Featured: Conversation with MensHealth.com


MensHealth.com’s Kasey Panetta recently caught up with me to poke my brain about social media and how it can be effective in searching for your next gig. I wanted to be clear in that optimizing social search is simple and puts the job search, CEO, and hiring managers at your fingertips. Kasey also called upon a few others with social savvy to weigh in on the topic.

Tweet Your Way to Your Dream Job

by Kasey Panetta

“just got a new suit. who wants 2 #hireme?”

Twitter may sometimes seem like a 140-character cesspool of celebrity gossip and teenage angst, but, if used correctly, it can be a killer job-hunting tool.

Just ask Jerry Rizzo, Social Media Coordinator for the Philadelphia 76ers, who used Twitter to make the connections to land his dream gig. When the Sixers—home of our favorite Men’s Health intern, Evan Turner—launched a contest to choose the team’s new mascot, Rizzo registered Twitter accounts for two of the final suggestions, @PhilEMoose and@BFranklinDogg, and started tweeting. Impressed with Rizzo’s entrepreneurial efforts, Sixers brass soon offered the amateur a plum social media job.

And Rizzo isn’t the only one using the site for a career boost: There were nearly 300 million mentions of jobs, job openings, and hiring opportunities on Twitter in 2012, according to the company.

But like any job search, tweeting for employment is still a daunting task. So we enlisted the help of top career experts to come up with this 7-step plan to get you from @yourcouch to @thecorneroffice.

Step 1: Pick the Right Handle and Headshot
Create a handle that is reflective of who you are, but also professional, says Rich DeMatteo, co-founder of Bad Rhino, Inc., a Philadelphia-based social media marketing agency. It’s probably easiest to use your name—particularly if you’re in a more traditional field—but if you’re trying to brand yourself, tie it into your blog title or company name. As for the picture, a simple headshot (it doesn’t have to be professional) is best.

Step 2: Fill Your 160-Character Profile
Keep it memorable yet professional, and avoid long sentences, says DeMatteo. Make sure what you say makes sense for the industry and company you want to work for. For example, if you’re looking to work in accounting, be a little more formal.  Try “I’m John Smith. I have a CPA from XX University.” and link to your LinkedIn.  If you’re in graphic design, be a little quirky.  Try “John. Social Media. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.” with a link to your portfolio. Most importantly? Be transparent, says DeMatteo. You want to sound the way you actually are.



Social Media: Penn State’s Office of Social Media’s Geoff Rushton


I recently caught up with Penn State Office of Social Media’s social media manager Geoff Rushton to talk social strategy, trends and how social media has aided Penn State University in crisis over the past year. Geoff is a Penn State Class of 2001 College of Communications graduate with a strong background in journalism, public relations and new media management.

Established in the fall of 2011, the Office of Social Media is keeping a pulse of what is going on in the social sphere on and off campus as well as providing guidance and collaboration for individuals or organizations who want to fine tune their social efforts.

“The great thing for us at Penn State is that there are a lot of people here to learn from.” said Geoff of the benefits of exploring social media on Penn State’s diverse campus.

Dear Old State’s social media following boasts nearly 350,000 members. It’s the responsibility of the Office of Social Media to keep up with, what Geoff referred to as, a “wealth of content” ranging from the College of Agricultural Science to the Clown Nose Club. He also noted the challenges that the surplus of content brings.

When crisis emerged in the past year at the University, millions all over the world weighed in over the social media airwaves to publicize their thoughts. Geoff explains the approach the Office of Social Media took to facilitating conversations, disseminating news,  and responding to questions surrounding the “white hot” issues via Penn State’s social channels.

To wrap my conversation with Geoff I asked him a couple questions about emerging trends he anticipates in the coming year and his thoughts on the current state of the social media workspace. Geoff explains how anyone can make social media part of their career.

A very big thank you to Geoff Rushton for his time and  insight.

5 Things to Consider Before Jumping into the Social Media Workspace


Written by Jerry Rizzo 

On September 30, 2012, Facebook announced that it has over 1 billion users in it’s network, Google plus now yields 400 billion registered users, and Twitter with 140 million tweeple. While the social space has emerged as a place for people to connect with other people, it’s also become a powerful tool for brands to connect to consumers/fans. Behind every brand’s Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, etc…, there is a staff member or members who are coordinating and managing on a daily basis.  Social media is undoubtedly a legitimate work space and will only become more valued as users consume more goods via social and analytic tools improve to help brands better determine ROI for their social media efforts.

So, you want to jump into the social media workspace? I don’t blame you. It’s awesome, but there may be a few things to consider before making the leap.

1. When does social media sleep?

Do I even need to answer that? I will. The answer is never. When considering a career working the social web, be prepared to monitor your streams from sun-up to sun-down and then some. As a social media pro you’ll be expected to be your brand’s social media watchdog. This requires frequently checking up on your pages, profiles, and communities. Yes, even on your “days off”. Managing a brand’s social presence isn’t for your typical nine to fiver, it’s hours outside the office your co-workers will never see.

