Sunday, April 26, 2009

Building Your Brand - Show You Can Do the Job - How Are You Perceived?


It used to be enough to walk into a job search with an impressive résumé. If you were really enterprising, maybe you'd have a portfolio to showcase your best work. Now, though, people want a better way to stand out, and that has resulted in the very 21st-century concept of personal branding.

If you've been in the workplace longer than 10 years, you might be thinking that personal branding was actually born in 1997, when management guru Tom Peters wrote about "the brand called you."

But never before has personal branding been so mainstream. The Internet makes it possible for everyone to establish a brand, and if you don't know what yours is, now is the time to find out.

Experts such as Dan Schawbel, the author of "Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success," define personal branding as how we market ourselves to other people. Your brand should be strong and memorable enough to set you apart and to make a positive impression on people you don't know.
Show You Can Do the Job

"Personal branding serves as career protection in uncertain times," says Mr. Schawbel. "It's also a critical tool for reinventing yourself because you can leverage the reputation and skill set you already have to prove you have the ability to do the job you want."

A veteran of the recruitment research field, 41-year-old Jim Stroud developed an early interest in social media. Hoping to launch a new career in the field, Mr. Stroud built an online brand as "The Searchologist."

"A searchologist is … someone who is proficient in searching the Internet" for people who aren't actively seeking new jobs, he explains. His presence in search engines and networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as a podcast series and blog, led Mr. Stroud to his job as social-media development manager for EnglishCafe, an English learning community for global professionals.

So how do you create a personal brand? Start by understanding where you are in your career and where you're going.

Read The Full Article -

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reaching Out to Recruiters in a Down Economy


The economic crisis has left millions of people in the U.S. and abroad in a period of intense transition, as the recently unemployed struggle to face significant losses of the financial security and personal identity they have derived from their profession. This is equally true for executives who otherwise have excelled throughout their careers and are ending up on the market unexpectedly.

It is natural to turn to executive recruiters under these circumstances. Executive recruiters have deep connections at the world's leading organizations and are in a unique position to present people with compelling career opportunities. However, having a realistic perspective about how search consultants work is essential if you hope to establish relationships that will ultimately lead to a new role.

It is important to recognize that recruiters at the leading retained search firms work for their clients – the hiring organizations – and not the candidates. This distinguishes them from outplacement firms that do work for candidates. Against this backdrop, if you are seeking to connect with a search consultant for the first time, you will stand the best chance if your background and skills directly match an opportunity that the recruiter is actively working on.

Read The Rest Of The Article -

Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting inventive in tough job market

By Geraldine Baum

Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK — Sitting in a bare cubicle the other morning with reading glasses perched halfway down her nose and typing on a laptop she had brought from home, Lois Draegin looked a bit like the extra adult wedged in at the kids' table at Thanksgiving.

This accomplished magazine editor lost her six-figure job at TV Guide last spring and is now, at 55, an unpaid intern at, an interactive Web site with columns and stories that target accomplished women older than 40.

"The Women on the Web," or WOW, as the site is known, needed Draegin's magazine-world wisdom, and she needed their guidance through a maze of technology that was as baffling to her as hieroglyphics.

It wasn't until she was teamed with Randi Bernfeld at WOW that she understood the obsession with such terms as search-engine optimization (a method to increase traffic to a site) or used Google Trends to pick story topics and write a uniform-resource locater (an address on the Web).

"She's my mentor," Draegin said of 24-year-old Bernfeld.

"No, she's my mentor," Bernfeld replied.

Joni Evans, a former Simon & Schuster president who is chief executive of WOW, has recruited several other laid-off publishing workers as interns — her site's way of doing good in a bad economy.

"I think of this as a very WOW model — women helping women, bringing us all back to our true ethic of empowering each other," said Evans, who founded the site with columnist Peggy Noonan, "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, advertising executive Mary Wells and gossip columnist Liz Smith.

Draegin took the internship at WOW as a creative way to fill out her résumé while waiting out a collision of bad events stalling her career. Other laid-off workers are attempting to be inventive by using such newer social-networking techniques as LinkedIn and Twitter to find jobs.

Read The Whole Article -

Networking – more than a business-card exchange

At the core of networking is getting to know people beyond the titles on their business cards, Jason Alba said today at a lunch program in Melville that was sponsored by Sobel Media.

Though the subject was “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What?”, Alba -- who blogs at -- shared one example, not from social networking but from his own face-to-face experience three years ago when he was looking for work and belonged to a group for job searchers.

He told of going to the meetings late, listening to the speakers and bolting early so he wouldn’t have to speak with anyone. (His assumption was that job hunters in the same boat couldn’t possibly be of help to one another.) 

Read The Rest Of The Article -

Linkedin's Financial Advantage over Facebook, Twitter & Myspace

Few companies can boast record economic growth during the past six months, but Linkedin just came off its most successful quarter and the professional social network site claims over 36 million users in over 200 countries and territories, with a new user joining every second.

Linkedin still has a way to go before it reaches Facebook-like numbers of 175 million , but as Evan Williams and Mark Zuckerberg scramble for monetization solutions, Linkedin is generating revenue.

How did Linkedin find a path to profit before the social network kings? Credit the foresight of CEO Reid Hoffman, who was a senior executive at Paypal before it was sold to eBay,

  When you want to influence the structure for millions and millions of people, you actually need to have a strong economic model that scales. If you can create structures where the interests of millions of align with the group's interest, then you can actually create things that generate a lot of value in the system.

Linkeden's revenue model is three-pronged:

  1. Upgraded Acccounts: Business, Business Plus and Pro Accounts provide extra features, including thorough lists of who's searched for you and your company.
  2. Hiring services.
  3. Advertising comparable to the Wall Street Journal Demographic

Read The Rest Of Article

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Online Resumes Go Social at

 New social features at link an online resume with sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and other social web sites. Features help job seekers land a job and recruiters find qualified job candidates online.

Reston, VA (PRWEB) March 14, 2009 -- VisualCV, Inc., the company reinventing the online resume for the digital age, today announced that it has added new social networking features to its popular, online resume creation and distribution service. These latest capabilities allow job seekers to integrate their VisualCV with popular social media sites like LinkedIn, and Facebook and share their qualifications with friends and colleagues on social networks like Twitter.

Employers are getting thousands of applicants for a single job which means when you submit your resume, it most often ends up in a pile with hundreds of others
Now, any changes or updates to the VisualCV can be made in one centralized location and then shared broadly among these Web 2.0 sites, ensuring the most accurate information is available simultaneously. Further, new bookmarking features raise the visibility of a person's VisualCV on sites like Digg, Delicious, Stumbled Upon, etc.

VisualCV has a free resume builder so candidates can build an online, media-rich resume that goes beyond traditional resume text. Candidates can embed portfolio items into their resume and include elements such as: sales performance charts, images, audio and video clips of work, letters of recommendation, awards and qualifications.

With VisualCV, job seekers can take control of their career management by enabling them to deliver "first interview" content to hiring managers and recruiters right from the start. They can demonstrate their expertise and accomplishments where ever they have a digital footprint including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, a personal or professional blog, e-mail signature line, etc. VisualCV enables users to rise above the noise to attract the time and attention of recruiters and hiring managers who are overwhelmed with the record number of resumes and candidates.

"Employers are getting thousands of applicants for a single job which means when you submit your resume, it most often ends up in a pile with hundreds of others," said Jeff Hunter, CEO of VisualCV. "Because most jobs are found through referrals, it is vital that job seekers have the ability to notify their network that they are actively looking for employment and to share their qualifications broadly. When candidates put their VisualCV resume on their LinkedIn profile and Facebook page, they cast a much wider and more colorful net to their numerous online contacts. They also become more noticeable to recruiters and hiring managers."

