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.) 

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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

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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.

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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."

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