How to Use Social Media as Part of Your BA Job Search Strategy: Interview with Colleen Chan

Every day I make a mistake and every day I learn something new.

Colleen Chan, “Business Analyst with a Difference” from Sydney, Australia, shares her inspiring story about her entrance into LinkedIn and blogging and discovering a true passion for social media all as a result of trying to find that “next opportunity”. Colleen brings a unique blend of business analysis and data analysis acumen to a potential employer and she shares her passion for “the data” on her blog.

Laura: Thanks for meeting with me today (or I guess your tomorrow!). I’ve spent a bit of time on your blog Business Analyst with a Difference and I’m excited to hear your story. Tell me about how you got started.

Colleen: After a meeting with my career counselor, I began to get involved in social media as part of my efforts to find a job. I created an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and connected with people I’d worked with in the past. I was there, but I wasn’t fully participating. I didn’t know what to write about. I learned about a local JobCAMP conference with a Personal Branding competition. I decided that if I won the competition I’d have something to write about.  It turned out that I was the only person who entered, so I won! And I started writing!

Read Colleen’s complete story about the personal branding competition.

Laura: How fun! What’s it been like to have a blog?

Colleen: Well, you know. People seem to be interested in what I have to been writing. That is really cool! I can tell from watching the stats that people are reading and following my story. I get emails from people telling me how they like my story and my data analytics posts. I never expected to be able to reach out to people from all over.

The blog has generated opportunities for me. I mainly promote the blog through LinkedIn. People have found the blog and called me in for an interview. I really believe I’ve received more interviews from blogging than I would have otherwise. If I hadn’t gotten involved in social media, I’d be just like a lot of other people looking for jobs right now: no interviews and no sense of opportunities.

By being involved in social media, I get to learn something every day. Every day I make a mistake and every day I learn something new.

Laura: It sounds like blogging takes a lot of time (and I know that to be true from experience too!). Do you intend to keep blogging once you find a job?

Colleen: Oh yes. I enjoy it too much to stop. I’ll find time on evenings and weekends to keep it going.

Laura: When you are in interviews, how do people tell you that your blog made a difference in them deciding to call you in?

Colleen: People tell me that they can see the passion in my blog. They can tell I really care about what I’m doing. When I started posting about data analysis and the techniques I use as a statistician, I started building professional credibility as well. So in addition to being passionate about what I do hiring managers can tell I really know what I’m talking about. The blog posts about data analysis have generated the most job interviews for me.

Although the interviews have not yet to a job yet, I’m hopeful. I have a unique blend of experiences. In this current market employers can really pick and choose what they are looking for in a candidate.

Laura: Colleen, thank you so much for your time. I’m looking forward to sharing your story. I’m sure you will inspire others who are looking for jobs with your passion and energy.

Colleen: Thank you Laura for your flattering comments. The story is there to show others that it can be done, but with a lot of hard work. And thank you for reaching out to me and sharing my story. It has been lovely chatting with you today.

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