Tag Archives: job search

UnSummit: Private vs. Public

On Saturday I went to the UnSummit in Minneapolis, a kind of counter-conference. It was on a Saturday. It was free. It involved more conversation than declaration (kind of like Idea Camp). I wanted to summarize some of what I learned before it slipped into the ether.

One of the big topics of the day was the separation between private and public. One of the sessions specifically addressed this issue, but other sessions kept coming back to it. It’s kind of ironic that it kept coming up because it’s an issue I’ve dealt with a lot recently. I blogged on this a while back and determined that nothing is secret. As Seth Godin said, “Always act as if you’re on Candid Camera, because you are.”

Continue reading UnSummit: Private vs. Public

Putting College Kids to Work

Here’s a less than encouraging statistic: Only 20% of college graduates are finding jobs this year. By way of comparison, in 2007 it was 50% (which doesn’t seem much better). Business Week echoes the statistics and explores the best job markets for college grads.

I remember trying to find a job as a college graduate being pretty nerve wracking. Aside from the stress of needing a job, you’ve likely never done this full time employment thing before for more than a short term or part time basis. And few college graduates understand the importance of networking (I certainly didn’t).

For the other 80% of college grads looking for jobs who don’t find them, this might be an amazing opportunity. You’ll likely need to tighten the belt straps, continue your college frugality, maybe even move back home. But not having a full time, 9-5, thrilling but honestly brain-sucking job can free you up to do so many things. This might be the time to start your business. Or volunteer on another continent. Or explore some things you really love. Maybe you’ll pitch in and finally put your church online. Maybe you’ll tackle an overwhelming social issue in your own backyard. Maybe you’ll help someone out in an entirely unglamorous and non-resume-worthy way (like the high school grad currently volunteering to do some babysitting for me).

When the job market improves you’ll be ready for it. Heck, you’ll be better for it. And the people you invested your time and effort in will be eager to see you succeed.

Nothing is a Secret

There are no secrets in the Internet age. Everything you’ve ever done can come to the glaring light of day.

That can either be a blessing or a curse.

Marketing guru Seth Godin describes a friend who googled the applicants for a housekeeping job, and those Google results made nixing applicants easy. Pictures of binge-drinking, your police shoplifting record or a blog post about how you’ll quit this menial job as soon as you can aren’t encouraging to potential employers.

Of course not showing up in Google at all (unless you’re cursed with a common name) can be just as worrisome.

And if you’re an employer, imagine the potential harm in not Googling. That quick search could reveal that your perspective rock star employee was fired from their last job for indescretions, a detail they carefully evaded in the interview. Oops.

Godin sums up the solution:

“Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you’re on Candid Camera, because you are.”

Networking Works: Sitting Around in PJs & Applying Online Doesn’t

CNN has a great story of a guy who found a job through his church. Michel Butler was an unemployed husband and father of 3. His industry tanked and he had to find a new job. He joined a career workshop at a local church, brushed up on his skills and then plugged back into his network of college friends and former employers. He eventually ended up with two job offers and took a six-figure marketing position.

It rarely works that well for everybody, but networking is how you find a job. The money quote is in bold below:

[Butler] was also smart to dig into his networks, said Ford Myers author of the upcoming book, Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.

“The wrong thing to do is sit at home in your pajamas and apply to jobs online,” he said, “it’s isolating and depressing.”

Reconnecting with college friends, former coworkers and even other unemployed workers in the community can pay off big time. “That’s called networking and that’s the single most important activity anyone can do when they are in transition,” Myers said.

For Butler, those connections led to not one, but two job offers.

I love hearing these kinds of stories. The job market sucks right now, and it’s hard, but this is how you find a job. And this is exactly the kind of thing the church needs to be doing right now.

You Can Change the World: Help People Find a Job

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The economy’s in the crapper. The list of people I know who are unemployed (or under-employed, like me) continues to grow. But what can we do about it? Help each other out, for starters. At the Minneapolis-St. Paul Social Media Breakfast event on Friday, local recruiter Paul DeBettignies said it best: “For the love of God help somebody else.”

So let’s try doing that. I’ve come across a number of resources to help job seekers lately, so let’s share.

The Online Job Hunt
First up, is the presentation Paul DeBettignies gave at the Social Media Breakfast. You can actually check out three of his recent presentations on using social media in the job search, getting the most out of Linked In and what to do after you have a “killer” resume. I’ve only seen the social media presentation, but I gleaned some good stuff:

  • “It’s not the size of your network that matters, but how you use it.”
  • Using Google to find people on Linked In you can’t find with Linked In’s search.
  • What to do once you get a job (thank people, tell people, ask if your company has other job openings, keep up with your network, look for your next job).
  • Ask why you didn’t get the job. Nine times out of ten they won’t tell you, but when they do it can be huge.

You miss out on a lot by not seeing the presentation live, but hopefully you can find a few nuggets.

Continue reading You Can Change the World: Help People Find a Job