Dean Marc Oppenheim creates website for job seekers
As many qualified, yet unemployed, people can tell you, looking for a full-time job is a job in itself. It requires long hours, extensive research and a constant updating of cover letters and résumés. Websites like Monster.com, Indeed.com, Media Bistro and Publishers Market cause aspiring publishing industry professionals to flock there in hopes of landing a job. But Marc Oppenheim, a local Wantagh resident and current associate dean for student affairs at Hofstra University, has made employment prospects a little bit easier with his website MEO Jobs.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Oppenheim chose Long Island to further his educational career.
“I attended Hofstra University and worked part-time in the office for university advisement. When I graduated four years later, I was able to get an entry-level job as an administrator in the office I was working in,” said Oppenheim, who earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in audio, video and film. “I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted but I knew I enjoyed being in the advising setting and working with people. I worked in the center for university advisement for five years before becoming an assistant dean in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.”
Although Oppenheim has been quite busy in his current position of associate dean for student affairs, he still finds time to help pre-professionals attain their goals.
“In my 10 years working in higher education with journalism, TV, PR and film students, I have been able to understand the challenges that people face while navigating the job market, especially in terms of the competition in a major market like New York,” he said. “I started thinking about how to help people like the students I’ve been working with and other professionals so I took to Twitter and started looking for good job leads.”
Oppenheim began tweeting a handful of daily job leads with the hashtag “MEO Jobs” on his personal page for nine months. After receiving enough positive feedback, he realized that he could take his idea one step further and in July 2014, launched MEO and created a branded set of social media sites.
“I created the site and started to let friends, colleagues, peers and professors from all over know about this new resource for media professionals. People come to it because it’s clean and visual in terms of its layout,” said Oppenheim. “More than 100 thumbnails have a link to job opportunities for every media and communications company. It’s like a digital cheat sheet and it’s very mobile friendly.”
What really turned the corner for Oppenheim’s venture is when he launched the MEO Jobs of the Day, a daily email that alerts subscribers to open jobs in the industry. Oppenheim compiles a daily list of at least 25 available jobs for his audience, which then gets sent via email and goes on the website as well.
“We have a subscriber list of close to 2,000 people who receive the Jobs of the Day email. It’s a customized approach and that’s what sets us apart,” said Oppenheim on how his brand is different from other job sites. “I believe that as the aggregator myself for this site, I’m doing the hard work on behalf of job seekers and making their jobs easier, and that has been appreciated by many members who have contacted me to say thank you.”
MEO Jobs is a noncommercial resource, meaning that people can access the website from wherever they are in the world to see what’s going on at major companies like Hearst, Condé Nast, NBCUniversal and Disney, just to name a few.
“I’m taking public content—from about 40 different websites—and organizing it in a clear and concise manner. It’s a passion project for me. I have a thriving career as an administrator and I do this on the side each night before I go to sleep for about 90 minutes,” said Oppenheim of his time-consuming hobby. “The fact that I’m getting so much positive feedback encourages me to keep going and I hope to continue doing it as long as I can.”
MEO Jobs caters to a diverse age group including recent graduates, students entering graduate school, as well as young adults to senior level executives looking to move from one company to another. While Oppenheim tries to ensure that most of the positions are mid-level, he does include plenty of entry- and senior-level jobs.
“The number one thing is to step away from the computer and be in a setting where you can engage like-minded professionals and start building some organic relationships to allow you to become a more known and verified entity,” said Oppenheim on branding yourself. “I encourage job seekers to seek professional memberships like PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) and SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) to more easily connect with your peers. Job seekers should be like a pinball in a pinball machine: bouncing off as many relevant people as possible.”
MEO brand now hosts Happy Hours to provide media professionals with an opportunity to communicate and get to know one another in a casual environment. Oppenheim also recommends leaning on former faculty and mentors at an alma mater and to stay on the radar of as many media and communications professional, as possible.
“If I am able to sustain the ongoing tasks to keep the site active, I’d like to think of other creative ways to connect people offline,” he said of other professional development opportunities. “I really just want to speak to the community of job seekers and let them know that someone out there understands that it’s a challenging process but there are strategies.”