Wednesday, December 08, 2010

#HAPPO and the Job Hunt

Recruiters are a key part of the PR job hunt. They have connections, prep you for the job interview, get you ready for the interview and get you the introduction. While typically there aren't that many entry-level jobs, there are jobs at all levels and it's good to start building that relationship with recruiters as soon as you get past your first job (one year experience or so).

As one of the main keys in PR and the job hunt is networking - and that's what #HAPPO is for, meeting people. But once you meet people, it's beyond that to find a job.

Hoojobs - short for woohoo! or ballyhoo - is one of those ways.

Hoojobs is a PR and social media centric job board. It's only for PR and social media, so you don't have to weed through other jobs but find what you want in a niche board just for us. While it is owned by Paradigm Staffing, it is NOT just their jobs but open to any company that is looking for PR and social media people.

I spoke to Lindsay Olson - founder of Paradigm and Hoojobs - whom I've known for years as a friend.

All the jobs are related to PR people and what they are looking for in the PR industry. For job seekers, the goal was to keep the site easy-to-use and focused. There's not the re-creation of the resume like on the big job boards, but easy and simple. It's aesthetically pleasing, easy on the eyes and be simple.

You're not required to register or create another profile, the site is advertising free - you just go for the job, upload the resume and do a quick introduction letter, and it goes direct to the employer. And the jobs are only valid for 30-days, so no out-of-date jobs (so jobs either have to be re-uploaded or renewed). So, they are all real jobs (the companies are vetted), and yes, these jobs exist.

For hiring managers, the site is solely being marketed to PR and communications job people so they are qualified leads. It's not like Monster or HotJobs, so it's targeted to communicators and not just everyone and anyone that's looking. Qualified applicants, much more so, than on a big job board.

Hoojobs also integrates social media tools, so the companies (and people looking or friends) are able to let others know about the jobs through social networks. A company can post on Hoojobs and then to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn right from the job posting; people looking might see something that would be a fit for others, and can do the same: share via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. And you can also follow Hoojobs itself on Twitter at @hoojobs.

Also, the site uses real-time search and keywords so people can find what they are looking for, and can sign up for real-time alerts based on those keywords and apply immediately (as jobs do fill up).

Her advice to job seekers, especially through Hoojobs: do a real cover letter. Put something in specific for the job, make a connection for the employer, why you are a good fit for the job. If you cannot make that connection, it's just another blind resume. Remember that you are in PR, and it's your job to make that pitch in that cover letter to get to the next step.

Don't forget the live Tweetchat tonight (December 8) with the #HAPPO hashtag at 6.00 PM PST / 9.00 PM EST, where there will be more helpful information and networking with professionals around the country.
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