This is a version of a blog post I wrote for Margo Rose over at hrmargo.com.
It all comes back to networking. Of course the proper qualifications are important, but we all realize “who you know” makes a huge impact on a job search – in person and online.
That’s why #HireFriday is an essential tool for any social-media savvy jobseeker. Building relationships, sharing advice and experiences, and answering questions are crucial during the difficult times many jobseekers are facing. It can be argued that those fellow jobseekers won’t get you a job… but maybe they will down the line! Or in the least, you’ll be a better person for engaging with them.
I’m proud to be a #HireFriday success story. I just landed my first job in a new career, and I have networking and Twitter to thank.
Through Twitter, I made a friend in my new field, asked her for advice, and she provided me with a list of places I might want to work. I emailed each of them my resume.
A month or so later, one of them contacted me about a position they were thinking of creating. After some thorough interviews, I got the job. The new position was never posted.
I guarantee my Twitter friend saw my #HireFriday tweets. She’s one of many who retweeted them. My new employer isn’t big on Twitter, (as the Public Relations/Social Media Specialist, you can bet I’ll work on that!!) but those tweets and links may have lead my friend to believe I’d be a good candidate for public relations or social media jobs. #HireFriday tweets are a good reminder to your followers that you’re qualified and ready to work!
Here’s what I’ve learned during my job search:
Create a concise #HireFriday tweet. You want people to be able to retweet and even comment on how great you are! My first attempt was too wordy and didn’t leave enough characters for people to RT. Learned my lesson!
Appeal to your network. Make sure everyone you can think of knows you’re looking for a job. I emailed many of the contacts I’d met as a news reporter. I asked my family to let their friends know. And don’t forget to tweet about it! Not necessarily “I need a job.” But something like “Met some great new people at last night’s social. Should help to expand my job search.” And of course, tweet every #HireFriday! Don’t worry about people getting sick of hearing about your job search. Seeking is your full-time job, and communicating that is an important part of the process.
Don’t wait for a job to be posted. My situation is the perfect example. Contact companies you’d like to work for, or just people in your desired field. Let them know you’re looking. Include your resume and elevator speech. Make yourself available to come in for an informational interview. Even if this company doesn’t work out, employers probably talk to people from different companies… they can discuss you!
Create a website and start a blog. Especially if your field is web design or marketing, don’t depend only on LinkedIn. The website itself will show your skills, and the information you put on it is an added bonus. Even if you use a simple template, people are impressed! A blog shows thought leadership and writing skills. Scan Twitter feeds and attend industry events to get ideas. Ask the #HireFriday community for comments.
Lean on the #HireFriday community. Share your ups – we celebrate each other! And share your downs – we can commiserate and offer solutions. Don’t give up! Keep tweeting and connecting! The good will come eventually.