How can a 33-year-old man with no skills raise six children?
Will Johnson sent out thousands of resumes to improve the lives of his wife and children, but none of them came. Even if you have taught yourself to code, no company wants to hire an inexperienced engineer.
Instead, he tweeted his way into a high-paying engineering job in eight months.
Repeatedly rejected resumes, no job opportunities
Before becoming an engineer for the egghead. IO community, Will Johnson was limited to working 12-hour mechanical shifts in factories and call centers. Although these jobs were not very difficult, they occupied all his time and were paid only a pittance.
In order to make a decent living for his family of eight, Will Johnson used his spare time off shifts to learn programming. He thought that having a certain skill could change his destiny, but the cruel reality was that all his resumes were rejected by the reason that he had no working experience.
Repeated rejections stung Will Johnson, but he refused to give up. He should have had a chance to get out of the current difficulties in his life.
The traditional method did not work, so he began to invent a new one. Rejection is normal because no one wants to risk hiring someone with no experience, and all candidates can say that they are diligent and passionate about software development. But it was definitely not enough, and Will Johnson chose to show off his ability and passion through social media.
Tweets, gets hired, gets hired
The first step was to create a Twitter account, where Will Johnson began publicly documenting his learning. Even though he has zero followers and doesn’t know anyone who works in technology. But he’s constantly updating the books he’s reading, the classes he’s taking, and uploading pictures of what he’s learning. Twitter is his dynamic archive of programming.
In an effort to get more people to see his Twitter feed, Will Johnson posts about the books he reads and the lessons he takes by creating hashtags associated with the authors and teachers. These creators like to see people derive value from their creations, and this actually helps them.
From February to October, Will Johnson worked tirelessly to run his own Twitter. In the process, he got to know a lot of technical people, and through constant introductions, he became better known in the community, and even got a chance to speak at an international conference for junior developers.
Finally, Will Johnson’s abilities were seen by those who needed him, and he entered egghead.io and became a real engineer.
“What I’ve inadvertently done is build a good reputation in the community,” says Will Johnson. “To me, any resume would be useful.”
Social media is a tool for developers to showcase themselves
Will Johnson is not the only one to find a job through social media. Another developer on Twitter, Kyle Shook, has been Posting some really cool CSS animations. He has put in a lot of time to make these beautiful animations, and finally got a job offer from a company.
Dhanish Gajjar used Instagram to post about the lessons he’s taking and the problems he’s solving. He also created a CSS challenge for developers to publish their own content and ask others to submit versions. Finally, there was a company that offered Dhanish a job and he still works there today.
Social media doesn’t speed up your job search process, and not everyone can build a presence on it. But they can be powerful tools for developers to use to show others as much of what they’ve worked so hard to learn and master, otherwise no one will see the value in you.
“Open learning is not all about me,” said Will Johnson. “I also enhance what I learn by answering relevant questions and helping others solve problems. It’s a win-win.”
At the same time, according to Will Johnson, it potentially shows the employer that he is willing to help others and that he demonstrates his communication skills. This is all very important for developers, especially with the rise of remote work, where much of the communication is done via email, GitHub, and the like. In this case, telling your potential employer that you are an effective communicator may also give them an advantage when considering hiring you.
Before becoming an engineer, Will Johnson had worked in factories for six years. Unable to get a chance in traditional job searches, he began using social media to showcase himself and gradually built relationships and influence in the community.
Social media may be full of developers with clean desks and great resumes, but if you decide to start showing yourself, don’t worry too much. Just as Will Johnson turned his life 180 degrees by learning and presenting himself, others have the opportunity to change their lives.