Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Going on a Business Trip? Use the LinkedIn Events Application and Windmill Network!

If you’ve followed my Windmill Networking blog for awhile or read my LinkedIn book, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of the LinkedIn Events Application.  Seriously.  I wrote an April Fools’s post back in 2009 complaining why Events wasn’t considered an application with a blog post rhetorically entitled, “What are LinkedIn Applications?”  I was the first one to ask “What Happened to LinkedIn Events?” when they mysteriously disappeared for a day in October of 2009.  So you can say that I have a personal relationship with Events, and when all of the “social media gurus” talk about Facebook Events, Eventbrite, and Plancast, which are all also great platforms for events, I still think they misunderstand or under appreciate the potential for using the LinkedIn Events application.
I’ve been traveling a lot the last few weeks, speaking on social media as well as attending award ceremonies for my social media book.  As I am an avid Windmill Networker, meaning that I see the value of social networking to be of networking outside of my present network, I am always open to connecting with others on LinkedIn.  There is value in plugging our windmills into the grid that is social media and virtually connecting.  But the deep value and trust that comes out of relationships are when they are developed offline in the real world.  That is why, whenever I travel outside of my native Orange County, California, I try to create a LinkedIn Event and use it as an avenue to not only bring together people that I am connected to on LinkedIn but have never met, but also an opportunity to meet new people that may have similar interests.
Through the advice that I present below, I have been able to meet with between 10 and 30 people apiece at networking events that I created in Portland, Oregon, Jacksonville, Florida, and New York City in the past few weeks…and I had never previously met any of these people!  Once you meet new people at a networking events, there are countless opportunities to learn from others, share information, help others, and maybe find a new business partner or even get a new lead either directly or indirectly from your new contact.  Rather than spending time in your hotel room by yourself, it is a way to enrich your professional life and make new friends.  You never know when your connecting with that person will help you or them out in the future.
So the next time you are on a business trip, follow this procedure to create a way for people to meet you through the LinkedIn Events Application and Windmill Network!
  1. You first need to create a LinkedIn Event. This is not difficult to do, and step-by-step instructions of how to do so are in my LinkedIn book.  The important things that you need to prepare are a title (“networking event” makes sense), a description which should want to bring people out to meet and network, and you need to find a location.  I do this by going to Google Maps, figuring out both where I plan to be on business as well as where my hotel is, and then find an ideal area which makes logistical sense for the time that I plan to hold the event (late afternoons/early evenings seem to be the best time).  I then go to Yelp and find a location that has a bar/large party atmosphere located in the ideal area.  You can find these by using “large party restaurant” or “large group restaurant” in the search terms so that you can be assured that there won’t be an issue if a lot of people come!  Check out the reviews and take your pick of location.
  2. After creating the LinkedIn Event, inform your network. As a LinkedIn Open Networker or LION, I have acquired a lot of LinkedIn connections over time.  When I did a search through my contacts of connections living in Portland, Oregon, I found that I already had more than 130 connections living there that I had never met!  Obviously the larger your network, the more connections you are bound to have in any given city.  Using the InBox feature, send out a blast with a link to the LinkedIn Event to your connections.  You can add 50 connections to the same message for efficiency’s sake.  If your network is smaller…
  3. Invite those who are members of similar LinkedIn Groups. You joined a Group for a reason: you want to obtain or share information with others that have a similar interest.  Why not do an Advanced People Search using a keyword (I used “social media”) and look for people in Groups that you belong to that you may want to meet up with?  If you are a member of the same Group, chances are you will be able to send them a LinkedIn Message regardless of your connectivity status.  Go for it, contact them, but be clear as to why you want to meet with them in the first place.  And, remember, it is a pain, but every Message to a common Group member that you are not connected to must be done separately, one-by-one…
  4. Send out a reminder to those that RSVP to your LinkedIn Event. This is something that I originally did not do, and I regret not doing it because I think that attendance to my networking events could have been greater had I sent out a friendly reminder to all of those that RSVPed “Attending” and “Interested” on the Event page a few days before the event.
  5. Prepare for the LinkedIn Event by checking out the Profiles of those that RSVPed. Better yet, print out their profiles for airplane reading!
  6. Enjoy your time with new friends!  You’re Windmill Networking!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

9 Essential Ways LinkedIn Improves My Business

Posted by Sarah Mitchell

Are you getting the most of LinkedIn? I’m always surprised when I hear people say they need to think about opening an account on LinkedIn. I understand the reservations professional people have about creating a social media persona. When it comes to LinkedIn, the benefits far outweigh the perceived risk associated with many online tools.