2. Can you prove it?

One of the hottest topics in social media is “What’s the ROI for my brand’s social media efforts?”.  Are you prepared to prove to your organization that it’s worth it? How? Fortunately there are a seemingly endless surplus of social media analytic tools to help us along the way . Your job will be to determine your brand’s social goals, whether they’re purely focused on branding, increasing revenue or a healthy mix of both. It’s up to you to choose the right tools to measure and show that your Tweets and posts are making a difference.

3. Are you ready to be the expert?

Congratulations you are our new social media manager! You are now the point person on all questions related to Twitter, Facebook, and everything in between. It sounds a bit obvious, but it’s a task to stay at the forefront of all breaking social media news. Platform changes, enhancements, and best practices are your area of expertise now. Believe me when I tell you, social media platforms change a lot and it’s your duty to be sure your brand is effectively embracing and optimizing accordingly.

4. Can you fit in?

First day of your new awesome social media job rolls around, who is your boss? Whose goals are you trying to achieve? Marketing’s? Public relations’? Sales’? Customer service? Hmmm…this is a tough one to answer in any organization. Some organizations may have well established social media policies and practices when you begin. If not, be prepared to do a balancing act a bit of pioneering.

5. Are you okay with being the Twitter guy/girl?

If you want to work in social media, you don’t have a choice. When I tell folks my actual title, they often respond with, “So you pretty much play on Facebook and Twitter all day?”. I always remain polite, laugh it off and with a little explaining can gain a little more interest. Don’t take it personally, because it’s far from the truth.  What I’ve found is that social media folk are called on to work cameras, edit videos, integrate social with websites, create graphics on top of the daily content planning, posting and monitoring. All in all expect to function in a variety of roles and still be referred to as “the Twitter guy/girl”.

So you think you are still want to make the leap? Let me know. Tweet me your thoughts at @JerryRizzo on Twitter.

A Brief Update – 5/15/2012


I haven’t posted in some time so I figured I’d post Instagram photos from my most recent trips with the Sixers. The last two weeks or so I’ve been traveling with the team to gather playoff content for Sixers.com and Sixers Social. I’ve been privileged to travel to both Chicago and Boston in this time to document the Sixers’ series vs. the Bulls (Round 1) and Celtics (Round 2). Both great cities and great experiences (the team’s success has made it that much sweeter).  Check out some of the photos I’ve grabbed from the trips. I try to post as many interesting personal photos from the road as possible.

Connect with the Sixers on Facebook or follow the Sixers on Twitter and Instagram to check out the team related content that I’ve been gathering.

Reader’s Park. Boston, Massachusetts Image

TD Garden (Home of the Boston Celtics). Boston, MassachusettsImage

Taking off for Boston. Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaImage

Chicago skyscrapers from Northwestern University Campus. Chicago, Illinois


Wrigley Field. Chicago, IllinoisImage

Chicago subway graffiti art. Chicago, Illinois


A view of the city from the train. Chicago IllinoisImage

5 Social Media Don’ts for Job Seekers by Jerry Rizzo


In follow up to my most recent post 5 Social Media Must Do’s for Job Seekers I wanted to post a few social media moves that could get you kicked clean out of the running for a position.

Desperate? Who me?

I know it’s easy to become discouraged and desperate while searching for the right job for you, but it’s important to internalize these feelings and keep them off of your profile feeds.  Recruiters aren’t interested in desperate job seekers who just want a job.  Keep it together.

Pest Control

Congratulations! You’ve connected with a few company employees that seem pretty hip.  This isn’t your go ahead to ask for recommendations, harass them about your application status or try schmoozing them by commenting on every one of their posts.  Make sure that your online  interactions with potential employers and their employees are professional and genuine.  Don’t force it!

Don’t Show Your Cards

It’s no secret that you’re applying to multiple positions in your job search, which is perfectly ok.  It becomes not okay when you begin to post about where and when you’re interviewing.  It becomes a conflict of interest for you and for the companies that are interested in you.  It can be insulting for a recruiter to read that a candidate is “So excited to finally interview @Google tomorrow after a quick interview in San Fran.”  It’s in your best interest to go about your leads discretely offline.

Not so Social

Don’t allow your profile feeds to be purely social.  Make sure you are posting and commenting on relevant content in your field.  I love sending Kitten videos as much as the next guy, but don’t let them account for 99.9% of your shared content.

Relax. Don’t freak.
Let’s face it.  Getting rejected sucks, but remember it’s not personal.  A rejection isn’t the green light to put a companies human resources on full blast.  Firstly, nobody truly cares about your online ranting.  Secondly, it’s a good reason for another company not to hire you.  Save two birds by not throwing that ugly social media rant stone.