VisualCV empowers recruiters and human resource (HR) professionals to build a corporate presence and advertise their company and positions to motivated candidates. With VisualCV, hiring managers can connect and interact with both active and passive professionals free of charge, and in an easy to use, ad-free environment. It lets both job seekers and recruiters import their address books from other sites and then invite, share and forward career information for more effective introductions.

Unlike other job boards and recruitment sites, VisualCV lets organizations operate more efficiently - charging them a nominal fee only after a hire is made. Further, it allows HR members to post job requisites to their networks in one centralized place, making it easier for them to update their network each time there is a new job opportunity or posting.

About VisualCV, Inc.
VisualCV, Inc. has reinvented the resume to make it more relevant for job searching, networking, business development and career progression within today's Web 2.0 environment. VisualCV, Inc. provides technology and support for the VisualCV, the community and "Powered by VisualCV" private-label platform. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, the company has received investments from one of the world's leading executive search firms, Heidrick & Struggles (NASDAQ: HSII), and Valhalla Partners.

To create a resume at VisualCV, please visit 

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tips and resources for job-hunting

Walker and other staffing and employment experts offer job-hunting tips to help you get back in the game or change your career path. We’ve also assembled a list of resources aimed to help.

Check in with your emotions, and your creditors

When some Tarrant County companies are about to lay off workers, Walker is one of the people they call. He arranges for outplacement counseling and other assistance for workers who are or will soon be displaced. His first piece of advice: "Be patient, and never give up."

Other tips:

Ask yourself how the layoff or job loss is affecting you. Be sure to deal with those emotions.

Notify financial institutions of your situation, and let them know if you may have to miss payments or work out a new payment schedule. "A lot of people fail to do this," Walker says. "But you want to notify them before they notify you."

Develop a plan for what you are going to do every day.

Sign on with staffing services or temp agencies.

Visit one of Tarrant County’s eight Workforce Centers. They offer free professional help and, in some cases, new training.


Don’t assume you already know everything about résumés. There’s a lot for job seekers to consider. "They have to put themselves in the shoes of a hiring manager," says Todd Kirkby, chief information officer for Odyssey, a Plano-based staffing company in the IT industry. "Hiring managers are going to get inundated with résumés right now." The bottom line: Make yourself stand out.

Tailor it. Don’t just send a boilerplate résumé. Each time you submit a résumé, you should tailor it to the job posting — within the bounds of your actual work history. (And of course, never lie on a résumé.)

"I think people have this vision that somebody’s sitting there and opening every résumé," says Bill Mueller, the Bedford-based president and CEO of and American Career Fairs. But in many cases, agencies and hiring managers are running résumés through computerized searches that look for certain key words and buzzwords. So even though a person may have the skills a company is looking for, they might not have tailored their résumé to flag certain buzzwords that sync with the job description, and their résumé won’t be pulled up.

Length. "Some people tell you to keep it short," Mueller says. "But if you can’t tell your story in one page, it’s better to go to two pages than leave something off."

Kirkby says it depends on the job. For technicians, a good target is three or four pages. Sometimes managers want to see, in detail, what you’ve done ("I created these programs in Java, using this methodology . . ."). It’s whatever emphasizes the point, Kirkby says.

Cover letter. Because so much has gone digital, the popularity of the cover letter has faded a bit, Kirkby says. "If a manager is super-duper busy, they may look at a cover letter, but they might not," he says. He suggests instead sending a summary of qualifications along with a résumé. The summary should be in bullet format and directly address what the company is looking for.

Stay positive. "It’s amazing to me what’s on some people’s résumés," Mueller says. "I’ve seen very negative things like 'I quit because I didn’t get along with my boss.’ People look at their résumé as a chronology, but they should look at it as a marketing piece. You need to keep the whole thing positive."

Make it achievement-oriented. If you were a manager at McDonald’s, don’t just list your duties, Mueller says. "What I want to know is, did you make the company money? Did you reduce the food cost?"

Proofread. "Résumés are horrible, and I see it all the time," Walker says. "Maybe a person hasn’t had the need to have a résumé if they’ve been working 10 to 15 years." So, whether it’s a friend with an eye for detail, a staffing company or a résumé expert at Workforce Solutions, have someone proofread your résumé, and make sure it’s formatted properly.

The interview and beyond

Practice the interview. "The interviewing process is where so many people get knocked off," Mueller says. "Practice off of your own résumé. Put the résumé in a friend’s hand, and ask them, 'OK, what would you question me on?’ "

Devil in the details. Before you start filling out a job application, read it all the way through. People want to know you’re paying attention to detail. "Sometimes," Walker says, "at the very bottom of a page, it might say 'blue or black ink only.’ Be very cautious of what you’re doing every step of the way."

Network. Often, people don’t reach out to friends, relatives, churches and other social networks. "Don’t try to do it alone," Walker says. "Don’t let pride be a factor and think, 'I can do it myself.’ You gotta get help. Let as many people know that you’re looking for a job." And don’t underestimate the power of social and professional networking groups such as LinkedIn (, Facebook and Twitter (

Read the rest of the article -

Tips to help you stand above the crowd of job seekers

By: Jenna Hiller

Austin resident Kim Butler owns Greywolf Consulting Services.

It's his job to find the right candidate for the job, so he knows what it takes to stand out from the pack.

"The first question to ask is, 'Is my job completely disappearing from this city,'" he said. "If the answer is no, it's certainly not, then you may be looking at a short-term situation where you could manage through it."

If you're looking at a longer-term problem, you might have to make a tough choice.

"If it's a long-term challenge, I think you have to make a basic decision which is, is the city that I live in more important to me than the money that I make and the job that I may be doing," Butler said.

For all job hunters, it's important to think in broad terms.

Butler said to start by looking at all of the available jobs.

Don't just look for jobs with your title.

Look at what you do generically from a skill standpoint.

You might be able to match your skills to jobs you'd never considered before.
"Start at the start. End at the end," Butler said. "Look and see what jobs are available in general, so that you're not disqualifying yourself automatically from opportunities that might be out there."

Butler made additional suggestions:

• Once you know what's out there, you have to put yourself out there.

• Make contacts before you send out your resume.

• Try to talk to the person who's hiring, not human resources, so they're looking for your resume.

• Use the functional things you do as action words in your resume. These will be picked up as key words.

• While you want to be more general in your resume, be more industry specific in your cover letter.

Butler said finding contacts at companies is important. If you don't already have a network on a site like LinkedIn, a simple Internet search should find the right person.

Another great resource for jobs might be closer than you think.

Butler said not to underestimate your personal network. 

View the Video

Job search groups define 30 ways to use LinkedIn without abusing it

Job search groups define 30 ways to use LinkedIn without abusing it

There are an astonishing number of online how-tos about LinkedIn outside of LinkedIn itself. This series will present the top 30 of tips discussed in the Capital Career Center High-Tech Job Search group, Rich Kolikof's Job Hunting group, and Liz De Troit's video focused on using LinkedIn as a job searcher. "Free account privileges get you all that you need," said Liz De Troit, the presenter, in her class on using LinkedIn for job searching, "but you have to play by the rules."

7 things job searchers should know about job searching in LinkedIn

30. Don't use LinkedIn if Google will do. If you only need a few introductions, don't use LinkedIn. Use Google or another search engine to get contact info. Search engines find information. Social networking tools find people.

