Category Archives: Twitter

9 ways to jumpstart your job search over winter break WITHOUT networking

kai is sad because santa didn't give her presents

You probably know the holidays are a great time to network. I’ve even written about why. But I also know what you’ve just been through. A week of all-nighters, cramming for exams and eking out term papers. The last thing you probably want to do is head home and start setting up informational interviews.

So, instead, here are nine easy (read: online) things you can do to avoid underachiever’s guilt and get your parents off your back. Happy holidays from me to you 😉

  1. Add this semester’s classes and accomplishments to your resume.
  2. While you’re at it, update LinkedIn.
  3. Write down one great story from the semester that you could use in an interview.
  4. Subscribe to five career-relevant blogs.
  5. Upload your best assignments to SlideShare or Scribd.
  6. Find 10 career-relevant people to follow on Twitter.
  7. Not on Twitter? Get on Twitter.
  8. Start a gratitude journal.
  9. Identify three people to ask for informational interviews next semester. (Hey, I didn’t say networking wasn’t part of the plan; I just said you don’t have to do it now.)
Image credit: sandwichgirl

From a grad that’s been there and landed a job: Navigating online job postings

A guest post from UNC-CH graduate Courtney Miller.

Searching for job postings on the Internet should never be your ONLY job hunting activity. Jobs posted online usually receive many applicants due to ease of access. Even if you have stellar qualifications, it may be difficult to make yourself stand out among other recent graduates.
Most of the interviews I got were a result of direct contacts I made through networking, including the job I currently hold. I applied for nearly 100 jobs online. Out of the jobs I applied for online, I was offered the opportunity to interview at eight of those places and actually interviewed at six. I was offered a position at two, and neither would be considered full-time gigs. With that being said, I’m going to offer some advice to maximize job searching online.

  • Get advice and tips from alumni and professionals in your field on where to find postings. When you engage in networking activities with alumni or professionals in your industry, ask which Web sites are good to check for job searches. They may have some good insider-specific Web sites that aren’t widely publicized, which means less competition for you. If possible, try to join a local chapter of a professional organization. Many professional organizations offer exclusive online job postings.
  • Watch out for scams/fraudulent job postings. If a job posting sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anything that reads, “Work from home and make $100,000 a month,” probably isn’t legit. Job scams are abundant on Web sites like Careerbuiler.com, where any organization can post. If you see a posting from a company you’ve never heard of, check out the company’s Web site before you waste your time applying. If the Web site isn’t current or seems fishy, there may be a reason. You may also want to try typing in the name of the company and the word “scam” in the Google search box to see what comes up.
  • Consider moving the geographic location you want to find a job. If you want a job in New York City and your resume lists a Florida address, many employers will be weary of even bringing you in to interview. For jobs that have many qualified applicants, why would an employer pick a person who lives hundreds of miles away when there appears to be many qualified local candidates? In a down economy, employers don’t want to pay your travel or relocation costs. If you can’t afford to move to the city without a job, this blog suggests a few things to mention to get around this problem.
  • Social Media Postings. Set up a Twitter account and search for job Twitter accounts. Search by geographical location or industry. For example: DC Marketing Job Twitter: http://twitter.com/MktgJobsDC. Also there are blogs that track industry job openings. One of my favorites is the DC Public Affairs + Communications Job Blog. I didn’t have as much success on Facebook; however I did know a lucky person who got a job at CNN from a Facebook posting, so it might be worth a try.
  • Create RSS Feeds for Job Postings. Setting up an RSS can save you searching time and brings you the information instead of the other way around. This Web site has some really great tips on how to create an RSS Feed that suits your job searching needs.
  • Create Job Search Agents. Take the time to visit the Web sites of the organizations you would like to work at the most. Even if they don’t have job postings that you’re interested in right now, many have the option of setting up a search agent that will e-mail you as soon as a new posting that fits your parameters is created.

I’m a Web 2.0 success story!

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.

Friday Laughs

Who says job searching has to be all stress and no fun? This segment is about getting the weekend off to a good start by sharing some of the funny things that a recruiter named Stephanie Lloyd posts on Twitter during the week.

She posts under the name JobSnob and tweets examples of what NOT to do and say in interviews and on cover letters and resumes. Her posts make you laugh and feel better about yourself at the same time. Enjoy!

  • What *not* to put on your resume: “Experience: Any interruption in employment is due to being unemployed.”
  • NO! “I once rcvd a very impressive resume-too bad the guy’s father emailed it to me along with a list of reasons why I should hire his son.” [My comment: can you say helicopter parent?!]
  • Don’t! “Candidate indicated ‘excellent dental and gum health.’ It was a 9 page resume & 1st page was all highly personal details like this.”

On Twitter, there is a thing called #followfriday, where you post several people you recommend others follow and why. Obviously, I recommend you follow @JobSnob, but there are tons of other great people to follow, as well. These people are constant sources of career and j0b-search advice.

Who do you follow for a good laugh or career advice? Leave your recs in the comments!

Friday article round-up

Twitter was a treasure trove of links to helpful career-search articles this week. Let me share a few of the best with you (in no particular order — they’re all great). The writers of these articles are also my #followfriday picks.

Friday Laughs

Who says job searching has to be all stress and no fun? This segment is about getting the weekend off to a good start by sharing some of the funny things that a recruiter named Stephanie Lloyd posts on Twitter during the week.

She posts under the name JobSnob and tweets examples of what NOT to do and say in interviews and on cover letters and resumes. Her posts make you laugh and feel better about yourself at the same time. Enjoy!

  • What *not* to say in an interview “I prefer setting my own pace. When things get slack I like the right to walk out and get a haircut.”
  • What *not* to put in your cover letter: “I want a boss of average height, not too tall, though not strangely small.”
  • What *not* to put in your cover letter: “My boss hates me and wants me to leave.” via nothired.com

On Twitter, there is a thing called #followfriday, where you post several people you recommend others follow and why. Obviously, I recommend you follow @JobSnob, but there are tons of other great people to follow, as well. These people are constant sources of Web 2.0 help and advice.

Who do you follow for a good laugh or Web 2.0 advice? Leave your recs in the comments!

Social media & personal branding slides

As promised, here are the slides from last night’s presentation. Thanks to everyone who came — I hope you got something out of it!

There is one concept about Twitter that I wanted to mention but forgot, so I’ll do it here. It’s how to effectively search for people and companies.

If you know you want a job in a certain location, with a certain company or in a certain field, it’s great to follow people who are already doing what you want to be doing. To find them, you go to Twitter’s advanced search function — search.twitter.com, and click on advanced. Here’s the link.

From there, you can search for people near a certain place or tweeting about certain things (companies, industries or ideas — anything you’re interested in).

It’s really powerful to combine LinkedIn’s company search with Twitter. With the company search, you can find companies based on name, region or industry. LinkedIn can also give you a list of people who work for the company. The best bet is to hone in on the human resources contact(s) and see if they’re on Twitter. If not, see if anyone listed is on Twitter and follow them.