Posts filed under ‘social media’

A funny thing happened on the way to my blog….

…… a funny thing called “pocrastination” ….

This year my New Year’s resolution was to blog more “regularly”…. Yep, I got off to a really good start now didn’t I?

But here’s the deal, we all procrastinate to some degree. 

And it’s not that we are only put off the things we don’t want to do, but we also put off the things we WANT to do.  It’s some sort of  “internal roadblock” or fear of success.  

I talk with so many people actively job hunting and running into major road blocks.  Typically what I hear is that they aren’t doing A LOT of things that they should be doing to land a job.  Not everyone is on LinkedIn for instance.  Or they are on LinkedIn but they don’t know how to properly use it.

The other day I met a guy who worked for years in Finance.  He had been laid off last year by a large Fortune 500 company.  When I asked about his job hunt he told me that his resume was ALL over the job boards:  Yahoo, Monster, Career Builder…. You name the job board he was there. 

My next question was “Is it working?”

No, he’s still unemployed and his inbox is full of Spam and Phishing emails.

This guy is a Senior Accountant with years of experience.   His background makes for a hot candidate in the recruiting world. Any Finance Recruiter would love to market his skill set and background PLUS he’s formed a networking group with the other finance folks that were laid off with him.

So I went on to ask him if he was using social media to find a new role.   The answer was obvious an obvious one.  No he wasn’t. 

He told me that he was frustrated by all the fake jobs and spam solicitation that have been coming his way from the job boards and no good job roles. 

And guess what?  He can’t be found on LinkedIn… he’s not using the corporate pages on Facebook or following some of the great job search blogs… he is relying solely on job boards.

This finance guy is smart.  He knows he needs to try something new if he wants to achieve a different result.  But something is stopping him from achieving a successful job hunt.  What that is I can’t tell you, but it’s definitely there.

What’s holding you back from achieving your goals? 

My own procrastination ends today with this new blog post!

May 7, 2010 at 4:43 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

Dog Park Job Leads

dog park

If you think you’ve exhausted all possible networking angles to find a job, think again.  There are always creative ways to find more and I’ll share with you my out of the box ideas….

If you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you know that I’m the “new kid in town”.  It’s rough not knowing anyone yet, but sitting at home moaning about it won’t find me my new BFF!  Getting out there can be difficult, especially if you are having feelings of insecurity about your job or income loss.   But sitting at home alone will get you nowhere fast.

Here’s what I’m doing:

Dog Park:   Go there during after or before work hours – AND bring a dog.  You can borrow mine if you’d like 😉  You will be amazed at how many people go there after work to run their dogs.  I’ve found most dog people are open to chatter.  Compliment other dogs and build rapport.  It can easily turn into finding out where the owner works and what they do there.  Before you know it, you may have just met your potential hiring manager or foot in the door to a target company!   But beware, first impressions are everything.  Don’t over do it with attire, it’s a dog park after all, but do look presentable.  It is also important to have good rapport building skills otherwise any approach you take will be in affective.

* * IMPORTANT to NOTE again:  Make sure you bring a dog or you may come across creepy * *

Racket Ball:  I’m still trying to find someone to teach me how to play this sport. If you are reading this and live in Folsom, let me know if you can help me out J   I see so many professionals work off their business frustrations with a good game of Racket Ball and I’d like to join in.  What a great place to network!!!!  If you are good with a sport, join in.  Again, you have to be strategic if your end goal is to meet professionals.  I find there are certain times of the day when more corporate based folks play. 

Weight Watchers:  Okay this is another place to tread lightly, but there are many companies that will help out their employees with a Weight Watchers membership.  Again, tread lightly when networking at these meetings.  They are designed for busy people to get healthier so going to just one evening meeting to network won’t work.  Going weekly may help you drop a few lbs AND meet other busy people who happen to be employed as well.    Build rapport but be respectful.  These aren’t places to network, but if you play your cards right there will be networking opportunities that come about.  When they start talking about over eating, simply raise your hand and talk about your job hunt.  Someone may even approach you after the meeting to say that they are hiring!!!

