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How to Use Social Media to Land the Job of your Dreams

This interview was conducted by Monica O’Brien (@monicaobrien) from Twenty Set.

As the recession looms on, more and more people are turning to social media and blogs to look for jobs. Jamie Varon (@jamievaron) has generated buzz in the Twitter community with her new website called Twitter Should Hire Me, where she blogs candidly about her attempts to get a job at Twitter. In this interview, she shares her tips on how to use social media to land the job of your dreams, even in a recession.

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What kind of reception have you received since launching Twitter Should Hire Me?

By the end of the second day that the site launched, I had received over 20,000 views. My Twitter following count has increased by almost 40% and I have forged relationships that I would not have otherwise had. There have been multiple write ups about my campaign and I have been contacted by my local news and some other news outlets that I can’t discuss. The Twitter community responded to my campaign in an overwhelmingly positive way. They were very supportive and it spread very quickly throughout people’s Twitter streams. At one point, I was the 70th most retweeted person on Twitter, among the top 100 with huge influencers such as Guy Kawasaki, Chris Brogan, and Pete Cashmore.

Sometimes the hardest part of finding a job is getting that initial interview. What steps did you take to get noticed by Twitter before starting Twitter Should Hire Me?

I had a connection recommend me to the hiring manager for an open position. I never heard back because the position was filled. I dropped in on the hiring manager at Twitter HQ to introduce myself and bring in some cookies (cheesy, I know). Then, a couple days after that, I emailed the hiring manager that I met. After not hearing anything back from any of those efforts, I decided it was time to do something a bit more extreme. That’s when I came up with the idea for TSHM.com. Plus, I thought it would be fun to do something bold like that and thought it would be interesting to see the response.

How are you promoting your site and your job search?

I promoted my site primarily through Twitter. I thought that the strategy of getting to Twitter through Twitter would be an interesting one. I didn’t contact any Twitter representatives directly, because I wanted the site to get to them organically. As of right now, I am not promoting my job search anymore, because I might end up with too many things on my plate, so I’m backing off a little bit. However, I am adding blog posts every day to my Twitter site to now show that I have information and ideas to back up the site — and not just a good idea that attracted buzz.

You’ve garnered amazing support for your site from the Twitter community. Why do you think people have rallied so strongly around you?

I think it’s a great story about innovation in a time where a lot of people are struggling to get noticed by companies. There’s a sense of hope, optimism, and ambition in my message, which people are very much needing to see. We’ve been hit by a lot of negativity in the media lately and the message of someone continuing to believe in themselves and go for their dreams, even in the midst of this crisis, hit home for a lot of people. There has been this sense of, “take whatever you can get,” and people were happy to see someone who was still keeping the hope alive.

What have you learned from the site about using social media to get a job?

The power of social media is alive and strong. I have learned that if you have something worth sharing, people will share it. And, that if you genuinely want to build community, you will attract people. I think that a main reason for my success with this site was that I had built a great community before I launched the site. I had genuinely been using Twitter to connect with people and wasn’t trying to push any agenda on them. My biggest supporters were people that I had previously connected with on Twitter. They really set the tone for the campaign, because they responded positively and put the word out. In terms of getting a job using social media, I think what I’ve learned is that people will know if you have an agenda. Building relationships without any pretense is vital to being successful with connecting (and then eventually maybe finding a job) through social media. There has to be something real there initially.

What will you do if Twitter doesn’t offer you a job?

I have three job offers doing marketing – One PT social media marketing position actually gets me into the startup industry in a big way. This site has opened up tons of possibilities for me in marketing.

That’s the ticket: I wanted something in the creative departments of startups. So, I created something unique and marketed both it and myself. No matter what experience I put on the site (even though I am pumping a good amount of info into it), I have achieved what companies want: buzz. My uncle, out of the woodwork, called me and wants to hire me as a freelancer and throw $5000 of marketing budget at me. That just doesn’t happen in this economy.

Furthermore, if Twitter doesn’t hire me at this point, I hope to create a relationship with them and maybe the future will bring a partnership. I know I will be in the startup industry to stay, so even if there isn’t a place for me on the Twitter team at this point, it doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a place for me in the future.

What advice would you give to people trying to get a job in social media?

If you want a job in social media, prove you can utilize social media without a paycheck. I recently was just asked to be a social media marketer for a company because I had spent the month I was unemployed building my own brand online. I didn’t wait for a company to give me a chance to prove I was successful within social media; I took it upon myself to let my actions speak louder than my words. If you can’t build your own brand (your blog or your Twitter, etc), then you can’t be successful in social media. And, companies will hire the person that has proven to understand social media, rather than the person who says they do.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. There are many job listing services now using Twitter. Do you have any statistics on how many people can credit Twitter with landing them their job?

  2. Cindy King says:

    I was recently telling someone looking for pretty senior level work to set up his own domain like TSHM and create a twitter account just for the job search. He is not in Social Media, but the idea remains the same in any high tech industry.

    Smart move Monica.

    @CindyKing

  3. I completely agree about the comment about proving you can do work in social media without a paycheck. One of the main reasons I got a job as a communications manager was because I had a blog.

  4. Jun Loayza says:

    Just did a video interview with Jamie, her very first one! You can see it here.

    Let me know what you think. She definitely is someone who’s making it happen in the social media realm

    - Jun Loayza

  5. toputop says:

    These is lot of activity is running around twitter and linkedin regarding latest jobs.As it is rescission time this job activity is increased in social media.

  6. Terry Heath says:

    This is one of those times when everybody goes, “I wish I had thought of that!” Well not everybody, but at least those who want to promote themselves as social marketers. But there is still hope; you don’t have to come up with the next “big idea” to do well and we can all just continue doing the right things in the meantime.

