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Archive for the ‘Web2.0’ Category

You know you love that cheesy title.

The job hunt is a rollercoaster. You get a few job leads, have a few interviews, get your hopes up while impatiently waiting and then possibly face rejection (once again) and that sends you down into the ‘woe is me’ pit of despair. It’s tough out there.

After a few leads that didn’t turn into the job offers I was hoping for, I’ve been feeling a little down. I’ve been trying my best to focus on the positive and have been surprised by how much Twitter has helped.

When I joined Twitter I didn’t expect much. I definitely didn’t expect to ‘meet’ other unemployed people who would basically become my safety net, preventing any excessive wallowing. Yet, it never fails… if I post an update about having a bad day or feeling frustrated, I’m guaranteed a few encouraging messages from some of my favorite people. They may not know it, but this encouragement seriously helps. For me, it means even more than positive thoughts from my friends and family. These people are like me. They are riding the rollercoaster along with me and understand in a way that none of my IRL (in real life)¬†friends can.

So to those of you on Twitter – you know who you are – who continue to lift me up, send me funny links, give me advice and generally just care… THANK YOU ūüôā

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Follow Friday is a great part of Twitter. Users post a message and @ the people that they think others should follow. Sometimes people list why these folks are great and sometimes you have to check it out for yourself. Fridays almost always lead to a few (or many) new followers.

I won’t lie, I am not ashamed… I get giddy when I receive an email stating that I have a new follower on Twitter. I’m not vying for thousands of followers and have no desire to whore myself out Ashton Kutcher style but new followers are exciting. Sometimes.

Then there are the times when I click on the new followers page and wonder how the heck they found me and why in the world they would want to follow me. My Twitter page and tweets scream marketing, communication, public relations and job seeker 97% of the time. Sometimes I mention a random daily tidbit or quote or thoughts on a t.v. show, but mostly it’s professional. For me, Twitter is one of my many job searching tools. Sure, I follow Pizza Hut (no one loves pizza more than me!) and a couple of celebrities (not aplusk) but mainly I follow PR/marketing/comm pros¬†and recruiters.

Of course the worst new followers are the spammers. The people (or bots) who want to make me a million dollars in an hour. Often times, these profiles are deleted before I even get a chance to check them out, leading me to the always disappointing “Who goes there” owl.

I have a nearly equal amount of followers vs. those that I follow. However, I don’t always follow back (and obviously neither do some of those that I follow). I block those that look like spammers (or the sex toy store). If I see your profile and you have an interesting bio (or even better, a customized background with more information) and some relevant tweets, I’m sure to follow back.

If you meet my somewhat picky criteria, feel free to check me out on Twitter @Danielle2507, I’d love to follow you back!

Have a fabulous weekend ūüôā

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I made the mistake to apply to basically anything and everything when I first graduated from college. I didn’t know that it was a much better idea to tailor your job search. If the position was at a company in my chosen location, I would apply without paying much attention to the qualifications. I realize now that I was HR’s worst nightmare. As an end result, I had an unsuccessful job search and wound up remaining at the company that I worked at part time through college.

Now I know better. I don’t apply to anything and everything. I have tailored my job search. My applications, resumes and cover letters reflect that. Still, sometimes there are jobs that I’m not quite sure about.

I know that I need to have the bare minimum qualifications but I read an blog from Keppie Careers that got me thinking. This blog post claims that sometimes you should consider jobs beyond your qualifications.

When ‚Äúdesired qualifications‚ÄĚ include experiences you do not have, it can still be worth applying. As long as you can make a direct connection between what they want and what you offer, I advise going for it!

I’ve had to deal with this before. I read a job description, get excited as everything sounds fitting and then get slammed with something like 8 years of experience or advanced graphic design knowledge. It’s disheartening, especially when I feel that I could truly do this job! Should I ignore the basic requirements and apply anyway? Will my application even make it to a person?

A job opened up at a company that I would LOVE to work for. It involved social media, marketing and communication. I got excited reading the job description… and then I found out it’s a management position. They want someone with management experience. Darn.

Then I start to wonder… just because I don’t have management experience doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make a great manager. One of my career goals is to become a manager, but am I ready for that now? I decided to ask for feedback from you guys. What makes a good leader or a good manager? How much experience do you think someone should have before becoming a manager? Do you need to be an expert first then a manager?

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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I started to feel like my blog was focusing too much on the job hunt and not enough on communication and marketing. Then I realized, job hunting is communication and marketing. You are marketing yourself to potential employers. You look at who your audience is and figure out the best way to communicate with them and appeal to them.

This leads me to interesting marketing strategies in job hunting.

Resume Cake from Flickr

Resume Cake from Flickr

Thanks to a few tweets, I ran across this article on CareerBuilder about unconventional tactics that job seekers are using. This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard of weird and interesting approaches to job hunting. I’ve read about graphic designers putting their resumes on t-shirts and job seekers buying space on billboards. Yet I wonder, how practical are these oddball approaches?

 

A couple of my favorites from the above mentioned article:

Candidate sent a shoe with a resume to “get my foot in the door.”
Candidate sent a resume wrapped as a present and said his skills were a “gift to the company.”
Candidate sent a cake designed as a business card with the candidate’s picture.

What do you think about these tactics? Do HR managers take them seriously? Does it depend on what field you are in? Are these candidates praised and remembered for their creativity or frowned upon for not taking the job search seriously?

