Be Informed: The Unemployment Rate

You can tweet, Facebook, pin, and link in as much as possible to network to reach the top of your career goals. Social media is a great tool to use to get ahead. Even with these tools, however, the odds may not be in our favor. Since the economic crisis in 2007 the unemployment rate has been a big issue in the government and society. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate in the USA is down to about 7.3 percent. Fortunately, the rate is decreasing more and more over time but there is still a lot of room for improvement in our job market. Our country’s economic situation can be followed closely on many helpful sites like Economy In Crisis and The Economist. For those of us that have trouble speaking the language of economy, John Cassidy breaks down the unemployment rate in his blog for The New Yorker.

It’s important to realize, though, that the national unemployment rate may not be very representative of our own respective cities. When job searching we must know where we are looking and it’s also beneficial to know about the economic status of where we are looking. The unemployment rate of the city we’re interested in working in is something to take into consideration. Forbes offers information on the cities with the lowest and highest unemployment rates.

To see the lowest of the low, this map illustrates 10 cities with the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

It’s important to get on the internet and use social media for networking and job searching. It’s also incredibly important to get on the internet and do some research. Many have far fetched dreams of working in the “big city”, but it’s possible that there might not be many opportunities in the “big city”. We should all do ourselves a favor and inform ourselves about the issues that can affect our careers. The economy and unemployment rate play a big role in this. Next time you see a headline on Twitter with some gibberish about the economy don’t continue scrolling, go ahead and take a look.

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Pin Up Your Resume

Pinterest is usually thought of as an obsessive addiction for young and older women. I admit that I too sometimes find myself scrolling through pins of recipes and DIY decorations at 1 AM. It is incredibly easy for time to get away from you while pinning and to allow it to distract you from more important tasks. It is also possible to use Pinterest in a much more productive way. Believe it or not, Pinterest can be a great tool for networking in your career. Readwrite.com offers some seriously convincing facts about why Pinterest is the next big thing.

So, since Pinterest is such a booming business it only makes sense that many companies will soon (if they haven’t already) start pinning away. This gives us job hungry pinners ample opportunity to reach out to potential employers.

Forbes gives 5 Ways Pinterest Can Boost Your Career. Forbes suggests you use Pinterest as a research tool of different companies you may want to work for and as a tool for seeking career advice. The article also suggests that you use it to create a visual resume. By making a board for your career, achievements, and goals you can give something companies can use to get to know you and your qualifications.

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These are just a few examples of creative, virtual resumes on Pinterest.

Try The Side Door

Mashable recently posted an article from Business News Daily called Social Media’s ‘Side Door’ Grants Unprecedented Access. The article explores the use of social media in the job search world. The article makes an excellent point: when searching for a job why wait at the front door when you can sneak in the side door? The article refers to using social media as a “side door” to avoid getting lost in the stacks of resumes that sit on employers’ desks. Companies, CEO’s, and other key players in all industries are more and more in tune with their Twitter accounts. It’s possible that you have a better chance to connect with an employer through a Tweet than the old fashioned resume and interview.

Business News Daily also shows an interview with Ian Greenleigh. Greenleigh, who now works for Bazaarvoice, became some what of an expert on using the side door method and has now written a book The Social Media Side Door

Social media allows anyone to connect to one another. This opens the communication with powerful and influential people as well. For starters, LinkedIn has listed the top 30 CEOs on social media. While it may be a stretch to tweet back and forth with Richard Branson, an official of a more local company may be incredibly accesable via Twitter. Even if this strategy doesn’t result in a direct response, at the very least you may find out helpful information about your desired employer. By trying the side door you have nothing to lose and may have everything to gain, so why not try?

Mapping Out A Resume

In times of desperation people have been known to take desperate measures to get a job. In my previous post I touched on a few stories of people getting extra creative to get the attention of employers. Since then, I have come across another great story of a desperate individual using a creative approach to circulating their resume.

Ed Hamilton, a copywriter, has customized his own Google Map to reflect his resume.  The map pinpoints locations all over the world where Hamilton has attended college, where he has previously worked, and even where his home is (along with his contact information and LinkedIn account information).

This resume in form of a map is interactive, easy to navigate, and incredibly internet savvy. It displays what this man is capable of creatively before you even read his previous accomplishments. The most unnerving part of this resume is that it is incredibly easy and simple, and makes us ask ourselves “why didn’t I think of that?”.

