Sunday, March 8, 2009

let's get our arms around it

Sure enough, the President has “People”. We know that celebrities have agents and image consultants. I’m sure a whole team manages the business of Brad Pitt, but who is looking out for us? Yes, we have headhunters and professional recruiters (more on that later), but when it comes to who is looking out for you and I to become successful - all we have is each other. These days,because of social networks, that rather small or insignificant one-to-one connection between you and I has become HUGE.

Let's set the stage with a look at an interview Monster did with the authors of The Virtual Handshake'. I think this is a great frame through which we should talk this week. There is an overall paradigm shift happening here as the article demonstrates. And I would love to know – are you feeling the effect?

When I moved from Cleveland to NYC, I wondered how the heck was I going to keep track of all the new people in my life. Sure, I had an address book and a [heavy and awkward] Rolodex, but I needed some kind of online people tracker. I was honestly at the brink of buying a personal software package to keep track of contacts when a site called LinkedIn popped up. Mission accomplished. I now had a FREE online tool at my fingers tips to track my professional connections. 

No social network exposure is complete without a profile on either MySpace or Facebook.  Any combination of profiles can result in a tsunami of friends. If you are fleeing from this tidal wave of long lost chums, I advise you abandon your futile efforts at running and get Friended. I am not trying to talk you into the latest electronic high school reunion, BUT the odds are that through all of these connections, we will find someone who can connect us to something to help us earn some kind of a paycheck.

Don’t stop reading now – you need to know a couple more things before you start logging on. Namely, that you should not confuse two of the sites I just named or their purposes. DO NOT post party pix on LinkedIn. Post your resume instead. DO NOT post your resume on Facebook. Post your upcoming weekend plans. Different sites – different objectives. Combine them and all your hard work could be for nothin’.

At this time, I would like to give a little shout out to the followers and folks who leave comments. In late February, Wei left a comment with a great URL pointing to many of the sites I was hoping we could take a look at – thanks again, Wei! Since they are all consolidated and in neat list form, might as well just check them out at Mashable: Top 10 Social Sites for Finding a Job.

Consider for a moment LinkedIn from the Mashable list. You might remember our ‘to remain nameless’ friend from a local NYC government agency. During our interview, "Jane" told me that she knew of twelve people that have gotten jobs in the last year through LinkedIn. That’s a healthy number of people placed based on random online connections. Right now, and at this moment, whom are you connected to that you don’t even know? You might be surprised. Don’t wait… get clickin’!


  1. Hey Nikki! Not to cross-promote or anything, but I just posted part one of an interview I did with Scott Allen, coauthor of "The Virtual Handshake" -- if anyone needs any added motivation to fire up LinkedIn. Scott also blogs on Here's the link to the interview:

  2. This is one of the best and most complete blogs I have come across. Are you a headhunter or a professinal job counselor? You're links alone have saved me hours of online searching. I'm goint to keep reading. I'll let you know if I get a job.

  3. Checking out sports at 110 and stumbled across this blog. Theres a lot of good stuff here. I showed it to my room mate. We're both graduating in June and the job market sucks so we're trying anything. Started reading this and learned some stuff. Are you a professional head hunter or job counselor? My room mate and I have a bet, so let us know.
    Jobless in Georgia

  4. Howdy JC & crew:
    Thanks for the additional info on the interview and Scott. More info the merrier! I really dig the ideas here. The concepts of opening people up to a greater shift that's happening online. Bring it!

    Anonymous friends - glad to have you. Wish I could say Yes to your headhunter/job councilor question - that would mean I am employed. Alas, I float with you in the sea of unemployment. And to whomever lost the, what do I do bet - bets off, no one wins. Go buy each other a drink and have another for me.

    Thanks again and keep up the blog feedback!
    :-) Nik

  5. This just in from my email interview with Jeff Comerford, a well-versed HR leader:

    Statistics show that less than 25% of available positions make it into print or online media. The majority of positions seem to be filled through networking. People would be surprised how many people can make up their network. Friends, Family members, professional colleagues (current and past). Getting a referral for a position can assist tremendously in your ability to locate opportunities and land them.

  6. CREW! LinkedIn just announced a little assistance when it comes to helping their audience find a job. The emphasis is on this years students (under and grad) but it's a great place to start talking online and building your network! Check it out:

  7. Looking for a job? Try LinkedIn or Twitter
    Aug 12, 2009 - REUTERS