Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Social Network and the Job Search- The Rest of the Story

So, it's been almost a year (actually November 27th) since I lost my job and began the process of finding another one. Wow, what a roller coaster ride. Social media was an integral part of the process and, ultimately, the role I'm in today. Here's how it worked.

In the beginning,  I identified 15-20 companies that I was interested in exploring. After sending out messages to various contacts through LinkedIn InMail, I began to schedule phone calls and face to face meetings with many of my contacts and/or referrals. In the first week, I met with a recruiter, referred to me by one of my contacts. The purpose was not to see specifically what he might have available; it was to connect with him and see what contacts of his could help me reach out to the organizations I initially targeted. He connected me with some other contacts and I reached out to them.

This process continued through the following months. As I came upon opportunities, I leveraged LinkedIn to see if any of my contacts had links to the organization. In many cases, they were able to help me connect directly with people there. It was an excellent tool and I was fortunate to have a very supportive (and connected) network.

Eventually, I cam across a role from a recruiter that I connected with in the first few weeks. He remebered me and was recruiting for a financial services client, one that I had targeted originally, for an online digital effort. After a couple of intense, multi-person interviews with the client, I was hired and have been here since early April. And it all began within the first week of my search.

Unemployed Americans, ages 55 to 64, take a year, on average, to find a job, longer than any other age group, according to August employment data released Sept. 6 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. I was fortunate to find a great opportunity in my field in less than 20 weeks. I can honestly say that the combination of a great network, social media, and a willingness to make a "job" out of looking for a job helped make this happen. If i can do it, so can you.