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Social Media Breakfast Toledo

May 3, 2010

Last week I had the honor of being a panelist for Social Media Breakfast Toledo’s event: How to get a Job Using Social Media.

I was really impressed with the meeting of the minds that took place at Thread Information Design. Special thanks to the founders of Social Media Breakfast Toledo: Patrick GiammarcoKevin Cesarz, and Mike Driehorst.

The event was focused around using social media for your job search. I was there on behalf of Career Bull, but I was a bit uneasy to try and give relevant advice for a room full of about 40 people with different backgrounds, industries, goals etc.

Luckily there were some really smart people on the panel and in the audience, which made for a great discussion.

The last thing I wanted to say at the panel (besides giving Issue 1 a shout out) is that every industry, company and person is different. There’s rarely a one sized fit all approach, so I apologize if the panel was too broad to truly help someone who was there because they “needed to find a job”.

Right now there is a spectrum of companies who are either more conservative or more “social” with their business practices. Although I love Twitter, I’m afraid to preach the benefits to people who may not get much from the tool.

However, if you are involved in any of the following Big 4 industries, I consider Twitter a must have.

  1. Marketing/PR
  2. Sales/Customer Service
  3. Technical people of all sorts
  4. ANY Artist/Creative

As for Bankers, Accountants, Administrators and Health Care Professionals… the jury may still be out.

Seth Godin once said, “If there is already a case study in your industry, you are too late”

What do you guys think? Is it more appropriate for some industries to plug into social than others?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 2:07 am

    I love Seth Godin, but phooey on that! It’s NEVER too late to get involved in social media. I’m a little tired of the “experts” that act like everyone who wasn’t using Twitter when it first came out or blogging since 2002 are newbies trying to ride their coattails. Just because Joel Comm wrote a book about Adsense doesn’t mean that no one else can from now on. And if you want to do a remake of the original Wizard of Oz movie, you’re not out of luck. Better late than never. Get involved now and you’ll still know more and be further along than those that sit out there feeling like they missed the boat.

    As for your question, there are some industries that are more conservative than others and probably won’t be using social media. In the end, there are still PEOPLE behind every industry and its about figuring out how to reach those people and build relationships. If they’re not on Facebook, don’t go there. But if they are, square your shoulders and jump in!

  2. May 4, 2010 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the insight Janeile! We don’t need more experts in the field, just more (and better) explainers. I’m fine with us “just joining the game”, we’ll see who’s calling who an expert after our Blogging Bootcamp!

    I agree that its never too late to get social, but I think Seth was really talking to companies who aren’t sure if they want to leap and before they know it a competitor jumps in and kills it while they are left playing catch up.

    Let’s meet up sometime next week and chat more.

  3. Jack Gladden permalink
    May 7, 2010 12:52 am

    Brandon,

    You never cease to amaze me with the different opportunities and activities I see you participate in. I think you did a very good job explaining the value of twitter and I think that currently there is a negative stigma with regards to it (twitter) because a lot of people just view it as another version of your “aim away messenger” or “facebook whats on your mind section”. Having celebrities promote twitter is turning out to be a double edged sword because on one hand they helped it become a brand people recognize, but on the other hand they turned it into something associated with pop culture which in my opinion takes away from the value it can truly offer because people associate it too much with “time consuming unproductive entertainment”. I enjoyed listening to you position it in a relevant way for business people.

    Another comment I have to make is the comment about signing a release so your employers can look at your facebook profile. The panelist made the comment that employers should ask their applicants to sign a release so that the potential employer can see whats in their facebook profile. To me this is an absurd idea for a couple of reasons. One because the employer would clearly be stepping over its boundaries with regrads to respecting ones privacy. Before facebook was around employers didn’t ask their employees to sign a release which entitled them to go through their picture albums and negatives from their earlier days in order to determine what type of a person they were and if they didn’t allow it then “they must be hiding something”. The reason employers didnt ask for this is because its none of their business and they knew it then, opposed to now. You may be thinking “well even if they did ask to see an old fashioned photo album of mine then I would just take the bad pictures out” well if an employer asks an applicant to sign a release to view their profile page don’t you think that all the “bad stuff” is going to be removed and the profile is going to shine! Personally I would make a new account, put a bunch of pictures of me reading the bible, studying at my desk, being at the office after hours, and create this perfect image of what they would want to see so I looked good on facebook. But why should anyone have to do that?

