Everyone talks about the benefits and value of social media, and there are plenty of studies and research that prove its worth. But now it’s personal.
I’ve been an avid fan and a big believer in social networking for a while, but what really sealed the deal for me was when I landed my ideal job at Burson-Marsteller, solely as a result of social media. No searching through Monster, no cover letters or tedious online applications. The process spanned from DC to New York, across LinkedIn, Twitter and multiple blogs, and took half a year- but it’s paying off in spades.
Here’s how it all went down:
- My first job out of college, I was the sole PR rep for iCIMS, a great HR tech firm in NJ, where I managed their Facebook, Twitter and corporate blog. Light on experience and heavy on looking to learn as much possible, I began seeking out leaders in PR for guidance. Whom did I find? Whoever was findable: people and groups like Heather Huhman, PRSA and the Public Relations Professionals Linkedin Group.
- Heather Huhman is dedicated to helping entry-level PR people, so I took her up on her offer. I explained what I was interested in long-term: PR/communications for a greater societal good. Something like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or non-profit PR. Keep in mind- I was not looking for a new job; I was just looking to educate myself.
- Heather had previously worked at Burson-Marsteller and graciously connected me with her former colleague, Eric Biel, MD of Corporate Responsibility. It was extremely generous of him to take time out of his day to talk with me for an hour about CSR (even nicer now that I understand billability!). I was so impressed by the B-M people- former and current, that it had me thinking this was a company I’d love to go work for. (See? How you treat potential candidates impacts your company’s brand and reputation!)
- Fast forward to a few weeks later. In my obsessive social media monitoring, I came across Jess Bayer, a DC-based recruiter at Burson who was looking for what my company sold. I was happy to give her as much information regarding the product as possible, but also took the opportunity to talk with her informally about Burson-Marsteller.
- Jess very kindly put me in touch with B-M’s NY recruiter, Maggie Kellegher. Maggie suggested I come in and meet her for an informational interview, even though there were no jobs available at the time. I told Maggie all about my background, experience and long-term career goals, and she told me more about careers and culture at B-M. We both felt this would be a good fit; but being there were no positions, we parted ways promising to stay in touch.
- Three weeks later, Maggie emailed me on a Wednesday saying a position had just opened up in Public Affairs, the practice I told her I’d love to work in. I interviewed that Friday. I was offered the job on Monday. I began working at Burson-Marsteller less than one month later.
So I don’t have any groundbreaking research or stats on the ROI of social media. But I have my story, and I have a job. And in a feeble attempt to help others, I hope my own experience can be of some use to you reading this.