Craigslist:  This is a great way to sell things that you aren’t using, make a little extra money and meet people!   Before we moved from Santa Cruz and now that we are in Folsom, I have sold items to folks working at such companies as:  Plantronics, Seagate, Cisco, Apple, Stubhub and Intel just to drop a few corporate names of my shoppers.   It’s amazing how many professionals are choosing a greener way to buy via Craigslist.  All you need is good rapport building skills and you’re off to cleaning out your garage, making a few extra dollars and growing your professional network!

Coffee Shop:  Okay, you might be unemployed but look busy!  Maybe you bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and use their wifi to job hunt.  And remember to be nice to the barista’s, making good impressions are so important!  If you choose a coffee shop close to a target company, you never who you might meet that could help you get your feet in the door.  As always, good rapport building skills are absolutely imperative to success, otherwise you might come across as odd.

OPEN HOUSES:  This can be a fun one.  Go to open houses and network with Real Estate agents.  Most agents are pretty friendly and have a lot of contacts.  You might meet other fellow open house people that are in the market to buy and you know if they are in the market to buy, they have jobs!     Again, building an initial line of communication with the host is imperative.  Maybe you ask them about the market, what they are seeing in the way of buyers, etc. to start off.  You’ll know right away whether they are open for a lengthy discussion.  Since good realtors know the value of networking you might just meet people who you can “who do you know” in the future.

I take advantage of any and all social settings to network.  You never know who you might meet.  The most important thing is to get your rapport building skills in hand.  It’s easy to over do it, so be careful how you approach people.  If you are an introvert, bring a socially friendly person with you to help break the ice or give you training.  This is a new skill to master but in this market, it’s an important one to learn.

Want to meet me at the dog park?  I have a new BFF opening that I’m recruiting for…..

September 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Wishing “Happy Mother’s Day” to Mom for All the Wonderful Things She Tolorates

boardwalk blow 010

Today is one of  my favorite days:

“Mother’s Day”

Mother’s all over the world I want to “Thank you” for all the wonderful things that you do for others. 

Mother’s are one of the best kind of people.  Even if they aren’t “my” mother I want to appreciate every single one of them for the good things they bring into the world.  This includes the Mom’s that might be a dog mommy or cat mommy or just one of those “mother hen” types.  I love them all because you don’t really need kids to be a wonderful “mother”.   You just need to give support and love to others and that’s what I call the “meaning of Mother”. 

I am Mother to Superman and his big sister.  Yesterday, Superman was out of control at a birthday party.   He ate two helpings of ice cream cake, had far too much soda throughout the day and ate anything he could find with sugar as the main ingredient.   My patience was pushed to the max as he hit and annoyed his sister ALL day long. 

Needless to say after Superman’s sugar crash made bedtime impossible, I basked in the fact that I am a proud Mother indeed.  Despite a trying day, my little Superman and his big Sister are the best kind of Mother’s Day gift.  I appreciate all the love they give back.

To all forms of Mother’s out there in the world, I want to take this moment to wish you a “Happy Mother’s Day!”

How will you celebrate with your little Superhero?

boardwalk blow 009

May 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm

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

Deja Vu Career Change

eddie-buaer-bunnies

Deja Vu career change is occuring, again…..

In 1996 Sun Sportswear had a major layoff.  The sportswear company had “merged” with larger holding firm and heads rolled.  A lot of headcount was cut, including mine. 

It was the Monday before Thanksgiving and many of us on the design team, which was located in Kent, Washington, were planning to fly home for the holidays after work.

One by one we were called into the office to sit in front of William Wiley, company President and Sandy Teufel, VP of Design. 

Many of us had no idea what was about to hit.  Just the week prior we attended the company all hands meeting to discuss this possible merger.  We were told not to worry about our jobs and there was no need to update our resumes just yet.   

 Being one of the last people to get called into the office that day and naive to big business, I had no idea what so ever what was going on.  Some people left the office in tears while others in a state of shock.  I was beginning to feel a little left out that my name wasn’t called until I was one of the last.

Finally it was my turn to enter. 

I was told the news that I had lost my job.

