Interview with Marian Schembari

 About a month ago, I stumbled upon Marian's fabulous website and started following her on twitter. What fascinated me about Marian was her ability to leverage  social media in order to get a job. Marian bought a facebook ad and targeted publishing houses like Harpercollins, Random House and Penguin. The ad redirected to her website where she had uploaded her resume and work portfolio. After landing a job as a junior publicist in a book PR firm, Marian decided to strike it out on her own and describes herself as a social media "thug". I asked her a few questions about social media, the world of publishing and her latest project, The Pajama Job Hunt. Here goes...                                                
As a graduate fresh out of college, how did you negotiate the big bad world of publishing?
Well, both my parents were in the publishing world at some point, so I used their network to learn more about what was going on. I honestly knew nothing about the industry other than "I like books" - which isn't the most helpful way to go to a job interview ;-) That said, I did A LOT of research. I found out the most important industry publications, read Mediabistro daily, talked to everyone I could about publishing. I learned the best places to work, jobs I was qualified for, people I should know, etc etc. I also joined two networking groups for people in publishing. That way I could meet people who were employed in the industry. People I could learn from. The groups I joined were Women's National Book Association and NYC Women in Publishing. also has a few publishing groups and you can access it from anywhere in the world.
What are your personal interests and how has that contributed to your career decisions?
I have a lot of interests and like to consider myself "multi-passionate". I love cooking, especially baking and hope someday to attend culinary school. I have this dream to become a pastry chef and eventually open up my own bakery. I also love music, books, photograph, design, writing... Social media is also a big interest and that's where my career path lies at the moment.
Tell us a little bit about your own campaign and why you think it worked.
 In May 2009 I graduated from Davidson College, hoping to get a job in publishing. Regardless of the fact that the industry is kind of at a standstill and it doesn’t pay very much, I spent 3 months applying to every entry-level publishing job on the planet. Nothing happened. Problem is, I’m kind of an impatient person and like stuff to be happening RIGHTTHISSECOND so I decided to screw it and market myself instead of playing into the system. The first step was to take out an advertisement on Facebook, targeting anyone who worked at the major New York publishing houses. Not only did I get a job in 2 weeks, but it was publicized everywhere from Real Simple magazine to ABC News. It worked because it put me in touch with a lot of important people in the industry. The best and fastest way to get a job is through networking. Social media, including (but not limited to) Facebook advertisements, is a great way to network.
How did you train yourself to understand social media?
There is so much information out there, I just used Google! Of course searching how to start a blog and use Twitter led to sites like Mashable and various other social media instruction sites. Problem is, it was really time consuming and I had to look in a million different places. But it is possible to learn it on your own.
How can social media novices understand it better?
By watching other people! The best way to learn how to use social media is research how people like you are using it. What are they tweeting about? Who are they connected with on LinkedIn? What Facebook groups do they join? Are they posting on fan pages or just listening? Spend some time looking around and asking yourself these questions - it will help you hone your own Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/blog strategy so you don't waste time floundering.
 Tell us a little bit about your upcoming project, The Pajama Job Hunt.
 The Pajama Job Hunt is a program for anyone looking to get an edge over the hundreds of other applicants out there. PJH’s Twitter Series is a 3-part video course designed for recent grads, freelancers and anyone who’s sick and tired of the typical job hunting process. Here's a snippet from my sales page that explains it best:
In this video training you’ll learn:
  • Exactly how to publicize your job search and what wording to use. More importantly, what wording NOT to use.
  • 3 rarely used techniques to get OTHER people to help you land your dream job FAST.
  • How to quickly create a Twitter profile that makes you irresistible to employers and potential clients.
  • How to tweet like the pros by using Twitter lists, retweets, hashtags and Google.
  • How to find and connect with “Big Wigs” in your industry by using my sneaky search techniques.
    Want to know if this program is right for you?
  •   You’re a college grad just entering the job market with little-to-no network. You want a ridiculously awesome job but have already spent waaaaay too much time sending your resume into the abyss of internet job boards.
  • You’re a freelancer looking to expand your network and gain dozens of new clients.
  • You’ve been looking for the perfect job for months (if not years) with zero success. You’ve sent out resumes and perfectly crafted cover letters but are still hearing nothing but crickets. You’re bored with the typical job hunting process and want to try a more proactive tactic that will get you results FAST.
You’re shy! Job hunters and freelancers alike know networking is key to their next big job. But if you hate networking events, does that mean you’re screwed?! NO! The Pajama Job Hunt lets you sit at home in your pajamas and tweet all day while forging a path to fabulous career opportunities.
What are the other projects you are working on?
Along with Pajama Job Hunt I just started a series called Critique My Profile. It's a weekly "show" where I do exactly that - critique people's Twitter profiles. You can go here - - and submit your Twitter handle. One a week I pick an interested/relevant profile and do a 10 minute video critique of their bio, background, tweets, tactics, links, etc. I'm also starting a small coaching practice where I pair up with job seekers and help them land the work they want. This service is one-on-one and includes a lot of hand holding for people who don't want to spend the time learning on their own.Life after college doesn't need to be in someone's office. You don't need to do things because everyone else you graduated with does it that way. What I mean is: Dreading the working world? Do something else. Hate sending out resumes? Don't. Find the alternative route if your gut is telling you to do something else!

Marian specializes in social media for job hunters, sometimes gets paid to write and works with authors who want to build up their personal brand. She blogs over at and usually features posts under the “uncategorized” tag but likes to pretend it revolves somewhat around Gen Y careers that don’t fit in a box. She is launching a virtual classroom teaching recent grads, job seekers and freelancers how to use social media as the ultimate career tool. Follow her on Twitter. Do it now.


Anant said…
hey ... nice work with the blog ...