Sick of sending out your CV? Put it on the web for all to see, writes Maureen McTaggart
With youth unemployment soaring, can young people improve job prospects by ramping up their online presences with blogging, digital movies and CVs on the LinkedIn network?
That was the discussion at "How to get your idea 'made' in Social", an interactive career development workshop run by Nokia's global editor in chief of social media, Thomas Messett, and Rebecca Gloyne, the company's global talent sourcing and acquisition manager, at the Enfuse London event at London's South Bank University.
According to both these young (mid-twenties) Nokia executives, they were headhunted on the web where they were spotted pursuing the things they were passionate about. "After leaving university I spent six months selling insurance door-to-door and it sucked," Thomas Messett told his audience. "After a spell in marketing and recruitment I was made redundant and with student loans, mounting credit card debts and rent to pay I didn't know what to do.
"But I loved blogging and social media and started writing about recruitment and talent acquisition and that's how I ended up working for different marketing agencies until the call from Nokia."
Acknowledging that not everyone wants to, or can, make a career out of blogging, Messett, 25, advised the 14 to 19-year-olds who were attending Enfuse London's one-day career development conference, to take the problem into their own hands and follow their interests and passions. He showed them quality movies that had been shot on popular smartphones, something within the reach of all of them.
He also introduced them to James Ivett a BMX and film enthusiast, who explained how he uses social media to communicate with the BMX community. His BMX expertise won him sponsorship from top brands in the business and he's travelled the world competing in events and making films. A youthful hobby, taken to the next level, has provided him with a career path.
Thomas Messett revealed that 95 per cent of Nokia's staff are recruited purely from scouring social media, so it's clear that young people who are active online can create employment opportunities for themselves with some industries. Nokia was always looking for new ideas, he said, and he challenged the assembled group to get involved in the company's "Amazing Idea" promotion and convince Nokia to make their own ideas.
"If I say we can fly you anywhere in the world where you can talk to anyone and we've got £5,000 to spend, what would you write about? What would you make?" asked Messett.
"My question to you - not just the guys who want to be bloggers, although there are fashion bloggers getting more hits than Elle - is, 'what are you passionate about?You live in a world where you can talk to pretty much anybody you like online. You can make money from the content you produce and not only will brands reach out to you, so too will employers."
On average 20 per cent of young people between 16 and 24 are now out of work, 47.4 per cent of whom are black, which might explain the strong multi-racial response to the "How to get your idea made in Social" workshop.
While handing out her business cards and promising to personally offer continuing support and advice to any budding social innovators in the audience, Rebecca Gloyne revealed that her first job, the hardest she has ever had to do, was the three months she was employed solely to provide tea and coffee for her boss making sure each cup was the exact brand and temperature he liked. But she never scaled down her aspirations.
She warned them that the the pressure is on to offer employers exactly what they want. Her advice? Be proactive: "It's amazing how much business gets done over a coffee, beer or dinner rather than in suited up business meetings – networking is important. Careers now are not just about sitting behind desks with PowerPoint and spreadsheets. Join LinkedIn – it makes your CV for you, get a Twitter account and follow people who inspire you. Every month you can learn more from these guys. "
Enfuse London was supported by Nokia, the Challenge Society and Guardian Jobs.
Enfuse London is looking for inspiring 11 to 21-year-olds who have the ideas, skills and passion to help make their copmmunity a better place. Details at www.liveunltd.com