Those of us following the social or technology space are increasingly seeing articles on “how to get your next job through social media!” or “ways to increase your chances of getting your dream job by beefing up your social media profile!” In fact, I just performed a very un-scientific Google search for “using social media to get a job.” It yielded more than 63M returns.
Even though I’ve been dabbling in social for years (the last two solely focused on it) I’d roll my eyes at these articles, chalking them up to empty trend jumping. But recently, I’ve become a firm believer.
What caused me to see the light? Simple: I got my job at WCG through a single tweet.
You read that right. One. Tweet.
My previous gig was Director of Social Media for a company based in Silicon Valley. I live in Austin. That’s a long commute.
As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time on planes (shout out to my friends on Alaska Airlines flights 687 and 688) – an inordinate amount of time considering I was a “remote worker.” And even though I was hired with the understanding my job would be based in Austin, I was coming under increasing pressure to permanently relocate to the Bay Area. With that, I decided to start exploring all my local options.
I remembered seeing a former colleague of mine, Mark Bennett, tweet out a year or so ago that his firm was opening an Austin outpost. So I shot him a DM one morning saying (to the effect) “Hey man, would you mind introducing me to your folks in Austin? Looking for options here.” Within two hours he DM’ed back saying some of his colleagues would love to meet me at 4:00 that afternoon.
I thought it was just a networking visit. About a ½ hour into chatting I looked around the room filled with three of my (now) colleagues and asked “Wait, is this an interview?” Good thing I put on a collared shirt.
Fast forward a few months later, I formally accepted a position as Director, Social Media and I’m now digging into the great work this firm is doing for our clients.
I chatted with WCG’s Chief People Officer, Laurie Torres (coincidentally, a fellow alum of my former employer) on the HR perspective of using social media to recruit. Her thoughts confirm what I’ve been reading. “The whole method of recruiting has done a 180,” she told me yesterday. “It’s fun for me now – more targeted, efficient and personal.” She went on to add that using social media and networking (WCG’s primary recruitment tool) has created a form of instant quality control not possible even a few years ago.
It also creates a two-way street. Using social media allowed me to check out many aspects of the company – the culture, the employees, how they interact and the work they do. After doing that research, joining was a no-brainer
This social thing might have legs.
So what are the lessons learned from my experience? A couple come to mind:
• While my specific case is pretty unique, finding a new job using social channels is a real thing
• Always keep in touch with colleagues you liked working with. Mark and I last worked together 10 years ago
• Make sure you remain friendly with those colleagues. Then they’ll feel compelled to spend some of their referral bonus on you. (Small hint, Mark…)
If anything, on the chance you’re reading this post and considered using social media to get your foot in the door I’d strongly encourage you give it a try.