Gini Dietrich

How Social Media Affects Your Job Search

By: Gini Dietrich | December 6, 2012 | 

My entire team is in Chicago right now for our 2013 planning meeting and holiday dinner.

In preparation for the week, travel plans were made, client work was doubled to make up for two days away, guest blog posts were scheduled, and anticipation filled the air.

In fact, I think most of Facebook is jealous they’re all here because of the anticipation they’ve built online about their visit.

To say it’s been fun is putting it mildly. We’re like a bunch of old friends getting together after not seeing one another for years. And the really interesting part? Some of them have never met in person.

Having a virtual company will do that. We added three new staff members in third quarter this year and this is the first time they’ll have a chance to meet live. Sure, we see one another’s faces through Skype a few times a week, but it just isn’t the same.

How Hiring Has Changed

Heidi Massey said to me yesterday, “Isn’t it interesting you’ve hired all these people you first met online?”

It’s true. I met all of our new team on Twitter, Facebook, or in the Spin Sucks comments.

In fact, I have a list of people I need to meet in person soon because they’re who we think we’d like to hire in 2013.

That’s how hiring has changed for us. We get to know people online first and then, if we think they might be a good fit, we do the in person thing. Then they get to go through the formal interview process and take a writing test. By the time they’re hired, we already know where they’ll fit, how they’ll fit, where their strengths lie, and how others on the team will fill in for their weaknesses.

Job Search through Social Media

People ask me all the time to comment on how graduating students should look for a job and my answer is always: Connect online with the people who work at the companies where you think you’d like to end up.

If you are going into journalism, communications, advertising, marketing, or any other related field, this is not a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity. In fact, if we receive your resume and we don’t already know you online, we’re going to pass on you, no matter how qualified you think you might be at doing the job.

We want to know that you already know how to build relationships using technology. We want to see you writing consistently on your own blog or for others. Double gold star if you write a compelling guest post for us.

And the same goes for those of you with experience. We just won’t give you a second look when your competition is keeping themselves top-of-mind every day by connecting with us online and commenting on blog posts here.

Social Media + Working Virtually

Add on the layer that you have to be extremely motivated to be productive working at home, that you’re a self-starter, and don’t need a lot of direction (I am not a micromanager) and you’re soon competing with about one percent of the communications population who would be a good fit here.

I know I’m not alone in this. Many organizations, particularly in our field, hire the same way. If you have the perfect company in mind for your future career and they are active online, you’d better quickly figure out how to worm yourself into their hearts and minds in new and different ways.

Otherwise, make way for someone who will.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • HeidiMassey

    When can I start? I’ll take the writing contest and do real good! 😉

    • HeidiMassey

      Oops! I already messed up…writing test!

      • HowieG

        @HeidiMassey your the one who always has grammar issues! Don’t worry their worse things to struggle with.

        • @HowieG  That hurt my head to read.

        • HeidiMassey

          @ginidietrich  @HowieG I love that he even ended with a preposition. Golden.

    • @HeidiMassey Oh dear. LOL!

  • HowieG

    This is a great post. But I had no idea your meetings and party yacht event was going on.
    I know the genesis of this post
    is probably a young man in a big city feeling pressure to attend the industry party circuit. Anyone who subscribes to the Media Post email that covers the New York Ad Industry Social Calendar could tell pretty much 2-3 nights a week you can find free food and booze somewhere and rub industry shoulders.
    But whether online networking like the author I am sure does, or in person, people forget how important these relationships can become in their lives. I myself have found quality people I would gladly refer or contract business with for pretty much every area of marketing/PR/Web a client can need or ask for if I can’t offer it. Need someone to create a commercial that sells? Got it. A top notch Video person? Git it. A media planner that won’t fleece you? Got it. A PR firm or Pro? Got it. High End Web Work? Got it. A Transmedia Campaign? Got it. Brand fiction? Got it. Mobile Apps? Got it.
    And maybe one day I might actually work with these people. How do you think I met my corp raiding partner @allenmireles  ? Or my future Hell’s Angels partner @belllindsay ? Or @ginidietrich  my future Party Yacht Captain? Or @dannybrown to take the role of Gopher on said Party Yacht?

