NSCN Member Success Story: Laura

Read how having a social media strategy and working with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach helped Laura land a new position.

After learning about the New Start Career Network (NSCN) through the Bergen County One Stop Career Center, Laura became a member. Laura reflects on some of the resources she accessed through NSCN:  “The JobScan subscription was a big help. The Facebook page is great too, with its resources and also inspirational posts. And then the tip about Patricia Cohen from the New York Times doing the article on job seekers, which in the end did NOT get me this job, but did get me a consulting gig. And what it did do was remind everyone that I was out of work one more time, and in my mind you can’t remind people enough.”

Laura also worked with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach.  She shares, “It was good to have someone to check in with, to have to come up with goals and actionable items, to keep me accountable. And it’s always good to hear other people’s experiences, not only to know you’re not alone, but there’s always good information to glean from other people’s journeys.”

Prior to becoming unemployed, Laura “was a print production manager at an ad agency for years – that was my last full-time job. And before that, I was a project manager before it was an actual “thing” – working with the clients, creatives, and vendors to get jobs scheduled, keep them moving, budgets, etc. And then my past two freelance jobs were both marketing project managers.”

She was unemployed for 4 years, aside from a few freelance positions, before starting her new position. She shares that the most challenging part of her job search was “applying to a job that was pretty much word for word my experience and then not getting a call. Or getting an interview and then not getting the job, but not getting any feedback as to why I wasn’t hired, and while I realize there are many things they couldn’t say for legal reasons, it wouldn’t have killed them to say ‘you didn’t have enough experience in ____.’” 

Laura continues: “But my biggest challenge was on LinkedIn and running out of searches before the month was up—even with the Premium subscription, if you searched too much, they’d stop you and try to get you to change to the Recruiter subscription, which of course is ludicrous because I was trying to find a job, and how else to do it but to search companies and people to see who I knew?”

In the end, Laura’s break came through a friend: “After all the work I had done on my LinkedIn and resume, it ended up being a friend who emailed me to say her sister was looking for someone with my experience, and did I want to send her my resume. I did, and 7 weeks later, got the job.”

Laura described her new role, and how she made use of some volunteer experiences: “I’m going to be a project manager at a mid-sized marketing agency that works with progressive nonprofits. They’re based in DC and Berkeley, but I’ll be working from home…. It’s a familiar role, but a new industry for me. While I’ve had experience with nonprofit clients, my main jobs were always with for-profit companies and clients. So when interviewing, I just emphasized all the various volunteer things I’ve done over the past 6 years or so.”

As Laura returns to work, she offers this advice to other individuals who are searching for work:
  • “Use JobScan before you apply for anything, and also use it to check your LinkedIn profile. I realize in theory we’re supposed to be getting a job through networking, but it doesn’t hurt to keep applying also, because if you get an interview, while you may not get that job, it could always lead to something else. An interview is never a waste of time.
  • Have a social media strategy for your job search, I posted every few weeks or so on Facebook, to remind friends I was still looking and what I was looking for. I mentioned job titles. And each time I posted, I got a response from someone different, which was good, because it meant I was reaching someone I hadn’t reached before. And it keeps you in their minds and ultimately that was what got me the job.
  • Work your LinkedIn connections as well. And be mindful about your “likes” on LinkedIn. I know there’s varied opinions on that. I don’t think you should be liking every single thing you see on there just to be visible to others, because then it becomes transparent that’s all you’re doing, trying to get attention. And then you’re clogging up your connections’ feeds and that’s not wise. I was picky in the articles and posts I liked and tried to keep them relevant. I also stalked a lot, not that that was what got me this job, but I don’t see the harm in showing up in a talent acquisition’s “viewed” list.  And remember that there’s the proprietary top-secret “search limit” on LinkedIn that you may or may not hit before the end of the month if you’re a Premium member. I reached it more than a few times. Also, inject some personality into your headline and summary, something that makes you stand out from the rest. Skills are important, but we all know that people want to work with someone they like, too.”
Here is a link where you can stay up-to-date with upcoming NSCN webinars and find recordings of any past webinars that you may have missed. Please click here to join the NSCN Facebook Group. 

We have a limited number of premium Jobscan accounts that we can offer to New Start members for a one-month period. If you are interested, please contact Michele Martin at [email protected]. NSCN held a webinar entitled Learn How to Use Jobscan for Your Job Search.  Amanda Ostrove of Jobscan provided an overview of Jobscan's features and how they can be used in your job search. Click here to view a video of the webinar.