    Just because something is on the internet does not mean that its fair game for anyone and everyone to look at, thats why we have privacy settings and those who choose to go around those privacy settings and obtain the information through sneaky methods are no different than someone sneaking into your house in the middle of the night and rummaging through your stuff to get information about you. Lets keep our business life and personal life separate. If they want a release to see my linked in profile I would gladly sign that!

  4. May 7, 2010 9:38 am

    Jack I love the comment, we all know you spend hours after work in the office and read only the Bible on the weekends. (full disclosure I have never seen Jack at work, but we did pull an all-nighter for a client project in college and he reads great books, like How To Win Friends and Influence People, which I think is like a Bible of sorts)

    You really nailed the Twitter and celebrities conundrum. I think overall it was a positive thing for the movement because like you said it did spread the brand. Granted, people like myself thought it was pointless to follow celebrities, but as my friend John Hall said… “Twitter is like a gun. You could use it to hunt and feed your family, or you could kill someone”. Don’t blame the tool.

    I think I might ask Patty Wise, the employment attorney who made the Facebook comment, to weigh in.

    She has a really interesting perspective in regards to how the more conservative corporations are using (or not using) social media. I enjoyed her experience and perspective the most from the panel, because it came from the complete opposite perspective from what I deal with. Not that either of us were right or wrong, but we are just dealing with companies on different sides of the digital (or social) wave.

  5. Tyler Levengood permalink
    May 11, 2010 10:47 am

    Great article Brandon, I thought I would try to give some insight from a technical industry point of view. When I was looking for a position out of college, I remember Tracy DiMarino explaining how she found her PR job by using this thing called Twitter and hash-tags. It worked great for her entry level position in her PR industry, but as I attempted to find an entry-level IT position it proved fruitless. It was difficult to demonstrate my depth of knowledge (or lack there-of) in 140 characters. However, I’m positive that I was not fully utilizing the expansive networking capabilities Twitter has to offer.

    For me and my technical experience, it was better to get to a trade show, get on the phone, or have a face-to-face with employers/recruiters to build my network. On the contrary, I feel that once you have gained relevant work experience in IT, social media becomes a more vital role to find those vertical shifts in your career. I recently observed a colleague of mine who was looking for such a niche position (Solution Architect; Ruby on Rails dev.) and used social networking sites as well as monitored company blogs looking for an oportunity. It took him about 2 months to find the position that fulfilled his personal and professional goals. I’m sure this scenario is relevant to any industry, but this may be a solid trend within IT.

  6. May 11, 2010 11:39 am

    Thanks for the contribution Tyler, I love hearing from different people’s perspectives. I think its amazing we can all join on here and have a conversation about ideas such as this, that’s really what “this” is all about in the end.

    I think you have a valid point about finding your first job may take you down the traditional job hunting path. Let’s face it, most companies in most industries are not on the “cutting edge of utilizing the web and social media”.

    My first job was found through “traditional means” (in person networking, career fairs, student groups) but then after I got some experience at my first gig (and learned about the revolution that was happening online) I was able to jump to other opportunities that I found through Twitter… yes, Twitter is a great way to find job opportunities.

    In my opinion, company’s that “get it”, will be attracting all of the talent that is currently “plugged in” online. It’s so easy for me to get to know a company and the people that work there with blogs and social media.

    It’s also a great way for them to meet you and see what you are into. I think the one-page resume application process is dying slowly for these digital jobs. I just had an interview with a company (for a social media position) and they said, well your resume doesn’t really show your experience you have online.

    I agree with them, the resume is really my past 4 years of work experience. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just Google me, and see what I’ve been up to lately instead?

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