    Excellent point about proving yourself capable of SMM before trying to market yourself as a SMM person. The same would go for bloggers . . . working on that part myself!

  7. Chris Dessi says:

    INSPIRING! Lost my job last Monday – sent my application on Friday to Facebook – 5 minutes ago I purchased the URL http://www.facebookshouldhireme.com

  8. Neil says:

    Good to see some payback with this social media marketing campaign on Twitter. It shows the power of building a genuine community before trying to promote through SM.

    Lesson learned I have to say.

  9. Shravan says:

    The information was very useful, thanx for the article Darren.

  10. There are many ways of getting a job, just getting at it, or willing to take the time to really search is what makes people, not doubt but not search for it. I could say finding a job is easy for people that get out of college and have a reference but finding a job that you like and want to do for the rest of your life is hard to come by, this is a great initiative. Great post!

  11. Christie says:

    Love the idea and I hope Jamie gets her dream job, be at Twitter or another company. She has definitely proven she thinks outside of the box.

  12. Great idea and very timely given the amount of people recently out of work.
    I hope it is a success story that others can repeat for themselves or at least that it inspires similar thinking.

  13. It is a really cool site and a really cool post. I am not looking for job myself because I promote my own blog but I think that this post would lead a job seeker in a right path.

    Mohammad Afaq
    Free Website Traffic

  14. Ganesh says:

    Awesome. Totally interesting outlook and an innovative way in job search :)

  15. Muri@On-LINE says:

    I think that is another positive things twitter has brought to the world and help the desperate back to hope. I remember “tweetobama”case where this person build the site because he is worry about getting a new job,and instead getting new job,what he do to with it already make him “getting a surprising job without supervision he should afraid to

  16. Anderson says:

    That’s all nice for non-tech job/companies.

  17. Cool job idea maybe it will land Jamie the job.

  18. Very timely.. I really love the idea especially the url’s name. Ya, why not.. twitter should hire us..

  19. Jim Barber says:

    Great post! This is an inspiring story of how a little creativity and imagination can open the doors of possibility. Instead of looking for available jobs in the marketplace, Jamie Varon set her sights on a goal and found a unique way to soar above the crowd!

  20. Eric says:

    Definitely inspiring!

  21. This is a great story about the success of social media. It can also create a lot of anxiety. Last week on NPR there was a clever essay about how looking for a job is now a little like dating. “Maybe I didn’t know enough about widgets, plugins or other Web 2.0 jargon. Or maybe things just got too familiar, too fast. ”
    knhttp://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101934031

  22. What a fun and innovative way to use Twitter! Congrats to Jamie for thinking outside the box and using social media to make contacts. I am on Twitter several times a day on my webtop and mostly use it for networking. I’ve met several amazing colleagues online (and eventually in person) and find Twitter to be invaluable. Jamie took it to the next level with her blog and focusing on getting the career of her dreams – good for her!!

  23. You go Jamie! You’re brilliant…I will post about this tomorrow.
    You give hope to all of the unemployed!

  24. Nike Air Max says:

    Its really good for the people who is trying to get in that particular industry …they need to build there base in short period then companies like to hire them,

  25. Social Media is insane, but its great. I hope he gets the job. I get daily emails about people following me as well. I think its cool how people want to connect.

  26. Gopal G says:

    Very good suggestions to face the recession effects. Instead of remaining unemployed, some job initially even with no paycheck is better to get noticed by the authority-figures.

    To get more benefit from your posts, I have added you to my Friends list. Thanks

  27. Social media will not land you a job unless you prove to be a a viable brand. You must filter yourself first before getting excited in this new medium. One your profile says alot about you,your activities,contributions like what you comment on,how many followers you have for the case of tweet’s all that determine alot and many other factors. Even those willing to offer you a free nonpay check job would first want to make sure that you offer something beneficial to them,as they said actions speak louder…
    Will write a post on my blog as well on this topic to elucidate
    what I think.

    http://Www.Frogblogger.com

  28. Another blog or website with twitter in its domain and capitalising the success of twitter. Under the big tree normally small tree got the shelter and these kind of websites are the perfect example of that.

  29. Twitter and LinkedIn are like networking on crack. The buzz that you can generate and the significance of the relationships is much deeper than many of the cocktail mixers and chamber events one might attend. Why? Because in a matter of minutes an employer can get a picture of who you are, who you know, what your portfolio looks like and much more.

    Interesting interview on a unique subject. Thanks!~

  30. Nhonpt says:

    This is really a interesting interview. I read it with great inspiring because I am looking for a new way in my career now. I do not want to send my CV to companies and then wait for their feedback. This interview gives me a case study to learn about creativeness for job seeking.

    Thank Darren Rowse very much for your posting.

  31. another best for people with loss job solutions……survive in crisis

  32. Interview Tips

    *Don’t come to the interview drunk and then proceed to pass out

    *Don’t bring your mom, children or pets

    *Tell your interviewer how you love to sing opera, then bust out signing acapella

    *Don’t tell any racist jokes

    *Do not submit an “Impossible is Nothing” type video resume (if you don’t know what we are talking about please Google it…it is quite entertaining)

  33. shannon says:

    People are doing extream things to get a job. Good for you Jamie!

    shannon
    http://www.eighthorses.com/

  34. shannon says:

    Good job Jamie! Its hard to get noticed and you did it!

    shannon
    http://www.eighthorses.com/

  35. jlbraaten says:

    This is a great complimentary post to all of the “what not to post on social media if you want a job” posts. Double edged, powerful sword.