The Two Websites Every Job Seeker Needs to Join

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When I spoke with David Perry, author of Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters and the blog Guerilla Job Hunting, earlier this week about the wacky things people do to get jobs, he shared lots of other job search insights with me, including two websites that he says every job seeker needs to join because headhunters use them every day to find candidates for jobs.

The first is ZoomInfo, which you may or may not know about and which you may have come across when conducting a vanity search on Google or while searching for other people on the Web.

ZoomInfo is basically a search engine that scours the Web for business information about people and companies. According to ZoomInfo, it gathers information "from the same publicly available web sources" that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft use. Once ZoomInfo has collected information on a person or company, it combines all of that info into an individual "Public Profile" that anyone searching the Web can see.

Perry recommends searching for your name on ZoomInfo. If you don't see yourself listed, he says to create a profile. If your name is listed, Perry says to claim your profile so that you can make sure the information ZoomInfo has is accurate and up-to-date.

Claiming your profile and creating a new one are both free. To claim your profile, you basically create an account with ZoomInfo as you would create a Facebook account: by giving ZoomInfo your e-mail address and creating a password. ZoomInfo then prompts you to verify your identity. You may have to enter a credit card number to verify your identity (or you may be able to enter an alternate valid e-mail address). If you have to use a credit card number, ZoomInfo notes in its privacy policy that it doesn't store your credit card information; it only uses it that one time to verify your identity, to make sure you're not claiming someone else's profile.

Once your account is live, creating and updating your profile is a cinch. Perry recommends uploading a photo because, he says, a photo indicates to recruiters that you want them to find you. (I'm not sure about this recommendation, especially for people who are not comfortable uploading a photo. If a person has a complete and compelling profile on ZoomInfo, that alone should indicate clearly enough to recruiters that the individual want to be found.)

"The reason ZoomInfo is important is because every recruiter in America looks to ZoomInfo first if they're looking for any information on an individual contributor," says Perry. 

The second website is LinkedIn. 

"When I as a recruiter do a search, I go to ZoomInfo and get a list of 100 people who meet the criteria for my search, then I go to LinkedIn and I do the same search. If I find you on ZoomInfo and LinkedIn, I will call you first," says Perry. "If you're not on ZoomInfo or LinkedIn, recruiters won't find you."

Not only can recruiters more easily find job seekers when they're on ZoomInfo and LinkedIn, says Perry, but these websites can also help job seekers tap into the hidden job market: job seekers can use both websites to find people who recently worked for the companies they're targeting in their job search and who can connect them to the appropriate hiring managers at those companies as well as let them know what it's like to work for those companies. Perry says people who used to work for the employer a job seeker is targeting may be more inclined to help the job seeker than someone the job seeker doesn't know who currently works for the company.

Perry also recommends a cheat sheet Jobmachine.net sells that instructs people in fine detail how to find anyone on LinkedIn regardless of whether you're connected.

For more advice on how to use LinkedIn, read my colleague C.G. Lynch's stories, How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile: Stand Out to Recruiters, Employers and LinkedIn Etiquette: 5 Dos and Don'ts.

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