Monday, December 17, 2007

How Gen-Y Can Use Social Media to their Benefit

Tomorrow I am speaking at the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance Scholars Event. I am talking to a group of individuals interested in maximizing their social media for the job search. As I began writing the power point I just started writing and writing. This is not a 30 minute speed dating topic. I did manage to break it down and fell confident in what I will be telling this group in Tampa tomorrow.

Gen-Y is at such an advantage than any previous generation before them. We grew up on video games, computers in every home and laptops on every lap in college. We used beepers to get across messages in codes that we created and took that into Instant Messaging and now texting. We have lived with the internet our whole lives and have seen it grow from that annoying dial up sound to the iPhone.

So how does this help job seekers? It doesn’t really, if you don’t know how to properly use it. Myspace is great for friends and teens, but that HTML code in a box doesn’t fly in the corporate world. Nor does most of your profile interests or Flickr pages. What does throwing sheep have to do with being an adult (Facebook tries to tell us that its biggest group of new members are over 30)?

Job seeking today is a billion dollar business. I work right smack in the middle of it. But yet, the best jobs are not found online on the major job boards, or in papers, or on the radio. They are found through word of mouth, through connections, through networking. This is where our advantage comes into play. By being active in social networks, blogging and being active in joining online conversations we can position ourselves for the best positions and career choices available.

Being online is about creating your personal brand. My blog allows me to express myself and gain business in the process. If you can find a niche and become an industry player, your options will increase and you will become smarter in the process. It is experience that cannot be undervalued. In writing these articles, I read other blogs, newspapers, magazines, talk to industry folks and get an understanding of the topic.

Now I no longer look for clients, they find me. You can position yourself as much or little as you’d like and all the content that is created is yours. Brad yourself everywhere or just in 1 or 2 places. Find what is hot in your industry and start making connections, start researching and getting acknowledged for the work that you put in.

Job hunting is not what it used to be. By combining the efforts of job boards, social networks, blogging and other social media mediums you can begin to create the brand of you. I guarantee that even if you don’t get your dream job today, you will be well on your way to happiness and security within a niche. I know that I am still coming into my own with blogging, social media and the likes but I grow to love it more with every passing day. I have met some great people, look forward to meeting and talking with many more and will continue to build upon the foundation that I have been laying.

Look for a wrap-up tomorrow from Tampa. Hopefully I got it right and will get them on the right path with their own personal branding and teach them some tricks along the way.

-Greg Rollett


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