    • belllindsay

      @HowieG  @allenmireles  @ginidietrich You, me and the Big Red Machine all the way Howie! 🙂

      • belllindsay

        @HowieG  @allenmireles  @ginidietrich And I’m not talking about the Cincinnati Reds, either. #IKnowPeople

        • @belllindsay  @HowieG  @allenmireles  @ginidietrich I’m here for the booze and brownies.

        • HeidiMassey

          @jasonkonopinski  @belllindsay  @HowieG  @allenmireles  @ginidietrich I prefer choc chip cookie skillets with ice cream. But then I feel like a total blob afterwards when I bike.

        • @HeidiMassey  At least you biked off the calories!

        • HeidiMassey

          @ginidietrich MAYBE the bites of the cookie. NOT the rest. For sure not the rest. I’d have to ride to the south side. Like 195th.

        • @HeidiMassey LOL! It’s better than what the rest of us did!

    • @HowieG  We’d better be your go-to PR firm.

      • @ginidietrich     Wouldn’t you feel intimidated by working for such a creative writer?  I would…   🙂 @HowieG

        • @barrettrossie  @HowieG He learns everything he knows from me.

  • belllindsay

    Brilliant brilliant post. Relationship building is SO important. I joked last night that I stalked you on social media a few years ago (before we met) – but being active and involved in a space or community you enjoy – getting to know the members and key players – is such a key component to relationship building online. And look where it’s landed me! Wheeeee!! 😀

    • @belllindsay AND I’d say we have an awesome relationship because of it. Plus it’s so much easier to make fun of you with social media around.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich You’re really good at making fun of me. Actually. *I’m* really good at making fun of me.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Deep down she’s just a meanie in sheep’s clothing.

        • belllindsay

          @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich Who? Me or Gini? LOL

        • @belllindsay I AM really good at making fun of you. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

        • @Sean McGinnis See, @bellindsay talks a big game but she’s really a Sally.  @ginidietrich , on the other hand….

      • JuliaGray1

        @ginidietrich  @belllindsay y’all sound like a HOOT! you hiring?

        • HeidiMassey

          @JuliaGray1  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay I got first dibs, Julia! See my earlier post. I write good!

        • @JuliaGray1  @belllindsay We’re not hiring right now. Probably Q2, if everything goes according to plan.

  • I’ve ticking things off that little list in my head. So call me maybe? 😉
    When I was interviewing with Vocus, they asked about specific posts that I had written and had them in hand as starting points for the interview instead of the usual fare for interviews & screenings.
    They knew me as well as I knew them even before sitting in the same room together.

    • belllindsay

      @jasonkonopinski Same when I interviewed with Jugnoo – I ‘knew’ @dannybrown peripherally through social, though not personally – *but* we had many of the same friends – he reached out when they were looking for someone and I was reco’ed. And I had to submit loads of writing samples/blog posts.

    • @jasonkonopinski Let’s be honest: The only reason you got that job is because you’ve guest blogged here. RIGHT?!?

      • @ginidietrich Pffft. @belllindsay and I are responsible for the traffic increase here over the past two months. 🙂

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich BOOM!! Konopinski wins the Internet!

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Day’s over.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @belllindsay If you say so.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski I’m fired again, aren’t I?

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Probably.

        • HeidiMassey

          @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay I’ve never been asked to guest blog. *sigh* And like I said before. I WRITE GOOD!

        • coffeewithjulie

          @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski Ha!

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @jasonkonopinski  @ginidietrich but traffic felt by 15%

      • @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski You know what happened after I guest blogged here? Oprah’s people called and canceled. I hate when that happens.

        • belllindsay

          @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski My son calls me the Oprah of Social Media – BAHAHA! You be sure and let Tom know that you know me, ok?

    • @jasonkonopinski Jason, that’s a wonderful story. Maybe it won’t be so uncommon in the near future.

