April 13, 2011
Can meeting strangers on Twitter land you a job?
I regularly meet people skeptical of social media tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn. But it's important to remember that the tools themselves don't provide the solutions, it's all about the access they can give you to other people. In the following two stories, social media created visibility for two jobseekers that made all the difference in getting hired.
Nick Rovisa, of New York, was monitoring Twitter when he saw that a university would be hosting a social media symposium with some well-known industry speakers.
"I tweeted a simple 'Thanks, and welcome to my city,' to the speakers, both of whom I was following," says Nick. "One of them tweeted me back and voila, the ice was broken."
Nick asked to meet the speaker in person at the event and she agreed. He tweeted her while she was finishing her keynote to remind her of their meeting, and while it was short, it proved to be very important.
Later, Nick connected with her on LinkedIn. "A few weeks passed when I decided to reach out to her and see if she would be open to passing any job openings on to me," says Nick. She agreed and even made some suggestions for his resume.
A few weeks later, a friend of Nick's forwarded an opening at Ruder Finn, a New York public relations company. He decided to check his network to see if he knew anyone who could provide an introduction.
"Lo and behold, the very same woman that I had connected with was also connected to the hiring person for this open position! So I reached out to her to see if she'd be willing to pass along my resume (and a good word or two)," Nick recounts. Although their first meeting was brief, Nick had made a positive impression and she felt confident in Nick's passion and drive. Nick got the job and is now a social media account executive at Ruder Finn.
The next story is about Suet Yin Chow, in New Brunswick, Canada. "The only reason I got back on Twitter after dismissing the technology in 2008 was to do some research for a job I was interested in with a social media monitoring company," says Suet.
She was following the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation awards on Twitter and sent a tweet to one of the winners. An entrepreneur noticed Suet's tweet, went onto her Twitter profile and saw a link to her LinkedIn resume.
He was so impressed with her background and experience that he decided to set up a meeting with her. That meeting turned into a job offer.
If you've been ignoring your social media profiles, it's time to give them some attention. It's not enough to simply have Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, you need to actually use them in a regular and meaningful way. Remember that what may seem like an insignificant interaction today could turn into the key that gets you hired tomorrow.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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