tool than Twitter, and its more personalized than LinkedIn with more engaging features. It’s a great addition to your social media belt.

Second, when a potential employer Googles your name, your robust Google+ profile will show up. You can use it as a way to showcase your professional interests, personality, and industry savvy to stand out from the rest of the heard. Here’s a quick job seeker’s guide to using it:

1. Circle your relevant industries. Take a few minutes to “circle,” or select, the industries in which you’re most interested. This unofficial Google+ recommended users list is a go-to source for finding active, fascinating people most relevant to you.

Remember to be a little choosey and stay organized. Don’t fill your home stream with everything and everyone. Adding too much means having to sift through Paris Hilton news and missing, say, Altimeter Group’s Principal Analyst Brian Solis’ insightful news on business and marketing. You could, of course, filter your feed by Circles, but why add distractions?

Once you choose relevant topics, your Circles will fill with experts and relevant people who post related news, articles, and trends to help you stay abreast. It’s also a great way to network. Use the “@” sign to tag specific followers and ask them questions. Google+ is more engaging than you might think.

2. Utilize Google “Hangouts.” Google Hangout is a video chatting feature that lets you video conference with up to nine people. This is particularly great if you want to make a real, strong connection with a former colleague, professional acquaintance, or anyone with which you’d feel comfortable discussing job opportunities. It can be more convenient and much more personal than a LinkedIn invite.

And you can get pretty creative with Google+ Hangouts—it’s a great tool for self-starters to collaborate with others on independent side projects, which can boost your resume and impress employers.

Some employers have incorporated it into their recruitment process. For instance, ChefHangout.com, a culinary class, hired all of their chefs through Google Hangouts.

3. Tune into “Hangouts on Air.” While Google+ Hangouts are limited to nine people, Google Hangouts on Air (HOA) is a video broadcast that an unlimited number of people can join. You can browse HOA events by typing “#hangoutsonair” in the search bar on top. And from here, you can browse various public HOAs. To find ones most relevant to you, search your industry.

There may be some less-than-legitimate HOA hosts out there, but if you look at the host’s profile to confirm strong activity and legitimacy, you can tune into heaps of interesting video conversations relevant to you.


Your job search is a full-time job. And to perform that job well, you want to use the right tools to perform your best and most efficiently. Technology provides the tools to make life easier, however, they are not the quick fix to getting a job. These tools will improve upon the job-search strategies you’re already using.

1. Email. You’re using this tool already, but do you know what your email says about you professionally? Many people use a web-based email provider, which allows the on-the-go access needed for an active job seeker. If you haven’t signed up for one yet, go! A commonly overlooked feature of email is the email signature; the customizable stuff that is appended at the end of each email sent. When you consider the hundreds of emails you send out, most sent to people who do not know you, what impression do you want to leave? What information is vital for the recipients to know about you? What opportunity are you missing by not communicating your name, job title, contact information, and even a link to your LinkedIn profile? For a slick looking format, check out WiseStamp.com. And don’t forget to set up a similar signature on your mobile device.

2. Calendars. You most likely lived by your calendar in your previous job. It served as a guide to keep you on track. Are you using it as diligently in your job search? There is nothing worse than missing a scheduled appointment, networking meeting, or interview. Use your calendaring system to keep track of your follow-up activities too. Again, for the mobile job seeker, having this calendar accessible on your smartphone is absolutely critical. Be sure to include phone numbers and email addresses to your calendar in case of an emergency and to have easy access.

3. Social networks. The most recent Jobvite social networkingstudy reports that 93 percent of companies used LinkedIn to recruit candidates in 2010 and 2011. At a minimum, you will want a robust LinkedIn profile. It should be as complete as possible, which means you should take the time to write a summary that conveys the most important information of your professional experience. Use the skills and expertise section to call out the specific job skills companies are seeking. Do more than just list your work experience. Under each job, talk about what the scope of your job was and include notable achievements. Don’t forget to include a professional head shot. Differentiate your profile by including applications such as SlideShare, Box, or Reading List by Amazon. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ are also worth learning more about and using for your job search.

