It's no longer the world of work you knew when you graduated from college. The tried and true career management techniques you've been using just don't work in today's marketplace.

Working hard, writing a compelling resume, staying connected to head hunters are all so... 20th century.

To achieve the highest level of success and fulfillment today, you must immerse yourself in the Web 2.0 frame of mind. That means developing a new set of career management habits.

Consider these facts:

  • There are over 106 million members of MySpace. If MySpace were a country and members were citizens, it would be the 11th largest in the world, according to Karl Fisch at 

  • A former Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, stated recently that the top 10 jobs that will be in the greatest demand in 2010 didn't exist in 2004.

  • A Harris Interactive poll revealed that 40% of respondents google people to learn about them.

  • According to Business Week, 87% of headhunters use Google and social networks to make decisions about candidates, and 35% of them have eliminated candidates based on what Google revealed.

Welcome to the world of Web 2.0.

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second-generation of Web based communities and hosted services—such as social networking sites, wikis, and folksonomies—that facilitate collaboration and sharing among users.

Web 2.0 is having a major effect on the way we do virtually everything... or do everything virtually. And that impact is more profound on marketers.

As a marketer, you are likely immersed in all the novel opportunities that exist in this new connected reality. You probably spend a great deal of time looking for ways to exploit these burgeoning Web 2.0 applications in support of your company's revenue goals. But have you thought about how to leverage Web 2.0 for your career?

If you want to stay ahead of your peers and keep your career in gear, you must employ the latest techniques in support of your professional growth.

Here are three ways to leverage Web 2.0 to get ahead.

Become the perfect passive job candidate

Soon, you will move from hunting for jobs to being hunted. Job boards will be a thing of the past, and open positions will come looking for you. That means you need to make yourself visible to prospective hiring managers and executive recruiters.

Social-networking sites and online portals are a great way to connect with like-minded professionals and increase your visibility in your area of thought leadership.

The MarketingProfs Know-how Exchange, LinkedIn, Ryze, and countless other portals and social-networking sites are your opportunity to become selectively famous. But like most tools, you need to use them if you want them to add value to your career.

When's the last time you logged into a social-networking site?

Build your own fan club

Establish a blog. Make your point of view clear. Build an SEO strategy for your blog so you can attract people who are interested in what you have to say. With RSS feeds and open commenting, you can stay connected to a community.

Those with whom your message resonates will subscribe to your blog and/or post comments. This is a great way to express your thought-leadership, expand your virtual network, and increase your GQ (Google Quotient).

Remember, every post you make is one more item that Google will return when someone googles your name. And visibility is essential to professional success.

Use multimedia to express your views

Audio and video abound on the Web. They provide a fun, multifaceted way to clearly express your message. With over 50,000 new clips added to MySpace today (the day I wrote this article), video is no longer the exception. And with cool, free audio tools like Audacity, anyone can create sound clips that are professional-sounding.

A drab resume or Web site that does not take advantage of images, sounds, and movies will likely bore those who some across it. In a world where the average 20-year-old is an amateur film producer and sound engineer, you want to make sure you are using multimedia effectively to communicate your message.

Sometimes, the medium is the message.

* * *

If you want to stand head and shoulders above the crowd and be in charge of your career, you must employ the latest Web 2.0 techniques and be willing to change those techniques as they are replaced by newer opportunities.

The only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing. So the Web 2.0 world of today will certainly be replaced by Web 3.0—probably before you know it.

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image of William Arruda

William Arruda is a personal branding pioneer, the founder and CEO of Reach Personal Branding, and the author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives.

Twitter: @williamarruda

LinkedIn: William Arruda