Defining Feature
For those of you that don’t know, the curriculum vitae (resume) of the account holder anchors each account. LinkedIn is a professional networking tool in the purest sense. The architecture of the site ensures your experience will be relevant to you because it’s based on professional accomplishments, not pop culture or social chatter.
Fun Facts
LinkedIn is one of the granddaddies of social media, launching in May 2003. It has grown from strength to strength in the seven years since its inception.
  • LinkedIn has over 70 million members.
  • Membership is across more than 200 countries.
  • LinkedIn supports multiple languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • More than half the accounts are from outside the USA.
  • Executives from every Fortune 500 company are LinkedIn members.
  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
Practical Application
Still not convinced? Here are some of the ways I’ve found benefit from LinkedIn:
1. Preserve Your Network
LinkedIn gives you the ability to establish an online repository for your business network. You never have to worry about keeping your address book up-to-date. You can throw your business card folio and rolodex out the window.
2. Find Former Colleagues
We all plan to stay in touch when a co-worker leaves or you change jobs. It’s not always easy and a busy schedule often gets in the way of good intentions. I’ve found or been found by dozens of people I’ve lost touch with as we’ve moved companies, countries and jobs.
3. Find Good People
One of the best things I’ve ever done is use LinkedIn to find prospective business partners. Since accounts are based on a resume, it’s easy to find the people you want to meet or work with. The search function is comprehensive allowing you to zero in on a specific location, company, school or industry. It's no wonder recruiters view LinkedIn and social media channels as essential tools for vetting candidates.
4. Free Company Listing
LinkedIn lets you enter your company details giving you a free listing connected to their powerful search feature.
5. Research
The Company Buzz feature keeps track of what’s being said about your specified keywords on Twitter. It’s a great way to keep your eye on the competition or track what’s being said about your own company.
6. Find Events
The Events feature will show you all the events being attended by people in your wider network. It’s a great way to keep track of what’s happening around town.
7. Get Recommendations
Word of Mouth referrals are the lifeblood of small business. I’ve yet to meet a person that didn’t appreciate having a colleague or client giving a recommendation on his or her work. LinkedIn makes it easy to request recommendations and makes it super easy to give one, too.
8. Integration with other Social Media Tools
LinkedIn is continually updating their product to provide a clearer picture of the professional qualifications of their members. Slideshare,, Wordpress and Twitter all have useful integration features with LinkedIn.
9. Special Interest Groups
Perhaps the most powerful feature of LinkedIn is the multitude of special interest groups. These groups allow you to meet other professionals with similar interests and participate in worldwide discussions. The discussion groups also have a feature allowing for sharing of news articles. It’s a great place to stay informed, get the opinion of your peers and network with a global community of like-minded people.
My Recommendation
LinkedIn is a wonderful tool for people from any profession. Participating in LinkedIn is a low risk proposition due to the career focus attached to the membership profiles. I consider it one of my key strategic tools for running a successful business. If you’re not already a member, I encourage you to join.
What benefits have you received from your LinkedIn activity? What features do you use the most often?

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn in Your Job Search

Perhaps you ventured onto LinkedIn and forgot about it. Or maybe you're scared of LinkedIn, period. Let us guide you through what you're missing

If you're a business or professional person and not using LinkedIn, you're behind the curve. Fifty million business networkers must be on to something. LinkedIn is the 800-pound gorilla of business networking sites and an essential tool for job seekers in particular. According to the LinkedIn website, a new user joins the site every second, and it's easy to see why. LinkedIn is a free billboard for businesspeople. It showcases not only your name, photo, and professional credentials but also your colleagues' recommendations, your brilliant thinking (by way of a Powerpoint (MSFT) presentation or white paper attached to your profile), and your excellent roster of connections.

