Job Hunting in a Social Media World

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I was watching Friends the other day … one of the early ones where Rachel is looking for a job.  All the gang is gathered over at Monica and Rachel’s apartment and an assembly line of sorts is taking place: folding letters and resumes, stuffing envelopes, stamping envelopes, etc., culminating in a box of at least 200 letters.  The punch-line is that someone finds a typo ("I have good compuper skills") and Rachel asks "Do you think it’s on all of them?".

Things are quite a bit different these days, particularly if you are an aspiring marketer, PR flack or social media maven.  It’s a lot easier to show a potential employer your mad skillz rather than simply talk about them in a dead-tree resume.
Take, for instance, what Andrey Tochilin created when applying for a recent eMarketing position at TD Canada Trust: www.tdbank.tv

Andrey took all the research that he did for the application and interview, and created, essentially, one version of a social media plan for TD Canada Trust and posted it in blog form.  He also included his online resume as well as links to informative articles and other Web 2.0 / New Media Marketing resources.  Regardless of whether his thinking is precisely "on strategy", I am a big fan of this for a couple of reasons: 1) it shows incredible initiative, but more importantly, 2) Andrey is practicing what he preaches.  As Mitch Joel said to me recently, "Until you do it (social media), you can’t understand it!".
Tdbankdottvscreenshot

Now, I can see how not everyone would think this is a good idea and it raises a number of issues on both sides of the interviewing table:
For interviewees …
* I don’t want to do a marketing strategy until *after* I get the job.
* Do I really have to buy a unique domain?
* Isn’t this just a gimmick?  My resume speaks for itself.
For interviewers …
* OMG, someone is touching my brand!
* OMG, someone understands my brand and my customers better than I do!
* Seriously, now I have to wade through 50 custom blog sites in addition to resumes?!

I know we have a lot of hiring managers as well as a lot of job seekers reading this.  What do you think?  If you were the boss at TD Canada Trust, would this have gotten him in the door?  Or would you have called the law-talkin’ folks for a cease-and-desist letter?  Gimmick or strategic?  Share your thoughts!

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5 thoughts on “Job Hunting in a Social Media World

  1. miro slodki

    Yes that is a great example Andrey
    For someone who is also job hunting, I have tried lower level initiatives
    (commentaries/postings at various sites like this one,CMA etc;articles; blogs http://miroslodki.wordpress.com/; LinkedIn) to raise my profile/credentials.
    My experience has been that recruiters tend to be caught up in the task at hand and are firstly concerned with finding the exact candidate to fit the criteria – some do however appreciate additional initiative – but that doesn’t get you (m)any brownie points.
    Hiring managers on the other hand seem to appreciate and think outside of the box they defined for their recruiters. And so these types of intiatives do help to standout from the crowd.
    In my experience/estimation they would applaud Andrey’s efforts – but probably ask him to generecize the example (ie your corner Canadian bank)
    I guess the bigger question I have is why the apparant disconnect between what hiring managers respond to and the narrower constraints they place on the search. What of transferrable skills? Experience? Hiring overexperienced candidates to supercharge their team? Competition is tough – wouldn’t you want to have an edge – and look at the marketing team as part of the value chain for the brand?
    I don’t buy into the argument that overexperienced candidates will leave sooner. What guarantees are you getting when you hire your perfect candidate?
    Andrey – kudos to you – keep it up – you’ve raised the bar – and we are all going to be better for it.
    Miro

  2. Chief Apricot

    I think any smart employer would be really impressed with this approach – I certainly would. I was hiring recently and one disappointment was that almost every candidate emailed us to ask about our address instead of looking at our website!

  3. Sulemaan

    From a hiring perspective, I would be more impressed with someone like Andrey than not.
    Granted a hiring manager might feel intimidated by someone strong but as the old adage goes “1st class managers hire 1st class people. 3rd class managers hire 2nd class people.”
    Opinion of one but you should always insulate your weaknesses by the strengths of others on your team.

  4. Recruiting Animal

    Kay, that’s a great posting. With all the crap everyone is writing about the resume being dead, you’d think that there would be a lot more of this online stuff going around.
    But blogs are always going to be the domain of the very few.
    I sent the link to David Perry, a great headhunter in Ottawa and author of Guerilla Marketing For Job Hunters. http://www.gm4jh.com

  5. Mario Parisé

    I think it depends on who is doing the hiring. If it’s a recruiting agency, my experience has been that they are very cut and dry about what they are looking for, at least initially. If they don’t see the perfect resume, they won’t look at anything else. (Which raises the question, are recruiters a bad idea?)
    The other situation is when the person hiring is also the boss. It’s more personal in this situation. Individual people are more likely to be open to seeing what you have to show them, whatever form that may take. For example, when I was trying to get a job at 50 Carleton (which I got), I didn’t prepare a resume at all. I prepared a bunch of sample site templates, packaged them as nicely as I could in a CD, and handed that in. Even though looking back that CD was awful, I like to think it showed a sense of initiative that a resume could not have expressed.

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