Posts filed under ‘business’

Keeping up with the Kardashians during the job hunt

Keeping up with the Kardashians

He completely lost me at “sir”.

 
It was his first chance to make a lasting impression and he totally blew it.

 
Clearly stated in the job description was “accurate, detail oriented, excellent communicator…” and “please contact Heather Gardner direct for immediate consideration.”

 
Had he taken the time to look me up, he would have known…. Oh “Bing” or “Google” me please!

 
It’s so easy to lose out on an opportunity by making a simple yet costly mistake. In this example he assumed Heather Gardner was male, he was being lazy or he just wasn’t paying attention.

 
Applying to open jobs is an important thing to do during an active job hunt.   Keeping track of who you respond to is even more important!  Get the name wrong might just cost you the job.  Which resume version you sent and when will help you be prepared so when the recruiter pre-screen call comes, it will likely turn into an interview.

 
You can’t over do “attention to detail” when corresponding with a perspective company, hiring manager, recruiter or human resource professional. It could make or break your chances of being considered for a role.

 
AND ….

 
SEND a “Thank you” regardless of whether you got the job.  Not only is it key to make an excellent first impression, but that last bit of communication is important as well. Keep yourself on top of mind with that hiring manager that didn’t offer you the job, because who knows what doors that might open in the future.

 
Having trouble keeping track?

 
Are you sending out introduction letters with the person’s wrong name? Get help! I always recommend http://www.jibberjobber.com/login.php as an excellent CRM tool for the active job seeker. JibberJobber.com has some pretty sophisticated components and offers webinars all the time. There’s a free and premium version.  I suggest you get on track because an excel spread sheet only goes so far…

 
What tools are helping you to keep up with the Kardashians during your job hunt?

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October 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

What would Batman do?

maisy 013

What would Batman do?

Gotham City just had a major layoff.  Batman is now unemployed and actively looking for his next gig.  Superman and Spiderman got their pink slip a week earlier.

 

Because Batman is an “out of the box” thinker he knows that he needs to try something different in order to find employment during these extraordinary times.

 

Personal (Professional) Branding:  This is something that a great many of us miss when we are job hunting.  It’s really a simple concept, but it can be a difficult thing to enact and master effectively.   Ask yourself this question:

 

“How do I want someone who has no clue who I am to see me as?”

 

In Batman’s case, he decides that he will formulate 4 different versions of his resume using all of his trademarks skills and experience, but tailoring it to specifically branding himself as:

 

  1. Crime Fighter
  2. Gadget & Weapon Inventor / Tester
  3. Billionaire Philanthropist
  4. Manager

Networking:  This is the time to use your contacts.  And if you can, don’t wait until you NEED a job to build your network, start it NOW.   The best way to get your foot in the door is by networking.   If you are uncomfortable about attending face to face events, drag along your social butterfly friend.  This may help you ease your way into feeling comfortable around folks you don’t know yet.  Master this skill and it will help you for decades.

 

Target Company List:  Job board leads stale?  Create  a Target Company List.  You can use LinkedIn’s new sophisticated “companies” tab.  This will not only pull up all the cool companies you’ve listed, but you can see by what corporate path people migrated to and from.  There may be a company or two that you hadn’t yet thought of that is listed within the company profile.  It will also identify folks in your network that work there and how you know them.

 

Try joining some of the larger Meetup.com groups.  Not only will you see the company list of presenters,  but the groups members as well.  You’d be amazed at some of the cool companies you can cyber sleuth your way into.    A few of the more technology based companies even Live Video stream their Meetup’s so that you can watch them back without attending. 

 

Business Journal Book of Lists.  Great way to find out company information by region.  I landed a great job using these lists by targeting companies rather than openings.    But don’t just limit yourself to these lists, Fast Company, Inc 500… and other major business publications all seem to put out great lists throughout the year.  

 

Add New Superpower to your resume:   Don’t discount all the stuff your doing and learning to find your next role.  Highlight the good stuff on your current resume.  If you are finding leads via Social Media, networking, etc. add as appropriate to your resume.  Remember you are BRANDING yourself not as the job seeker but as the professional.  The wording you choose is VERY important here.  If you are in sales, you can put something like, “experience with lead generation using Social Media tools.”  You may even decide to volunteer at some of the professional networking groups and add that to your resume to make up for a gap in employment.