The way to begin your career on LinkedIn is to build a sharp profile. Jump over to to create a login and password and begin to fill out your profile.LinkedIn helps you in your profile-building project by providing a handy thermometer-type tool that tells you how complete your profile is.(Until your profile looks fairly complete, resist the temptation to start inviting your friends to join you on LinkedIn.) Push on until you've reached at least the 70-percent mark.If you have a little more energy, use the Applications at the bottom of the profile-editing page to add a Powerpoint deck, your full-text résumé in Word format, an article you wrote, your own blog, or other content to your profile. Last, create a personalized LinkedIn URL for yourself, like this:, and use that URL on your résumé, job-search business cards, and job-search-related correspondence. Now rest and give yourself a pat on the back. You've arrived on the business-networking scene.
Of course, launching a LinkedIn profile is only the first step. LinkedIn offers tons more in the way of friendly functionality for your job search. Not sure how to leverage LinkedIn in your job search? Read on.
1. Write a Compelling Profile
Your LinkedIn profile can read just like your résumé, but it doesn't have to. You can stretch the envelope a bit and use a more human voice to showcase your professional passions and drivers. In particular, make sure that your "headline" field (the one just under your name on your LinkedIn profile) lets the world know your purpose. If you're unemployed, by all means use your "headline" to showcase your availability for work, for example:
Anne Smith
Startup Veteran/Online Marketing Manager ISO Next Challenge
Jack Rogers
Sportswriter/Editor with Print and Broadcast Chops Seeking New Opportunity
You get 120 characters in the LinkedIn "headline" field, so use them wisely.
2. Tell Us Your Story
The large LinkedIn Summary field is much like a résumé summary, but longer. There's plenty of room to share your career history with readers in a compelling way. You can tell us your professional story in this space. As you can imagine, stories are easier on the reader than deadly dull résumè-type paragraphs. You might begin your Summary this way, for instance:
"Ever since I began covering business events for my college newspaper, I've been fascinated by business story-telling and its power to shape audience behavior. As a PR manager for B2B and B2C companies for the past 10 years, I've gotten my employers covered by Businessweek and USA Today (GCI) by crafting stories that connect readers with our brands."

There will be other places in your LinkedIn profile (the Specialties field, in particular) to regale us with your certifications and technical qualifications.
Use your Summary to let the person viewing your Profile know exactly what you're about and what you drives you in your career.
3. Mind Your Settings
You can set up your LinkedIn account (using the Settings link at the top right of each LinkedIn page) to keep all but your close friends (known on LinkedIn as "first-degree connections") from viewing your profile, but what's the point of that? If you're job-hunting, it's better to let hiring managers and recruiters find you easily by opening up your profile to public view. That means you need to click on the link that enables your Public Profile on LinkedIn. Other settings will allow you to dictate how LinkedIn communicates with you and about which issues (new invitations, e.g.), whether your contact list should be visible to your connections (I recommend that you let your friends see who your other friends are—that's the point of LinkedIn), and more.
4. Show Us Your Mug
LinkedIn began allowing users to upload a photo to their profiles a couple of years ago, and these days we can't imagine LinkedIn without user photos. A good photo adds life to your profile, and the absence of a photo raises questions (why doesn't this person want us to see what she or he looks like?) and just looks strange. Get a decent digital photo that shows you looking halfway professional (on-the-slopes and other leisure-time shots are fine as long as you look like a person who might function in the business world, vs. someone we couldn't remotely picture in a professional setting). Upload the photo to your profile, and you're all set.
5. Get Connected
Once your LinkedIn profile hits the 70-percent mark, it's time to start adding connections. LinkedIn won't be nearly as useful to you if you're sitting on your own private networking island. The point of LinkedIn is to allow your connections to make introductions for you, and vice versa, so you'll want to start adding first-degree connections ASAP. First, download the address book you use the most (Outlook or Gmail, e.g.) and let LinkedIn's downloading tool tell you which of these folks already use LinkedIn. Don't worry—LinkedIn won't start e-mailing everyone you know. You get to pick which people to invite to your network. When you do, be sure to personalize your LinkedIn connection invitation. "Hi Stan, I hope you and Jane are doing well. Shall we connect on LinkedIn?" is worlds better than "Since you are a person I trust, I'd like to add you to my network." Customization is key,
Once a person accepts your invitation to join his network, or vice versa, the two of you become first-degree connections. It's a two-way link. If you've accepted Jack's connection, you don't need to invite him to join your crew.