29. Your profile is your brand. It promises what you deliver. Ask someone to review your profile after you complete it.

28. Keep email addresses and phone numbers out of the summary. LinkedIn has to maintain the experience they promise, which is part of the LinkedIn brand: connecting with people you know, trust, and like.

27. Use the summary for keywords about what distinguishes you and the value you add. Don't use it for your resume objective.

26. Read Guy Kawasaki's column about LinkedIn. The legendary Apple evangelist's pithy wit shows a lot about how a manager sees what LinkedIn shows.

25. Google-search yourself. What you find tells you what's known about your brand.

24. Post questions carefully. Categorize them thoughtfully. Click the button provided if your question is related to your job search. "Questions are important because they are the glue that connects you to the community, and invites new connections," said one participant.

Read 1-23

5 Savvy Job Search Strategies


Matthew Wall has been spending a lot more time playing catch with his dog, Gucci, outside his Melrose, Mass. home. The product manager was laid off back in December from his job at a consumer electronics firm.
"I've never been laid off before," he said. "It's been a transition, sort of like an emotional rollercoaster."

Nancy Wolfe is back in the job market for the first time in 15 years. She was laid off from a semi-conductor company last fall.

"It's like landing on the moon. It's like a totally different landscape," she said.

Nancy and Matthew are both searching for jobs at a time when companies are cutting positions by the thousands. Finding work in this environment can seem like mission impossible, but that's not necessarily true, according to Brendan King, owner of the recruiting firm King & Bishop.

"The opportunity is out there," he said. "You just have to bring yourself to that opportunity."

King says it's all about knowing what to do. He suggested several strategies to help Nancy and Matthew get a leg up on the competition.

Job Search Strategy #1: Look for the Hidden Job.

Many people who are laid off automatically run out and post their resume on the web. According to King, that's not the simple solution it used to be.

"Putting a resume on a Web site is probably akin to casting one fishing line in the water and hoping you get a bite."

King said many of the best jobs never get posted at all.

Job Search Strategy #2: Maximize Social Networking Sites.

On sites like Linkedin, you can join professional groups within your industry. That makes it easy to pitch your skills directly to those who may have openings that fit your qualifications.

If you have already applied for a job, use the site to search the company to see if you know anyone who works there. Linked In also has exclusive job postings.

King is wary of Facebook. Even though the site has a broad base of members, it's still dominated by the unprofessional antics of teens and twenty-somethings. Some experts, however, say it can be helpful as long as you keep your page clean.

Read Tips 3-5 -

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Networking still tops in job hunts

The more people you tell about your job search, the more likely you'll get a lead, experts say.

By Kathy Lynn Gray

Starting your job search

The spadework required to dig up a new job has changed significantly in the past two decades, but one old saw has remained the same: It's still who you know.

"Talk to your friends, your co-workers, salespeople, classmates, the people in the doctor's office," said Heather Allen, branch manager for Manpower in the Columbus market. "Everybody knows somebody."

The more people you tell, the more likely you'll turn up a job.

Or, in a weak economy, a job lead.

"People are hiring friends and family," Allen said.

The fancy term for spreading the word about your job search is networking, and the Internet has opened plenty of new ways to do it. Employment counselors put networking at the top of their lists of best ways to search for jobs.

"We've found the more networked a person is, the better the result they're going to have," said Susan Miller, Columbus branch manager for the employment agency Robert Half International.

That means joining online sites such as LinkedIn, a professional networking site, and Facebook and Twitter, two social-networking sites. You can post a profile about yourself on these sites, search for people you know and join groups. Each keystroke can link you to people you know and then, people they know.

Experts on the job-search process have favorite ideas:

Read the rest of the article

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What to do if you're looking for work while still on the job

It seems as if every time I turn around, the economic news gets worse. More people are being laid off. Recent college grads are having job offers rescinded. Retirees are going back to work because their investments took such a hit. No question that this is a stressful time.

If you are lucky enough to be currently employed, but are in the midst of a job hunt, you have a whole different set of stress factors to manage.

Your career is your responsibility. If you look around and don’t envision yourself in the same organization for the long haul (or even for the short haul), it is up to you to take steps to find something new. No matter how difficult it is or how little time you have, if you don’t take the wheel, you can’t drive your own career bus. 

So, some tips to help the busy employee who leads a double life as a job seeker:

Do NOT - I repeat - DO NOT conduct your job search while AT work. Even using your employer issued computer on your own time is iffy. If you don’t want to be shown the door before you are ready, conduct your search on your OWN time. What? You don’t have any of your own time? That’s the reason you are looking for a job? Carve some out. Searching online job boards, blogs (!) and sending emails applying for positions from your company computer is risky. Just don’t do it.

Manage your time. You need to take a break from work. If that “break” also involves spending some of your “down” time prepping for a job hunt, so be it.

Invest in yourself. Hire someone to help you or put in the preparation that you deserve to ensure that you know how to look for a job and that your materials represent the best you have to offer. Do not sell yourself short by sending around a resume that isn’t optimized. The investment you put into your search at the outset will pay off for you in the long run with a shorter hunt.

Network! Open your eyes - networking opportunities are all around. Soon, holiday parties will begin. Family get-togethers are in the offing. Take advantage of social situations to grow your network. Too busy for parties? Social networking (online) will fill in the gaps. I recommend a dual-prong networking strategy that involves in-person and online networking for full exposure. Investigate Twitter. Optimize your linkedin profile.

Keep connected and engaged in your current job, no matter how difficult it is. Sporting a positive attitude will help make you desirable to potential employers (and make it easier for you at work). Even if you have one foot out the door, don’t start acting as if you are already off the payroll. When’s a good time to tell your colleagues that you are looking for a job? When you give your notice! Turn to non-work friends for support during your search.

Gather information. If you interview for a job, be sure to ask about their timing. You want to know if they will be making a hiring decision soon or if you are the first of 100 interviews! Having information will help you manage your search. Ask questions that will help put you in the driver’s seat down the road.

Above all, recognize that the positive steps you take now to manage your own career will pay off in the long run. Don’t wait. Don’t let stress or fear get the best of you. Take the wheel and turn the key.

Need help to jump start your search? We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Mock interivew? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services:

Original Article -

Monday, March 2, 2009

5 ways to kickstart your job search after a layoff

by Margaret Hansen, Portland Jobs Examiner

Job seekers getting out (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Losing your job can be difficult, but don't let it get you down. In hindsight, people often say that getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to them. Think of it as a temporary setback and get moving. Here are 5 ways to start...

1) Think positive. Whether you prefer audio tapes, books, blogs or mp3s, catch up with your favorite motivational guru. Websites and the library are your best free bet. Many of these experts have studied human emotion and motivation and will have invaluable advice when you need it most.
2) Get suited up. But forget about buying retail. Portland has great options in second-hand clothing. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a score of consignment and other second-hand stores abound. If finances are too tight, check out Dress for Success, the Southern Maine Chapter.
3) Get online. Register with to reconnect with your former co-workers and bosses. Ask each for a recommendation. Follow blogs that match your interests. Not only should you use the internet to search and apply, but you can also research: companies, salary data, industries, careers and locations.
4) Market yourself. Have business cards, regular and text-only templates of your resume, a copy of your bio, samples of your work, references and other collateral ready to hand out or email. A free blog on Blogger, Typepad or Word Press is a great place to "store" them electronically. Include your blog's web address on your business card.
5) Get out of the house. Join an in-person networking group. The Unemployed Professionals group meets and hosts a guest speaker every Tuesday at the Portland Career Center. The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce is another great place to meet, talk with others and spread the word about you.

Embrace change; a career that you love could be right around the next bend.