 

Hopefully channeling Batman will help you gain new ground in your own job hunt.  What other Super Hero would help?

maisy 010

October 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm 3 comments

Effectively Network in your Underwear

 new do self port 019

It sounds like everyone’s worse nightmare…. You go to the office and suddenly realize you’re just wearing underpants, or worse nothing at all. I think we’ve all had that dream, am I right?

BUT, in reality it doesn’t really matter how you’re dressed to affectively present yourself in the BEST positive light. From the comfort of your home (wearing whatever), simply get involved and BRAND yourself as the expert that you WANT to be.
Here’s how I roll in my knickers:
LinkedIn:
With my recently updated profile I am branding myself as a professional recruiter, web 2.0 maven and blogger. By getting involved in the LinkedIn discussions groups that are geared toward my future career goals I am proactively building and adding to my professional network. I’m not done there with Q&A as my next stop on the cyber train. Taking it a step further will hopefully include endorsements to add to my credibility. You can keep up with my professional progress on LinkedIn by checking me out on my LinkedIn here: – and hey, let’s connect direct!

Facebook:
Reconnect with all those old friends from High School, old friends and even some foe. If you are like me, many of your friends are in the working world now and would love to catch-up. You’d be surprised where this site will take you so keep an open mind. Facebook is a growing in number of users and groups so there is always a wealth of opportunity to cyber network for those savvy enough.

Some of the Facebook groups are geared toward knowledge sharing while others post job openings , event info and other great knowledge. It’s a great place to find people outside of your LinkedIn network and have web 2.0 conversations.  Add me as your friend here and remember DON’T post those photos of you in your underwear.

Twitter:
There is nothing like a “little” chit chat here and there. I love having mini dialogues with professionals in my network. It’s quick, it’s easy and I can do it anywhere now with the Twitter mobile app. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of information shared on Twitter. If you haven’t been able to figure out how to make it effective, let’s connect here – give it a chance before discounting it as a generational thing. After all, Oprah & Martha Stewart are doing it…

Blog Comments & Discussions:
What’s a blog without comments? Really, it just becomes another publication. Blogging is all about conversations, commentary and creating discussions. Sign up for your favorite blogs and leave replies. Even if it’s just to say “good job” or add to the post, comment! Bloggers appreciate knowing that someone is reading and taking the time to add value to their posts. I personally LOVE it! Give it a try and see what happens by posting a comment to this post below 😉
Meetup.com:
Haven’t heard of Meetup.com yet?   Not enough people use Meetup.com. This is an excellent tool for finding face to face networking events AND create another mode of online networking. I see many people from my Meetup groups who post announcements and other great info without actually attending anything in person. It is however a real treat to meet online and then see the person at some point! If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself! If you want to add me as a friend on Meetup.com, I can be found here:

So are you Ready to start networking in your Underwear with Me?

May 20, 2009 at 6:20 pm 7 comments

For Career’s Sake, No Sex on the First Date

grandma-ruth

My beloved Grandma Ruth used to give me great old world advice on dating.   Grandma Ruth would constantly remind me why it wasn’t a good idea to sleep with a man before marriage:

“Why would he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?”

Applying Grandma Ruth’s sentiment to your career makes sense. 

My career is in recruiting and career search strategy.  Selling is a big part of it and I am an open “networker” by choice.  This doesn’t mean I will share my entire Rolodex with you or accept any kind networking abuse.    I NEED to be in a committed relationship first (watch Millionaire Matchmaker” for her advice).  

So last week I accepted a nice personalized LinkedIn invite from Joe Smoe (I changed his name to protect his true identity).    I didn’t really know Joe but he knew someone in my network.  I sent a nice reply introduction and thank you back.  

What happened next shocked me.  Joe Smoe sent me a lengthy InMail back that read (I changed the company name as well):

“Thanks for linking up with me. I am a strong advocate of networking and hope we can help each other now that we have established our relationship on Linked In.

By way of further introduction, my firm Acme Recruiting Corp has been in existence for the past 15 years and we have a very unique value proposition for our clients. We provide our clients with executive search services on an hourly basis. No large fees, no retainers, no bills for multiple hires. Just pay for the hours invested in the assignment.

We are generating savings for our current clients in excess of 80% (benchmarked against a 20% contingency fee). It is a very compelling story and we have worked for corporate clients both large and small. We have also served all industries and all functional areas.

So here is my first request for assistance. Can you refer me to any HR executive, recruiter, talent acquisition professional who either could use some help now or who would be interested in learning more about our company for future recruiting initiatives.

Eventually, the hiring trend will turn positive and I don’t know anyone who would not like to save some money will getting their positions filled.

