Help Wanted: From graduation to gainful employment


OneCubicle.com tries to bridge Facebook, LinkedIn by ahoffstrom
July 13, 2009, 8:27 pm
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Amanda Hoffstrom

Amanda Hoffstrom

In the interest of testing as many job-related social networking sites as possible, I recently joined one of the newest sites, OneCubicle.com, which launched in May.

During an interview with Fox News, OneCubicle CEO Gregg Champion said the site is for “social business networking” for 20-somethings and is meant to be a bridge between Facebook and LinkedIn. He said it was both “employee friendly and employer friendly.”

Although I think the site may be useful, it doesn’t seem like many people are on it or have even heard of it. I tried to ask my Twitter followers and Facebook friends to share their thoughts of OneCubicle.com, but no one got back to me.

I started following @OneCubicle on Twitter to see how many people other than people I know have heard about it. At the time of this post, they had 217 followers on Twitter—not many considering Facebook has more than 90,000, and LinkedIn has about 13,000. My only connection so far is with the company’s CEO, so if you happen to join OneCubicle after reading this post, find me and let’s connect!

The site lets you build a professional profile that lists employment and education history, as well as interests. You can also write messages on your “whiteboard,” put widgets on a public and private “corkboard,” and update your status. Once your profile is made, you can make connections to store in your “rolodex” and search for jobs. You can search for jobs without an account but having one lets you link to company postings.

While building my profile, I found “Marketing, PR & Advertising” and “Media, Sports & Entertainment” but no industry that explicitly includes print journalists. So, I had to create my own “Media, Writing & Editing” industry to tag to my profile. I am concerned a bit that I am now a hidden member since I’m not in the site’s preprogrammed industries, but I don’t think I fit exactly into the others. Maybe it would be better if people could join more than one industry.

The site itself is visually appealing with file folder tabs and a layout that reminds me of something I hung outside the door of my dorm room freshman year. The site also features a “water cooler” with videos like “Extreme Makeover Cubicle Edition” and “Cubicle Cribs.” Something that I think really separates this site from other job-related sites is that it has a 48-hour resume refining service for $9.95 that lets you send two drafts to be revised by professionals. There is also a list of interview dos and don’ts, a list of 10 rules to getting a job and keeping a job, and coming soon, advice from celebrity mentors.

I haven’t applied to any of the jobs listed on the site yet, but I think I will continue to check it out over the next few days. From a quick glance, it seems there are both internships and full-time jobs at companies like Twitter, Apple, Universal Music Group and with the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, almost all of the jobs posted currently are in California, so unless you want to relocate, you might want to look elsewhere. My guess is that as this site grows, more and more companies will place job openings.

I’m not sure how often I will use the site, but I do think it has a lot more job resources than Facebook and feels younger than LinkedIn. It’s a definite plus to have more job resources because I joined Facebook four years ago purely for social networking, not professional networking. I’m not sure being a young professional site is necessarily a positive. I like being able to connect with older mentors, neighbors and co-workers on LinkedIn because those are the people who will either hire me directly or give me the references I need to successfully network offline. Networking offline, which is something I think I need to work on, is a vital component to job hunting. It’s nice to have another online option, but these sites alone just aren’t enough.

To find out more about OneCubicle, check out the site, find the company on Facebook or follow the blog.



Possible lead on a summer position by ahoffstrom
June 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Amanda Hoffstrom

Amanda Hoffstrom

As I mentioned in my last post, I saw a part-time writer and editor position open at a real estate company in Madison that I was thinking of applying to. After sending in my application materials on Sunday, I got a call to schedule an interview!

It took me a minute to remember what the position was since I’ve been applying to other positions, both full-time and part-time, and placing calls to sources for an article I’m writing about smoking bans. My mind was a bit distracted when I answered the phone, and hopefully, the time it took me to remember won’t cost me the job.

Once I realized who was talking to, I got really excited and scheduled the interview for the first available time slot: Tuesday at 1 p.m. I will use it as my time to shine, selling my skills and talent.

The company is “seeking someone who can give 15 to 20 hours per week (check), for at least 10 weeks (check, though I think my lease ends before that, but I’m sure something could be worked out). Very flexible on hours worked (Great, so am I!) Organization is creating a real estate-related Web site with an emphasis on the Dane County Area. It is not imperative that the person have a strong understanding of real estate (cool) … This person needs excellent grammar skills and comfort with editing (check). Employee will be working with text for multiple Web pages … skills in Web coding or programming not necessary, as writing and editing are primary” (awesome, writing and editing are my primary passions).

I’m not sure how many candidates I’m competing against for the position, but the job sounds ideal for my wish to stay in Madison for the summer, write, edit and make some money in the process. It will also give me a chance to get out of my apartment on a regular basis, something I desperately feel I need to do for my sanity.

Yes, my goal still is to find a more permanent, full-time job after August, but the job posting indicates there is a possibility that the person hired could eventually become part of the Web site staff. I really hope the interview goes well and I can write a post announcing my hire next week.



Class of ’09 leading the industry’s transformation by ahoffstrom
Amanda Hoffstrom

Amanda Hoffstrom

The change in media is definitely affecting my job search. For one, I didn’t expect to use LinkedIn, Visual CV, Twitter, a blog, Facebook and a number of other digital tools to market myself to potential employers. These outlets became available during my time in college, so that in itself is a major shift.

Secondly, the types of jobs I’m looking at and applying for are different than what I initially anticipated four years ago. When I started college as a wannabe journalist, I envisioned myself writing and reporting at a major daily newspaper. I wanted to work for a newspaper like the Star Tribune, a paper my family has subscribed to since I was born. Well, the Star Tribune is one of a handful of papers that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year. The Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2008, the Rocky Mountain News ceased publication in February and the Sun-Times Media Group filed for bankruptcy in March, a day later the Detroit Free Press cut its home-delivered print edition to three days a week and expanded coverage to the Web. To say the least, I’ve had to change my expectations a bit.

For me, the first true sign of media changing came in February 2008 when The Capital Times, one of two papers in Madison, announced plans to reduce its print edition in favor of increased online coverage. It was the first time I had heard of a paper shifting from primarily print to primarily Web. Last week, I was quoted by the Cap Times in an article about the high number of students enrolling in UW-Madison’s j-school despite the changing news media. Students continue to join the major because they see an opportunity, not a crisis.

I said, “In a way, this is a very exciting time because we can be the ones who can reinvent this industry.” I absolutely think our generation—especially the Class of 2009—will redirect journalism toward a viable, technologically-engaging platform.

Whether or not the best platform is a free print edition mixed with Twitter and digital layouts, my j-school friends and I are anxious to get in the field and make a difference. We’re just as passionate and excited about reporting as we would be if it were just print – maybe even more so. I think the shift in media makes us better reporters because we can see reporting packages. I can visualize how a story will read, how it can be supplemented with photos and video, how I can engage an audience through Twitter, Delicious and other online outlets. Writing is so vitally important, but the other elements add character to a story. I just hope that news organizations will hire some new grads who are eager to help.