Full Original Article -

5 Mistakes Job-Seekers Make

Advance Your Chances of Securing the Gig by Avoiding Pessimism, Generic Pitches
March 2, 2009

Looking for work is never easy. And with unemployment at a 16-year high, the available job pool is low and the competition is fierce. That means there's no room for error. You must be a qualified candidate and an exceptional jobseeker. Here's a look at some of the top mistakes to avoid.

Don't wait for an employer to call you. Don't sit by the phone waiting for HR to call. You've got to make it ring by following up on every resume submission. Find an internal referral, which is the leading source of new hire leads at every large employer, using social networks such as and Facebook. (If you apply to company XYZ, go to LinkedIn and search for that company, its location and the job title recruiter or HR manager. Most times a name will pop up for you to call.) You can also Google the name of the company, along with the words "recruiter" or "hr manager" and see if a name pops up because that person has appeared in the media or on an industry Web site. That'll give you a starting point to begin the follow-up.

Full Original Article + Video -

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Help prospective employers find you

How do recruiters find you? Primarily through your online presence. Here are some tips from a recruiter for making yourself more visible on the Web.


Kelly Dingee, a recruiter, posted an article on that offers great suggestions for getting yourself out there to recruiters and potential employers. Here are some of her tips:

1. Post your resume on more than one site and then create a free gmail account for managing your job search and/or networking and to cut down on the spam you are sure to receive.

2. Build profiles on LinkedIn, Naymz, Plaxo, etc. Dingee suggests making your profiles public because many employers don’t pay to use II’s recruiter module, opting instead for free techniques like XRay to find people. If you use MySpace and Facebook, be careful that you don’t post inappropriate stuff.

3. Put yourself out there (online) with Dingee says that Pipl, a people search engine, is so good that it will “probably scare some people’s pants off when they see what information it is able to legally drudge up.” The word-of-mouth on Pipl is so good that it leads in the U.S. with 557K unique users. That’s compared to Spock’s 260K. Pipl produces not only links to all of your profiles on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, but it includes blog mentions and photos on Flickr. Be forewarned that it also finds mentions of your name in public records. This would not be a problem unless, as it was in my case, your name is shared by an inmate at the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Pipl also finds e-mail addresses and summarizes “quick facts” about a person. It does this by crawling the “Deep Web.” According to Roi Carthy of TechCrunch, a general purpose search engine typically crawls the Web by following links to URLs found in other pages. By contrast, the Deep Web is made up of pages that no other pages link to. Dynamic pages are a good example of these sorts of pages. This means that if an engine wants to index pages located in Deep Web repositories it has to “guess” possible URLs. Just how big is the Deep Web? No one really knows, but it’s generally accepted that it is vastly greater (orders of magnitude greater) than the Surface Web–the pages which are easily indexed by search engines.

4. Try LookupPage, a free online service that lets you create a personal webpage that aims at representing you professionally online and is visible to all search engines.

Original Article -

Take care with your online image

Take care with your online image

Given the almost weekly headlines of people losing jobs or losing face because of their Facebook profiles, it should be clear that looking bad online is a professional sin you want to avoid.

But we think people tend to put too much effort into not looking stupid online. Instead, why not just put a little bit of work into making yourself look better?

This is important even if you're not job-hunting: You should have the same attitude about how you look online as you do about how you look in the office.

Even when you're not interviewing for another job, there's still a standard of dress and attitude about coming to work and being a professional. How you appear online should receive the same attention.

More people are bringing up Bridget's online presence in real-life conversations. Recently, someone she never met before called to pitch a story idea and said how impressed they were with the way she brands herself through Twitter and other social networking profiles.

Maybe they were kissing up. But they noticed her online.

Niala also realized recently that people were Googling her name more.

That's because the top search result is a link to her on, a free site that lets you track who's accessing your résumé. From that, Niala could see the spike of Google hits -- sometimes, minutes after she had sent out a tweet, or message, on Twitter.

So, how do you look good professionally? First of all, Google yourself to see what comes up. If a site you don't like comes up, use a site like LinkedIn more often. That way, it will come up as a more prominent search result.

While you're at it, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete, including a picture. It's not an online dating site -- you don't need to look attractive, just professional.

Also, see if someone you're close to can provide a recommendation for your page. Make sure to return the favor by recommending another colleague. LinkedIn recommendations are just a few sentences.

Original Article -

Tech-etiquette for job seekers

If there's any small solace when starting a job search in this recession, it's the proliferation of digital technology to help you re-enter the working world.

Web sites like and have multiplied the number of job openings you can track and the professional contacts you can make. E-mail and smart phones make it easier to pitch yourself and set up appointments.

But think twice before picking up that BlackBerry and thumb-typing a message to the hiring manager whose e-mail address you so slyly uncovered online. In the end, landing the right job hinges on old-world skills.

"The electronic piece usually just gets your foot in the door," said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, a tech industry recruiting division of Menlo Park-based staffing consultant Robert Half International.

"But you still have to present yourself well face-to-face in an interview, and you have to have good references," he said. "I think some job candidates lose sight of that because of all the technology options and capabilities that get your name out there."

Willmer and Kate Wendleton, president of The Five O'Clock Club, a New York-based career counseling company, advise that job seekers -- especially the young and tech-savvy -- frequently misuse electronic gadgets and the Web and run roughshod over professional etiquette.

Some of their advice:

Avoid e-mail blasts: Resist the temptation to respond to each online job listing in your field, and focus on those that fit the best. If you can use personal contacts to learn about an opening that's not widely publicized, your chances of landing the job increase because you've got fewer rivals.

Embrace snail mail: In your first contact with a prospective employer, you're unlikely to stand out if you join the legions of job seekers sending "hire me" pitches via e-mail with resumes attached. E-mails also are too easy for a hiring manager to delete. With snail mail, you control the appearance of your carefully crafted cover letter and resume.

Get personal: If you resort to e-mail pitches, make them personal. If you're introducing yourself to a hiring manager you've identified via a professional colleague, type that colleague's name in the e-mail's subject line and succinctly explain the link so the manager is less likely to hit delete.

Avoid follow-up foibles: If you land an interview, pay attention if the hiring manager specifies how to make any follow-up contacts.

Observe boundaries: Even if you managed to track down a hiring manager's cell phone number, don't call it unless given permission.

Stick with land lines: For any phone contact with a prospective employer, try to use a land line. With cell phones, there's too great a risk that you'll get a spotty connection, lose it altogether, or end up with excessive background noise.

Network the smart way: If you identify a hiring manager or other professional you'd like to connect with on an online networking site, don't send an electronic invitation without explaining why you want to get in touch.

Manage your digital footprint: Be judicious about what you post on social networking sites such as Facebook, and limit access to friends and family if it's something you wouldn't want an employer to see.

The Associated Press

Original Article -

LinkedIn's Most Unusual Members: Meet The Super-Connected

LinkedIn open networkers, or LIONs, accept almost all LinkedIn connection requests and introduce strangers out of good will. Here's a look at this controversial group and its approximately 16,000 members who'd like to be known as the saints of social networking, but are sometimes called spammers.

Read the full CIO article

How to Use LinkedIn Company Profiles For Job Hunt, Networking

Company profile pages on LinkedIn can help you tune into a company's comings and goings, executive relationships, key business facts, and more. Here's how to search and use LinkedIn Company Profiles to your best advantage.

As the recession turns workers of all industries into job seekers, many users of LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, have begun examining the service's free company profiles to see who recently joined (or left) organizations, prepare for interviews and learn about what skills particular employers value in prospective candidates.

