August 15, 2011

Did you find a job with help from social media?

In case you don't get the Sunday paper (and why wouldn't you?), I had a story yesterday about the rise of social media usage in recruiting and job-hunting.

I talked with some local companies and recruiters about their efforts in using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to connect with job candidates.

My take-away: professional networking and job-hunting in some ways requires good social media "hygiene." Just like you'd go to a dentist or general practitioner annually for a thorough checkup, you need to be diligent about maintaing a social media presence that's geared toward your career.

Freshen up your LinkedIn page and contribute to its Groups. Use keywords and tweet with hashtags on Twitter. Explore your friends' job connections on Facebook. Keep yourself visible (without embarrassing yourself, of course.)

If you found your job with the help of social media, give us a shout-out in the comments below.

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:54 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Big Ideas, Jobs & Recruiting, Social Media

May 18, 2011

LinkedIn IPO frenzy -- would you buy the stock?

The coming LinkedIn IPO -- expected tomorrow -- may be a resounding success, as frothing-at-the-mouth investors appear eager to throw their money at big social media companies. The company is expected to prices its shares tonight and make them available on the stock market tomorrow, under the New York Stock Exchange ticker LNKD.

Potential share price: $42-$45.

Potential valuation: ~$4.25 billion.

So, here's the question: Would you invest in LinkedIn? This Reuters article outlines some of the risks in the marketplace for LinkedIn, including the fact that it has struggled with losses and profitability.

What happens when LinkedIn becomes directly accountable to Wall Street when it's public? Will it cut expenses and investment in future growth drastically to produce better profit margins?

In this Bloomberg video, Jonathan Merriman, a tech investor, explains the LinkedIn IPO and talks about the risks. Interesting stuff:

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

December 6, 2010

Big gov't contractor to hold job open house this Friday

I just got word that ManTech International Corp., a publicly traded defense contractor, is holding a career open house this Friday.

It will be held at the BWI Airport Marriott, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The company, which provides technology and services for national security programs, is seeking to fill more than 400 open positions that require various levels of security clearances.

The new positions are for locations in the Baltimore-Washington area, including a new facility that's opening in Aberdeen in March.

You don't have to register to attend the open house, but the company encourages potential applicants to visit its website at

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 12:20 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Government Tech, Jobs & Recruiting

November 19, 2009 to be included in AOL job cuts


AOL will be trying to reduce its workforce next month by one-third through a voluntary layoff program that will be open to all employees, including 400 people in its office in Baltimore, according to a company spokeswoman.

The voluntary layoff program will begin Dec. 4 and last through Dec. 11. AOL's owner, Time Warner Inc., is expected to spin off AOL into an independent entity on Dec. 9.

The company is looking for 2,500 volunteers to leave, and if they don't reach that number, they will need to do an involuntary layoff, according to Tricia Primrose, the AOL spokeswoman.

[I am seeking tips and insight from anyone who knows what may happen to workers at AOL's division here in Baltimore. Email me at]

News: The New York Times (via Reuters) is reporting this morning that AOL plans to cut one-third of its workforce, or about 2,500 jobs
AOL's owner, Time Warner, plans to spinoff the company on Dec. 9, and expects to take restructuring charges of up to $200 million. is the company's advertising network and considered to be one of the "crown jewels" of AOL. It remains to be seen if any of's 400 employees in Baltimore will face the cuts.

I pondered these potential cuts in a blog post in June, when an AOL spokeswoman called "a jewel in our advertising portfolio."

According to the Reuters report, AOL has asked for volunteers and if enough people don't step up, they'll resort to involuntary terminations.

Anybody know what's gonna happen in Baltimore????

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 9:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: *NEWS*, Jobs & Recruiting

August 18, 2009

We're #3! We're #3!

...according to, at least. The job-hunt Web site is going all Google Trends with its slicing and dicing of job listing, unemployment and per capita data.

In June, Baltimore was No. 3 in terms of the ratio of unemployed per job posting (1 job per 1 unemployed person), while Washington D.C. was No. 1. (6 jobs per unemployed person). The top 50 metro areas were tabulated (see the full list here.) Okay, so maybe it's not the most uber-scientific analysis, but doesn't seeing Baltimore ranking high on a positive survey make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Be honest now.