    • HowieG

      @jasonkonopinski I complain to @ginidietrich all the time people don’t use the Google before interviews. Vocus is smart.

  • JuliaGray1

    I’ve had mixed success with finding work via social media. I’ve gotten great job leads and have met some great people and I’ve even had a handful of interviews thanks to social media. Sadly, none of them have turned into anything worthy because my BS Klout score wasn’t high enough.

    • @JuliaGray1 The Klout thing makes me nuts. It’s total BS. Organizations that hire based on your score are focused on the wrong things. It makes me sad to hear that’s been your experience.

      • @ginidietrich  @JuliaGray1 I LOVE this quote!

      • JuliaGray1

        @ginidietrich yeah, it’s frustrating. I also think it has to do with ageism.

      • magriebler

        @ginidietrich  @JuliaGray1 And you wouldn’t want to work with people like that anyway. You deserve better.

        • JuliaGray1

          @magriebler  @ginidietrich Yes, THIS is what we all know, sadly. Thanks.

        • magriebler

          @JuliaGray1  @ginidietrich Keep the faith, sister. I’m rooting for you.

      • _AmyFowler_

        @ginidietrich  @JuliaGray1 Do people seriously hire (or not hire) based upon Klout scores?!
        Seriously, if that’s the case, then the people hiring know so little about this industry that they shouldn’t be doing the hiring in the first place. 
        And @JuliaGray1 , if these companies that interviewed you are shallow and uniformed enough to disregard you simply because of a (poor) algorithm, then you’re better off without them.

        • JuliaGray1

          @_AmyFowler_  @ginidietrich This particular one did and you know what? I don’t think the publication is still in business. No offense, but using someone as the main hiring minion. who lives and breathes social media and uses SM as the only way to judge a candidate, ain’t gonna last very long.

        • @_AmyFowler_  @JuliaGray1 Yeah, they seriously do. I’ve seen job descriptions that call for a certain Klout score or higher. It’s really, really sad.

        • JuliaGray1

          @ginidietrich  @_AmyFowler_ don’t get me wrong, i dig SM, but it’s yet another TOOL, not the end-all be-all.
          If a person like me (a journalist) can’t write a who, what, where, why and so what story, then no amount of tweeting, facebooking, redditing, etc is going to save it and make it allll better. You gotta have the goods (which I do) to back it up.

        • @ginidietrich  @_AmyFowler_  @JuliaGray1 When I ever I see a job description that asks for a Klout score, I immediately think the organization has a false conception of social media.

        • JuliaGray1

          @stevenmcoyle  @ginidietrich  @_AmyFowler_ I’ve stopped applying for jobs that require a Klout score first, above the ability to, you know, communicate.

        • _AmyFowler_

          @ginidietrich  @JuliaGray1 Incredibly sad. I’ll remember that when, if I’m ever job hunting in future, I’ll know that if I see an ad asking for a certain Klout score, they won’t have the chance to reject me because I don’t want to work for *them*. 
          Though the original point of your post works two ways. If I was job hunting, I know of a few people/companies I’d be interested in working for based on what I’ve learnt of them thanks to SM. 
          And, I’m betting that none of them would ever let a Klout score hold any real weight in their hiring decisions.

        • JuliaGray1

          @_AmyFowler_  @ginidietrich Who knows. I’m so jaded now. Two years of unemployment will do that to a gal. On that note, ladies & germs, It’s been fun but I have to keep my couch down now. Peace, love and Don Ho!

  • JuliaGray1

    Awesome post, by the way! I look forward to my daily Spin Sucks!

  • Suze Carragher

    Great post, Gini. You keep me encouraged.

  • Hi Gini,
    You’ve just pointed out a huge benefit for companies to develop a highly engaged community around a purpose driven blog… : )
    In business, that’s a huge competitive advantage!
    Kudos, miss!

    • @Mark_Harai Not only is it one of our top drivers of new clients, it also helps us recruit. In a big way.

      • @ginidietrich Business has always been about people, personalities and relationships…even before social.
        Social media done right is the ability for businesses to inject relationship building activities with steroids – – impacting both consumers that generate revenue and talent that drives it (as you’ve pointed out).
        Companies who are not putting forth their best foot forward to learn this stuff either have their priorities in the wrong place, or they’re just completely missing the competitive advantage others will use to put them out of business.
        P.S. I can’t stop thinking about your dang Thanksgiving dinner. Please don’t share next year!

        • HowieG

          @Mark_Harai  @ginidietrich not just business. All sales. When all is equal we buy and do business with people we like. Whether online or off. And today it is hard to separate based on price, service etc but friendliness, personality can do that.

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich Are you jackin people on price Howie, haha!

        • @Mark_Harai I had a dream that I made that turkey for Christmas and no one was happy because they don’t like bacon. What? Who doesn’t like bacon?

        • @ginidietrich Beats the heck out of me; but I will eat all of the left-over bacon 😛

  • I would not be at my current job if I didn’t use social media (along with boots on the ground real world networking) to connect with the people I wanted to work with. It’s just that simple.
    On the other hand, now everyone is just going to start commenting here to get a job at Arment Dietrich.

    • @JayDolan I’m totally cool with that because it’s pretty easy to spot the fakers. BTW. I did a webinar for Vocus yesterday and used one of the images you drew for me. I gave you credit and people loved it!

      • @ginidietrich Got to fake it until you make it. Or until you’re just really, really fake.

        • HowieG

          @JayDolan  @ginidietrich well A-D has unlimited vacation time! She used one of your drawings Jay but also 24 Ziggy cartoons..

    • magriebler

      @JayDolan Social media is just another way to meet really nice people. Bottom line, it’s always about relationships.

  • I am sure I am not the only one who is incredibly jealous! I think it is quite fascinating that you have the opportunity to connect and engage with your potential additions before hiring. I am sure that you can even watch how they interact with the other members of your team. I believe the return for you would be that you would have fewer “bad hires”, let alone having to sift through a stack of applicants. 
    I demand that all of you give JB smooches on my behalf!

    • @RebeccaTodd He’s snoring loudly next to me right now so I’ll kiss him on the nose for you.
      And yes, fewer bad hires, seeing how they interact with one another online, determining their personalities…it’s all part of it.

  • This is great. I wish more organizations took this approach with hiring. I was offered my current position based on an “audition period.” While it didn’t have anything to do with social, building that trust and relationship was vital to me moving from unemployed to Marketing Manager. 
    P.S. Gini, I just knew you were going to discuss the Instagram and Twitter divorce today.

    • JuliaGray1

      @stevenmcoyle what’s up with the audition crap? I’ve gone through that several times–but mostly with publications in Chicago. Other cities aren’t as uppity and persnickety as this city is. Very frustrating.

      • @JuliaGray1 At first I was put off by it, but it turned out to really work in my favor. I did not have an interview. I had a phone screen on a Thursday and I started the following Wednesday. Brought on to work a project that was projected to last two weeks. I finished it within four days, and was giving more projects. Eventually I was so integrated into the company and the client process it didn’t even feel like an audition. Now I have a bigger position than I was originally “auditioning” for.

        • JuliaGray1

          @stevenmcoyle that’s good! Congrats!

    • @stevenmcoyle I guess I’m not surprised by the Instragram/Twitter divorce. Twitter is tightening down their API and Facebook owns Instagram. I don’t know why they can’t all just play nice in the sandbox.

  • It is another reminder that  people follow the cyber trail of crumbs we leave around the net. It cuts both ways. You can show off your skills and impress people but you can always make the wrong sort of impression too.

    • magriebler

      @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes We are what we tweet … or whatever. In this very transparent world, every word can matter.

      • @magriebler I don’t disagree at all. It is challenging sometimes because one tweet can give someone their only impression of who you are.

        • magriebler

          @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes And that’s why it matters, right? It’s always best to proceed with caution.

    • @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Is that why you won’t admit you’re Dear Abby?

  • natem1

    Good old fashioned first impressions in person work wonders too.  “Worming” your way into someones heart and mind sounds a little disingenuous and sounds like a company’s employees should prepare themselves for spam.  But, I agree with the overall strategy –  having online relationships can really benefit PR work, for example.

    • @natem1 The interesting thing is that hasn’t happened to us. I’ve been VERY vocal about how to get our attention and it’s pretty easy to spot those who are being disingenuous about it. Actually, very easy to spot. It’s a great way to weed out those who aren’t a good fit almost immediately.

  • I’ve always wanted to work in PR; I’m so excited.  When do we have our face-to-face meeting?
    Great article, Gini. I always knew you were smart and bi-annually funny – but the strategy here really proves it.  I love this and it’s how I would roll as a business owner.

    • @TonyBennett I need to be funny more than once in July and once in December. I’m still cracking myself up about the “you can’t peas everyone” comment.

  • Gini, this post brightened up my morning. And here is why…
    I was talking to a buddy over the weekend who is a Com/PR major and is getting ready to graduate next semester. He asked me, what do you suggest I do to get my name out there for jobs. I mentioned to him that he has to establish a personal brand online.
    Not just LinkedIn, which is important, but too many people put their eggs just in that basket. I told him to fire up a WordPress blog, start writing, and start connecting with industry folks on Twitter.
    So, I’m loving the timing of this post and what it stands for. And when he asks me again about this stuff — I can show him Spin Sucks! Boom.

    • @Matt_Cerms See…I knew you were smart. You just proved it.

  • clarade

    What a great post. I believe that following companies and potential employees is soon going to be pre-requisite for everyone. Following the company will help identify its strengths (and weaknesses) and following a future employee can do the same. Great post!

    • @clarade Exactly! Why wouldn’t you want to have a better and deeper understanding of the companies you’re interviewing with so you know whether or not they’re a good fit for you? It seems like a no-brainer to me.

  • Spot on! Happy holidays to all of you! xo

    • @roastedkeyboard Happy holidays to you, goofball!

  • coffeewithjulie

    Well, now that you are hiring Canadians, I will begin “Operation Worming.” 😉

  • WAIT! Is @belllindsay here in Chicago?!?! I wish I wouldve known.  I wouldve come down to meet here!

    • belllindsay

      @sydcon_mktg Gini has me shackled, won’t let me see *anyone*!! LOL

      • @belllindsay What? Has  @ginidietrich turned into Scrooge or the Grinch?? She cant be that selfish! Sigh…guess the kiddo better win the hockey tourney that takes us to Canada then!

        • belllindsay

          @sydcon_mktg  @ginidietrich LOL LOL LOL!! In her defence, it’s a pretty whirlwind trip – in and out – and we’re getting tons accomplished! But yes, come to Canada!!!

        • @belllindsay  @sydcon_mktg Because this is the first time everyone is meeting in person, I didn’t even include spouses for the holiday dinner. Next time we’ll do a TweetUp or something so you all can see one another.

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay I understand, just jealous! 🙂

  • Great post. Anyone looking for a job should read Nick Corcodilos’ Ask The Headhunter column —>—set-10-1.html
    He addresses a lot of what you’re talking about around finding and interacting with companies you want to be a part of.
    I have a question as well, would be curious to hear from anyone: I got a job the old fashioned way, entry level customer service and worked my way up. Because I’m in a fairly back end position (Operations, project management) my online and work lives don’t meet very often. My presence on social media (mostly Twitter & blogging) skews towards the personal. I’m a decent writer and try to be thoughtful, so while some of it is not stuff I would talk about at work I don’t think (or at least hope) it wouldn’t be a negative to any potential future employers.
    So here’s the question part – Should I have a separate “social media self” for my professional interests? I’ve thought of having another blog, that makes sense to me, but does it make sense to have another Twitter handle? Should I connect the two?