Since LinkedIn Company Profiles launched nearly a year ago, more than 160,000 companies have established a profile page. If you're job hunting in today's struggling economy, LinkedIn company profiles can help you learn about companies on your short list in greater depth, according to career experts who have analyzed the service. Another bonus: a careful examination of LinkedIn contacts who have recently joined (or worked at) a company can help you determine if the organization would be a good fit, as you compare your own qualifications against the candidates hired.

After using the service and talking with experts, we've constructed a quick primer on LinkedIn company profiles and how you can start utilizing this resource right away for job hunting or networking.

Interested in a company? Learn who you are connected to there.

One of the most helpful features of the LinkedIn company pages: they list your LinkedIn contacts (known on the service as "Connections") who work at a particular company. This list will include your first degree connections (your immediate contacts on LinkedIn), as well as second degree (friends of friends) and third-degree (friends of friends of friends) connections.

"It really can help you network your way in," says Jason Alba, CEO of, a career management firm, and author of the book I'm On LinkedIn — Now What?. "Even if someone is just two connections away, it puts that information right at your finger tips, and you can act on it by connecting with them directly and asking questions about the company."

LinkedIn Connections who work at company.
The LinkedIn Company Profiles page shows your "Connections" who work at the company. Above, we see some Microsoft contacts.

Look at the comings, goings, movers and shakers

A company website wouldn't exactly want to broadcast the names of everyone who just joined or left the organization. But luckily for LinkedIn company profiles, users will keep you informed.

"The real value of LinkedIn is that it's a self-updating database," says Phil Rosenberg, president of reCareered (a career consultancy). "You can see who is coming in, and it might help you figure out what the company is looking for [in candidates]."

As Rosenberg notes, a LinkedIn company profile displays a list of new hires at the company (and links to those new hires' public profiles). This information is purely user-driven, as (presumably) employees who take a job at a company will update their profile information to reflect that change. That user profile information will communicate that information to LinkedIn company profiles.

"By looking at their background, it can give you some hints and clues as to potentially what the company's new strategies are," Rosenberg says. "It also shows how the company is trying to deal with its specific business problems."

LinkedIn also shows changes and promotions that have occurred at the company internally. This could be something as trivial as a minor title change, but culd also be serious promotions or moves between departments.

The past employees section doesn't provide a ready-made timeline for when employees left the company. In order to piece that information together, you have to click on users' profiles and see what information exists on their public profiles. There's an upside to this feature, however: many of the people listed in the "past employees" section could be in your connections (1st, 2nd or 3rd).

"You can use that information to understand lots of things," Rosenberg says. "You can reach out to them to help you understand what the culture is, or maybe who you will be interviewing with if you score an interview. It's an excellent way to learn behind-the-scenes personality issues, so you can make a good impression."

Go to school on your company of choice

LinkedIn company profiles have another convenient feature: key company statistics gathered by Standard and Poor's Capital IQ. Down the right side of the company profile, look for a list of vital data such as revenue, headquarters (and key geographic locations), approximate company size (in employees) and primary competitors. The latter category may spur new ideas for job opportunities as well.

Key company statistics.
Above, Microsoft's key statistics on its LinkedIn profile page.

This data component shows that LinkedIn has interest in making company profiles a competing product to services such as Hoover's, experts say. In fact, when you you consider the other social components (mentioned above) of LinkedIn company profiles, it might provide even greater user value than Hoover's.

"I think that LinkedIn companies could make Hoover's obsolete eventually," Alba says. "If you're a job seeker preparing for that interview, they're giving you a significant amount of information on LinkedIn that you now don't even need to search Google for."

Original Article -

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Savvy Networker Eight Little-Known Tricks for the Job Hunt

You're up to date on the latest job-search ideas, right? You're responding to posted job ads. You're crafting smart and incisive cover letters to accompany your resume on its travels. You're networking like crazy. What else can you do?
You may be leaving a few essential job-search stones unturned. Here are eight less-well-known ways to get the word out and jump on job-search opportunities:

Add a signature line to your outgoing e-mail messages. This reminds your friends and contacts that you're on a job search. Much as they love you, it's easy for our friends to forget our day-to-day priorities, including a job search that feels like a life-or-death proposition to you. Add a signature line to your e-mail messages that reminds your friends what you're after.

Include your LinkedIn profile URL in that signature. You can customize your LinkedIn profile's URL (as soon as you set up a free LinkedIn profile) to something that sounds logical, like Add this to the signature line I recommended a moment ago. Might as well make it easy for people to check out your credentials.

Use Twitter to keep your fans in the loop. A daily (or even more frequent) "tweet" from you keeps your cronies and well-wishers abreast of your latest job-search happenings. If you tweet to say "Got an interview at Apple tomorrow morning," then your friends with friends at Apple can jump into the scene and help you out with a side-door connection or referral.

Make your Facebook page work for you — not against you. Smart job-seekers fill their Facebook pages with useful and relevant information about what they've accomplished and where their strengths lie. Using Facebook effectively in a job search requires more than just taking down the party-animal photos. Prospective employers are bound to see your online persona, so you may as well make it one that moves the ball forward for you.

Add a quote to your resume. Got a favorite quote (in writing) from a boss who praised your work? Add it to your resume in place of the tedious "References available on request." Everyone knows your references are available. Tell us (in twenty words or fewer) what one of those people actually said about you — the more specific the kudos, the better.

Get a Moo card. Job-search business cards are great tools, because they're easy to pass to a conversational partner at a networking event (no one wants to take your resume in a setting like that). Moo mini-cards are cooler than regular business cards, because they're small and attention-grabbing. If your field is creative, techie, or you just want to stand out a little, order your mini-Moo cards online at

Put a voice on your job-search profile. Too shy to appear on camera? Add an audio file to your LinkedIn, Facebook or other social-networking profile to help job-search targets and influencers get a feel for who you are and how you think. Buy a headset for a few bucks and download Audacity for free to make high-quality audio files. You can even send your podcasts to iTunes and build a following.

Rewrite your resume so it sounds human. As a career expert, the biggest job-search stumbling block I see is a boilerplate-laden resume that sounds like every other resume I see. Yank the boilerplate out of your resume and give it a human voice, replacing "results-oriented professional" with "I'm happiest solving thorny technical problems that slow down product development" or whatever (human) statement describes you.

A job search doesn't leave room for error these days. Details can make all the difference — better put every tool to work for you now and put your job search behind you sooner.

Liz Ryan is a 25-year HR veteran, former Fortune 500 VP and an internationally recognized expert on careers and the new millennium workplace. Contact Liz at or join the Ask Liz Ryan online community at www.asklizryan/group.

Darn Good Reasons Why You Should Or Should Not Hire

Well, if you live in Michigan, or anywhere else in our country, let’s face it. The economy stinks. People are getting laid off and companies are closing down or outsourcing to other countries practically on a daily basis. So, what good would hiring a professional resume service do for you? EVERYTHING.

It’s understandable to be cautious about hiring a resume writer, especially online where you can’t visually shake a hand or see an office full of certificates, awards, books, or anything else that might prove credibility. Here are a few reasons you SHOULD hire a professional resume writer:

1- PROFESSIONALISM - A professional resume writer knows what he/she is doing. I’ve had clients tell me over and over that having it professionally written got them the job. They had sent in the old one previously and at my urging, resent the new one and got the job!

Make sure whomever you hire is CERTIFIED. If you are unsure whether or not your writer is certified, go to and type in their name. If they are certified, it will come up as such. A certified writer has gone through extensive training and was tested on it, ensuring their work meets the standards of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. If you are going to spend the money, you want the best.

