Megan SotoMegan Soto
Account Associate at LaunchSquad

The media has been buzzing about job seekers finding employment opportunities through social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This Great Grad is Megan Soto, who was initially recruited and eventually hired by a San Francisco based PR firm called LaunchSquad after being discovered on Twitter by one of the partners. In a recent interview, Megan talked about her experience and shared some advice for soon-to-be graduates.

G2G: Megan, thanks for talking to us about your amazing recruiting story. You landed a pretty cool gig. Tell us what happened.
MS: I was a senior at the University of Oregon and had a couple of internships in the queue for the summer. I was active on Twitter and had a class-assigned blog about PR, which was my focus in the Journalism school. I "tweeted" about one of LaunchSquad's clients in reaction to a cool New York Times article they'd just secured. While scanning for Twitter activity on the article, they found my Tweet, which led them to my blog and they eventually contacted, interviewed and hired me as a salaried Account Associate at LaunchSquad.

G2G: What was your initial reaction when you were contacted for a potential job opportunity through Twitter?
MS: I was shocked. I have to say that it was, for me, a totally unexpected avenue to finding a job (or being recruited), but now that I've been working here a while and seen how much the tech community (LaunchSquad is a San Francisco-based technology PR firm) is entrenched in social media, it seems like a logical place for them to start looking for new talent. They liked that I was engaged and already using these social media tools as they were initially meant to be used: for networking and connecting to other communities. I was already personally invested and thus acclimated to the social media environments in which their clients were trying to engage.

G2G: How did the company actually contact you?
MS: They found my email on my blog and then set up an initial phone interview. I had a second interview over the phone before a final in-person interview here in San Francisco.

G2G: Do you know anyone else who has had a similar experience?
MS: Not that I know of.

G2G: What advice would you give to this year's graduates?
MS: Chin up, there are jobs out there. But the learning curve and competition are both getting very steep. Be aware though, that our generation, Digital Natives, are in a prime position take on that learning curve. We consume media and trends faster than any other generation to date.

Be flexible– dream jobs don't often come on the first try, but it's important to show that you can do great work anywhere. Be knowledgeable and engaged – know what's going on in the industry that you're looking at – that's your edge.

G2G: What advice would you give specifically to PR majors who are looking to find work using social media networks?
MS: To be yourself on Twitter and social networks: not just a job applicant. Though I know it can get tricky (displaying what's interesting vs. appropriate) and it's equally difficult not to display something that is so top of mind (like getting a job). I think the reason I stood out was because I was using these mediums for personal engagement and betterment rather than to catch the attention of people who might hire me. I used my Twitter account and blog to discuss things that were important to me and to engage with ideas and people in different industries, but also to chime in my thoughts about movies, music, books, articles, cooking... LaunchSquad liked that it was so part of my daily life and not something I had to work at and hone. That is what ended up being the sweet spot.

G2G: Thanks Megan. We are honored to have you as our featured "Great Grad"!