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Professional Networking: How People Find Jobs Using Social Media
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Professional Networking: How People Find Jobs Using Social Media - Executive Leadership Articles

Professional Networking: How People Find Jobs Using Social Media

Executive Leadership Articles

Professional Networking: How People Find Jobs Using Social Media

A couple of years ago, we surveyed people in our social media streams to get a sense of how they use LinkedIn, what they thought its value was, and where they thought it could be improved. One recurring theme was that it seems to be almost useless for getting connected to jobs, which is what many said they had in mind when they signed up.

This inspired us to ask around about how people actually find jobs from social media. The stories don’t seem typical, but they have a few things in common, so we’ll share the interesting anecdotes and break down a couple of takeaways. We’re changing names, but these are real stories.

Kelly was an accountant for a university in California. An avid film buff, she took frequent advantage of the cultural offerings in Los Angeles, attending film festivals, special screenings, and retrospectives focused on specific directors. One day at a film festival screening, she tweeted her location, the name of the festival, the title of the film she eagerly stood in line for, and of course the hashtag in use for that festival. The film’s distributor, a small (but notable and well-known) operation in the Southwestern United states, saw Kelly’s tweet, and simply retweeted it. Kelly checked out the distributor’s twitter stream and saw an earlier tweet saying it was looking to hire “accountants who love movies.” She got in touch, and in a few weeks began her new job with the distributor, working out of her California home and traveling once or twice per year to headquarters for training and meetings. And she got free movies.

A fast-food chain in Honolulu sponsored a “tweetup,” or an activity for Twitter users interested in sampling some new menu items before they were officially available. Thirty people showed up, sharing on Twitter photos of the new items, their impressions, hashtags, and photos of each other having a good time. Darrell showed up a little bit late, so he took a seat where one was available, on the other side of the restaurant from friends he already knew. As the evening progressed, he got to know the others at his table, then added them as friends on Facebook right there in the establishment. Over several months, they got to be good friends in real life, and one of those friends from the fast-food place connected him to a marketing job with a non-profit organization.

Yelp Elite events draw people of all ages and backgrounds, but they have in common a love of social media buzz, and they enjoy experiencing together the newest restaurants, boutiques, and service providers. Of course they become friends on Yelp, but one small group of friends enjoyed each other’s company so much that they began to meet for dinners a few times per week away from Yelp’s events. What started as buzz marketing became real friendship for this group of friends, and when one of them, a nurse at a cosmetic surgery clinic, needed a new position, another, an ophtalmologist, connected her to the HMO he worked for. The doctor has since moved on, but the nurse is still happily employed there.

None of these stories plays out quite the way one expects when one takes to social media in search of a new job, and maybe that’s why so many are disappointed by their LinkedIn experiences. This is not to say that people don’t just get jobs by posting their resumes on the site and waiting for the emails to come, but maybe that’s the atypical experience, and maybe these examples, which are really just social media versions of the kind of thing that happens in real life all the time, are more to be expected.

What they have in common is (a) people being real, sharing their genuine life experiences through social media, (b) people connecting with each other through common interests, sometimes by trying new things where they’ll make new acquaintances, and (c) people being involved in the social media platforms, not merely using them like those bulletin boards outside the supermarket where everyone sticks a business card. Social media as a marketing tool is a real thing, but here are three people whose engagement wasn’t about posturing, even when they engaged in marketing events. Marketing ruins a lot of the fun, but it doesn’t have to! Sometimes it manages to facilitate fun.

There’s a lot of practical advice on the web for finding a job through social media. Forbes has a very good slideshow with specific tips you might not see elsewhere (reference below), and we won’t disupte any of it. But consider these people who found work simply by participating, using social media more the way it seems to have been intended.

Reference link:
https://www.forbes.com/pictures/efkk45ehmek/7-ways-to-use-social-media-to-land-a-job

 

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Professional Networking: How People Find Jobs Using Social Media - Executive Leadership Articles

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