I read a lot of articles about effective job hunting. Most of them are written by people who are not out of work in the current job market. As a result, they get a few things wrong. I recall one article I read a month ago where the author suggested that job hunters should “go old school” and start walking into businesses with resumes in hand. The author suggested that there might be some reasons why this would not work but felt that this novel approach would be effective. He suggested, in the end, that the main reason people would not do this is because they are lazy and prefer to fire off resumes via job boards rather than getting up off the sofa and hitting the pavement.
I decided to give this approach a try. I’d recently sent my resumé to Radio Shack for a marketing analytics position. A few days later, during one of the Social Media Hands-On Labs that I lead for job seekers, I met a former Radio Shack marketer who suggested that I send in a resume for an unpublished position as Social Media Marketing Director. I reworked my resumé and decided to visit Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters in downtown Ft. Worth. That is a 40 minute drive from my house. I got a hair cut, polished my shoes, put on my best suit and a starched shirt from the cleaners reserved just for interviews, printed off several copies of my resumé , and headed to Ft. Worth. Google maps did not exactly lead me directly to Radio Shack, but after driving around 15 minutes, I found them, found an empty parking space, fed the meter, and walked three blocks to the building. It is a spectacular building which they share with Tarrant County College. After working my way through Tarrant County College to the portion of the building Radio Shack occupies, I met two intelligent, well spoken “gate keepers” guarding the entrance to headquarters.
I stated the nature of my business. “I would like to drop off my resumé. Is there someone from HR I can met with for a few minutes?”
“You will need to apply for a job on-line. We do not take paper resumes.”
“I have already applied for a marketing analytics position on-line. I have other talents that I think would be useful to Radio Shack in social media marketing. I would like to spend just a moment with someone in HR to go over my resumé.”
“We filled a position for social media marketing a few weeks ago. You will need to apply on-line for a posted position.”
(WOW! This guy was really on top of things…but I persisted.) “Well, I’m here. Can’t I just drop my resumé off with someone?”
“We have not accepted paper resumes in 5 years. You need to submit it electronically.”
“Can you give me the name of the head of HR. I will mail my resumé to them.”
“Let me call Sylvia….I have a gentleman here who would like to drop off his resumé. He applied for the marketing analytics job but would like to drop off an additional resume….uh huh…OK…She says she does not accept paper resumes. You will need to apply on-line.”
So I retraced my steps, made the 40 minute drive back home, took off my suit and now wrinkled shirt and reflected on the fact that I’d just burned several gallons of gas and wasted three hours for nothing.
Things have really changed when you can not, under any circumstances, submit a paper resume. The Internet has changed the job hunt in so many ways.
Fortunately, one of the ways the Internet has changed things is that it has given us, the job seeker, the ability to increase our visibility via social media. I was in international technology marketing for 15 years. I’d written articles, been quoted by the press, had dozens of press releases with my name in them. I thought I was very “findable” on the Internet. However, the day after I was laid off, I Googled my name. I found a 20 something guy’s Facebook account and a playground equipment installer’s Twitter account on page one, but nothing related to me. As a matter of fact, I was not even on page two. Social media made it so others with my name appeared higher in the Google results despite 15 years of commercial material bearing my name. Social media puts you on equal footing with corporate America in getting your name out there. It is an equalizer for those who know how to use it.
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing