One of the things that I’ve read in a few different places, as well as was told to me by my college advisor and career services advisor, is that the key to finding a job is through your network. How do you build your network? Well, I’m not really sure because I clearly haven’t done a very good job, because I still don’t have a job.
I made a LinkedIn profile, which I hate. I forget to check it or update it. I just don’t really see the point of it. LinkedIn profiles have no personality, except for the little tiny picture that you can upload. I don’t have any really real experience in the field of communications except for an Internship and projects from the classroom, which were with real clients. My other experience includes things like: catering staff, cashier, sales associate. I guess those positions have allowed me to learn about leadership, responsibility, etc. but they clearly aren’t geared toward helping me in my chosen career track. And, when LinkedIn suggests jobs for me they are “cook” or something like that, because that’s what matches the experience I have, but those were part-time jobs. I didn’t go to college for four years to be a cashier (or did I?…). The connections I have on there are with mostly college classmates, again probably not going to be able to help me get anywhere. I guess they could, but most are also struggling to get entry level jobs, or have just started a career themselves. Am I supposed to just randomly add people from companies that I am interested in? Seems sketchy.
The other way I was told to build my network was through Facebook and Twitter. I personally think that the whole Facebook and Twitter things are, like, out of control. It started with the notion of connecting with other people at your college, to find others who had shared interests. Now, everyone and their mother has one. My newsfeed is constantly filled with things like: ate a banana, went to the bathroom, walking my dog now, going to see Suzy Q after, then I’ll be back to check my notifications. Or things like “loooooveeee my boyfriend,” really? I think I got it when I saw you tagged yourself in 25 pictures of the two of you making out. Okay, so maybe not that bad, actually sometimes it is, either way, a lot of Facebooker’s are out of control.
Totally just went on a rant, because that was not even my point. My point was that I hardly go on Facebook anymore because of things like what I just said, and because I’m out of college now. I used Facebook as a way to keep in touch with my high school friends after we all went away to different colleges and to add new people who I met at college. Facebook was a way to make plans with people if you didn’t have their phone number, or couldn’t remember their name, or creep on your rando roommate to make sure they weren’t psycho. But, I was told my advisors that I should use my Facebook to network in order to find a job. Okay, I’d heard about people NOT getting jobs because of their Facebooks, and then I was being told to use it. So complicated, like the rest of the job hunt. I made sure my page was PG, employer friendly, but almost all of the privacy settings were on so I’m pretty sure you couldn’t find my FB unless you tried really, really hard. Once you managed to find it, everything was private anyway. Again though, I go through my FB friends pretty often, and delete people who I don’t talk to, don’t know, or who annoy me on the newsfeed (some people are just too much). So, I don’t see how Facebook could help me find a job or build my network either.
As far as Twitter goes, I had one and deleted it, then opened it back up again. I follow a few things, but rarely go on it. I don’t know.
This all sounds so awful because I have a Communication degree, I’m supposed to love this stuff, right? I’m supposed to love social media. And actually I do, I definitely do. I love talking and meeting new people and learning new things and all of that good stuff. I just am not entirely sure about the whole social media thing to build your network. Butttttt, I found this article, it’s all about a girl who used social media to build her network and get a job!!! Basically she had to harass people. Okay, not really, but she did initiate conversations with employers from various companies via LinkedIn and Twitter, and she started going to industry events to network in person. While she says it was intimidating, it has definitely paid off. So clearly, the key to finding a job is through networking. Mailing out a resume, no matter how personalized it may be, or how much experience you have, or any of that stuff, apparently doesn’t always matter these days if you don’t know someone who’s related to someone who knows someone that met someone this one time in the street who knew someone else who was married to someone who was the sister-in-law of someone who actually works in the HR department of that company that you thought would be really, really awesome to work for. Gah.