    • @joecardillo I’ve never believed you should have two separate accounts. You don’t have two separate personalities and I think it’s too hard to keep it all straight. If, for instance, we had you in the interview process, we’d take a look at the things you’re doing online, even if they had nothing to do with your professional interests. It just gives people good insight into how you carry yourself online, which is very, very important in an organization like ours.

      • @ginidietrich Thanks, that’s good to know

    • giesencreative

      @joecardillo I thought it was interesting that someone brought up the “who you know, not what you know” cliche in the comments. Nick responded with:
      “You can’t get a job based on what you know unless you know (or can meet) someone who needs what you know.”
      And I think that ties into the conversation we’re having. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows what you know, and building a reputation online (and interacting with people at the companies you’re interested in) gives you a way to prove your skill-set.

      • @giesencreative That’s been my experience also. I think a reality of the web when it comes to job searches is that there are a lot more people easily accessible that have the job experience employers want. But are they interacting/engaging in smart, realistic and efficient ways? Often they are not, IMHO

  • I spoke to a class of Seniors yesterday, and the final question was: how will Social Media effect us upon graduation… I told them that if they used it properly it will help them find a job 🙂  Great minds.

  • I couldn’t agree more. I’d also like to say that building relationships online with people you’ve never met offline could later lead to a job opportunity at a company you never thought about, hence my current employment situation.
    The relationships I made with debce & jackmonson lead to my current job at Engage121. I have many friends still today that think the dream job just lands in your lap, take my word for it, it DOESN’T. I worked HARD before coming to Engage121, building relationships, networking, guest blogging, and not sticking to 9-5. 
    If you want something you can have it, you just gotta work for it. : )

    • @jennimacdonald  It’s like anything else, right? You don’t have overnight success – you work for it. You don’t make money overnight – you work for it. You don’t write a book overnight – you work for it. There is no such thing as something just landing in your lap.

      • @ginidietrich  @jennimacdonald +1 to one of my favorite phrases —> “It’s like anything else”

  • Gee, whatever happened to the days when someone would “give” you a job?  Work is so much… work! 
    Back in the day, people thought the idea behind technology was to make things easier. It really hasn’t worked out that way. It’s raised the bar, which is difficult, but a good thing in the long run. It has also widened the playing field. I’m amazed at the talented people I discover online every day, who are making opportunities for themselves every day. And I’m kinda baffled that some of the traditional organizations out there, who need good people, aren’t snapping them up.

    • @barrettrossie We never would have been able to go virtual without technology and I certainly never would have met Lindsay or Allen or Joe or Nick or anyone else who works with us and not in Chicago. It’s very expensive to hire someone and move them to a new city. But, with technology, we can work with the very best and compete with the companies who have budgets to move people.

  • So, basically we’re internet dating?
    Seriously though, I love scoping out potential opportunities via the WWW. Personalities shine (or thud) through online interaction and, in my opinion, they can be very telling as to what people are like in-person. I’ve been absolutely delighted by the friends I’ve made here at Spin Sucks and my brain is brimming with new ideas due to content and resources connected to this blog. 
    Just like in-person interviews, you can learn a boat-load about people and their character online.

    • @kateupdates The interesting thing about you and me is we met in person first. But I have a MUCH better understanding of who you are and what you do because of the web. Without social, I would send you an occasional email or card and we’d maybe see one another again. But we certainly wouldn’t “talk” every day.

      • @ginidietrich Aw now I’m feeling all mushy. XOXOX

  • patmrhoads

    This is a great post, and near to my heart. I really came into my own in social media when I was laid off a couple of years ago, and in fact found my current job via a combination of in-person networking and Twitter. I tell people that Twitter changed my life, and finding this job was only one of those ways. It’s the broader relationships I’ve built.Now I use those experiences to offer free social media tutoring to people from my church or other social circles who lose their jobs. As several people have pointed out here – it’s about relationships. And I’d add the word genuine (@ginidietrich was right – you can spot the fakers): genuine relationships.I will certainly be sharing this post with some folks who could really use the help right now!

