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 SecretsoftheJobHunt.com and Jason Alba’s JibberJobber.com where you’ll find a link to a webinar designed to help job seekers use LinkedIn. It’s called, appropriately, LinkedIn For Job Seekers.