Everybody’s job search is different, because (obviously) everybody has different skills, experience, and background, let alone the wide range of different industries and businesses that are out there.
As I’m new to being “The Job Stalker”, I thought it would be useful to talk a bit about where I’m coming from in my job search. I have been an executive with a PR agency doing product publicity for consumer food products. I’ve been a Certified Meeting Professional, planning, organizing, and executing conferences, convention workshops, meetings, and events for PR clients. I have created, developed, and run my own publishing company, involving writing, editing, design, graphics, advertising, distribution, promotion, etc. I have marketed preventative healthcare products and educational services. I have extensive knowledge and background in the food & beverage field. I have trained in web development and business programming, and recently have had in-depth experience with web, social media, and virtual world development, management and promotion.
I was recently challenged by a friend in my personal blog about how I could “get out 5-12 resumes a day”, and I enumerated sixteen different “job descriptions” for which I feel comfortable sending in job applications. Now, all of these are under the larger umbrella of “communications” which is, likewise, a business function that spans pretty much all industries, making me as plausible for a PR job at a cell phone company as for a Social Media job at a major retailer or an event management gig with a non-profit cultural institution. This is “where I’m coming from”, and is the background for how I’m doing my search. I’d ideally like to find a job where I’m using a wide range of my skill sets, but would be happy to settle into one particular niche and focus on excelling there.
Needless to say, I am not the “typical job seeker”, and a lot of the “conventional wisdom” on how to find a job is hard to apply to my case. So, much of what I’m going to be discussing here will need to be adjusted to your particular situation.
As noted in previous posts, this is my third major job search over the past decade, and the changes that have overtaken the process are amazing. The tool which has been most important to me in my current search is Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, go to http://twitter.com and get one. While you’re at it, sign up for LinkedIn (http://linkedin.com) as well. Both of these are free, and between them you can do massive amounts of research into what’s out there in terms of job openings.
To get an idea of what’s available, go here: http://www.twitterjobsearch.com and plug in some keywords (my main search is “communications director Chicago”). What will come up is a dynamically generated list of Twitter posts from dozens (if not hundreds) of accounts. Check out these accounts to see if they are “in your niche” and follow them!
In my main Twitter account I follow a couple of dozen “job-oriented” feeds, and these typically provide me with (as mentioned above) an average of 5-12 places a day to send a resume. Please note, however, that I probably spend six hours a day going through all this data, and another four hours a day cranking out the resumes, cover letters, etc. This is not a “short cut”, and “looking for a job” is certainly one of the most grueling “jobs” that I’ve ever had! However, by using a tool like Twitter, I at least get the sense that there are jobs out there, and keep my hopes up that one will eventually see me as being the missing piece their business needs.
Twitter has recently added a feature called “lists” where you can sort out the various folks you follow, and are able to share these. I’m working up one of these for my job search, and will pass that along to readers here once I have that done!
I’ll be looking at this more in detail in upcoming posts, but do want to encourage you to sign up today for Twitter and LinkedIn (if you’re not there already) and follow @TheJobStalker on Twitter once you have that set up!