Thanks and Happy Networking

Joe Smoe”

After rolling on the floor with great laughter, I sent Joe a nice note back. 

It was short and sweet and to the point:

“Hi Joe,

I read your note and of course I would love to give you potential target client leads and contact info. But first you’ll need to hire me.”

Nothing further from Joe.   No job offer.  No phone call.  Nothing.

Was I off base here?    After all this is what I do for a living.  I’m a recruiter and offer the same services as Joe.  So why would I give him my professional Rolodex without a mutual professional commitment?

“What’s in it for ME?”

Maybe I should have thanked Joe for giving me the idea to write the post Bad Naked after that.  But instead I dumped him from my LinkedIn contacts for fear he’d try to abuse others in my network.

“Don’t give it away for free” as my Grandma Ruth would say.  Boy, I do miss her no nonsense advice.

What do you think of Grandma Ruth’s advice?

May 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm 4 comments

Excuse Me Job Seekers, Please “Mind your P’s & Q’s” and Thank you…

thank-you-cards-003

Minding your Ps and Qs will get you further along in the job search

While preparing breakfast this morning for the kids, I overhead a song on the Nick Junior channel.  It was this catchy little get-stuck-in-your-head kind of song, but the words are what really caught my interest.  If I could sing a tune, I’d do some audio for you, but I won’t torment you with my bad singing voice. 

It went something like this:

“Magic words go together… words like Excuse Me, Thank You, Please…. La la la….. Everything tends to go your way if you use magic words in this way….la la la…”

I do not encounter good manners nearly enough from active job seekers.   Think about the magic words listed above and how often you use them.

By Definition: Mind your Ps and Qs is an English expression meaning “mind your manners”, “mind your language”, “be on your best behaviour” or similar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P’s_and_Q’s

We just get so busy in our own daily grind and/or are laser focused on getting that job offer that we don’t stop enough  to be polite, to say “thank you”.  We get moving, full speed ahead, going so fast and we don’t want stop for fear we will lose momentum.  In the process of moving this fast, we may end up running over an opportunity that might be right in front of us.  If this is YOU, stop for a moment and think. 

At Starbucks this morning I said “thank you” to the gal that rung me up.

When the bartista shouted out my name, I said “thank you” for the Vente Latte.

 

This was a ‘polite’ way to communicate, but it goes miles in ways I may not know. 

Imagine one of those Starbucks employees became my next hiring manager, or knows them.    The polite first impression could have a positive impact.

OR

A potential business associate or target company employee could be having coffee at that same moment at Starbucks and is observing my actions.   How will my positive behavior affect their first impressions of me in the future?

OR

It just makes good sense to treat people well and be polite.  Practice makes perfect.

You will have bad days when you are frustrated with your job hunt or hate your current job.   Maybe you didn’t get the job offer you were expecting  and you are disappointed and upset.  But keep your emotions in check and take the time to “thank” everyone who offered you job search assistance or interviewed you. 

ALWAYS remember to “thank” the recruiter and/or admin who coordinated the interviews.  They could help you in the future with other opportunities.   DO NOT forget to be polite to the receptionist who greeted you.  The front desk person has a hand in the game too.  If you are rude and discurteous, they will share. 

Make sure at EVERY opportunity to make a professional impression is a good one.  

Please, excuse me from continuing this blog post any further but I thank you for taking time out in your busy day to read it. 

How polite have you been in your job or career search?  Are you remembering to thank those who gave you assistance?

 

May 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm 1 comment

Bad Naked

craigslist-bio-001

“Bad Naked” is Networking that is just plain WRONG. 

It never ceases to amaze me at what people deem as “networking”.  It is perplexing at how many people try ineffective approaches and expect amazing well nurtured results.  It ain’t gonna work honey, not on me. 

Here are a few of my stories:

1.       Networking isn’t cold calling:

I have been approached by people for the VERY first time solicited my business.   I might not know them from Adam, but they think trying to “sell” me to use their services, buy their drink or some other ridiculous product.   I don’t mean to be rude, but trying to sell me something when I have no clue who you are isn’t “networking.

2.       Networking isn’t asking me for my rolodex:

Gosh, this one had me in stitches earlier this week.  Earlier this week I accepted a unsolicited LinkedIn Invitation from a guy in my 2nd degree.  I always try to write a little note back to say “thank you” and that I’m always happy to professionally network with them which I did in this case.   This guy proceeded to send me a LONG note back requesting contact company and names for folks in my network that he could solicit for his business – yes, I’ll edit his note and further blog on it next week for you.   This was our first contact, a LinkedIn invitation.  Sure I could have given him names and numbers, but this would be like sleeping with someone on the first date!  Not effective networking, rude.

