I am a member of a job-seeker networking group in Fort Collins, CO called NoCoNet. Within it, a few of us have started Beginning Professionals, a sub-group for entry-level professionals. It’s geared specifically towards students, recent grads and career changers with less than 5 years of experience in their chosen field. People who are dealing with the Entry Level Dilemma. If you are local, I’d recommend showing up. For now, we are meeting directly after the NoCoNet business meetings on Monday mornings at the Faith Evangelical Free Church (E-Free Church).
Two weeks ago, we had a great speaker. After getting laid off at his programming job, Nick Armstrong decided to strike out on his own and start a marketing company called WTF!? Marketing. As he puts it, if you don’t get the name, you aren’t the target client. Anyway, aside from that, he does a lot of interesting things like Ignite Fort Collins, which is a speed-presentation event, and Psychotic Resumes, which is billed as a Gen-Y job survival guide. Nick shared with us some of the things he has learned along the way, and now, I will share them here.
He stressed, repeatedly, the need to utilize several different forms of media, including blogs, and YouTube. He said that everybody should have at least a blog. Your blog should be about your interest in your field, your experience in it, and such. Emphasize that you are a burgeoning expert. Talk about what frustrates you about it, your likes, how you got interested, etc. Publicly
thank companies with which you have interviewed. And seek out and network with people in your field. Once your blog is established, invite those people to guest blog on your blog.
Use twitter. Nick mentioned that Facebook is where who stay in touch with people who know from the past, e.g. middle school. But twitter is where you get in touch with people you want to know in the future. Follow them on twitter, tweet back to them, and get them to contact you.
12seconds.tv is another service to use. Consider giving a presentation at an Ignite event, such as Ignite Fort Collins. At Ignite, you have 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Join a meetup group. Sometimes as a technology-enabled generation we automatically think of networking on the computer – Facebook, MySpace, twitter, Yahoo, etc. But we forget to do the face-to-face networking. Do it.
When asked about his opinion on video resumes, Nick called them “awesome.” Especially when they are short and to the point,
Nick said to forget internships, get apprenticeships. Shadow someone who works in your field. It’s experience, networking, and easier to get started. And to remember to be picky when job searching. If you simply apply for every job out there, you will burn yourself out.