Things are different now

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Labs that I lead for job seekers, I met a former Radio Shack marketer who suggested that I send in a resume for an unpublished position as Social Media Marketing Director.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.

James Snider
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing
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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. View all posts by jamessnider

18 responses to “Things are different now

  • John Grogan

    James; Best wishes on your job search. I linked to this blog via your LinkedIn post in the discussion section of Global Jobs Network. While I agree about the equalizer effect of social media, I say a good job search depends on solid face-to-face relationships. Social media and the like only help validate your credientals, reputation, etc. Social media does not get you the job, your personal relationships do. Cheers, John

  • jamessnider

    Hi John, Thanks. You are, of course, correct. Face-to-face is still the best way. Social Media gives the job seeker a couple of extra tricks to use in finding a job but really adds value once a company is interested in you.

    Thank you for your comments.

    James Snider
    Making Social Media “Marketing”

  • Tweets that mention Things are different now « Using Social Media in the Job Search --

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  • Matt Pujol

    I wanna see the internet-ready resume we discussed with all the active social media links. Can’t do that on paper….

  • Suzanne


    Really well written and great topic. I’m impressed that you put yourself out there with your blog and convinced that you’re helping more people than you’ll ever know or receive comments from. Kudos to you on that. Sorry you had such a turn away from them.

    Wondering if you’ve read the story about Fat Cyclist.

    Continued good luck. It will come.


    • James Snider

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thank you for your kind words. No, I have never ready about Fat Cyclist. I will check on that.

      One of the great things about writing a blog is every success or failure becomes material to blog about. It helps a person take things in stride.


  • Curt

    Excellent point about the books and advice written by people who are not familiar with the current job market. I especially love the advice columns in the Dallas Morning News on Sundays.

    I suspect that dropping resumes off may be more effective at smaller companies, not the big ones. Kudos to you for actually trying it and being persistent and still polite with the gate-keeper.

  • Catherine Shorten

    This is a very cool article, I could not have agreed more.

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  • Replacement Windows West Chester PA

    I was just doing some web browsing on my Jack Phone during my lunch at work , and I came across something I thought was intriguing. It linked to your site so I hopped over. I can’t really find the relevance between your site and the one I came from, but your site good none the less .

  • Suzanne (yes, another one)


    You’re taking the time to do what the rest of us wish someone had, so KUDOS! Your posts are very informative for those of us, as you’ve pointed out, skinning our knees on the ‘net on the contemporary road to employment.

    It occurred to me, and this is a bit off-topic, that our age of security also placed those gatekeepers between you and HR.

    Another thought is that those who are employed are often spread so thin that they have to now rely on technology to get their jobs done in a streamlined manner. It’s all inter-related. How do we keep the face-to-face, relationship, rapport in the new age, is my wondering. And keep from getting more and more distant? There has to be a convergence at some point, of course. The sheer number of unemployed is also a contributor to the need of those looking for people to rely on technology to do their sifting through the soft copies of resumes.

    Best regards and keep up the nice trail,


  • Ruby Thompson

    I can’t posibly agree with the above post, and would like to pick up on a few of the OP’s points. Not everyone will agree and though I am one of them, I do respect your right to have your view. Either way I have enjoyed reading Things are different now Using Social Media in the Job Search.

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