Jon Kolbe of Boca Raton, Florida is a father of two and has been without a job for seven months. He’s applied for hundreds of jobs and the only good lead he found was… from someone on Twitter.
Kolbe (@jonkolbe) is an architectural project manager and was laid off from his job in December. He’s gotten desperate enough to find work that he’s offering a prize: find Jon Kolbe a job and he’ll give you a brand new, high-def camcorder. What Jon has found is that the atmosphere on Twitter and other social networks is more neighborly than the bland, empty job boards and people are more willing to talk and help.
In his quest, Kolbe saw a tweet from another Boca resident, Toby Srebnik (@fsutoby) (who incidentally did not offer me a free Dunkin Donuts card to insert his name) who’d mentioned he’d seen some old Chamber friends at the Boca Beach Club. Jon sent him a response and asked if he knew anyone he could talk to directly at the Chamber, as he’d just applied there.
Turns out, Srebnik knew someone and referred Kolbe, who scored an interview. Only his second interview since December.
While he doesn’t know if he got the job yet, Kolbe admits that he’s one of thousands of people (mostly in tech fields) now who’re using social networks like Twitter to promote themselves for a new job. Srebnik says that often the community created by Twitter users can mean you’re helping people you don’t even know and others are helping you and don’t even know who you are.
New tools like TwitterJobSearch.com have popped up to sort through the tags and information to sort through job search and availability tweets. Companies are beginning to catch on to this, with Best Buy suggesting at least 250 Twitter followers be a requirement for their new social media job. Some freelance sites are requiring the same sort of thing (Facebook, Twitter, etc. friends and followers as part of the job requirements) for job applicants.
Some have really taken the social media idea to heart and, like Kolbe, are becoming marketing gurus in their own right. Starting with simple sites like Facebook, LinedIn and Twitter, he created profiles of himself specifically to job search. Then, digging through Monster, CareerBuilder and others, he build resumes on each job search site.
Those did little and as time went on, Kolbe realized that he was just doing what everyone else was doing. In the mean time, he’d created JonKolbe.com and gotten a new email address: email@example.com. He throws in $2 Dunkin Donuts gift cards with resumes, hoping to entice recruiters to give them just a little extra attention.
“I think the longest I’ve ever been out of a job is two weeks,” he said. After a couple of months of the extras weren’t paying off, he began to get a little worried. While those early moves were somewhat innovative, they weren’t as effective as he’d hoped.
In March, he began the contest: Help Jon Kolbe Find a Job. The winner gets a Flip Mino HD camera.
It may be paying off, as interest level in his job search skyrocketed after the announcement. In my mind, at the very least, Jon is being creative and innovative in his use of new technology. That alone should put him above most others who apply for any job Jon Kolbe has put in for.