How Social Media Can Change Your Unemployed Life

June 11, 2014
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With more and more technology solutions, robotics taking over jobs, the state of the economy and more, unemployment seems inevitable for most at some point in their career. I spoke with Carlos Gil, Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing at SaveALot and we both agree that social media marketing can be the tool that helps keep you employed. And in fact, Carlos went as far as writing a book, ‘My Unemployed Life: Finding a Job in a Social Economy’ and starting JobsDirectUSA.

“The only time that I’ve been unemployed in my career was in 2008 when I was laid-off from my job in the financial services industry. Although I suspected that the company I was working for at the time (AIG) would downsize, due to the recession, I was not prepared. In fact, this was long before LinkedIn and social media as we know it today. The day that I lost my job was the same day that I signed up for LinkedIn. If I were to lose my job today I would have a network with thousands of professional contacts to turn to. A big difference between now and then,” said Carlos.

As a 50+ female, the agency business is brutal and I totally believe one of the reasons I am working right now is due to having kept up with social media and technology. It’s so important to be well read and keep up with your particular industry.

How has social media changed your career, job searches and more?

Social media has changed my life. I would not be where I am today in my career if it weren’t for social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter has expanded my network outside of a few small business circles. It has also helped me build a personal brand, which shows a potential employer the value and expertise I can bring to them. Because of the work I did for my own company, I was able to learn a new skill set in public relations, marketing, and community relations which ultimately led to my recruitment in 2012 to lead social media for a Fortune 500 retail company.

Tell me about JobsDirectUSA. How does it work? How has it grown? Do you have partners in this with you?

Within days of getting on LinkedIn, I knew that the only way I’d find a job again was to rebrand myself. Nobody was hiring in the banking or financial services industry. It was through LinkedIn groups that I became inspired to help others find jobs. For me, it was also a way to not fall into the unemployment slump of inactivity. I created a group of my own and called it “JobsDirectUSA”. Shortly thereafter, I invested the little severance that was given to me and started up a website: Between 2009 to 2011 I worked countless hours growing the database, promoting my cause, and hosting job fairs throughout the United States. Oftentimes not making a dime. I’m still involved in the site and social media but the business model has changed. Needless to say, I’ve been recruited since.

What tools/tactics did you use to fight off the depression that often comes with unemployment?

Staying upbeat and positive is tough when there is no sign of hope. The month that I lost my job so did 500,000 other Americans. Nobody was hiring. Social media was the only way for me to remain optimistic. Every connection became a networking opportunity, even if it was an opportunity to be connected to someone else. There were many times that I wanted to give up but I was determined to not let the recession defeat me.

Not everyone is using social media, what 3-5 tips you would give people for getting started?

If you’re not a believer in what social media can do for you, please take a few minutes to connect with me. It’s the difference between being discoverable to a potential employer and not being found at all.

• upload your resume directly into LinkedIn

• have a professional headshot.

• write a compelling summary which describes to an employer the value that you potentially bring.

• utilize Linkedin groups as a tool to help you develop or expand your network.

“Finding a job today is competitive. I hope that the book, ‘My Unemployed Life: Finding a Job in a Social Economy’ will put into perspective how far the job search process has come from 2008 to today. Throughout the book I discuss my experiences while being unemployed during the recession but I also guide professionals on how to leverage social media for personal branding, networking online, tips on how to find recruiters and what to say to them. The book is a tool that I hope will bring a lot of success to job seekers worldwide,” said Carlos.

You can connect with Carlos on Twitter and LinkedIn and check out his blog!

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