Social Media and the "App Zap Pump Play" of Modern Jobseeking

By Tony Restell

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Today's piece isn't our usual "how to" style advice on jobseeking or recruiting. Rather it's more of a look at the bigger picture of jobseeking and social media - sparked by a new book launch from Abhijit Ray, built on the notion of "App Zap Pump Play". This seeks to capture the impact of social media on the modern approach to jobseeking through the interplay of four elements:

“App” - the rise of applications

“Zap” - the social community made possible by social media

“Pump” - all the strategies and actions that an individual or an organization can take, leveraging App and Zap resources to achieve their objective.

“Play” is the ecosystem that exists around you, impacting every action you take and creating knock-on reactions.


Social Media and Modern Jobseeking - App Zap Pump Play

Further explanation is shared below, but what really interested me about the notion of "App Zap Pump Play" is that it focuses on the interplay between earlier technologies (eg. job boards) and the most recent advances (eg. advances in social networking sites and apps). Rather than seeing one as destroying the other, Abhijit's approach suggests there's an interplay between new and old that creates a new norm for conducting one's job search - in which the likes of job boards still play an integral role.

It's been a pet grievance of mine for some time that so much media commentary has focused on social media's likely annihilation of previous ways of doing things. I've always believed social media would cause people's behaviour to gradually evolve rather than to be transformed overnight, so seeing another author saying the same thing captured my interest.

Anyway, enough from me - here's how Abhijit and his co-authors see the jobseeking landscape having evolved. I hope it gives you food for thought - and would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below...

"App Zap Pump Play" and The Art of The Modern Job Search

With the advent of the internet, social media and mobile applications, the world is witnessing a new revolution; a revolution in which these platforms converge to provide an unparalleled level, speed and depth of services across many walks of life. The convergence of social media, mobility and the knowledgeable worker has resulted in new solutions to old problems - including the ubiquitous “job search”.

Gone are the days when job seekers would open up the daily newspaper and peruse job listings. The world is now hyper connected with sophisticated platforms and applications ranging from LinkedIn to Facebook to mobile applications that have enhanced the ability of an individual to connect with others, position their strengths and apply for a job.

Generation Y has been quite adept at adapting to this new paradigm; indeed many have played significant roles in shaping this new economy. But with global recession, many baby-boomers are still seeking employment and Generation X has a long way to go before retirement. The challenge is for the latter two generations to adapt to the new connected economy.

So how does one succeed in this age of hyper-connectivity and social media? How does one leverage these platforms in the most effective way and how does one emerge victorious?

In this age of convergence the key to success lies in the ability to know what’s out there (tools and services), who to reach out to (network) and how to leverage these resources (strategies and counter-strategies).

“App-Zap-Pump-Play” addresses these new dynamics.

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What is App-Zap-Pump-Play?

“App” is an abbreviation for application. An app is a piece of software. It can run on the Internet, on your computer, or on your phone or other electronic device.

“Zap” means people – and the community or ecosystem of services that can aid an individual or an organization in the pursuit of its objective. In its pure essence, Zap is your social graph.

“Pump” refers to all the strategies and actions that an individual or an organization can take, leveraging App and Zap resources to achieve the objective. Pump defines the actions you take in achieving your goals.

“Play” is the ecosystem that exists around you, impacting every action you take and creating knock-on reactions. It is the all-pervasive flow of information and actions that affect your Zap and Pump.

The background to why App-Zap-Pump-Play is an increasingly important element of modern jobseeking can be found in this excerpt from the App Zap Pump Play book. Essentially one's career can be subject to rapid changes in circumstances in the modern economy - and when a professional finds themselves needing to make a change, the array of information and jobseeking options available to them has become overwhelming.

Here is an example on how someone might use “App-Zap-Pump-Play” in their job search:

The job seeker downloads some of the leading job applications (such as Jobvite, iJobs, JobMagic etc) on their smartphone. They then visit a number of online job services such as, Hotjobs etc and post their resume. They also log into various social media sites:

- LinkedIn showing people who are directly or indirectly linked to a job posting.

- Facebook to access related job ads.

- Twitter to access twitter communities that may have posted these jobs.

- Discussion groups eg. on LinkedIn to access significant listings of jobs.

- Other specialty services eg. that help them to leverage social media to their advantage.

These tools, mobile apps and services are the “Apps”

The job seeker then uses social media such as LinkedIn (professional network) and Facebook (personal network) to connect with people so that s/he can position himself or herself to a prospective employer. There are conferences, seminars and meet-ups ( that bring employers and prospective employees together. The jobseeker may also actively participate through contributions in discussion forums, blogs and white papers as a subject matter expert. This allows one to gain visibility amongst industry peers and helps expand one’s network. All these activities that lead to connecting with people, following organizations, attending conferences, participating in discussion forums are the “Zap”.

“Pump” is about how one takes these Apps and Zaps, and puts them together in an actionable strategy. For example, after downloading the apps on your smartphone or on your computer, you use an online job portal like TheLadders, etc. to screen jobs and set up notifications that will alert you to new postings. The job seeker follows the potential employer on LinkedIn and Facebook to receive its updates, connects with relevant contacts on Twitter or Google+. Then through LinkedIn the job seeker can research more on the hiring manager, send a connection invite, find out who within the network is connected to the hiring manager, find common interests – all information that can potentiall be used one’s advantage. If the hiring manager has a blog or a white paper, the job seeker can download and read it and post constructive comments. Moreover, all of this can be done using a smart phone while the job seeker is on the run, vacationing or even commuting.

The power of reaching out to so many individuals in such a short time gives unparalleled visibility and reach. Jobseekers can achieve a lot more in a day and potentially increase their chances of being called for an interview.

However for every action there is an equal and an opposite reaction. So there will be counter-actions for all the efforts you put into your job search and/or closing an opportunity. This is called competition a.k.a “Play”. The question is how do you overcome this competition? Once again the Apps and Zaps will come into play.

You can identify your competition by finding your peers via social networking sites; understanding what strengths they bring to the table and what their career paths look like. This can also give a job seeker a 360-degree understanding of themselves - what are their unique strengths and what are their weaknesses? The idea is to play to one’s strengths and manage one’s weaknesses. For example one can leverage the power of social media to get references for a job application, identify people in the network whose recommendations matter for the hiring manager, create a brand for oneself through contributions in the industry – all this while moving fast through the best use of mobile technology. Overall a counter-strategy that has elements of speed, brand image and network connections provides a means of overcoming the challenges posed by the competition – be that competition from an external job candidate or indeed even a potential internal hire.

As you can start to appreciate, the notion of App Zap Pump Play comes into play in every aspect the jobseeking and career management process.

About the Author

Abhijit Ray is a sales leader at Mphasis Corporation, an HP company and is based in Boston. In his 15+ years in global technology sales, he has developed best practices and know-how in the field of B2B sales.

Abhijit Ray

He and four of his colleagues (Ritesh Pathak, Rahul Sandil and Kam Vadali) have put together a radical new sales framework called “App-Zap-Pump-Play” that takes into account the convergence of social media, mobility and the knowledgeable worker that is happening in the world today and applies this framework to solve existing problems with a fresh perspective. Their recently co-authored book on improving job prospects has been published on leading eBook platforms.

More information on App-Zap-Pump-Play can be found on . The book is also available on Amazon.

Abhijit's blogs are available here and he can be contacted on twitter via @abhijitray

Image source: Flickr r000pert



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