2- BRANDING/PR - A professional resume writer acts as your personal cheerleader, your brander, your public relations firm. You want someone who knows how to present your qualifications in your best light. They will gather the relevant information (career goals, experience, training, etc.) to create a professional image for you. Something you will be proud to hand out to a hiring manager.

3-GHOSTWRITERS- A professional resume writer knows how to craft content that gets people interested. They create a resume that sounds and feels like YOU. A professional resume writer constantly updates their skills and abilities by keeping up with the latest in career news, and attending webinars, teleseminars and conferences.

4- FORMAT - How bored are you when you see a resume that is bullet after bullet of a position description? Would you call that person back? Neither will the hiring person. Professional resume writers are TRAINED in creating unique documents with appealing fonts, borders and styling that is all YOU.

5- RESOURCE CENTER - Your professional resume writer is a career one-stop-shop! Chances are they have a wide range of resources to offer during your job search. Many are also Certified Career Coaches and remain well informed of career events and other services helpful to their clients. Many times employers will contact resume writers for suitable candidates.

Reasons NOT TO HIRE a professional resume writer:

1- They offer you a resume package for $19.95. Most likely this company is a printing or secretarial service that will rewrite everything you gave them, or dump your info into a pre-written template.

2- They tell you they are certified, but you check on the PARW site and they are not. WRONG. Turn around and go back. They are misrepresenting the truth and God knows what they will do with your money.

3- They offer a 30-day guarantee if you don’t get an interview. I know this is a touchy one, because many of my colleagues do it, but here is my beef with that: with each client, I put my heart and soul into the resume. I am already writing a resume that I think will knock the socks off any reader. So how can I possibly offer a rewrite on that? I already wrote a killer resume and I stand behind it. I would rather sit down with the client and go over what they have been doing for job search because I guarantee that is where the problems lie.

So, to sum it up, it’s important to find a solid and reputable resume service. Check for memberships to professional career organizations with writers that are certified.

A professionally written resume is a good investment and is worth it’s weight in gold, not to mention it will get you noticed immediately.

Erin Kennedy is a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer & Career Consultant, and President of Professional Resume Services. She is a Nationally Published Writer & Contributor in 8 best selling career books. Erin has achieved the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award nomination in 2007 and 2008.

To get more career-related information and resume writing tips, visit Professional Resume Services at or check out her blog at: proreswriters.blogspot.

Creative. Powerful. Proven.

Erin is a member of: Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW), Career Directors International (CDI), Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals (AORCP), Career Professionals Group, and Women for Hire. Want to know more about Erin Kennedy, CPRW? Read her LinkedIn profile at:

Original Article -

How to Get Your Resume Noticed

Tory Johnson Women for Hire photoTory Johnson of Women for Hire is one of the country's foremost career experts. She recently wrote an article for Yahoo! in which she listed 12 great ways to get your resume noticed by prospective employers:

  1. Find job postings on job boards such as and corporate employment web sites and print out the postings of interest to you.
  2. Highlight the keywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities.
  3. Compare those words and phrases to the language that appears in your current resume.
  4. Add the most relevant keywords to your resume. Remember that applicant tracking systems -- the software employers use to house and search for resumes which have been submitted to them -- will search for keyword matches so the more matches, the more likely a recruiter will actually look at your resume.
  5. Once your resume reflects a strong match, submit it online.
  6. If the system requests a cover letter, write a short one that expresses why you're a strong match and why you'd like to join the organization. Make sure it is customized to the organization and the opportunity to which you're applying.
  7. Never submit a generic, one-size-fits-all resume or cover letter.
  8. Find an internal referral to make a personal introduction using sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Note that when you apply to jobs on we automatically show you the people that you may know within the organization through our partnership with LinkedIn. Also get active in industry associations to establish those connections and re-connect with your friends from school and people you know through your family and "regular" friends.
  9. Follow-up with a call or email to the recruiter responsible for filling the position. Make sure they received your resume but, more importantly, give them your pre-rehearsed 30 second elevator pitch.
  10. Get your resume into the hands of a decisionmaker. If you don't know who that is, find out by calling the company and asking the operator to put you through. If that doesn't work, do a Web search on the term "recruiter" or "HR director" along with the name of your employer of choice. The results may reveal the name you're trying to find. LinkedIn is another resource to find the correct name.
  11. Stay top of mind. Every recruiter is different so be prepared to work with each differently.
  12. If the employer doesn't tell you when to follow-up then ask, "what's the best way to keep in touch?"

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm On LinkedIn Now What

A Great Book For Getting Up To Speed With Linkedin

Top 10 Online Job Search Tips

Top 10 Online Job Search Tips

While the popularity of online job boards puts millions of jobs at one's fingertips, it has also made the job applicant pool that much bigger. For this reason, national job search sites and the Internet as a whole have gotten a bad rap from some industry professionals as an ineffective job seeker tool; on the contrary, the Internet actually can be a great resource for job seekers -- they just need to know how to use it.

When it comes to a fruitful online job search, successful job seekers follow these 10 guidelines.

1. If you build it, they can come.
Instead of simply posting your résumé on a Web site, take it one step further and design an easily-navigable Web site or online portfolio where recruiters can view your body of work, read about your goals and obtain contact information.

2. Check yourself to make sure you haven't wrecked yourself.
Google yourself to see what comes up -- and what potential employers will see if they do the same. If you don't like what you find, it's time to do damage control.

3. Narrow your options.
Many job boards offer filters to help users refine their search results more quickly. You should have the option to narrow your job search by region, industry and duration, and, oftentimes, you can narrow it even more by keywords, company names, experience needed and salary.

4. Go directly to the source.
Instead of just applying for the posted job opening, one of the best strategies to finding a job is to first figure out where you want to work, target that company or industry and then contact the hiring manager. Also, many employers' career pages invite visitors to fill out candidate profiles, describing their background, jobs of interest, salary requirements and other preferences.

5. Find your niche with industry Web sites.
Refine your search even more by visiting your industry's national or regional Web site, where you can find jobs in your field that might not appear on a national job board. More and more employers are advertising jobs on these sites in hopes of getting a bigger pool of qualified applicants.

6. Try online recruiters.
Recruiters will help match you with jobs that meet your specific skills and needs. Not sure where to start? Sites such as,, and provide links to online headhunters for job seekers.

7. Utilize video résumés.
Video résumés are just one more way to stand out to employers. Intended as supplements to -- not replacements for -- traditional résumés, video résumés allow job seekers to showcase a little bit of their personalities and highlight one or two points of interest on their résumés.

8. Run queries.
You run searches on everything else, from your high school sweetheart to low-fat recipes, so why not jobs? Enter a query that describes the exact kind of job you're seeking and you may find more resources you wouldn't find otherwise (but be prepared to do some sorting).

9. Utilize job alerts.
Most job boards have features that allow you to sign up to receive e-mail alerts about newly available jobs that match your chosen criteria. Or go a step further and arrange an RSS (really simple syndication) feed from one of these job sites to appear on your customized Internet homepage or your PC's news-reader software.

10. Get connected.
How many times have you been told that it's not what you know, but who you know? Thanks to the emergence of professional networking sites like, job seekers no longer have to rely on the old standby of exchanging business cards with strangers. These sites are composed of millions of industry professionals and allow you to connect with people you know and the people they know and so forth. (A word of caution: When you sign up for online social networking sites, you are in a public domain. Unless you are able to put a filter on some of your information, nothing is private, and it can be difficult to erase once it is posted.)

Original Article -

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Be a better networker

In this troubled economy, finding your next job (or not) may depend on your having a strong circle of people you can call on, and who know they can call on you.

