Meet Johnny Carson. Nope, not that Johnny Carson — the blogwriter formakejohnnycash.blogspot.com. Here he not only promotes his writing, but also takes his visitors on his job-hunting journey with him.
Sitting across from Carson at Starbucks at Union Station seems appropriate. Carson has a vivacity about him that suits the very fast paced, high-energy surroundings. So, with such an infectious personality, why start a blog?
"I started my blog because first and foremost I am an online guy, I know that opportunities do not just come from around the corner. Someone in Australia reading it might have a cousin who is looking for a candidate like me in Toronto, passes on the link and so on."
Karen Schaffer, career coach and author of the book The Complete Book Of Resumes, says that online strategies suit the softer, less abrasive job searching style of Canadians.
"The Internet and technology has allowed Canadian employers and job seekers much greater access to each other," she says, adding that job seekers can easily research companies while employers can reach more candidates.
"The challenge is for the job seeker to stay proactive rather than reactive — waiting for new postings — and for the employer to be able to find the ‘right’ candidate from the larger number of applicants."
The Web serves as a great platform for creative self-promotion. It’s only natural that it be used for job hunting. "One thing leads to another in the online world," Carson says.
Carson’s story is just about finding a job. It’s about finding a job in the unfamiliar Toronto marketplace after marrying a Canadian girl and moving in 2000 from London, England.
"My biggest surprise in looking for a job in Canada is how similar to London it was," says Carson. "Even though Toronto is a big city, it’s a small media community and I have run across — and worked with — a lot of the same people."
So what’s Carson doing right? Schaffer says by not just relying on his blog and proactively networking and meeting contacts he’s also finding content to write about, which is the unique twist.
"The blog as a self-marketing tool works particularly well for John because content writing, marketing and editing on the Web is what he does for a living. The blog is a reflection of what he can do as an employee."
However Schaffer points out that he has to walk a fine line between being himself and keeping it fun while still maintaining a professional demeanor and protecting company confidentiality.
"He can’t vent or air personal laundry here. He’s doing a good job of authentically reflecting his search and pitching himself to employers."
Carson advises getting out there and taking the initiative to find or build that dream job.
"Hopefully my job search blog will help demonstrate my initiative instead of just cutting and pasting my resumé to 50 unsuitable jobs a day, which wastes everyone’s time," he says. "Put yourself out there, show potential employers that you have drive and initiative and think of alternative ways to rise above the job-seeking crowds."