Use Social Networking to Find a Job
From Programmer 97-things
If you are looking for a job in this economic climate, then I wish you the best of luck. There are hundreds of other hungry programmers all vying for the same position. A recruiter may get several thousands of résumés every day. You need a way to get your résumé looked at, not just tossed into a pile. Here are some practical things that you can do that will increase your chances of getting your résumé looked at as learned from real life experience.
- Put your résumé online. Distributing your resume via email is the accepted practice. It works (obviously) if you are emailing a recruiter, but what if you are simply posting a comment on a BBS or are Twittering? You'll need your résumé online and you'll need to be able to link to it directly. The link can be to a static PDF file or you can use one of the résumé-builder websites. I took it one step further and created a resume/portfolio site where I could highlight my talents as a "devigner". You can see my website at http://donavon.com/resume. (See, like that.)
- Be creative. Be social. I found a cool music download website that I wanted to work for (we'll call them "CompanyX"). Like everyone else, I clicked on the site's careers link and uploaded my résumé. About a week passed and I hadn't heard a thing from CompanyX. I decided to kick it up a notch, so I started using Twitter. I tweeted things like "@CompanyX Your website is good. Hire me and make it great!" included the link to my resume site. Be confident, but don't be rude or cocky.
- Dig deep. After inundating CompanyX with about a dozen various tweets over the course of a week, I still hadn't heard a thing so I decided to dig around to see if I could contact an employee directly. I went on LinkedIn and did a company search. As it turns out, I was friends with someone who knew the lead developer at CompanyX (he also knows Kevin Bacon). I emailed my friend and asked him to pass along my resume, which he did.
- Dig deeper. Still no phone call from CompanyX. I found the name of the CTO (using LinkedIn) and as luck would have it he was on Facebook. He used the same picture for both sites so I knew that I had the right guy. Facebook allows you to send someone a message, even if you are not friends, so I did, including the link to my résumé. With my résumé in front of the recruiter, the Twitter person, the lead developer, and now the CTO, I finally received an email requesting a phone interview with none other than the CTO of the company.
- Not all stories have a happy ending. On the day of the interview, the phone rang. The CTO praised me for my persistence in getting an interview but said they don't have any job openings that fit my talents. He wanted to talk to me anyway stating that he at least owed me a phone call for my efforts.
The point is that you need to go after the job you want using the various online tools available and your own creativity. I didn't get the job but, because of my persistence, I managed to get my résumé off of the recruiter's desk and onto the CTO's desk. Imagine what will happen next time when they actually have a job for me. Hey, Tim O'Reilly, you're on Twitter, right?
By Donavon West
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3