After spending 11 years working with job seekers and a decade of not writing very much (I started blogging in March 2009), I have a lot of information to share. I try not to overwhelm, and I try to write for a specific audience. For this reason, I maintain two separate blogs (this one, which is hosted at Best Fit Forward; as well as the Emerging Professional which is designed for recent graduates, young professionals and students of social media). I generally write and maintain separate content for each blog, but occasionally there is a post that has some overlap between both audiences. As this is one such post, this piece is cross-posted here.
Both websites received a lot of national attention:MyHusbandNeedsaJob.com was featured on CNN online and reported interest from Oprah and Dr.Phil; Jamie Varon, the creator of TwitterShouldHireMe.com has been featured in Fortune Magazine, interviewed by CNN, and had talks with the Ellen Show. (She had a great lunch at Twitter, and is now working to establish her own business after fielding several employment offers.)
Obviously, "Hire Me" campaigns such as these initiatives are not for the shy or the reserved: they require a certain amount of risk, bravado, and transparency. As such, I thought I'd ask one of our protagonists: Is there a price to pay for all of this sudden attention? Has it been worth it? What do you wish you had known?
Here is my interview with Jamie Varon, creator of TwitterShouldHireMe.com.
Jamie, Chris Brogan recently wrote a post on the rise of microfame or the ability to use social media platforms to become famous within your area of expertise or for something you've done. Jamie, with all the attention you've received, I think it's now fair to say that you are in fact microfamous.
A few questions:
1. Were you prepared for the surge of attention--and microfame--that came with the debut of "TwitterShouldHireMe.com"?
I wouldn't say that I was exactly prepared, but I wasn't unprepared as well. I was hoping that it would take off the way that it did, but I wasn't expecting it. It made it a pleasant surprise that it did launch and gather so much attention.
2. How did you deal with the traffic? What were the hardest things about it?
The traffic was intensely exciting. The hard part was dealing with the critics and a lot of the anonymous comments that were posted on the site. I had to moderate a bit and for a few days I held my breath every time I checked the comments. Some were just downright cruel and inappropriate. I tried to handle it as best I could, but it definitely got to me.
3. Is there anything that you wish someone had told you, but weren't prepared for?
I wish there was a way to know how to capitalize on and utilize microfame. It's very exciting while it's happening, but difficult to translate into anything lasting. That would have been nice to know.
4. Would you do it again?
Absolutely, no doubt, 100% yes.
5. What would you do differently?
I would have created something that would be more lasting. There's not much more I can do with the site and there's not much I can update there. It's difficult to see all that traffic come and then go, because I didn't find a great way to keep them in any one place.
6. What advice would you have for someone else attempting an aggressive "hire me" campaign? Do you recommend the "public" approach (the path you took)? Do you have other suggestions as well that might suit more reserved job seekers?
I think that a public, aggressive "hire me" campaign should be used with caution and should fit the context of the position you are looking for. Sometimes this approach just doesn't suit the industry or position one is searching for, so in this respect, standing out publicly like I did wouldn't be the best option.
For more reserved job seekers, I would suggest becoming clear on what position or industry you want to be in (preferably be clear on both!) and then zone in on how to get their attention. Too often people scatter their job searching efforts instead of focus and they end up spreading themselves thin and probably not getting the job they want.
7. What's your favorite one sentence piece of career advice?
There's always going to be a reason to settle, so don't start today.
P.S. Does anyone know whether to put a hyphen in microfamous? I'm a fanatic about spelling, and micro-famous looks better to me. But since it's a relatively new term, I am following Chris Brogan's lead on this--and he says "microfamous." Any thoughts on this?