When I talk about using social media for the job search, it does not make a lot of sense at first. An example would probably be useful.
I applied for a senior marketing position at a very creative company in Austin which uses social media. I am a little older than their average employee and a bit of a late comer to the whole social media phenomena. I started understanding it a year ago when my daughter came home from college and demonstrated to me how she used Twitter to drive business to her on-line vintage clothing store. Convinced by her demonstration, I started a social media campaign within the marketing organization at work. We’d been talking about social media for several months, but no one moved words into action until I started to champion it.
By the time I applied for this position in Austin, I was not a complete newbie. My resume showed that I was a good fit for the position. On 18 out of 20 requirements, I hit the ball out of the park. On the other two requirements, I was moderately well qualified.
After submitting my resume, I wanted to do something to advance my cause. This was a great company and I really wanted the job. I went to LinkedIn and did a “Search People” using the name of the company in the search field. I found dozens of people who worked for my target company. Among them were three company recruiters…one of them being a recruiter for senior marketing employees. I invited all three recruiters to linkin with me, explaining that I was very interested in working for their company. All three recruiters accepted my invitation (recruiters tend to build huge databases of LinkedIn contacts). The senior marketing recruiter sent me an email on Saturday morning telling me that she’d seen my resume and that two candidates had been better fits; I lacked e-commerce experience. I was out of the running but now I knew what had knocked me out. It was work experience that had not even been clearly specified in the job posting. However, to be honest, it was something that a reasonable person could have assumed.
Rather than embarrassing myself by arguing that I’d sold my son’s textbooks on Ebay and owned a Kindle and that they should have made “e-commerce experience” clear in the job posting, I set to work putting together a plan.