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August 05, 2011

Is Google+ helpful to your job search? Or is it just another new shiny toy?

You’ve heard the headlines that Google+ hit 20M subscribers in it’s first two weeks. But what is Google+ and how can it help your job search?

by Phil Rosenberg

I signed up for Google+ a few weeks ago, to see what it could do for job seekers. I found that there’s much more than meets the eye to Google+.

While Google+ hasn’t hit the big time yet with only 20M users, that number should grow very quickly. As it grows, it can increase your viability and findability, In addition, you can find great content you can use to republish in your blog or share with your social network stream (ie: postings for Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook).

To set up your profile, you’ll first need a Google account – but you probably already have one for Gmail, Google Voice, Picasa, Google Docs, Google Reader, or one of Google’s many other features. Use your Google account to sign into Google+ at .

Using Google+ to make yourself findable

You’ll want to start out by filling out your profile completely – It’s located in the About tab. Want a short-cut? Just copy your Linkedin profile – assuming you’ve got a Linkedin profile that makes your findable by recruiters and employers. The same principles that make your Linkedin profile findable will also make your Google+ profile findable. The only difference is that Google search gives preference to pages housed on Google owned properties.

Make sure to also include links to your Linkedin profile, Facebook profile (if you are making that public in your job search), Twitter feed, any blogs or online profiles in the links section. Most importantly, include links to your online resume in the text of the about section.

Make a usable Google+ URL

Since Google+ is still so new, there are still some rough patches. For instance, my Google+ profile is , but after shortening at it’s a much more memorable .

Using Google+ to promote content

After you’ve connected to enough people, include the link to your online resume in your Google+ stream by posting on Google+ (it works just like a status update on Linkedin or Facebook). In addition, include links to blog articles you’ve written, to your online profile, to YouTube videos, or anything else you’re sharing to demonstrate your subject matter expertise.

If you haven’t produced content, you can still use Google+ to share great industry or job function content that others have written. Just make sure you link to the original article, and/or give the original author credit. Even by republishing others’ content, you can develop a reputation as a subject matter expert – because you are collecting and sharing with others in your field.

Using Google+ to find great content to republish

If you haven’t begun sharing content yet on Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter, you’ll find it much easier on Google+. One of the biggest reasons I hear about candidate reluctance to share content, is they think it will take too much time to find standout content.

Google+’s Sparks feature makes finding great content a snap.

Sparks is a content recommendation engine. You tell Sparks what topics you’re interested in (ex: industry, job function, subject matter expertise, unique skills). Reading Spark’s suggestions daily gives you opportunities to share on social media, comment on popular articles (hint: include the link to your Google+ profile), or just a reading list to become more informed.

Google+ for passive candidates

If you’re a passive candidate, you can invite your contacts to what Google+ call circles – these are similar to Facebook’s friend lists. This allows you to have control to share with only certain circles that you’ve set up. Maybe you want to share articles with recruiters and employers, but you might not want to share with work contacts. Google+ allows you to group contacts, and decide which groups can see your posts.

Google+ is another way to find people (and it’s growing FAST!)

While Google+ has a search function, it’s still pretty limited. But you don’t have to wait for Google to increase the features of Google+ – you can find expanded search features, like searching by company, location, job function, or subject matter expertise at Adding your self to this directory might be your obvious first step; searching for recruiters could be your next step.

Summarizing Google+ for job search

It’s still in it’s infancy, but there’s a lot you can do to to help your job search on Google+. Your best bet – try it and use it. Like any other social network, the more you use it, the more uses you’ll find to help your job search … and the more findable you’ll be.

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