Job Search

How To Use Word Of Mouth Effectively In Your Job Search

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Word of mouth (WOM) is the oldest form of advertising, public relations, and spreading information. In today’s world, word of mouth has added great reach, deep dimension, and lightning speed like never before. Just ask Tiger Woods, Penn State, Herman Cain, Bank of America, Apple, Lady Gaga, and Egypt.

Here’s how to use word of mouth effectively in your job search.

I get most of my viral, real time news from social media. That’s how I learned about of the death of Michael Jackson and that Osama Bin Laden was killed. These are just some examples of how powerful the speed of word is today to spread both good and bad in a nanosecond. It can shape, change, and alter perceptions dramatically and indelibly.

But be very careful what you say and how you say it. Get really savvy about how to use it to your advantage and most importantly respect it. One sound bite from a Tweet, post, or video can be and is used every day by traditional and new media to shape our ideas about everything.

The bottom line is word of mouth remains the most effective way people learn about things, information, companies and the people who are behind them. It really can, as they say “make or break you,” and much, much faster than ever before.

The 2011 Pew Research Excellence in Journalism and Internet Statistics reported…

  • 55% of all adults get local news and information via word of mouth once a week
  • Adults 40+ prefer word of mouth for politics, government, housing , real estate
  • Adults under 40 get news events primarily from word of mouth

Most of the job and career sites confirm that 80% of jobs right now are not posted on job boards – they are only accessible through networking, or word of mouth. Yep, people who know people who know people telling people about opportunities, or making referrals, or connections. A big change job searchers have had to embrace.

How do you and your business become the subject of and object of more of that “good” word of mouth, which builds brand leadership, establishes your credibility, and builds big buzz about you, what you do, and the great results you get?

Using Word Of Mouth To Boost Your Job Search

Here are five lynchpins of trusted, viral word of mouth that are common sense, timeless, and proven:

Relationships

Build strong relationships with people based on a solid foundation, commonality, respect, and reciprocity.

Results

Leverage, lead with and share results with your tribes and communities. Toot your own horn in a good way about the value and benefit you have brought to others.

Referrals

Get referrals when you do great work and turn that into living testimonials that are your most powerful word of mouth tool. Success leads to success.

Recommendations

Getting recommendations created around the buzz of people are talking about you is priceless. Imagine having recommendations from people you may not actually know because someone they trust is talking about you!

Customer Retention

Making customer retention a priority ensures longevity with those relationships you worked so hard to build. Don’t slack, don’t skimp, don’t cut corners, and don’t say no! Always find solutions, compromises, and ways to make things happen.

Here are some great reads from people who have built their success on stand out customer service:

  • Customer Service-New Rules for a Social World by HARO’s Peter Shankman
  • Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard
  • Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com

Also, check out womma.org, the national word of mouth marketing organization.

Putting your customers first and setting them up for engagement, acknowledgement and reward will ensure consistent word of mouth and higher customer retention. It should be a priority. The higher, the more personalized and customized your customer service priority the more word of mouth you will get.

It’s a simple formula: more customer service = more word of mouth = more customer retention.

When your word of mouth makes you top of mind with people consistently saying “you must contact,” “the best person for that is,” or “I highly recommend” about you, then your word of mouth is working.

Word of mouth. Respect it, use it, put more emphasis on it and watch what happens!

What are the best word of mouth tactics that have worked for you?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Deborah Shane

Deborah Shane is an award winning Top 100 Small Business Champion, Top 100 Small Business Podcast and Top Small Business Book by SmallBizTrends.com. Her first book, Career Transition-make the shift, is still a top rated book on Amazon. Her new book, #trusthewhy Fundamentals and Values Get You Through Any Cycle , comes out in 2014.

4 comments

  1. Hi Deborah!
    Networking, no doubt is the best way for landing in a job. But what if the seeker has no relevant networks at all. Would it be fine to approach complete strangers who have succeeded in the field through social medias? In what way shall I connect with such peoples that I won’t left ignored?

  2. Hello Deborah!
    Networking, no doubt is the best way to find a job. But what if we don’t have any fruitful network. I am a student staying abroad for a professional course and am currently seeking for the internship in the BIG 4′s here. Now that this place is almost new and I do not have any such professionals around my network who could refer me in those firms, what shall I do?
    Taking social medias as a help I tried to approach few relevant peoples(whom I’ve never even met), which didn’t prove much helpful. Would you kindly suggest some ways as how can we approach unknown peoples through social medias for some help without being neglected.

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