Thursday, April 2, 2009

Social Networking and The Organic You

It strikes me how completely different the start of my job search is this year than last year. For starters, social networking. I know there have been a million blog postings and articles about this already. But it's one thing to read about it, quite another to experience it.

Where as last year, I sent an email announcement to friends and colleagues that I was looking for work, this time I put it in my status on Gmail and Facebook. I Twittered. I blogged. And the responses came in, just the way they did last year. So what's changed here? Different methods. Similar results. Well, yes...and no.

Getting leads is about the same. But the process after that is different. This time, I'm prepared for employers to follow me on Twitter, read my blog, friend me on Facebook, join my network on LinkedIn. They will have access to my hobbies and pastimes, causes and interests, past jobs, current thoughts, future aspirations.

And, there's something very organic and lovely about that.

Because, after all, humans are not very good at describing themselves. I could write you a novel about who I am, but you would get a more accurate view by:
  • observing my interactions with friends;
  • seeing how I align myself to causes, interests and ideas; and
  • reading my thoughts about topics other than myself.
That's why a cover letter and resume only tell a very small part of the puzzle.

I'd like to think that this "organic me" available online is a better representation of my potential as an employee. That if a company takes the time to see me in my native surroundings, they will know pretty quickly if I'm in alignment with their company culture and ultimately a good fit for their team. And that's what I'm really searching for in the next job, the ideal alignment of my interests, goals and aspirations with that of my employer.

So, if you're thinking of hiring me: thanks for visiting. This is me -- the organic Katie Kemple.

If you're looking for a job (like me), I suggest embracing your organic online self and be active!
  • Showcase your interests: Blog, Tweet, and comment about things you love and care about. What's important to you and when is the last time you sent a link, posting, or comment about it?
  • Increase your interactions: Show future employers how you collaborate with others, lend support, and share ideas. Are you a team player online? Do you comment on other people's posts? Do you offer help?
  • Follow prospective employers: Read their blog posts, follow them on Twitter. Discover who they are organically online. Do they have a similar hobby? Are their work ethics and philosophy in alignment with yours?

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