Director Tom’s job hunt: Diving into the social media network

Director Tom    Director Tom

Thomas Clifford, aka Director Tom,  was just laid off from his job as a corporate video director. Having worked with this brilliant soul, I didn’t Tweet or e-mail to check on his fine being. Instead, I picked up the phone and called him. An “G, R U doin’ ok,” didn’t seem appropriate. 

Human contact is rapidly becoming a novelty in our digital age. But for job seekers like Tom, the human face-to-face networking and social media route is the one-two punch crucial on the path to employment or a new career.

Director Tom (who is totally cool with me gabbing about his dilemma, here’s his Hire Tom website) has been an avid social media wizard for some time. He cautions to “develop your on-line and off-line network now, so if the net gets yanked out from under you, you’ve got a good start.”

The yanking wasn’t immediately apparent to Tom, he told me. Nevertheless, he’d been building his on-line network for well over 3 years for marketing and branding purposes. Tom lost his job last Thursday. He shared his three-day step-by-step play, into his job hunt:

1.    Tom created a “Hire Tom” web page associated with his blog. “I wanted one place for people to go and within a few minutes, to decide, ‘Hey, I think we should talk to this guy.”

2.   Tom contacted close friends and associates via e-mail to alert them he was looking for work, and that the Hire Tom page was activated.

3.   LinkedIn was the next stop.

       a.    Tom changed his update status to, “seeking employment.”

       b.    He made the commitment to refresh his status update on a regular basis, to keep current.

       c.    He e-mailed his primary connections on LinkedIn, to let them know he was looking for work.

       d.    Next up, he changed his main URL to the Hire Tom page.

       e.    Finally, in bunches, he has begun to forward his “updated profile” to connections who might be able to                        spread word of Tom’s employment interests. (There is a button that says ‘forward your profile to a                                  connection’) “Instead of blasting everyone at once, I’m splitting it up so I can respond in a timely way.”

4.   Twitter is the next stop for Tom. “I intend to build momentum with LinkedIn then implement my Twitter strategy,” said Tom. He has about 2000 followers and is very active on Twitter. He’ll send DM’s or Direct Messages to the people he feels will help him best spread the word on his skills as a corporate film maker – to the right audience. Tom has already linked his Twitter feed –  to his Friend Feed (social media aggregator) account so it updates automatically.

The overnight strategy that Tom came up with was quite successful. He received wonderfully supportive responses. “It was actually interesting, one person sent links to networking events and industry events that related to my profession. It wasn’t just a blanket response – but specific action items.” All his work in just a few days lead to seven meetings  already scheduled for this week. Also in the pipeline, networking events and job fairs.

“You network within your individual industry all the time, the techniques might be different but the intention is the same whether you’re on-line or in person,” he said adding, “The intention is to meet, grow and connect with interesting people, creating new opportunities.”

Finding a job on-line requires an enormous amount of discipline, commitment and a bit o’ luck. Slate’s Farhod Manjoo deconstructs the process in his article, How to Find a Job: Forget Monster, Try Facebook. For more information on job hunting on-line  - head to and Jason Alba’s where you’ll find a link to a webinar designed to help job seekers use LinkedIn. It’s called, appropriately, LinkedIn For Job Seekers.

  • John Koetsier

    I worked with Tom recently. We hired him to do a corporate film that was not simple: tight timetables, tight budgets, and high expectations.

    Tom did AMAZING work for us … and plus, he’s an incredible guy to work with.

    I’d recommend him to anyone (in fact I have, on LinkedIn) and know he’ll land on his feet with something even better than before.

    • Judy Martin

      I have to say I’m a bit biased. He has an eye that is so incredible. Really kind to work with. Thanks for visiting!

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  • Don Lafferty

    All excellent strategies to open the door to all manner of opportunities.

    The “Hire Me” page especially provides a perfect vehicle to put your resume one click away from the planet.

  • rstanley

    Terrific article! I have submitted this to Digg and following you on twitter! Keep up the great work!

    • Judy Martin

      Robert and Don,
      I really think Tom’s “Hire Tom” page was brilliant. It’s real and it’s great marketing at the same time.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  • Susan Strayer

    Tom thinks like a job seeker should. Start mass (website to manage your brand) and then dive in using Linked In to nurture connections and let people know you are available and what you’re looking for.

    Not all job seekers can create a website but they can learn from Tim’s step by step approach. I tell people all the time a job search is like a project. You need steps, goals and milestones to get to your end result. The road will be rocky–every project always has unexpected roadblocks. But set short-term goals and use tools (like Twitter and Linked In) wisely as part of your search.

    Susan Strayer, Recruiting Executive and Job Search Coach

  • Kevin Boon


    Awesome article with some simple tips for networking and getting it done. I was downsized back in January and have taken some to create my strategy moving forward so we’ll see how it goes and I’ll be interested to see where Tom lands.

  • Thomas Clifford

    Hi Judy!

    Just a quick note to say “thank you” for taking the time to capture and share my story for everyone to benefit from.

    The response has been great so far. I’d encourage people in similar situations to create something like my page, if they have the ability, to share with potential employers.

    I’ve found my friends, colleagues, etc. can quickly give one url to their contacts which makes it super-easy to spread your word.

    I’ll keep you up to date on my progress. Things look promising, even though it’s early in the game (this is my fifth day unemployed so far.)

    Be great, be well!