Connecting the Dots – Twitter style

I started connecting the dots with my trip to New Orleans for the CMA Strong Connections, Strong Careers conference with multiple social media presentations.

Civilian personnel from the various branches of the military heavily attended the conference. Their skepticism of social media and Twitter was clearly evident in the sessions I attended.

Twitter and social media can be scary

Their concerns were no different than some of my clients or other friends. If you don’t understand social media or Twitter, you might think you are entering into a vortex you cannot return from ever again.

The military questions were specific to things like security issues and confidentiality issues. Those concerns were rapidly answered by my colleagues.

One of the military participants asked about risks for members of the military on LinkedIn. Donna Sweidan rapidly answered that multiple people in her LI network were from high levels of the military.

Connecting with colleagues

As I tweeted the conference, I used wifi for my laptop because I can tweet so much faster from my laptop than the phone.

The social media panel consisted of Jason Alba, Miriam Salpeter, Joel Cheesman, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Greg Taylor, and Chandlee Bryan. Their topic was “Everything you need to know about social media (so you won’t be left behind).” The highly interactive audience asked a myriad of engaging questions.

This panel was just one small part of the conference. The keynote speakers Richard Bolles and Yves Lermusi opened with the topic: “Checkster Meets What Color is Your Parachute.”

One reason I chose this conference was to hear Richard Bolles. When I met my husband in 1979, he had the 1979 edition of What Color is Your Parachute. As I became more active in the career industry, I realized what an icon the author had become. What Color is Your Parachute is a textbook for many career professionals and job seekers.

Choosing between the concurrent sessions was hard

I didn’t want to miss the chance to hear Don Orlando showcase “Powerful, Confident New Ways to Showcase your Clients Values… and Yours!” I watched him interview a volunteer he had never met, revising a resume on the spot with value-added information.

Connecting with friends and building new friendships

I met many great new friends like Andrea. In addition, I renewed relationships with Twitter friends like Miriam, Jacqui, Deb Dib, Donna, and Susan.

Jason Alba and I finally met in person after “knowing” each other online for several years. The featured photo in this post is of Jason and myself at dinner with many of our friends. Ever food adventurous, I ordered gator and Jason is holding a piece of the deep-fried gator bites.

I had great food and great times. Dawn Bugni was my roommate. We took the relationship we developed through e-lists, Twitter, Facebook, and phone to a new level by sharing a room for three days.

Dawn and I held our own “Breakfast Summit.”

While I am sure skeptics remain after the social media sessions and examples, for me, social media connects the dots. It takes relationships from online to real life. You build bonds quicker because you already have a starting point for the conversation.

To decide about social media or if you should take a social media relationship to a new level, I say do it!

Connecting the Dots – Twitter style! Relationships are what drive connections and lead to new opportunities.

I teach ways to use social media networking in the job search. Learn more.


  1. Melissa on May 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    What a great recap of your time at the CMA conference!

    I definitely agree with you about the benefits of social media in fostering relationships, but then taking them offline to really solidify them. I had the opportunity last week to meet someone who started as a Twitter connection, and it was great! We have to do that someday, too 🙂

    • Julie Walraven on May 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Melissa, I do look forward to meeting you soon in person. I can’t say how great it is to be taking so many online relationships to real life.

  2. Donna Sweidan on May 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Julie, Inadvertently found this..via Jason’s Tweet. What a fantastic and creative recap! You rock! I must laugh however to read that I have lots of Military in my network. Ironically, it is true, and that is all thanks to the power of Linkedin. I should clarify, they are all 2nd degree connections, but none-the-less, the Military are up there.. in large numbers, and if anyone ever wanted to connect to them, they certainly could through me.
    I too have a very busy week ahead of me..Lots of evening appointments like yourself.
    So great to be connected! Keep Tweeting!

    • Julie Walraven on May 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      I loved your response to the question about security… I couldn’t resist saying that. Thank you for the compliment, Donna! I am so glad I got to know you a little better this trip even if it seemed we were always on the other end of the table or there were scads of people all around us.

Resume Design and Job Seeking Tips

Here are Design Resumes' latest articles on job search, resume design, resume writing, and Linkedin optimization articles I've written.

FREE Resume and Job Search Tips by email

Get free tips and strategy direct to your inbox. just add your name and email below. I respect your privacy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

Here are ways I can help you land your dream job.

You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.