Source:, via TechCrunch

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 10:11 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: East Coast, Jobs & Recruiting

July 15, 2009

"Hire Me" Nation: Using the Web & social media to get a job

My story today about people launching "hire me" Websites was sparked by "retweets" last month about Matt Bivons, who launched an online drive to get a job at Blue Sky Factory, a Baltimore-based email marketing firm. He calls it

Who was this guy? Why was he doing this? Will we all eventually have our own "hire me" Websites? I spoke to Matt early on, and then ruminated on the phenomenon for a few weeks, poking around here and there and trying to see if anyone else was doing this. I started finding more and more sites like Matt's when I simply Googled "" or "" (Here's a short list of some I perused.)

Quickly, I learned that Jamie Varon, a 24-year-old from California who launched, may have been among the first -- if not the first -- to do something like this (at least since Twitter and Facebook have been around.)

Two people I interviewed who didn't make it into my print story were Susan Lewis and Eric Barker. But it wasn't because their efforts and ideas weren't remarkable. On the contrary:

Susan, 39, a marketing pro from Dallas, launched, which turns the typical job hunt on its ear. If you're a boss, you can't hire Susan. She's gonna hire you. She graduated from Seth Godin's informal MBA program in New York this year (a six-month boot camp for smart, social-media-savvy people) and launched her site.

Susan told me about 30 companies expressed interest in her (30!), and she's narrowed the field down to about three potential employers. "Some (opportunities) could be project work," Lewis said. "There's one I might end up making an offer to."

Eric Barker, 36, of Los Angeles, told me how he's been running inexpensive ads on Facebook to target employers he wants to work for. The way it works is he puts up an ad that he targets to employees of a particular company who happen to be on Facebook. When you buy an ad on Facebook, the site offers you granular tools to target your ad to people, say, who claim they work for a certain company. The ads get him noticed and he gets calls from recruiters.

Barker, a former Hollywood screenwriter with an MBA, said his Facebook campaign has cost him little more than $100. He's targeted ads to Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Youtube and IDEO -- basically companies that are in media. He's gotten contacts and interviews, ironically, with other companies who were impressed by the ad.

He said he "went nuclear" with the Facebook approach because of the rough job market and he needed to get attention quickly. "My background is in Hollywood," he said. "Nothing in Hollywood gets done effectively through formal channels. Everything is done by friend of a friend and reputation. The real world is not that much different."

His dream job would be something in product marketing and/or development, he told me.

About his Facebook approach, he said: "We're all marketers now, like it or not. Getting access [through the Web and interactive social media tools] is easy. It's now all about marketing and branding yourself."

If you're curious about using Facebook -- and even LinkedIn -- as ways to advertise yourself to a new job, you should check out some tips from Willy Franzen over at the One Day, One Job blog.

Let me know if you have success with your online campaigns to get the job of your dreams (or even just a job your mildly happy about, especially if it involves decent pay and health bennies.)

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

June 30, 2009

Big online gaming co. Zynga opening 1st East Coast office in Baltimore area

brianreynolds.jpg Some of you have been seeing the job ads posted locally for a couple weeks now and wondered what Zynga Inc. was doing recruiting in the Baltimore area.

I'll tell you what they're doing: they're opening their first East Coast office, here in the Baltimore/Timonium area, hiring 12-15 people, and calling it Zynga East.

One of the biggest companies in the booming field of online social gaming, Zynga has come to the East Coast -- and chosen Baltimore (er, maybe Timonium) to plant their flag. If you've ever played Mafia Wars or Texas Hold'Em or Pirates or Scramble on Facebook or MySpace, you've played a Zynga game.

To lead Zynga East, Zynga hired Brian Reynolds, an 18-year veteran of the Baltimore-area gaming scene who co-founded Firaxis Games (Hunt Valley) and Big Huge Games (Timonium), which was bought last month by Curt Schilling's (yes, the retired Major League Baseball pitcher) 38 Studios.

(That's Brian Reynolds to the left, in a pic taken Feb. 17, 1999 by a Sun photographer, when he was VP of software development at Firaxis Games, and designed the game Alpha Centauri. Sorry Brian, couldn't find a more recent pic in our archives.)

A Zynga spokeswoman told me in an email last night that Reynolds will be bringing some of his "key associates" to work with him.