Buzzfeed offers some other creative resume ideas to kick start your brain storming. For those of us that prefer the traditional route, Forbes offers a few simple ideas to help your resume and application stand out from the pile. There’s so many methods of using social and mass media to put ourselves out there that we haven’t even thought of yet. Coming up with the next best method may be just what gets you the job.

 

Who’s Who on Twitter: Part 2

It’s always useful to discover new treasures to follow on Twitter. Every day’s newsfeed should be full of new insight on professional issues, breaking news, and other important information. Over the past couple of months I have really made an effort to edit out all the noise and garbage on my own Twitter feed, and instead fill it with insightful micro blogs by influential people. Here are 5 more inspiring and influential tweeters that everyone should follow.

@mashable is the Twitter edition of Mashable.com and is filled with tons of resources for all things mass media.

@ethanklapper is the Twitter account of the social media editor of The Huffington Post. His tweets offer great insight on current issues in the world and information on mass media, social media, and new technology.

@marshallk is a blogger at ReadWrite.com and is also the CEO of Get Little Bird a website dedicated to using social media and technology to improve your business. His tweets include information about current issues but are mostly about new advances in technology and advice for social media.

@asymco is a Twitter account run by Horace Dediu, the founder and author of the website asymco.com. This website is a marketing intelligent site and Dediu is a professional in the mobile strategy industry and tweets about new advances in mobile technology and other mass media matters.

@jack is the Twitter account of Jack Dorsey, the Chairman and co-founder of Twitter. His twitter feed can deliver anything from inspirational stories to insight on current world issues. As a co-founder of Twitter he must know a thing or two about social media.

This week’s five tweeters have really spruced up my twitter feed and having given me great stories, quotes, and thoughts to read. The best part is re-tweets from these accounts point me in the direction of other great people to follow. Why use social media if you aren’t going to use it’s resources to the fullest?

Blog-A-Day Challenge

This past week I took on the daunting task of writing a blog post every single day. Many bloggers do this every week without much difficulty or hesitation, but for me, it was a struggle. As a college student my life is normally filled with anxiety and stress about my next exam or paper… or my bank account. Coming up with new topics to explore and write about was overwhelming on top of all my other obligations. Although it was challenging it was also a great way to exercise and practice my blogging skills. Brainstorming ideas and finding ways to spin less-than-great ideas into something relevant was great practice for the writer’s block I will surely encounter in the future. On my least productive days I was able to find ways to get inspired.

The first thing I did was check out other blogs with the same focus as mine. Exploring what topics were of interest to other bloggers helped me expand my own thoughts on the subject. Through reading other blogs I was also informed about issues in the job searcher’s world that I wasn’t aware of before.

The second thing I did was to go back and re-read my older blog posts. Was there any subject that I could expand on further? You never know when new events, technology, or stories have come out that have to do with a specific issue you’ve touched on previously.

The last thing was easier said than done, “think outside the box”. When I thought I was fresh out of ideas, I would somehow come across a topic I had never thought of before. When using social media to find jobs you think of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn…in reality there’s many more social media sites than those three and, yes, they can be used to find jobs too. In the end, I realized it’s important to research the less obvious topics and issues.

Blogging every day was not easy and now I have a new found appreciation for those who do it all the time. Now  I have the tools to fight writer’s block and can be more easy going about blogging just a few times a week.

How To Become a Professional Instagram-er

When using social media for job searching and networking we think of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as the head contenders but what about using Instagram in the same capacity? When pining for the attention of companies and employers in times of desperation it can be beneficial to take a more creative approach. Instagram can be used to brand and promote yourself, network, and present your cover letter or resume to the world.

More and more businesses are creating and using Instagram accounts to promote themselves and to connect with others. By creating a professional account for yourself you’re bettering your chances of getting their attention. For example, Derek Man Lui created an account titled Instacoverletter, a profile dedicated to promoting himself as a writer. Using your account to promote your experience, achievements, and goals through pictures and video is a great, personal way to connect with others in your field.

The Social Media Examinar offers 26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business. The list includes embedding Instagram pictures and video on your website or blog and using industry related hashtags on your posts. These tips are meant for a business owner but are still helpful to consider when creating an online brand for yourself as a professional.

Instagram might not only be useful for promoting yourself to potential employers, but also for finding out about job openings from them. In one case, an intern was actually hired through an Instagram post.

In any case, one thing is clear; use social media to your advantage. Almost all social media sites can be spun into a tool for finding a job. It is possible to network and promote through a Facebook status, tweet, and even an Instagram picture. As long as you use these tools carefully and appropriately they may lead you to new opportunities that you might not find elsewhere.