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Hello, ChicagoNow readers! My name is Brendan Tripp, I’m the new voice of “The Job Stalker” here, and this is my introductory blog entry. Hope you enjoy.

Now, the first thing about being “The Job Stalker” is that … well, the odds are pretty good that one really doesn’t WANT to be out there stalking a job … I know I would have been far happier had the interview that I managed to snag within a week of my previous job disappearing had panned out, and I’d not spent the past six months honing my job hunting skills! Unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of time to work up stories to share with you.

I may pass along the details of my life story with you at some point, but at this juncture let it suffice to say that after a long period of stable work, I found myself having to engage in three extended job searches over the past decade, and none of them were a “walk in the park”. In that time I went back to school to re-train twice (and never found work in those new fields, despite still paying Sallie Mae for the pleasure), and hit some of the worst periods for hiring that my generation has known.

One thing that I’ve found most notable in the process is how things have evolved over that time, from stuffing printed resumes and cover letters (on nice expensive stationary) into envelopes to go off to tediously-researched companies in my search 10 years ago, to the current grind of uploading resume files to on-line forms for dozens of leads a week.
If anything, my stories (unless I’m waxing nostalgic for previous pathos) are going to be about how to use the current plethora of Social Media tools to help you in your job hunt. I presently have eighteen “plausible” job leads in my browser’s tab bar, all culled from sources I follow on Twitter, and that’s less than 24 hours worth. In the old days, I would have been lucky to have dug up names/titles/addresses, etc. for a dozen contacts in a week! Beyond my Twitter obsession, I’m likely to be offering some pointers about turning networking events into real contacts via LinkedIn, etc.

I’ll also be sharing links with you to interesting bits of info out there … I spend huge amounts of time reading through my Twitter feeds (and, yes, I’ll suggest some folks to follow), and see a lot of stories, such as “The Fastest Way to Get a Job Now” or (much like the theme here) “10 ways to use social media to get a new job” or “How a Good Candidate Clears the H.R. Hurdles” to pick three articles I pulled out of Tweets today.

Needless to say, I sincerely hope that I’ll soon be “disqualified” for the role of “The Job Stalker” just as my predecessor Julie Wernau was … by finding a job … but in the meanwhile, I’ll be bringing you highlights of what I’ve found to be useful. Happy hunting!

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