Major job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster are one of the most popular ways for companies to develop a candidate pool when looking to fill an open position. With high unemployment and candidate competition increasing, how does a candidate stand out from the virtual pack when posting a resume on a major job board? Here are six tricks to increase your odds on job boards:

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Does your personal brand outshine your company's brand? It’s happening, and more common than anyone wants to admit. As the concept and importance of personal branding, social media, and an online presence becomes more common place, companies are becoming more interested in the brands of their employees. Their concerns are legitimate. Here’s why... Risk: Legal risk and perceived risk for the company, and its own brand. These are just two things that concern bosses, executives, and your company’s legal team. Ignorance: Companies are scared and ignorant to how an employee’s personal brand can help elevate or benefit the company’s brand. Fear: Similar to ignorance, companies are scared. Maybe they or a company they know has been burned before. Unfortunately, companies react by creating policies, protocol, and procedures based on past experiences and perceived risk. Control: This is your companies biggest fear. They are fearful of social media and the freedom it gives you to speak your mind while being electronically and publicly stored forever. Social media gives everyone a platform to clear the air. While companies and the court look to find a common ground in the world of social media, personal branding, and the concept of microcelebrity, here are some things you can do to ensure your own personal brand doesn’t outshine your employer’s brand.

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Just recently, Ad Week released a monetary dollar figure attached to Facebook Fan (now Like) Pages. Based on Virtue's research of their own clients, they determined the average value of a Fan is $3.60. This is the first ROI evaluation I have found that places a value squarely on a personal network. If your friend, fans, connections, subscribers, and followers are now being seen as having value.

Having a strong online brand and presence is essential to your future success in the workforce. I believe over the 12 months, jobs seekers will begin to be evaluated for more than just their education and work experience but social media and networking presence as well. It's already happening by some very progressive companies like Best Buy who requires 250 Twitter followers to be considered for their social media positions.

Since reputation and the perception by contacts, clients, co-workers, and companies are so important. Your online brand should be closely monitored so you can quickly and immediately be alerted to any negative comments or perceptions so that you can work to rebuild or clarify comments, concerns, or misrepresentations expressed or implied by others.


BackType is a tool that monitors your brand and key words of blog comments. If you are mentioned, represented, or comment on a blog or page, you will receive an email alert. This is a great way to make sure that your brand isn't being misrepresented. As a company or individual, I would also encourage signing up for alerts of company names, competitors and common mis-spellings of your name and your competitors.


BoardTracker does exactly what it says. It tracks brand and key work mentions on discussion boards and forum sites. You control the key words and when it is distributed. This is a great way to go beyond Google Alerts and really dive into your brand outside of what the Google web crawlers find.


TweetBeep is not necessarily a new tool but one worth mentioning. It allows you to set up key word alerts from Twitter sent to your email at regular intervals. The basic service is free but if you are looking for instant and real time alerts, you will pay a nominal fee.


SocialMention is another site that manages your social brand and key word content but across social networks and blogs. Visitors can use the key word search option for real time and immediate search or set up alerts. One of the drawbacks to the site is that if you have a large presence on social media, it Social Mention is difficult to navigate, but it does provide you with an all in one option.

Being in the job search is tough and as a job seeker you are not alone, especially with the more than 15 million who are out of work and in the job hunt. People don't prepare for the job search although they should at least six months in advance. This provides you an opportunity to grow and build your network using both traditional (face to face networking) and non-traditional methods (social media networking).

One non-traditional networking tool is Twitter. Think of Twitter as a virtual cocktail party with more than 27 million people in attendance. Like any traditional cocktail party or networking event, there are conversations (known as your Twitter stream) that happen all around you. Twitter is no different. Because your purposes for Twitter are primarily business based, it is extremely important to selectively join and be present for key conversations among decision makers or influencers in the industry in which you are looking for work or in your community.

Follow People. Following others and retweeting or reposting their tweets is a great way to begin to build a relationship. Use Twitter directories, which are essentially online yellow pages, to search for influencers in your target industry, location, or by keyword like Twellow, and We Follow. Here are 15 more great Twitter directory sites courtesy of Mashable.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Be found by making sure to include key words that are searched by recruiters and hiring managers in your Twitter bio. Consider words including industry specific software programs, certifications, and words that are repeatedly listed in job board advertisements. Recruiters use key words within your tweets and your bio to find you. Make it easy to be found including key words and a link to your blog or profile.

Hash Tags (#). Hash tags are used in Twitter as a way to sort and search by topic. Some common hash tags for job seekers including #jobs, #jobhuntchat, #jobsearch #jobadvice. Using your iGoogle account, set up an RSS feed of common key words and hash tags in Twitter Search. Setting up your RSS feed is a great time saving tip.

Find Recruiters. I almost always suggest job seekers take an aggressive approach to their job search. Just as recruiters source and search for you, job seekers can seek out and connect with recruiters, human resource professionals, or hiring managers using social media search tools. Twitter directories are a great start, however there are more advanced tools like Follower Wonk and Twitter Search. Both these offer advanced search options allowing you to search by keyword and zip code. Follow Wonk provides advanced bio search options.

Building Relationships. Chris Brogan provided a crude, yet effective, example of social media networking and how to build relationships. He likened engaging someone and asking them for a sale, to buy their product, or a job to sticking your tongue down someone's throat just after meeting them. Basically, don't ask for the sale until you have an established relationship. Social media can be very surface and the relationship is the glue that holds your reputation and relationships together.

To learn more about Twitter for the job search and business, you can take a look at my book, Tweet This! Twitter for Business. E-book and softcover versions are available.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is an author, new mother, and human resources professional with a passion for the job search, recruiting, and all things social media. Jessica has over 10 years of experience in human resources and recruiting industry. She specializes in helping job seekers with personal branding specializing and job search strategies helping others learn the unwritten rules of the job search. Her creative technique and strategies have received national recognition from Entrepreneur, Glamour Magazine, HR Executive Magazine, and Employment Digest. Jessica also is the host of the only live job search web show every Sunday 9 PM EST on MomTV.