No Guts, No Glory. The Guts and Glory of Hire This Grad.
Guts and Glory
It all started during one of my early morning routines. I stood there, brushing my teeth with my brain mulling the assignment for Marketing Management in my head. Create a personal brand—it was simple, yet so hard. What am I about? What do I stand for? What could I write about all semester that people would be interested in and would add some kind of value? I had no possible idea.
Then, like a 2x4 to the face, it hit me—#hirethisgrad. It had started as a simple hash tag last year for graduating seniors. It was a stretch, but I could run with it. It added value, it was interesting, and it truly encompassed my love for helping others. I wasn’t sure how far it could go. This was the first class where it wasn’t just a plan, or an idea…it was something we had to conjure up AND implement. It had the opportunity for great success, but also great failure.
At first I was a bit hesitant. Were people going to do this? Would people read it? Would it actually help others get a job? But, no guts, no glory. So, I jumped right into it.
I set a few goals:
I would develop a blog. I would write up a blog post for each student and post one every week, get quotes/testimonials from teachers for each student, and I would blog about any press a student received.
I would create a twitter to add to the blog. I would tweet about posts made in the blog, participate in #ff and list off students in the class for #ff, follow industry leaders, use a hashtag, post relevant links about the job market and RT industry leaders.
Last, but not least, I would hopefully meet some personal goals set for myself through Hire This Grad. I would demonstrate my passion for helping others and non-profit work through Hire This Grad’s development. I would also build my own personal website to showcase who I was and my strengths as a graphic designer and marketers, and Hire This Grad would link to these. Finally, I would work on perfecting my own personal brand. Who am I? What are my strengths? What are my goals? What personal attributes define me? I wanted to finish with a clear understanding of who I am, my brand, and how my brand will contribute to the success of a company as an employee.
So, how would I measure whether or not this personal brand was successful? This way:
100 relevant followers, ones that add value. They should include marketing professionals or influential members of an industry related to a passion of a graduating senior.
Many RT’s by relevant followers
Followers would be actively engaged with RTs, responses and comments.
Analytics would show active and constant traffic to the blog
Atleast one student received a job offer or someone in the industry passes along their name/blog link to someone looking to hire. And, as I quoted in my original Plan For Success in January, “Heck, I think I’d be happy if some employer even said they read the blog and read about a job candidate on there.”
Plus, maybe get a job myself. Who knew?
I set pretty high standards for myself. I hoped I had the guts to do it…and there would be glory that followed it.
Now, with Hire This Grad approaching it’s 4 month birthday, I can’t believe I’ve not only achieved most of the goals I set, but I’ve exceeded most of them as well. It’s almost surreal to me.
191 Twitter Followers, including:
Propeller Media Works
Spring Above Marketing
New Grad Life in San Diego, CA
Brewing A Better Life through Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs & New York Times best selling author
My Web Grocer
Shay Totten, columnist for the Seven Days
Shel Israel, author of Twitterville
While I don’t know the exact number of RTs ( is there something out there that will tell me?) I know that many people have RTed the posts about each student, and most of the followers are those passionate about or in the field of marketing. I consistently used the #hirethisgrad hashtag that many others picked up on and used.
Now, a little look at the “guts” of the Hire This Grad website:
977 visits from 48 countries/territories
825 visits in 40 out of 50 states
After the initial spike of me changing the layout around, there was atleast one visit every day, whether I tweeted or not. Most of the spikes were around Fridays when I posted a featured grad. The second annotation reflects the business card I handed out at the job fair and there was a large spike of visitors the next three days.
Overall, the analytics show constant and active traffic from day 1. Success!
The last measurement for success? At least one person received a job offer from the site. Initially, I really only included this because, hey, it IS the POINT of the site, right? But, I didn’t really think that it would happen. I thought it would be nice, but not realistic.
I’m happy to report that one student, Corey Grenier(@rosiemarketer) was contacted by a business in Vermont and asked to interview for a job because they found her on Hire This Grad. While it was not a job she was interested in, she was able to refer the opening to someone else who interviewed and was hired for the job. I’ll consider that a GREAT success, congrats Justine!
In addition to the goals I had set for myself, I also encountered some other fantastic opportunities that I would have never imagined. First, I made a connection with Lynne Guey from Campus Tweet and did a skype interview with her and the rest of the class based on Hire This Grad. Second, I made a great connection with Caleb Wolfe from Jobs In VT who liked the idea of Hire This Grad and helped me connect with Chris Carrigan, Vice President of Business Development at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. With his help along with Caleb Wolfe, I will be developing a business plan and discussing potential financial backing to turn Hire This Grad into a state wide website/non-profit.
Lastly, I met my personal goals through the development of Hire This Grad and the personal branding assignment. I’ve gotten closer to developing an understanding of who I am as a person and as an employee. I’m driven and dedicated, and I truly, truly enjoy helping others. My goals are to make something of myself in this world, to help others and to make a difference. I’ve developed a great deal of confidence in myself, in my skills and knowledge, and my ability to do something gutsy, such as starting my own business. A year ago I would have believed that there was no way I could do such a thing. My drive, my dedication, my heart, and my passions define who I am, and I’m so proud of that. I still have a ways to go on my quest for self discovery and definition, but I’ve made great strides because of this project.
I would have never seen this happening in a million years when starting this, but I’m beyond excited to see where it will go. Now it’s just a matter of getting up the guts to pursue this!
Now, I just need to work on the whole “getting a job myself” goal ( yes, shameless plug!:)) SO….Hire This Grad!