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chalkboardI have a confession. Though I have mentioned it in previous posts, the truth is, I’m not completely unemployed. Since my job search began (1.5 months ago), I’ve scored myself some freelancing gigs. It’s still a bit away from what I was making at my full-time position, but I’m only even this far because of all the work I’ve been doing and techniques I’ve been learning.

Currently I am freelance editorial assistant at Mommypoppins.com, I write about living on a college budget at Toggin.com, I’m a writer at NewtoNYC.com on things to do in and around New York City and also a writer at Cheapiness.com, where I write about living cheaply but chicly. The only reason I’ve got these going is the same reason I’m getting more hits to this site everyday: tons of reading.

When MySpace started to gain popularity, I remember getting lost on the site for a good couple of hours. I would start on a friend’s page and end up on a teenager’s profile from Miami, reading her blog about throwing a toothbrush at her mother. This is my earliest memory of the real power of the web—jumping around from site to site and ending up far away from where I started, all while gaining something in between (from playing around with my profile to make it look like the others I was stumbling upon, I actually learned a bit of HTML).

I can still get lost for hours on the web, just not on MySpace. Let’s say I start on Twitter and read an article one of my followers posted, like 10 Twitter Tips for Traditional Media. From there I’ll click on related links and end up reading about creative ways people have landed jobs (like circling all the errors on a newsletter and bringing it to the boss saying you can fix it). Then I’ll read someone’s comment on that post, which will take me to a site that makes custom T-shirt resumes. Within an hour I’ve learned, 1- some companies are using Twitter to better customer service 2- I can send a t-shirt that says “Hire Me” to a potential employer and 3- I should be better analyzing the keywords in job postings and putting those words on my resume.

Multiply that by three or so hours a day and my brain is getting some workout. I’ve even created a couple of binders so I can print out helpful resources to highlight, make notes on and refer back to (and finally close some tabs in Mozilla). Today I learned it is OK to respond to people’s messages on Twitter; it’s not Facebook and is meant for people to form relationships. I also learned about new ways to promote myself on social networking sites and about sites like helpareporterout.com, which help find sources and experts for articles.

Learning is key to promoting yourself, really getting out there and getting in people’s faces (and sticking in their minds). What did you learn today?

Till tomorrow,
C

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