4. Contact management systems. As you meet new people, how are you keeping track of their contact information? Do you have a stack of business cards with notes scribbled on the back? You should be adding them to your contacts. Additionally, are you keeping track of what you talked about and who referred you? Sales professionals understand how important this information can be to lead generation and nurturing relationships. One tool that can kill a couple of birds with one stone in your job search is FreshTransition.com. Not only can you add contact information, notes about your conversation, and who referred you; you can also use the tool to schedule follow-up actions and set it to send you daily calendar reminders.

5. Reputation management tools. What do you see when you search for your name through a search engine like Google? Are the results on the first page the best links referencing you? If not, you’ll want to manage this. There are tools like BrandYourself.com and Vizibility.com that make it easy for you to fix and manage where you rank in search results.

Remember to Stay Current

Today’s job search requires many skills, some you may not have a lot of experience with currently. However, you will use these skills again, whether it be in your next job or in your next job search. The ability to develop new skills and stay current with technology helps set you apart as a life-long learner and desirable candidate.


A long period of unemployment often takes a significant psychological toll. As the days and weeks mount up, the tasks of job hunting become more daunting. Isolation from former co-workers takes hold. Bills mount up. Savings dwindle. Relationships fray. The feelings of rejection can become further amplified when prospective employers fail to respond. It is not at all uncommon for long-term unemployed individuals to experience situational depression—a very real disease that calls for intervention of one kind or another.

Be Well Partners Career Coach Stephanie Legatos works with those in Greater Boston undergoing transition who have an attitude of “I’m damaged goods. No one will want me.” According to her, poor self-esteem is a “transcendent issue” that must be dealt with to undertake a successful job search.

What to do when you are down on yourself? Career counselors convey some common responses:

Claim Your Own Sense of Self-Worth

Tip: Legatos prods her clients to think about their ownendearing qualities. “Think about why your spouse or partner loves you. Ask yourself what your best friend would say about why he or she thinks you are great,” she suggests.

Another coach, Kim Meninger of Great Heights Coaching, advises her clients to “reconnect with your strengths, and understand what you do better than others. Once you claim this value, it will be easier to convey it to others.”

Even when so many are unemployed through no fault of their own, job hunters are often plagued with their own irrational inner feelings of guilt. When this occurs, it becomes much easier to curl up in a corner than to get out of the house and go network with strangers.

Gail Liebhaber of Career Directions has 20 years of career counseling under her belt. She sees one of her tasks as helping people unburden themselves of the stigma they perceive about themselves.

Understand That Effective Networking is About Building Relationships, Not Amassing Contact Lists

Ironically, it can be self-isolating to spend hours online in a frantic effort to collect connections on the big three social networking sites: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This is especially true when you add people to your network without any personal interaction or discussion. It is important to have a clear strategy. If all you want is a large database, that’s great. But if you want to be able to motivate your contacts to further your own objectives, it is important to see the social media sites as a means of fostering real relationships.

Meninger argues that online communities provide an “illusion of connectedness.” Despite the fact that they claim hundreds of millions of members, she observes that the “social” part of social networking doesn’t come easy to many job hunters. While she considers social media a useful tool, she reminds us: “Social media doesn’t get you a job. People get you a job.” In essence, one can be alone in the midst of a large crowd, whether in real life or online.

TipBe strategic in your decisions about with whom to link or friend. Meninger suggests that job hunters aim to have at least a 10- to 15-minute conversation either on the phone or in person with people they connect with, no matter how the connection is made.

Networking is a learned skill for most people. The old adage, “To get a friend, be a friend” is key. If people feel that you are interested in them only for what they can do for you, they are much less likely to want to deal with you. Turning a “contact” into a vital part of your network entails taking the time to learn about them. What do they do? How do they do it? What might you be able to contribute to their efforts? One of the reasons the business referral network BNI is successful is because it inculcates in its members the motto, “Givers Gain.” Put differently: Give to Get.

It all comes down to this: When you know and appreciate your own value, you will be able to best interact with others. You will be able to contribute to their success, and gain an even greater sense of your own self-worth. By dispensing with the roadblocks that come from within yourself, you will clear the path for a more successful job search.

Happy hunting!