    • @patmrhoads  People have to be willing to do the work, though, because you can easily spot the fakers. It’s pretty amazing how well it works, when you do it right.

  • Is leaving a snarky comment once a week enough? 🙂
    Amazing how the world has changed. What I think is really interesting about your approach is that you don’t have to filter applicants, they filter themselves for you over time. Very efficient — and effective.

    • @Adam | Customer Experience For you, leaving a snark comment once a week is definitely enough!

  • giesencreative

    I find it really interesting that connecting online is non-optional for you and a lot of other companies when you’re hiring. I got into my job in communications by helping out on a project basis and got hired on full-time later on, but I’ve been actively trying to connect with the communications scene in my city through my professional organization and through Twitter. While I aim to go into freelance work, it’s great to hear that I’m on the right track!
    @smstucky, I think you should check this out.

    • @giesencreative You are definitely on the right track and I’ve been loving seeing you here lately. What you’re doing is not only actively connecting with the scene in your city, but with the scene online. And people are interested to know who you are so we check you out. BTW, nice blog post on mobile marketing.

      • giesencreative

        @ginidietrich I’m glad you liked it! Blogging is an attempt on my part to do… exactly what we’re talking about, I suppose. The local scene seemed like a great way to establish the scope of my blogging project, and I guess it’s helped me to engage with the larger scene online as well!

  • JackVincent

    Great post, Gini. And this also fits not just to job applicants but to freelancers and independent consultants.

    • @JackVincent Yes, it does. Very good point, Jack!

  • Yes, yes, yes! I wrote a guest post for you guys last year about this very topic. Every time a student or person in the industry is looking for a job, I always point to that post because it outlines the very things you mentioned. You have to be a good writer first, but you also MUST be active and connected online. If you’re not, you’re just not going to cut it today.
    The challenge I’m finding is that it is VERY difficult to find these folks. Someone who writes well, understands strategic communication/marketing AND knows how to connect online is worth their weight in gold! I know I’m still looking for that!

    • @lauraclick I have a whole list of people, if you’d like me to share!

  • Still thinking about this. Can I flip the question and ask how community interaction influence the roles that you choose to create? Are you now more likely to shape a role around a person’s unique skill set?

    • @RebeccaTodd Hmmm…we’re probably too small for that yet, but I can see us doing something like that in the future, for sure.

  • Having worked remotely for over 15 years — back when it was called telecommuting and only about 0.5% (made up statistic) were doing it, I can relate!  It definitely takes a strong-willed and self-motivated person. I’ve often been accused of being harder on myself than anyone else is, which in this scenario is a good thing. 🙂

    • @tressalynne I think it also helps if you have a separate work space. It’s like you’re going into your office to work, just like you would if you had a place to go every day.

      • @ginidietrich Absolutely, without a doubt! My office is separated from the my living space. I mean, it’s in my house obviously, but a room that is not used for other purposes. When I’m in here, I’m working. I tell people I do what they do, I just have a shorter commute ;).

  • Hi, Gini. I’ve read your posts before, but I’m a first-time commenter today! Just had to tell you how much I love this post and how true it is. I started as a high school English teacher and now I’m working [virtually] as a freelance writer, as well as the managing editor for Business2Community. My entire livelihood is based off of contacts and connections that I made online. People think you just have to be lucky. I say you just have to be motivated. 🙂
    I need to share this post with all of my friends who don’t think social plays an important role in a job search!

    • @writingrenee I LOVE this story. I also love that you were an English teacher. I have an English degree and learned a ton from my high school teacher. Love that you’ve been able to translate that experience to Business2Community. Awesome story!

  • Robert Connor


  • Great advice, Gini.  I think the social media connection strategy you recommend is incredibly important, especially since candidates may get “screened out” of the online employment application systems most companies now use.  What a great boost if the hiring manager sees your name and thinks, “hey, I know this person.” This is a great way to validate all the experience candidates highlight in their resume.

    • @jolynndeal It’s like anything else, right? If you know the person, you have a better chance at getting the meeting.

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