Tips 6 - 10

Monday, June 28, 2010

The un-Googling of Mick Gzowski

A writer burned by a moment in the political spotlight seeks an online image makeover: Can search results be sanitized?

Mick Gzowski
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
When I Google myself, it hurts.
It used to be that when I ego-surfed my own name, that well of digital knowledge delivered me harmless hyperlinks, mainly connecting me with my famous Canadian father. Ho-hum. About a year ago, that changed dramatically. The Net now paints me as the Peter Gzowski progeny who sank Stéphane Dion's coalition.
The worst thing is, it's partly true. I am my father's son, and I was Mr. Dion's videographer on the day when his taped statement making the case for overturning the government showed up late and less than sharply focused.
The links that pain me aren't even that bad. Most of them say I was unfairly scapegoated. Still, it smarts to be forever associated with that ignominy, and I also suspect it does my career no favours. So I decided to see if I could change it: Could I un-Google myself?
When I investigated, I found out that “online reputation management” is currently one of the biggest growth areas of the Internet, according to the digital marketing group Econsultancy. Googling the subject delivers pages of competing companies, with ads bannered across the top and down the sides of every page.
I instinctively distrust those sponsored results; clicking them usually leads into a maze of slow-loading graphics and unhelpful information. I called one, via a toll-free number, and spoke with “Carl” in New Jersey (“Joisey”) – he refused to give me his last name, saying that if it were published, his competitors would launch an online attack. “Dirty business,” he said.
After only a few moments' explanation, he said he was sure he could help me, for between $1,500 and $2,000 (U.S.) a month. For life. I passed on his offer, but realized I needed to know more about Google and the term Carl mentioned, Search Engine Optimization.
Swallowing the spiders
This term (SEO) has two meanings: First, to make your website easy for Google and similar search sites to find; second, to seed the Internet with so many nice things about you that the bad things are buried. The catch is that nobody really knows how the mysterious algorithms that Google employs to find things function, and they're continually being updated.
Google doesn't actually search the Web every time you ask a query. It searches its archived index of the Web. That's created by software programs called spiders that visit pages, fetch their content and then continue following all of the links on those pages.
When you ask Google a question, it searches its voluminous index, then modifies the results by asking more than 200 questions like: How many times does this page contain your key words? Do the words appear in the title? In the address? Are there synonyms? Is it a high-quality or low-quality page? And what is this page's PageRank?
PageRank is the key. It's the formula invented by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin that, according to Google, “rates a Web page's importance by looking at how many outside pages point to it and how important those links are.” So the art of un-Googling yourself is really the art of fooling PageRank, a wizard's curtain behind which we mere mortals are forbidden to glimpse. People are making careers guessing.
However, Google officially frowns upon manipulations of its ranking systems. And in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission's consumer-protection branch has required paid endorsers to identify themselves since 1980; last year it ruled that those guidelines also apply to social media. So hiring some American college students to troll the Net saying sweet nothings about you is technically illegal. No such rules are in place in Canada as yet, but the industry here expects them soon.
An alternative approach is to ask anyone who may have posted unsavoury things about you to please take them down. If the statements are libellous and you have a lawyer handy, some Internet service providers may be persuaded to remove them on your behalf. Asking politely is preferable, though in some cases, a blogger, for example, could simply take your request and make another, even more insulting post of it. So I decided against sending a note to, for example, Ezra Levant, the uber-conservative blogger. He might make too much hay of it for my liking.
Besides, while blogs might be flexible, unflattering mentions in mainstream media are virtually impossible to have removed. (“Hi, New York Times? Eliot Spitzer here …”)
So I would take the opposite tack: I'd just tell the world all the good news about me. I sought out professionals to help me with a standard do-it-yourself SEO campaign, for which they would be compensated only by being quoted in The Globe and Mail (and therefore having their online reputations improved).
Denise Brunsdon, director of social media for the public-affairs firm GCI Group, says online reputation management is one of the fastest-growing areas of their business. It seems like whenever she tells people her title these days, she gets asked if she can do another contract.
There are black-hat and white-hat methods, but setting up quickie, flattering sites or blogs and dumping links to them in every imaginable Web cranny won't fool Google for long, especially if you have active haters. This kitchen-sink approach “is tiring and does not win,” Ms. Brunsdon said.
She prefers the “teach a man to fish” approach – showing clients how to do the ongoing work of reputation management themselves: First, decide what elements they like and want to promote; then create profiles on “polished self-advertising sites” such as and Twitter that rank highly in Google results (she has a longer list, but considers it proprietary information).
Tell a consistent story
Jaime Watt, the chair of communications company Navigator Ltd., is certainly considered a good guy in a crisis. He recently steered former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant through the subsequently dropped charges in the death of cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard.
Mr. Watt advised that you can't be phony or contrived, because “people are very good at figuring out who's being honest and authentic and who's selling a load of crap.” He added that it's important to be fighting for something that you know you can defend – the narrative you construct must be consistent.
While Mr. Watt also disavowed underhanded methods, he did advocate creating counter-blogs or websites to “answer every attack, and don't let things go.” In situations much more dire than mine, and for people with the money to afford it, he said, instead of keeping your finger in the proverbial dike, you must send back a flood of your own.
In that spirit, I asked him what effect this article could have on my online reputation – surely skeptics would just see it as another whitewashing effort, setting up a battle I'd be sure to lose. “Not necessarily,” Mr. Watt said. “If you don't want to be infamous for something, you've got to become famous for something else. … Talking about it is not bad, as long as it gets you into something else.”
True, I thought. The words in this article are not coming from the mouth of a politician reading to camera in two official languages, scant moments before the nation decides his and many others' fates. I was a journalist and a filmmaker before I entered the world of politics. I am a journalist and filmmaker now. Writing for the newspaper could help to remind people that I am more than the impossible situation I became associated with.
So I hope, honestly and authentically, that you enjoyed it. And the next time you Google me or anyone else, remember that the fastest-growing business on the Internet is the one trying to skew your search results.
Mick Gzowski is a Toronto-based writer and filmmaker.

