As most of you probably know by now, I'm a huge advocate of using social media tools to expand your job search. On Sunday, I was scanning my Twitter feed and noticed one specific message from Jacqueline Duignan (@JDuignan) that caught my attention. She acknowledged and thanked another Twitter user for sending out a tweet that ultimately landed her a job.
Twitter + Job posting = Success?!?! Well of course that caught my attention! I immediately reached to ask her if she would mind sharing her story here. I hope you find some inspiration in her success!
I read on your feed you just landed a job through one of your contacts on Twitter. How did you find this job on Twitter? Where did you land and can you tell us a bit about what your new position entails?
I recently graduated form the University of Central Florida last May and started a position as an Account Coordinator for a full-service marketing agency in Orlando. Prior to that position, I held several internships at some of Central Florida's most influential companies, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industry, both in agency and corporate settings.
As most can relate, the economy is in a fragile state and many have lost jobs. Unfortunately, I was included in that statistic. I was laid off on February 2nd. As soon as I packed up my personal belongings and loaded up my car, I immediately got on the phone with everyone I knew from previous internships, networking contacts and those I knew through Ad 2 Orlando, the young professionals segment of the American Advertising Federation.
The moment I realized Twitter was a valuable resource for this new "generation" of job hunting was when I received a direct message from a contact I had though an internship. It said "Got your v.mail & am looking around for you. Send me an updated resume." That's when I started to think, hey, this Twitter thing could really be an asset to my job search.
I immediately started searching and following recruiters (including you!) and Pro's in PR. One of the people I followed was @PRsarahevans. One day she posted an all-call tweet for any PR job openings. I swear I checked Twitter on my iPhone about 1,000,000 times that day and sure enough, there it was:
"PRsarahevans: Looking 4 a PR job? AE position open in award winning PR agency in Miami (1-2 yrs exp, agency background a +) #EntryPR CONTACT @alecjr."
I immediately followed @alecjr sent him a DM (direct message) asking for his email address so I could send him my resume. I was in contact with him throughout the next week, scheduled an interview and... got the job! One minor problem was that I lived in Orlando, but no big deal, my Dad lives in the Florida Keys. So packed up my things and moved within two weeks back home. Lucky for me, I am a young twenty-something with the ability to up and move within a moment's notice - a major perk in this economy.
I just started as an Account Executive for AJR & Partners, a small marketing firm in Coral Gables, Florida, this past Monday. Everything is going really well thus far. I'm so thankful to have been able to be laid off and land a job in less than a month. I didn't even get to collect unemployment!
How long have you been using Twitter and how to you typically use it?
I started using Twitter a couple of months ago. I sit on the board for Ad 2 Orlando (the young professionals segment of the American Advertising Federation) and there was some chatter about Twitter amongst them and how "cool" it was. So, I decided to check it out. I was a little unsure about it at first, I didn't really understand the point or its purpose. But as time went on and I started following people of personal and professional interest, I began to see the value. Now I use it for local/national news, event calendars, personal contact with my friends and network, and to learn more about social media and grow professionally. I just started dropping by for #journchats Thieves' Highway - a very valuable resource!
What other social media tools did you use in your job search? Besides Twitter, which ones did you find most helpful in your job search?
Twitter was really the only social media tool I actively used in my job hunt. However, I did use Facebook to reach out to friends (some I am frequently in touch with, others a little more distant) that live all across the country - asking about the job markets in their cities, if they have heard of any openings, job board recommendations etc. My next step was to start searching around on LinkedIn and reengaging older contacts through some of my internships I had a few years ago. Everything (thankfully) moved so quickly with the position I have now that I didn't really have time to explore that route. I, of course, also poured over every job board known to man - Careerbuilder
What advice do you have for others who are currently job hunting?
The biggest advice I can offer for people looking for jobs right now is to be expansive and aggressive in your search. I'm not telling anyone anything they don't already know, but there are a lot of people looking for jobs right now. Each day the pool gets bigger and deeper. Now more than ever you have to stand out. Twitter has been a great tool in several ways. You can expose yourself to tons of recruiters through following and engaging them. Twitter is about interacting interaction too; Lurking on Twitter isn't going to get you anywhere - you've got to engage in conversation. Also, the whole idea that you are searching for your next career move though Twitter shows that you are ahead in social media trends and understand its power and value (clearly, so do the recruiters and companies posting the jobs).
This next statement most likely applies to recent graduates and those early in their careers. If you can afford it, intern, even it isn't paid (most aren't anyways). This shows dedication, not to mention you are gaining experience and getting valuable additions for your resume while your searching for a job as well as expanding your network and contacts. Eventually, this economy will turn around and if you are sticking it out with a company, when they start to grow and expand again, you're already versed with their operations, structure and culture. They would certainly prefer to hire someone who already "knows the ropes." Of course, you could always do it part-time and have another job on the side to bring some money in. You do need to have a cash flow. When I was in college I had five internships - I truly believe I would not be employed right now as a recent college grad if it wasn't for my diverse intern experience I had under my belt right after graduation. Although I was "entry level" I was leaps and bounds ahead of my competition.
Get involved with organizations relative to your background and the industry you were working in. As I previously mentioned, I sit on the board for Ad 2 Orlando. Through my time as a board member, I have expanded my network extensively. As tough as the economy gets, it always helps having people in your corner looking out for you.
You can follow Jacqueline on Twitter at @JDuignan.
Date: March 5th, 2009 / Author: Lindsay
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