How social media got me a job at Google
*Earl was a recent graduate and unemployed software engineer. He began developing a job search strategy by applying to websites, including Monster, Beyond and CareerBuilder, and by connecting with members in his network. Earl managed to receive a phone interview with Dell. Days later when he followed up with Dell, both the person who interviewed him and the position were gone.
Instead of feeling crushed by the negative experience, Earl began updating his portfolio, which included getting his cover letter and resume done professionally. He decided to build a blog, customized it to his personality and posted his resume, cover letter, and samples of his work on his blog. Earl knew building a blog is one thing, “but getting people to read it is another.”
Earl began searching his favorite social media sites for groups, fan pages, and notable people in his industry. He approached social media as he would an interaction at a coffee shop – a polite introduction, honest and respectful conversation, and above all authenticity. By researching people’s online profiles, Earl felt encouraged by the fact that even the top CEOs once started further down on the ladder.
Earl followed not just CEOs, but also the people the CEOs followed. This at times ended up being staff members and crew, who gave very helpful advice to everyone about making it in the industry. Earl took their advice, and every month updated his blog with a new project he had started. With multiple projects on the go, Earl was updating every day. Thanks to his good sense of blog organization, he kept the projects grouped together.
Earl also changed the way he used Facebook and Twitter. Earl knew potential employers were watching. He changed his online profile to reflect a more professional look. Earl updated his Facebook and Twitter status whenever he posted to his blog. He would receive re-tweets and shared links galore. Earl enjoyed being engaged with this online community.
What Earl didn’t realize just yet was the magnitude of his network. With his blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, he had made quality connections with people in his industry and one day caught the eye of a recruiter at Google. Referred by Earl’s friend from school, Marcus, the recruiter called and requested to meet Earl over coffee to discuss his blog. Earl thought he was going to meet a student or a teacher from his school to discuss his projects.
The coffee date was more formal then Earl had expected. He was asked a wide variety of questions about his projects and career goals. Earl answered all questions in a definitive manner and spoke honestly. If something did not go right, he admitted to it and explained the solution that he was working on to fix the problem. Earl was genuinely surprised when the “student” offered him valuable solutions to some of the challenges. However, the true shock came when Earl learned that his new friend represented Google, and he had just passed his first interview. Earl was then invited for a follow up interview.
Why was Earl shocked when he found himself in a job interview with Google?
Earl did not directly follow this person on Twitter nor did he know he existed in the capacity of a recruiter. However Earl’s friend Marcus retweeted Earl’s work constantly, and it so happened that the recruiter followed Marcus on Twitter.
Earl arrived early to the second interview and was promptly taken to meet the project manager Eric. Eric liked to hold his interviews over games of chance in order to gauge a person’s character and interpersonal skills. Much like the recruiter, Eric submitted to Earl a series of problems and asked him how he would go on to build solutions.
Earl felt lost as he had never been in what was an informal interview with behavioral questions. At first, he felt unsure, but managed to calm down quickly as was instructed by his interview coach in interview review exercises. Eric was impressed by Earl’s composure and integrity and asked Earl to follow him to a conference room. Inside the conference room was a large screen displaying a Google executive.
Earl described what followed as surreal. He was asked one technical question to which he knew the answer. However, then the big wig floored him with a question he did not expect, “Who would win in a fight: Han Solo or Indiana Jones?” Earl was taken back and answered honestly, he did not know. The big wig smiled and asked Earl to turn to Eric. Eric presented Earl with Non-Disclosure Agreements and an offer of employment.
What happened to Earl can certainly happen to you. 85% percent of Fortune 500 companies have Twitter accounts and update them daily. While LinkedIn is a newer company in comparison to the big job boards, its close to 200 million members are there to do business and that business includes hiring top talent.
It’s easy to forget but in the 21st Century, old fashioned courtesy and manners still play a pivotal role in how you are viewed in the eyes of potential employers. Earl had friends review his work, his updates, and especially his resume and cover letter. A good rule of thumb for him was to update his resume quarterly, and update his blog and Twitter accounts daily. He also posed questions every other day to Facebook and Linkedin groups. While it may seem like all Earl did was surf the net, the truth is that he spent about three hours a day implementing a unique career strategy, which eventually paid off.
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