By Anne Fisher, senior writer
November 7, 2008: 7:13 AM ET


NEW YORK (Fortune) -- You've heard or read it a thousand times (including in this very space): To supercharge your career, particularly when times get tough, you need a big, strong network of professional contacts -- people you can call on, and who know they can call on you, for advice, information, referrals, and introductions.

But many smart professionals are flummoxed when it comes to figuring out exactly how to get such a network started, and how to make their network grow and flourish.

"Networking is one of those things that some people naturally 'get' and others don't," says Ivan R. Misner, founder and CEO of BNI (, a worldwide networking organization with more than 110,000 members in 39 countries. "One metaphor I like is that most people treat networking like hunting - they're out there trying to bag the big one - but it's really a lot more like farming. You have to cultivate relationships over time."

You won't learn how in college, or even in B-school, Misner notes: "Most professors have never run a business, or had to figure out how to rise through the ranks in a big company, so they really don't understand how critical it is."

A survey of 2,200 BNI members found that 87% never had a college course that even mentioned networking - "and we're not talking about entire courses on the subject, which are rarer than unicorns, but any course that even briefly brushed on the subject," Misner says. "Yet, in another of our surveys, of more than 3,800 businesspeople worldwide, 73% said they get most of their business through networking."

To help close that knowledge gap, Misner's new book, The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Strategies (with co-author Michelle R. Donovan, Greenleaf Book Group, $21.95), details a whole year of networking tactics, week by week, explaining how to set goals for what you want to achieve through networking and then make a systematic plan.

Take, for instance, Week 24, in which Misner recommends that you focus your attention on making a great first impression. Since psychologists tell us that people make snap judgments about each other within seven seconds of their first meeting, every detail matters. For example, body language can be "the silent killer of conversations," Misner says.

Next time you go to a networking event, including an office party, Misner suggests asking a trusted friend to keep an eye out and report back on how you measure up in these four areas:

Eye contact. Are you making steady eye contact throughout your conversations, or looking behind the person you're talking with, to see who else is there?

Arm movement. Where are your arms while you're chatting? Are they folded across your chest (which says, "I'm bored")? It's better if they're tucked behind your back ("I'm interested, I'm listening"). If you're in the habit of gesturing when you talk, to add emphasis to your words, that's good too.

Positioning. Are you standing in an open, welcoming way - or blocking people out of your conversation? Are you leaning on something, looking tired or bored? Are you unable to shake hands because you're juggling a glass and a plate? Tsk, tsk.

Facial expressions. Misner advises keeping conscious control of the look on your face. You don't have to wear a nonstop grin, but do try to look friendly and interested, even if you're not.

What you say counts too, of course. Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone new, ask a question like this: "How can I help you or your business?" "Ask her to talk about what she does," advises Misner. "This others-oriented approach produces a powerful and positive first impression, because people remember you as the person who offered to help them - not just as someone trying to sell them something or get something from them."

The title of Misner's book, by the way, refers to the widespread belief that each of us is connected to everyone else in the world by six degrees of separation - that is, a human chain of half a dozen acquaintances. It's a nice idea, he notes, but then, so is Santa Claus. The popular six-degrees myth stems from a series of experiments by psychologist Stanley Milgram in the '60s and '70s, but Misner points out that Milgram proved only that, at most, 29% of us are connected to everyone else by an average of six mutual friends. That means, obviously, that "six degrees of separation" doesn't apply to the 71% majority. Why does this matter? Milgram's studies "indicate clearly that some people are better connected than others, and connecting is a skill that can be acquired," Misner says. If you're intent on joining that elite group, The 29% Solution is a pretty good place to start.

Readers, what do you say? Do you have a strong network? Could it be better? Has your network helped you find a job? Conversely, have you helped colleagues find work? What has helped you - and hasn't? Who's been most helpful? Any pet peeves? Post your thoughts on the Ask Annie blog. To top of page

Original Article -

Job hunting for introverts

If networking drives you nuts and you tend to think a while before you respond to interviewers' questions, you may find a job search especially difficult. Here's what to do.

By Anne Fisher, contributor
Last Updated: February 17, 2009: 1:21 PM ET

(Fortune) -- Dear Annie: I lost my job as an IT manager in a downsizing last November and am still looking for another one. Apart from the fact that the tech job market is pretty flat right now, and employers seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach to hiring, I think my personality is getting in my way.

I know I'm supposed to be networking, and I'm trying, but I find it exhausting, and I'm aware that I often don't come across well in a crowd of people I don't know. Also, in the few interviews I've managed to get, I've been asked some interesting questions that required some thought, and I got the impression that I took too long to answer them. My wife says I'm a classic introvert and that this is making my job hunt harder than normal. Your thoughts? -Sudoku Samurai

Dear Samurai: Sounds as if your wife is familiar with a personality test widely used in business called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which identifies introversion as a specific personality type. One clue: You find networking exhausting. Another hint: You're inclined to think carefully before you speak.

"In everyday language, people often use the words 'shy' and 'introverted' interchangeably," notes Wendy Gelberg, a career coach whose firm Gentle Job Search/Advantage Resumes ( has been advising introverted executives since 1979. "But introverts are not necessarily shy." Rather -- in contrast to their extroverted opposites -- introverts are more focused on what's inside their own heads than on what's happening around them, and they are refreshed and energized by solitude. Extroverts direct their attention outward and get charged up by having other people around. Says Gelberg: "After spending a few hours or a whole day with others, an introvert needs to withdraw and be alone for a while, while an extrovert will be saying, 'Let's party!' "

Gelberg wrote a book you might want to check out, The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career (Happy About, $19.95). She observes that introverts, among whom she counts herself, usually assume that introversion is, well, kind of weird.

"We tend to feel that extroversion is the gold standard, that it's more 'normal,' " she says. "But that's because it's all we see, on TV and elsewhere. After all, a television show about someone just sitting quietly or reading a book wouldn't draw many viewers. And then, as introverts, we don't get together and share our experiences, so we assume we're all alone."

Far from it. Research analyzing the results from a national representative sample of 3,009 people who have taken the Myers Briggs test shows that introverts actually outnumber extroverts, 50.8% to 49.3%. More men (54.1%) than women (47.5%) are introverted. And lest you think the title of Gelberg's book is an oxymoron, consider this: Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500) CEO Warren Buffett, Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) chairman Bill Gates, Sara Lee (SLE, Fortune 500) CEO Brenda Barnes, Steven Spielberg, and Charles Schwab all describe themselves as introverts.

The job-search process, alas, often seems to favor the extroverted, but you can prevail. First, let's take those interviews where (you think) you haven't spoken up quickly enough. Gelberg says that modern neuroscience has pinpointed one difference between introverts and their opposites: PET scans of both kinds of brains show the two types process information differently, with introverts tending to think before speaking and extroverts thinking while they talk.

"In a job interview, you can overcome this difference by preparing thoroughly beforehand," says Gelberg. "Most people, especially extroverts, go into an interview and 'wing it.' For you, a better approach is to think hard beforehand about what questions you are likely to be asked, and have your answers ready." Take a pad and paper with you, she suggests, not just to take notes but also "to give yourself prompts. Write down key words and phrases to remind yourself of what you planned to say."

What if, in spite of your best efforts in advance, the interviewer throws you a curve ball? "You can say, 'That's a good question, let me think about it for a minute.' Then do," says Gelberg. Try to come up with an answer as quickly as you can -- but bear in mind that any job interview is a two-way street. A corporate culture that discourages cogitation may not be one where you'd be comfortable in the long run.

