Many have labeled Google+ a ghost town – late to the party and incomparable to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
But Google+ actually has a lot of potential, especially for job seekers like you because more and more companies are using it to showcase their brands and engage with the public. They’ve hit a total of 100 million active users in April — not too shabby!
Before you walk right by a wide open door of opportunity at least give Google+ a chance. Take a looksee at what Google+ has to offer by considering these four awesome ways others have used Google+ as part of the job search:
1. Take Advantage of Google+ ‘Hang Outs’
Hang Outs are a video chatting session with up to 10 people total. Don’t let the name fool you! Hang Outs aren’t just to catch up with old friends and discuss the latest Mad Men episode. The utility of this feature is limitless!
ChefHangOuts.com, for instance, is a culinary class hosted entirely on Google+ Hangouts video. And here’s the kicker: they’ve hired all of their chefs through Google+! You can check out their Google+ recruitment process here.
Hang Outs are also a great team-oriented platform for you as a self-starter. Be bold and creative. Reach out to folks who are interested in talking about your area of expertise and initiate a Hang Out yourself! So while your competition is busy sending out generic LinkedIn messages, your efforts initiating face-time will be way more personable, engaging and memorable. To start exploring what’s out there, click the “Hang Outs” icon on the left module and then “view more” next to “Hangouts to join.”
2. Tune into ‘Hang Outs on Air’ (HOA) to stay up-to-date
The difference between Hang Outs and HOAs is that an HOA is broadcasted to more than 10 people. It’s usually an informative video or live conversation that you can watch rather than participate in.
As a job seeker, these are important for you because experts often host informative HOA that will help you stay in the loop. Also, Google has hosted HOAs about their recruiting process—and, though this concept is new, some companies are likely to follow suit.
Another example of an informative HOA is Founder of Talk Marketing Now Network George Sepich’s “Super Success Tuesday Live Hangout,” in which professionals talk about gaining inspiration and various paths to success. He also hosts industry-specific HOAs like “Talk Marketing Now Network.” To start browsing HOAs, type the term “#hangoutsonair” in your Google+ search engine.
3. Get Interactive Insight from Career Experts
Google+ is a super interactive way to absorb expert career advice, so look out for workshops hosted by career experts and job sites.
InternMatch hosted a 24-hour marathon internship development workshop on HOA. In their workshop, they invited various company recruiters who shared tips on how to create a resume, what to avoid during the interview process, and more. You can check out the videos here.
4. Follow Company+ Pages
We understand that not every company is harnessing the magic of Google+ as much as ChefHangOuts or InternMatch, but the Google+ Company pages are fairly new— it was released only end of last year. More and more companies are creating fabulous Google+ pages every day, and the info they share on these pages offers great insight into their company culture, values and more! Here are a couple directories to help you find companies on Google+:
Google+ also created a Direct Connect feature for those of you who don’t feel like browsing directories. Log onto Google’s home page and search “+” followed by the brand name. This feature’s not completely seamless yet, but it’s great for really big brands. For instance, if you’re looking for Macy’s brand page, just Google “+Macy’s.” Bam! The first result will be Macy’s Google+ page.
5. Create a stream of job-related knowledge
An awesome stream of knowledge isn’t going to create itself! It’s up to you to circle interesting, relevant people. You’ll notice that all the companies you “follow” are conveniently added to your “following” circle. Put your organization hat on and create specific categories for your circles, like industry-specific experts, career experts (like CareerBliss+), social media experts, etc.
One great way to build your following is by transferring your Twitter followers to Google Plus. This is easy as pie if you use Twitter2Plus and crosslink your accounts. Exploring FindPeopleonPlus is another useful way to build your network with industry experts. If you find one really awesome person, you can use them as a springboard to find other awesome people they follow by looking at who’s in their circles. The networking opportunities on Google+ are endless—but it’s up to you to do something about it!