The Job Exchange

Tapping Into The Hidden Job Market

JobAngels: Strangers Lend a Hand to Job Seekers

From The Wall Street Journal

Once you’ve tapped out your network and run out of recruiters to contact, where do you go to get help finding a job these days? For a growing group of job hunters, total strangers have become the answer.

In late January, Jason C. Blais began following JobAngels, a group on the social-networking site Twitter.com that is dedicated to helping people find jobs. Mr. Blais saw a message posted by a laid-off technology professional asking for support and he volunteered to take the woman under his wing.

Alarmed by the nation’s rising unemployment rate, many working Americans are going out of their way to help their laid-off counterparts — often complete strangers — secure new positions. They’re sharing job leads, leveraging their networks and making referrals and often putting their own reputations on the line.

Giving back was part of what prompted Mark Stelzner, a management consultant in Washington, D.C., to start JobAngels early this year. That morning, he says, he wondered to himself, “What if each of the folks who followed me on Twitter helped one person find a job?” At the time, Mr. Stelzner had about 650 followers, mostly clients and associates of his firm, Inflexion Advisors LLC, which works with executives in the human-resources industry. He posted a message — or “tweet” — describing his idea and within hours received several replies from people saying they’d be willing to participate.

Mr. Stelzner opened a separate Twitter account for JobAngels, a name he says he came up with off the cuff, and created JobAngels groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. He posted a message on each offering to help people with their job searches and encouraged others to do the same. JobAngels has 3,894 followers to date on Twitter and nearly 1,200 group members on Facebook.

Read the full article at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123783938878417223.html

And, if you can help someone find a job, I encourage you to join JobAngels pay it forward! 

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03/24/2009 - Posted by | job search | , , ,

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