Saturday, September 17, 2011

Social Media and Job Hunting

As I said in Into the Unknown, I've been searching for a full-time job. You'd think after hearing all the doom and gloom people keep spewing about the job market, I'd be frightened or, at the very least, worried but, I'm not and I have every reason to be.

As an undergraduate, I'd apply for buckets of summer jobs from like October to July and would never even get an interview. If you've ever applied for a summer job in the federal government you know how much work filling out one application is- not to mention all the supplemental materials they ask for that sometimes included an official transcript which I had to pay for.

After all that work, I ended up, twice, in a job that pretty much exploited desperate college students. Then I graduated and was again on the hunt. The only thing that really worked for me was going through a temp agency but I can't take that route this time. I need something stable.

So going into this, I already knew simply finding an ad and applying for it was not going to work for me, it never has, but I had to try it anyway. I polished my resume, found an ad then spent hours changing my cover letter and resume to fit the job description. So far, I have nothing to show for it. I need to get creative.


Whenever I researched how people landed their entry-level position in publishing, I noticed they always got the job through cold-calling and networking. I took the hint.

It's funny. Years ago when I was thinking about what it would take to get published, I saw marketing as a four-letter-word and had hoped, somehow, I could avoid it. But now that I'm thinking about it more seriously, it doesn't look that bad; actually, it looks like it could be fun- a lot of work- but fun. I'm already on a lot of social media so now I'm researching ways to use what I've already set up to land, at least, an interview- without putting neon signs everywhere.

As it happens, I enjoy doing research and, because of my classes, I know how to do database searching and how to evaluate resources. I found this great book in the library called The Twitter Job Search Guide. I already knew some of the things the authors talked about but they pointed me in the direction of some great resources like Personal Branding Blog and 101 Job Search Experts on Twitter. On Thursday, I attended a free class at NYPL's SIBL (Science, Industry, and Business Library) Job Search Central that taught how to use LinkedIn to get a job. I need to first establish my brand, though. It is me boiled down to 160 characters (preferably less).

Job hunting, for me, has always been awful but using social media has made it more enjoyable. (I'm a nerd, so sue me.) I know it's going to be hard, a lot and I mean a lot of work, and full or rejections and wrong turns but I'm a writer remember ;)

Now, I need to create a schedule because using social media is extremely time consuming. I still need to complete class assignments and work on my stories. It's a good thing I prefer working at night.