Cross-referencing potential employers with FaceBook list paid big dividends for journalist
By Shawn Chollette, Government & Institutional Liaison for the Neighborhoods Partnership Network
As a journalist, the Internet was perhaps one of my most useful tools. Between Google.com and InfoSpace.com, I could track down information on anyone or anything. Occasionally, I even used social networking sites to recruit sources. However, if someone told me I’d land a job through social networking I probably would have laughed, but it happened and here’s how.
Upon returning to New Orleans to do some freelance reporting and write a book, I perused the Web for people and organizations that kept up-to-date blogs and websites. I came across a project by a young social entrepreneur that seemed interesting, so I reached out to her via FaceBook, and she responded. We eventually worked on a few projects together. No, she didn’t offer me job, but what she did do was refer me to other people via the social networking site.
Most of the initial chats with my new Web buddies were issue-based discussions. However, one discussion with another young professional landed me on the board of directors for a non-profit start-up. Did the non-profit offer me a job? No! But it did link me to people that worked with various organizations.
When I found myself looking through job postings on Craigslist.org (the organic equivalent of Ebay), I noticed that one of the e-mail addresses to which I was sending my resume looked familiar. So I cross-referenced it with my FaceBook list, and what do you know, the guy I was asking for a job was listed as one of my friends. So I sent him a message reminding him who I was and that I was applying for a job at his organization. Needless to say that put me on the fast track to getting the gig.
While I don’t recommend putting all of your information on the Net in hopes of landing a job, I do encourage jobseekers to list their career preferences on FaceBook/MySpace profiles. Also, there is a new professional networking site called LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) that exists for the sole purpose of connecting professionals via the Internet.
If you think such connections are a fluke, think otherwise. As the Internet continues to become an increasing part of the way people do business, look to hear more stories like the one I just shared.
In fact, it’s time for me to wrap this up so I can reply to a job lead I just received via my MySpace page.
Next time: Do’s and Don’t of using social networking sites to land a job