3.       Networking isn’t spamming your network:

I can’t believe how many people do this.  If you are well respected and people join your mailing list, this is appropriate.  I subscribe to many feeds put out by professionals in my network.  They all respect the rule of only mass emailing to people who have signed up to do so.  Spamming your network with emails isn’t cool, get permission first and don’t call it “networking”.

4.       Networking isn’t asking for money:

I can’t stand the mass emails from people with something like this:

“Hey valued LinkedIn or Ning network.  I don’t reach out to any of you nearly enough or know you by first name, but give me money for this or that.  Here’s what I’m doing and it’s a great cause and I really need it so here’s the link to send money now (insert hyper link to donate site).  If you don’t want further emails requesting money I’ll take you off the list – but you can expect a few more emails from me begging for money before I actually remove you. ”

Huh, this isn’t effective networking.

5.       Networking isn’t calling someone you don’t know and asking them for a job:

You should call people that are hiring and ask to be considered for a position that they are recruiting or hiring for.  BUT, don’t call it networking if it’s the first time you have ever spoken with the person – it’s called “cold calling”.  Don’t get me wrong  it’s a great thing to do, but term it right.

Here’s a simple definition for networking that I found here 

net·work·ing (-wʉrkiŋ)

noun

1.    the developing of contacts or exchanging of information with others in an informal network, as to further a career.

 

I encourage everyone to continually be “networking” into their next position, employed right now or not.  But remember it takes building relationships over time and adding value to them.  You can quickly destroy an opportunity by ineffectiveness.   Your reputation is everything and a first impression of “rude” won’t be easily forgotten.

So, how do you look NAKED?

 

April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm 6 comments

I have an “Unusually Magnetic Personality in Bed” I learned last night at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup

fortune

 
In case you missed last night’s Santa Cruz Tech Meetup  here’s taste of why you should catch the next one.

 
Innovation was in abundance at the NextSpace  location in downtown Santa Cruz. As a native to Santa Cruz, it was nice to see Cooper Street alive and well!

 
I arrived early to the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup but it was already standing room only – which is an excellent turnout!  A generous spread of Chinese take-out was waiting for those who may have just joined us after work. It must have been good food because I saw many go back for seconds during the presentations.

Steve Penny was the first to talk to us on his area of expertise, SEO. Steve gave us some great tips on increasing our Google search rankings. I actually learned quite a bit from his presentation – in particular how “authority” works – something that has puzzled me forever! Steve details his SEO consulting services at: www.stevepenny.com.

 
Mokafive was up next.  Amir Zarsange, Sr Sales Engineer, showed the group exactly how simple their product is to the end user. I wasn’t expecting to be as amazed with their virtualization technology as I was. Seeing it in action during his demo was a big plus. Mokafive is taking virtualization to the next level and it is clear what a cost savings their product will be to companies that deploy it.

Thomas Heinke CTO for Raytek talked about the history of his company as well as their future growth path. Thomas brought along a handheld infrared device which was passed around the crowd as sample of this modern technology. It was pretty impressive for such a technical overview but the future sure looks bright for Raytek and their innovation.

 
Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, ended the presentation as was a real crowd pleaser. Evernote can best be described as your “external brain”. Phil did a great demo for us and I have to say “seeing is believing.” All of us with A.D.D can now “remember everything” from emails, photos, videos, audio’s… using the Evernote technology. This is a very innovative concept that can be easily deployed for both professional and personal uses alike AND there is a sophisticated intelligence to their applications – which again, you just have to check out for yourself, seriously, see this product demo and you will be amazed.

 
When all the presenters were done, audience members got a chance to give their own announcements. We heard  everything from the coming up local Geek Dinner to several companies who mentioned they were HIRING. For all those local job seekers in the tech space YOU should be at the next Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup.

 
The Santa Cruz tech community is alive and well – or shall I say thriving. I got a chance to network afterwards and meet many talented folks who are right in the line of local tech action.  But the highlight for me was the fortune cookie.  A very nice man was handing them out at the end of the event with instructions to add “in bed” to the end of your fortune.

 
Mine read:

 
“You have an unusually magnetic personality…..(I added)  in bed.”

 
Will I see YOU at the next one?

March 6, 2009 at 1:08 am Leave a comment

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