This post kicks off Zemoga’s week-long conversation about social media in the workplace.
by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)
It’s no secret that unemployment numbers are high. With so many people looking for work, how on earth is one to get noticed? With so many people looking for jobs, one has to try even harder to make one’s self stand apart from the crowd.
The question is: how?
In February of 2008, after being laid off for a few months, yours truly started a little blog called Unemployed Brooklyn as a pace to vent about my unemployed life, share tips on frugality and links and diatribes about job hunting, employment/networking opportunities and the general state of the economy in general. And, while it wasn’t started with the expectation that a lot of people would read it, they did. It led to an appearance on New York’s NY1 news channel, which led to a lot of amazing networking and coalition building. It also led to another blog.
In November of 2009, still unemployed, I decided to move all of my sewing, cooking, craft and home-keeping type posts from Unemployed Brooklyn to a blog dedicated to trying to get a job working for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Hire Me Martha may have gotten a bit less attention than Unemployed Brooklyn, but it caught the eye of exactly who it was supposed to: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In January of 2010, I was featured on a blogger show and subsequently had the opportunity to meet and work with some people in the art department of her television show.
While I may not have been hired by Martha Stewart, thinking outside the box in my job search did lead to me getting noticed by several companies working in the world of digital and social media. Not only could I talk the talk of using Twitter and Facebook and alternative spaces to spread my message, I could very obviously walk the walk.
I’m not the only one who found their job through a method that others might find slightly quirky.
Ed Hamilton, a London-based copywriter, used Google maps to get his resume out in a new space. And, while he wasn’t the first, he most certainly garnered a lot of attention (15,000 hits in two days!) and press (probably because unemployment is such a hot topic right now) from it. The first was actually back in 2007, by a guy in Istanbul, and in 2009, Carren O’Keefe, a copywriter at AKQA Inc in NYC, did the same.
When it comes to using social media in the job search, there are certainly several do’s and don’ts – and most of them are common sense. Of course you should feel to reach out to your contacts – whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, online support groups like The 405 Club or your own e-mail inbox – and let them know that you are looking for a job. But don’t hound them. The people who are able and likely to help will get back to you – and they are sometimes those who you were least expecting to lend a hand.
What ways are you using social media to further your career?