At this point in time, with about 4 weeks of the semester left to complete, I began scouring the Internet for a job. My first target was Craiglist. I was very excited to apply to what seemed to be very hip and trendy jobs. Of the 25 jobs I applied for, I received one email response, and it was automated. My next step was Monster, which proved to be more useless because of the daily spam from insurance companies, military, and frequent calls from headhunters offering me positions that I was not looking to fill. I then began down the road with the technology specific Dice and Indeed, which did land two phone conversations with placement agencies.
Around the same time that I began to look for jobs, I decided to start a blog to document my travels to adulthood. Transitioning from college to the real world provided a great milestone to begin my blog. I also integrated my hobby of DJ’ing on this website, and utilized file-hosting to share digital mitxtapes which proved to be very appealing for my readers. Blogging forced me to start reading more into web 2.0 news – ultimately joining Twitter. I previously thought Twitter was a waste of time, because it offered one of Facebook’s many services. I quickly became Twitter friends with many of Boston’s SEO/ Web 2.0 folk in order to follow new trends and discover new services. I saw a “retweet,” or re-post another tweeter about a job opening and I began to investigate.
A quick email with my resume and cover letter let the story be told. In addition to that, I am confident in saying that both my blog and Twitter page were immediately investigated, since they are both in public domain. Despite what many people think, LinkedIn is not an online resume to anyone who makes his or her money from the Internet. My blog and Twitter account proved that my lifestyle was aligned similarly with that of the agency looking to hire me, and that I would provide skills that they were looking to acquire.
I set a meeting point – Bingo! I was employed!
So what do I recommend, as a product of social networking, when looking for a new career or position? Be social. I often measure people in what they ‘bring to the table’ (yes, you can quote me on that one). If you don’t have anything to post positively about, post about someone else. You could agree with your favorite web celeb, or comment on a new product. For example, maybe you have an iPhone. You could comment daily on your lifestyle as a user of the product, and how it has changed your life. I personally jumped in quickly to dialog with web 2.0/social networking sites because it was what I was familiar with.
Twitter’s search features offer very specific results, and a large quantity of these results since everyone’s posts are public. Connecting through Twitter also offers very easy access to upper level management and the proper people to communicate with when trying to forge a bond with a company. It is also very easy to see who these same elite people are conversing with, and conversations can easily be hijacked to tailor to your own purposes. With that said, you must have something appealing and intriguing to talk about with these people, or you will fizzle quickly.
If you notice, it wasn’t one skill-set that allowed me to obtain my job. My training with college jobs provided me with a conversation starter, which was followed through with my confidence about college skills. When dealing with the Internet, remember that search engines may not tell the truth. When my name David Gallant was searched, a photographer, for whom I share the same name with, comes up. I am an amateur photographer, and I have been mistaken as him. I am in fact www.DJDavidGallant.com. It is 100% true that you will be searched before your interview, so a strong web presence is important. It is a quick and clean way to discover a potential employee’s dark history. Upon contact with one potential employee, I was Googled and friended on LinkedIn within minutes of me sending him an email resume. My blog is now on its 3rd revision, and much less complicated than began, but I have a stronger web presence and it is easier for people to find me.
Now that I am successfully placed in a position, there have been a number of not-so-obvious roadblocks that have come up. For one thing, I was offered 3 additional positions after securing my Web 2.0 Digital Producer title. Two of these companies are active on Twitter, so I had to be very careful about posting on the web. I was also approached by one competitor company, in an attempt to steal me away from my current employer. Since all three of these groups are reading the same content, I heavily filtered what I was publicly posting about on the web. I decided that I would unveil myself with a press-release and start everything at once. I used my personal blog, company blog, various social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and finally changing over contact information to solidify my new employment.
Looking back on mistakes I made, my largest waste of energy was with the job-find websites. They are flooded with applicants at the first stages of a job search really begin to create high hopes. Days and days of no response will feel like a personal attack, but it is just the nature of the beast. I also regret not utilizing headhunters from the start. They are experienced, and the one that I spoke with had something lined up within 48 hours of our initial contact. Finally, I regret beginning my search while I was still taking college classes. I didn’t have time for weekday interviews, and I feel that this hindered my initial success at finding a job.
Finding a job two weeks after college graduation was by no means a difficult task, but it is something that will be happening more frequently as time progresses. Almost daily articles are published about young adults utalizing web 2.0 tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to find jobs. The social network will not earn you a job, but it will allow you to make a connection to someone who can provide you with a job, and will allow you to skip a lot of the mess at the ‘mid level arena’.
Contact me at DavidGallant at sign Gmail.com or @DavidGallant