Another tip: Make full use of an advantage your introversion gives you, which is the inclination to do detailed research. "Everyone should do their homework before a job interview, but extroverts usually don't," observes Gelberg. You, on the other hand, probably relish the prospect of studying the corporate Web site, seeking out the press the company has gotten lately, Googling your interviewer, and generally gathering as much information as you can find before you go in. "Employers love this, because it shows you are interested in their company, not just desperate for a job," she says. "It will often give you a real edge."

As for your other bugaboo, networking, Gelberg recommends that you accept the fact that you have to pace yourself. "Since it's hard for you to shine in a big gathering, you need to give yourself more time in between them than an extrovert would," she says. "Be more selective, too. Instead of hitting every single event you could go to, think strategically and go to just those get-togethers that are most likely to be truly worthwhile."

When it comes to making professional connections, Gelberg notes, the Internet may be an introvert's best friend. "Social networking sites like LinkedIn, blogs, and chat rooms are all great for introverts because you get to think and choose your words before you 'speak,' " she points out. "One reason for the huge growth of online networking is that it plays to introverts' strengths. You can 'meet' and be in contact with large numbers of people without the strain of spending time with them in person."

Readers, what do you say? Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Do you agree that job hunting is easier for extroverts? If you're introverted, have you got any tips on what worked for you in your last job hunt? Would you rather work for an introvert or an extrovert? Post your thoughts on the Ask Annie blog. To top of page

Original Article -

Tim Esse

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Networking for People Who Hate Networking

We all know that networking is the #1 way to get a new job. Everyone says so! But what if you’re shy and hate doing it?
I’m just like that. The idea of networking always terrified me. When I started my business, I knew I’d have to make new contacts and revive old ones, and so I bit the bullet and started making phone calls and going to meetings where I struck up awkward small talk with strangers.

So you can imagine how happy I was when I stumbled on a way to network that didn’t involve shuffling into rooms and handing business cards to people I didn’t know.

That’s the secret I want to share with you - there is a way to network that you won’t find at all threatening. You just have to redefine what’s mean by “networking.”

My realization happened when I referred a potential client to a resume writer who had more expertise in that industry than I did. The client was delighted that I was honest with him and referred his friend to me a few weeks later. And the other resume writer subsequently sent several clients to me when she went on vacation. And all it had taken was a quick email from me. 

And that’s when the light bulb went off! Helping people without expecting anything in return is the very best way to network.

Think about this in terms of career development and/or your job search. Instead of putting together a list of people you know and then thinking how you can tell them that you need a job, how about just reaching out to help other people?

Every person that you help is a new connection and every one of them may prove valuable down the road.

5 Tips for Networking by Helping Others

Here are just a few ideas I have for expanding your network/reconnecting with people by helping others:

1) Contact headhunters in your field and instead of just asking if they have opportunities, offer to help them source for positions. Send a brief email saying “I know you specialize in sales recruiting for the medical industry and I have an extensive network of contacts in this field. Feel free to call me or send along any vacancies. I’d be happy to pass them along.”

2) Watch your LinkedIn network, checking for questions from your contacts. LinkedIn allows people to send out questions to their entire network - be sure to have these sent to your email so that you can offer assistance when possible. Just getting your name in front of people regularly is half the battle. (Note for this to work you need to make connections with as many people as possible. The more people you know, the more people you can help).

5) Offer help to a charity or non-profit organization in your area. Sure you might not want to work there full-time but all of the people who volunteer there know people who know people and someone may well have an opportunity that’s perfect for you. And hey, it beats sitting at home reading the same job postings online day after day.
These are just 5 ways that popped into my mind for ways that you can expand your network by helping others. And the beauty of this approach is that in addition to expanding your network, you get to feel good about your contribution every day. 

What about you? Can you think of ways you could apply this for yourself? Or have you already done so? If so, tell us how it worked out.

Original Article with all 5 tips/

Friday, February 6, 2009

Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand

February 5, 2009 - 3:51 pm PDT - by Dan Schawbel
Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and owner of the award winning Personal Branding Blog.
In the past few years personal branding has been discussed exhaustively throughout the Net. The difference between today and over ten years ago when it was first mentioned by Tom Peters, is the rise of social technologies that have made branding not only more personal, but within reach.

From the corporate brand (BMW), to the product brand (BMW M3 Coupe) and down to the personal brand (car salesman), branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision. These days, customer complaints and opinions are online and viewable through a simple search, on either Google or through social networks. There is no hiding anymore and transparency and authenticity are the only means to survive and thrive in this new digital kingdom.

Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.

We can also have just as much presence as most startups and mid-size companies and products. Social media tools have leveled the playing ground and have enabled us to reach incredible heights, at the cost of our time. Today, I want to share the personal branding process, so you can start to think about what face you want to show to the world and how you want to position yourself for success!

1. Discover your brand

The single biggest mistake people make is that they either brand themselves just for the sake of doing it or that they fail to invest time in learning about what’s in their best interests. The key to success, and this isn’t revolutionary, is to be compensated based on your passion. In order to find your passion, you need a lot of time to think, some luck and you need to do some research online to figure out what’s out there.

Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan. Have you ever been called intelligent or humorous by your peers or coworkers? That description is part of your brand, especially if you feel those attributed pertain to you. To know if you’ve discovered your brand, you need to make this equation equal:
Your self-impression = How people perceive you
Before you enter the next step in the personal branding process, you’ll want to select a niche, whereby you can be the master of your domain. For example, Joel Comm has mastered the Google Adsense niche and brands himself using his name, and Brian Solis owns the social media PR niche with his PR 2.0 blog (under his name). When I say domain, I mean an area where there aren’t many competitors and literally, your online domain name. Once you sort this all out, now it’s time to create your brand.

2. Create your brand

Now that you know what you want to do and have claimed a niche, at least in your mind, it’s time to get it on paper and online. The sum of all the marketing material you should develop for your brand is called a Personal Branding Toolkit. This kit consists of the following elements that you can use to highlight your brand and allow people to easily view what you’re about:

1. Business card: It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, CEO, or a consultant, everyone should have their own business card. The card should contain your picture, your personal brand statement (such as Boston Financial Expert), as well as your *preferred* contact information and corporate logo if necessary.
You can create your own business card and share it through your mobile phone using or On the web, is a great social network for creating and distributing your person business card.

2. Resume/cover letter/references document: These are typical documents that you need for applying for jobs and when you go on interviews (something over 2 million job seekers will be doing as we speak). Be sure to prioritize each document with information custom to the target position. Take your resume online and add social features to it to make the ultimate social media resume, promoting your personal brand to the world and making it shareable.
3. Portfolio: Whether you use a CD, web or print portfolio, it’s a great way to showcase the work you’ve done in the past, which can convince someone of your ability to accomplish the same results for the future. and are social networks for people who want to show off their creative skills to the world.
4. Blog/website: You need to own or a website that aligns with your name in some fashion. Depending on who you are, how much time you have on your hands and if you can accept criticism, you should either start a blog or stick with a static homepage. Those who blog will have a stronger asset than those who don’t because blogs rank higher in search engines and lend more to your expertise and interest areas over time.
5. LinkedIn profile: A LinkedIn profile is a combination of a resume, cover letter, references document and a moving and living database of your network. Use it to create your own personal advertising, to search for jobs or meet new people.
6. Facebook profile: Over 160 million people have profiles, but almost none of them have branded themselves properly using this medium. Be sure to include a Facebook picture of just you, without any obscene gestures or unnecessary vodka bottles. Also, input your work experience and fill out your profile, while turning on the privacy options that disable the ability for people to tag you in pictures and videos (allowing people to see the ones tagged of you).

Read the full Mashable article