I’m officially a Web 2.0 success story! You know the kind CNN has been talking about? I’m one of those!
As of Tuesday (5/26), I will be working as a social media strategist at the Durham-based company Optimal Resume. (If you’ve heard of it, maybe it’s because they handle UNC’s web-based resume service — and 400+ other schools’.) I’ll be tweeting, blogging and Facebooking about job-search strategies (sound familiar?) and helping people make the most of Optimal Resume.
I’d be lucky to have this job in any economy, but especially in this one. It matches my interests and skills, the company and environment are great, and I think I’ll be able to contribute and learn a lot.
So where does the Web 2.0 come in (aside from the job title)? Here’s a hint: even though Optimal Resume is based in Durham (where I’ve lived for the past two years), my connection to the company started in Maine.
Sherry Mason, a career counselor at Bowdoin College, introduced me to @OptimalResume on Twitter, which is really Optimal Resume’s COO, Dave McNasby. From there, we exchanged Twitter messages and set up a meeting. That was last Tuesday. Within a week, I became a proud Optimal Resume team member.
Now here’s the back story of how I met Sherry and why she introduced me to Optimal Resume.
When I joined Twitter in January, I was debating between going to law school and venturing into the real world — and my bio said so. I started tweeting what was on my mind, which included everything from law school essay topics to how I thought UNC’s Career Services could improve.
That’s how Sherry at Bowdoin found me. One day I tweeted that I thought UCS should teach personal branding, and she messaged me to ask what else I thought they should do.
A few days after I joined Twitter, I started this blog, and I asked Sherry for her input about content. As luck would have it, she not only helped with that, but as a former practicing lawyer, she talked with me about my law school decision. She’s one of the people who helped me decide it wasn’t for me.
Once that decision was made, Sherry and I kept in touch, tweeting and e-mailing occasionally, and one of those tweets was the introduction that landed me this job.
My story is a lesson in how it pays to be authentic and active in your social media use. Yes, I joined Twitter and started blogging because all the job-search articles said those were two keys to jump-starting a job search, but I didn’t blog and tweet what I thought employers wanted to hear, or just advertise that I needed a job.
I talked about things that interested me, things that were naturally on my mind, and I found a job (or a job found me, depending on which way you look at it) that matches.
For those of you who are worried about meaningless (maybe menial?) entry-level work, a Web 2.0 job search can be a great way to find an exciting, interesting job that fits your personality and goals. Just be authentic (within reason) and don’t try to be everything to everyone (that’s just good branding). At least that’s what I did, and it worked for me.