Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Job hunting--social style--does it work?


By Maria Esposito

When Star asked me to write a guest post, she said I could choose any topic (on coping) short of jumping out the window. I figured that opened up a pretty wide range of possibilities; so I thought about it, and I decided I’d like to talk about breaking through the white noise when you’re using Social Media to job hunt.

As more and more employees are being kicked to the curb by their faithless employers, they’re all looking around in desperation trying to figure out what the next move is.

If you find yourself in this predicament, conventional wisdom says go ask the experts what to do. And the pundits, in all their resplendent mental acuity, say go network on as many Social Media sites as you can, and you’ll make connections that will get you re-employed.

Okay, so everybody runs to their computers and starts Facebooking, My Spacing, LinkingIn, and, of course, Tweeting on the oh-so-trendy Twitter. The problem is, nobody seems to be listening. Discussions are started that trail off into nowhere, tweets are posted that go unanswered, and invitations to “visit my blog” go unaccepted.

How the heck you going to make a connection, much less find a potential employment lead, if you can’t break through the non-stop chatter? It’s like that annoying phone company commercial says, “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” No, I don’t think so.

What all the brilliant experts forgot to mention is that in the great bazaar that is Social Media, everybody’s out there trying to sell their wares just like you are. They can’t hear you above their own hard sell. You have to take your chances that somehow what you have to offer is fresher, and more appealing than what’s at the other stands.

So here’s a tip. Don’t follow what all the experts say will get you noticed, because that’s what all the other guys are doing. Instead, trying actually having some manners, and responding to discussions, answering tweets, and visiting blogs. If that bizarre behavior doesn’t get you noticed, nothing will. After all, as one great philosopher said, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.”

You just may find that the respect you give will be returned to you when someone emails out of the blue and asks for some samples of your work. I know because it happened to me.

This was contributed by Maria Esposito, who can be reached with more fabbie job offers at mar19511@hotmail.com. Also check her blog at http://medicine.reportednow.com.

Star: I am a LinkedIn beginner. Need to set a day aside to learn it. Any other social networking tips, gang?

2 comments:

Debbi Mack said...

Great post. I agree there's so much talking going on in social media, but way less listening.

I like the idea of not just doing what "experts" tell you to. (What makes them such experts, anyhow?) If you want to get noticed, try zigging while everyone else zags.

sarah.vanover said...

You are right on the money. Make it personal, make it direct and be sincere. After being laid off TWICE, I joined FB... My husband made fun of me, but I am now self-employed and have a healthy network. I am also doing charity work! Both bring me more joy then either of those 60 hr /week jobs. I may not make as much $$, but I will get there and it will be on my terms. Sarah