Zynga East will be working on a new online game, but the company wouldn't say what it was about.

Reynolds has a deep background in building strategy games, so maybe that's what we can expect to see more of?

The Baltimore area has become a bit of a game developer's haven.

Zynga's presence here will add a new competitive dimension to the game development scene, with online gaming being white-hot right now. And Zynga itself is a buzz machine.

They've attracted something like $40 million in investment capital and they're reportedly cash flow positive, with around 250 employees. It reportedly has sales of around $100 million and is profitable, but it's privately held, so we don't know how profitable.

BusinessWeek's Valley Girl has the good lowdown on the company and how -- you ask -- it's actually supposedly making all this money. Basically, it seems people are willing to pony up a few bucks here and there to play their games. They've got 12 million daily users and 50 million monthly users, the company reports.

For a quick rundown of Zynga in the news, check this out. And my online news story is here. Good news for Baltimore area game developers? Let me know what you think.

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 8:50 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: East Coast, Gamers, Jobs & Recruiting, Social Media, West Coast

June 16, 2009

Look who's hiring II

Earlier today, I mentioned that I had had a conversation with the leaders of two companies last week who were telling me about their positive job-hiring trends. g1440.jpg One of those companies is G.1440, a Web/IT consulting and recruiting firm based in Baltimore.

Larry Fiorino, G.1440's president and CEO, told me that his company was looking to fill 30-40 positions for I.T. companies -- a surprisingly busy time for them and a "tremendous opportunity" for tech workers in Baltimore, he said.

So today, with the help of Tim Kassouf, a marketing manager over at G.1440, I got a more detailed rundown on the job-market trends from Leslie Kellermann, a senior recruiting manager at the company.

Leslie responded point-by-point to some of the questions I posed to companies and recruiters earlier today. Here's what Leslie had to say:

BaltTech: Who's hiring right now?

Leslie: Companies in general are beginning to hire, especially contractors, but the biggest growth is with smaller to mid-size companies who are looking for mid-level IT Professionals. We aren’t seeing as much from the large companies and we aren’t seeing a whole lot of need for candidates in the six-figure range.

(Wait, before you hit the jump for more from Leslie: Is your tech-related company or recruiting agency hiring right now? If so, please leave us your take on the current Baltimore/Md. I.T. job scene in the comments below.)

Continue reading "Look who's hiring II" »

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 2:45 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Jobs & Recruiting

Look who's hiring?

helpwanted.jpg I had conversations last week with the leaders of two Baltimore tech-companies -- one a small biz, the other a mid-sized biz -- and both exuded some pretty impressive optimism for their prospects.

They've been in hiring mode recently, snapping up talent to help them complete their projects and build capacity to snag new business. (I don't want to give their names away just yet. Stay tuned.)

My point: These tech companies feel like they're on the move, while others perhaps are still in retrenching and cost-saving mode.

These conversations got me wondering what the current landscape is looking like for I.T. and other Web-related companies in and around Baltimore.

Who's hiring right now? Any recruiters want to weigh in? What's the current climate like out there for tech companies in Maryland? What sectors are seeing growth and a resumption of hiring? Who's still in bunker mode? If there are any noticeable trends that are cooking, I'd dig in a little further with a follow up story. :-)

It's worth noting that the Boston Globe's tech/innovation columnist, Scott Kirsner, covered this topic today for the Boston scene and who inspired me to probe what's shakin' here in Maryland. Here's his column and here's his latest blog post, where he lets some of his interviewees speak about the trends in their own words. Hot off the blog press today!

(Image, via thewmatt, Creative Commons)

This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:
Posted by Gus Sentementes at 11:00 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Jobs & Recruiting
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About Gus G. Sentementes
Gus G. Sentementes (@gussent on Twitter) has been writing for The Baltimore Sun since 2000. He's covered real estate, business, prisons, and suburban and Baltimore City crime and cops. He was one of the first reporters at The Sun to use multimedia tools and Web applications -- a video camera, an iPhone -- to cover breaking news. He hopes to cover Maryland geeks and the gadgets and Web sites they build, and learn -- and share -- something new every day.

Gus has a wife, a young daughter and two feuding cats. They live in Northeast Baltimore.
This is an archived version of the technology blog. For updated coverage, see the current baltTech location:

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