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117 Tips for Using SEO and Social Media to Get the IT Job You Want

Tip #1: Be seen as the expertBlogs aren’t just about spilling the beans on the family picnic or how much you love Metallica’s early work. If you use your blog to position yourself as a knowledgeable professional and make sure that it includes keywords related to the kind of job you want, recruiters will find it and you.

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Choosing the right keywordsKeywords should be specific for the type of job being sought. Use geographic location, areas of expertise and even the names of the companies you would like to work for in your blog. For instance, if you want to be a network administrator on Cisco equipment in New York, keywords would include: New York, network administrator, Cisco and any related certifications (use both the long-form name and the acronym).

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Tip #2: Fill out your social media profilesOne of the easiest things job hunters can do is fill out their profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and on their blogs, says David Perry, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing For Job Hunters 2.0 and co-founder of management consulting firm Perry-Martel International. All of those venues are keyword searchable, and leaving such digital bread crumbs will get those job offers rolling in.

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Show your faceWhether the job seeker is listed as looking for work or not, Perry said a great way to tip your hat to a recruiter is to post a picture. It adds a level familiarity and likeability to your profile, and employers want to hire people they like — not just those who can do the job.

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Tip #3: Become an expert on LinkedIn and other sitesMany people claim they don’t have time for blogging and can’t take advantage of that method of putting themselves out there. Not a problem, said Perry. By posting knowledgeable and helpful comments to LinkedIn questions, as well as commenting on others’ blogs, job seekers can still give themselves a boost as long as they leave some way for recruiters to find them, which means you should post under your real name, list your employer if you have one, and link back to your website or email address.

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Where do recruiters look?Two sites Perry said he likes to check are Guy Kawasaki blog ( and Seth Godin’s blog ( because he knows intelligent people read and comment at those sites.

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Tip #4: Link externally to boost your Google presenceBelieve it or not, linking to others’ sites can boost your rating with Google. That only counts if the links are relevant and appropriate. Link farms actually get flagged by Google, which can hinder your SEO instead of help it. Link often and link appropriately when posting to a blog.

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Tip #5: Join social networking groupsAlthough job hunters should not associate themselves with any personal groups that may cause embarrassment, joining groups relevant to professional interests and becoming active in them will make it easier for recruiters and HR personnel to find them. Also look for the corporate profiles of employers targeted in a job search on MySpace and Facebook.

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Make one of your ownIf a group for a professional interest doesn’t exist on LinkedIn or Facebook, create one and invite colleagues and contacts associated with that interest to join the group.

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Tip #6: Be professionalIt should go without saying, but being professional goes a long way. Profile pictures shouldn’t be taken after a night of drinking and carousing. In fact, such pictures shouldn’t appear to any potential employer. You need to look like a professional and respectable person to be perceived as one.

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Tip #7: Spell out your certificationsIT recruiters searching for candidates with specific certifications may type either the certification’s spelled-out name or the acronym into a search engine, according to Joe Iovinelli, CEO of SmartSource. Make sure both are listed on your online resumes and bios to increase your chance of showing up in a recruiter’s search.

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Tip #8: Target employers in keywords, even if you don’t have experience with themAn IT professional that wants to work for Microsoft but who doesn’t have experience with Microsoft products isn’t out of luck, said Iovinelli. Mentioning the targeted employer in a relevant post on a blog or comment will give a boost to your chances of turning up in a head hunter’s search.

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Tip #9: Get listed on important sitesBoth Perry and Iovinelli agreed that making use of various sites is important. Although Perry said recruiters are more likely to find candidates through a Google search than a job board, Iovinelli suggested that job hunters get their resumes online at key sites. Good sites for posting resumes and bios include:· LinkedIn (· (· (· ZoomInfo ( – the first place recruiters start to look, according to Perry· HotJobs (· Dice (· TecDirect( – run by SmartSource, this is for short-term contract jobs

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Tip #10: Use job search aggregatorsIt’s far easier to have job search results coming to your inbox than spending time each day doing manual searches, so Perry recommended using job search aggregators, including:· SimplyHired (· Indeed (· NatsJobs (

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Tip #11: Manage your online identityTo make sure what is out there in the online wild best reflects the job hunter, that job hunter needs to carefully manage web presence and online identity the same way one would manage a financial credit statement, Perry said. Consider the Internet to be the first interview in the hiring process, so make a good first impression. And remember the Internet has a long memory.

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Tip #12: Consider micro-targeted ad campaignsFacebook offers the ability to run micro-targeted ad campaigns for little cost, Perry said. For a small fee, job hunters can run ad campaigns on Facebook micro-targeted to companies in specific verticals and in particular regions.

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Case studyIt worked for public relations professional and film/TV producer Grant Turck (, who upon graduating from college ran a micro-targeted Facebook ad campaign that drove potential employers to his online resume, LinkedIn profile and his blog. Grant’s ad campaign stated he wanted to work in public relations. This reverse engineering of the SEO process can work for IT talent, as well.

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Tip #13: Make a promise on your profilesWith keeping in the spirit of an online presence counting as the first job interview, IT job hunters should make a promise to potential employers on their professional networking profiles. Perry suggested making a promise in the profile headline, such as “I save money for high-tech firms by…” or “I increase efficiency up to 32 percent by…” And then prove those claims.

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Tip #14: Understand Boolean searchesThe best jobs aren’t posted in newspapers or on job boards. Instead, employers are using Boolean searches on Google and other search engines to find potential job candidates that fit their requirements. Use keywords that an employer will use. Pick a profession and put related information into all your profiles so Google searches will put you high on the list.

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Tip #15: How to figure what the best keywords areIn determining what an employer will use to find the right candidate, start by making a list of the words you would use to find a person for the job you want. Run them through the Google AdWords Keyword Tool ( to get a good idea of how strong the keywords are. Subtle differences in spelling can have a very big difference in the ability to attract visitors (for instance, look at the differences between using the following words: video conference, videoconference, video conferencing, video teleconference, videoconferencing).

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Tip #16: Clean up your digital dirt”Search engine optimization may come back and bite you in the butt if you don’t clean up your digital dirt,” Perry said. SEO works both ways – for good and for bad. The Internet doesn’t know what is good or bad for your career, so clean up your digital dirt until you’re spotless. Anything that could turn off a potential employer should vanish.

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Tip #17: Keep your content focusedUsing a blog for job hunting is good, but at least 90 percent of the content should be relevant to the type of job you want to get, Perry said. An IT professional looking for a service delivery role should focus his/her blog on service delivery. Cover topics that demonstrate your expertise for jobs that you want. expert

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Get the job you wantPerusing job ads in newspapers and on job boards is only part of the process to getting a job in today’s competitive environment. SEO is a hot topic among employers and the media, but a lot of people in the market still don’t understand it. Understanding and making use of SEO to bring recruiters, human resources personnel and hiring managers from employers to you means getting a leg up on your competition.