With massive amounts of candidates available for each job, the rules of¬†the job search¬†are definitely changing. A simple, generic¬†cover letter and resume don’t cut it anymore. There are the Web 2.0 options like a VisualCVor other online portfolio,¬†creating a Twitter account or joining LinkedIn. Then there are the guerrilla marketing style tactics. Some are mentioned in the CareerBuilder article: staging a sit-in to get a meeting with the¬†director or handing out resumes at a stoplight.

Are these unconventional tactics necessary in today’s market or are these job seekers just getting laughed at? I would love to hear from any employers or HR pros! Should I put my resume in a shoe box and wrap it up?

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I love social media. Chances are, since you are here, you probably love social media too. However, there is certainly a downside to social media and social networking that cannot be ignored.

Yesterday, there was a story on television about Twitter (so what else is new right?). Someone tweeted that Patrick Swayze had died. If you know anything about Swayze’s recent health struggles with cancer, you realize this story was believeable and sad, but it was untrue! Reportedly the story began on a radio station, was picked up by a German television station, was tweeted and spread like wildfire. This makes Twitter sound like a dysfunctional game of Telephone.

roethlisbergerAlong the same lines, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback (my sports boyfriend ūüėČ Go Steelers!) Ben Roethlisberger, had to clear up the rumor that he is fighting skin cancer. Someone posted a status update on Facebook¬†under Roethlisberger’s name stating that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer. Although there are accounts under his name on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, none actually belong to the quarterback.

“There’s no truth to it. I don’t have any of that stuff,” the Steelers quarterback proclaimed Wednesday.

(Read the rest of the article here even though they spelled his last name wrong until the middle of the article. )

 

What do these stories mean to social media and social networking? Do they hurt the credibility of bloggers or companies on Twitter? Is Twitter anything more than a high tech version¬†of Telephone? Should we believe anythingthat we read? Undoubtedly, we have to remember that many blogs, Facebook accounts and Tweets belong to regular people. They aren’t journalists who are required to research (then again, the article I posted spelled a name wrong!). For some reason people will pose as celebrities and tell lies, or people will report it wrong (did you know the AP Wire posted a story last night with the wrong winner of American Idol?!). To err is human and mistakes are to be expected.

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Awhile back, I was inspired by a Tweet from @katiebailey

¬†The more you learn, the more you realize what you don’t know.

Unemployment gives you a lot of time to research, read and learn. This can be a great thing. You have the ability to stay on top of your field and learn new things. This can also add to the overwhelmed feeling that already comes with job hunting.

As I connect with more people on Twitter and LinkedIn, discover more blogs and create more connections, I begin noticing how much I don’t know. One Twitter link leads to an informative blog, that blog leads to another blog and an hour later my eyes hurt and I’m getting a headache from information overload. My computer time always snowballs from 30 minutes to 3 hours.

If I’m not learning a new tip or trick for job hunting, I’m learning of a new social media tool that I need to become involved in. The amount of information available to learn seems never-ending. To me, this is both a blessing and a curse.

I love that social media, marketing, PR and communications are constantly evolving. I love knowing that learning doesn’t stop after your walk across a stage and receive a degree. I hate that overwhelmed, inadequate feeling I get sometimes after reading one too many blogs/tweets/articles/etc.

Nonetheless, I will continue to realize how much I don’t know. I will continue to be a sponge, soaking up all the information that I can find, making all the connections that I can and hopefully finding that perfect job.

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My inspiration came from this post. The subject tackled there is how to stop being forgettable during a sales pitch. The subject here is not being forgettable during the job search (or after).

I have often felt¬†very forgettable. I’m not sure if it’s my shy, timid demeanor, a physical trait, or something else that I’m missing. I never paid much attention to this fact. I would just re-introduce myself to people, pretend I didn’t remember them either, feel temporarily embarrassed and just let it pass. Until I started job hunting…

You simply cannot afford to be forgettable when you’re looking for a job, especially not now, not in this competitive market. When I first started interviewing, I was completely myself. It didn’t take long for me to learn that maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Not to say you should create an alternate ego for interviews, you can still be yourself, but you should be the best possible version of yourself.

Initially, I am a shy person. I’m also humble, to a fault. Neither of these traits are beneficial when meeting a potential employer. I have learned to be more outgoing, more excited and more boisterous about my accomplishments. I feel like interviewers are finally seeing the real me, instead of the guarded, shy me who normally takes control when I’m around strangers. I may not have a job yet, but I have made connections. I have gotten a lot of good feedback and no longer feel like interviewers are forgetting who I¬†am once decision time roles around.

These are traits that will follow me to my next job. I know that this is the new professional me. This is Danielle2.0
I know that I will have to remember to be sure of myself, make the effort to be more outgoing and make sure that I settle into my new position quickly. The job search has helped me realize who I want to be professionally and the traits that will help me be successful.

Of course, I’m also using the Internet to ensure I’m not forgotten. I make sure potential employers have my Linkedin, VisualCV and blog links. In the days of Web2.0, an Internet presence is almost a job requirement. There is some debate, but I include my picture on those first two links. Although it may put me at risk for discrimination, I think it’s a good idea to get my face in their head. (Plus, do I really want to work for a company that doesn’t hire me because of how I look?)

Whether you are job hunting or happily employed, it’s important to make sure you are not forgettable. For interviewers, employers or clients, you need to make a lasting impression.

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