Sandy Teufel was really sweet about it and said,  “Please know this has nothing to do with your performance, we really enjoy you.   Please don’t take this personally at all.  If things should change we will want to call you back.”   Those words sincerely eased the blow.  You could tell by the look on her face that this was not a good day for her either.

“Well at least I now know what it’s like to be laid off,”  was all I could blurt out.

Going back to my desk I called both my parents and gathered my things.   Other departments affected headed out the door with me.

I took something home with me that would be a defining tool for my future career that day.  I took something that would give me a NEW professional skill and ensure my future career SUCCESS.  What I took home that day was:

The company phone list 🙂

I went back home to my Kirland apartment and called EVERYONE on that list.  My goal was to find out who had just become unemployed “with” me.  I called people who had left the company before the list had been updated and I called people on the list that I didn’t know at all. 

This gave me the experience and confidence to cold call

But the most important call I made that day was to the person who had originally hired me at Sun Sportswear, Chuck Cogswell.   Chuck had left the company a month or two prior (he must have known the writing on the wall) and was working for another apparel company in Seattle.

Chuck was fabulous and put me in touch with Evelyn (I can’t recall her last name) who was Human Resources for Eddie Bauer’s Worldwide Headquarters.  

It was maybe 1 -2 weeks at most before I started work for Eddie Bauer in their Textile Design department.  I was doing something different and earning more money than at my previous job.

Being laid off redefined my career path by giving me the skill to “effectively network” into my next position

And now in 2009, it’s career Deja Vu and I couldn’t be more excited about it.   Reminiscing about all the wonderful career changes my last layoff brought, I can’t help but be ecstatic about what lies ahead for my career future.

So tell me, what event has positively redefined your career path?

eddie-bauer

March 20, 2009 at 11:33 pm 2 comments

I know it feels like we’re breaking up, but can’t we still be friends?

 

Every time I have to deliver the “bad news” to a candidate I feel this same way.  There is never joy in having to tell someone that they aren’t moving forward in the hiring process.  Never.

Please rest assured that no matter what the outcome is, I do want to continue my professional relationship with you. 

I sincerely want candidates to know that my intentions are always to present them to a hiring manager for consideration based on our initial interactions.  I have every intention of a successful match.

BUT, there might be as many as a dozen candidates being considered for a specific role at any given time.  Unfortunately only one of them can get the job. 

This makes my role as recruiter very difficult.  I see a potential fit in all my candidate presentations and this includes you.

Many candidates discount the role of the recruiter after they don’t get the job.  Keep in mind, if the recruiter is good, this will not be the last role that they are recruiting for. 

Making an excellent impression on both the hiring manager and the recruiter will help you go places.  Hopefully a similar position comes up that you are suited for and will be considered in the future. Another scenario is that the recruiter moves on to a different company and thinks of you as a missed hiring opportunity!   Their departure from company A, could turn into an wonderful career opportunity at company B. 

Forming a professional relationship with your recruiters can be successfully done by checking in periodically via telephone, email or newsletter.  This keeps you “in top of mind”.   Based on your interactions with them, when your dream job comes across their desk, they will contact you!  

I like the idea of connecting with your recruiters via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.  This is a great way to stay in touch long term and you will always know where to find them and what openings they might be recruiting for this way.  We generally broadcast our openings on a regular basis and use all forms of social media to do so. 

Please, let’s keep in touch and maintain contact with one another, even when you didn’t get the role I had your interview for.  I see talent in you.  Know that I believe in your exceptional skill set, abilities and experience.  Unfortunately only one person can get the job and that leaves me with the role of delivering the news. 

I’ve love to hear about your experiences.  What is the best way for a recruiter to continue a professional relationship with you, even after you didn’t get the job? 

October 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts


Award


My Facebook

Heather Skomsvold Gardner's Facebook profile

Mybloglog.com

Join My Community at MyBloglog!

Manage Your Career Search – FREE here

Free Personal Relationship Manager for the Job Seeker and the Professional Networker FreePersonal Relationship Manager for the Job Seeker.
Finally, a tool designed specifically for the job seeker!

Heather Recommends:

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 18,475 hits

Recent Readers

View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile

technorati

Add to Technorati Favorites

Mybloglog

Tweet this blog:

recruiting blogs