Original Article 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Notes from a Job Search: Creative Ways to Market Yourself

Once you get beyond the basics, how can you get noticed without being annoying?

With so many people caught between jobs these days, CFO asked Gary Starr, a CPA and MBA who was most recently CFO at a $70 million professional-service firm, to write about his current experience looking for a new position. In the third installment of a series, Starr looks at ways for job hunters to increase their visibility in some creative and unusual ways.
One of the trickiest aspects of a job search is finding different ways to market yourself. You need to make people aware of your skills and experiences without coming across as self-aggrandizing. This is not necessarily an easy task for financial executives, who typically don't have a marketing mind-set about business issues or about themselves. However, it is important to change your mind-set and start thinking about creative ways to get noticed, besides just networking and sending e-mail updates. There are many ways to do this; here are a few suggestions.

Get Published
The most obvious marketing strategy for me is writing articles. I have begun to write about the search process for several online forums, giving helpful hints. In response to my articles, many people have reached out to me, including recruiters, old friends, and people who didn't know me. I also posted a note about the articles on my LinkedIn profile, which helped with the exposure. We all have expertise and good knowledge about various topics; it's just a matter of transferring the information into a compelling article or blog. Having exhausted the search tips, I am now thinking about my next subject, and I am energized by the challenge and possibilities.
If writing isn't your passion, think about other ways you might leverage online media to raise your profile. For example, I noticed recently that someone on LinkedIn started a group called "150 Most Influential Recruiters" and invited all the recruiters who had been tagged with this honor by a major business publication. In two days, more than 20 recruiters signed up. That was a great idea and a smart way to get noticed. I wish I had thought of that!
Go Back to School
Finding opportunities at your alma mater could be a good way to get exposure. Consider taking or teaching a class, or volunteering at a high-profile alumni event. You might even ask the alumni office for people to contact or review the alumni list for networking possibilities. There are many opportunities here; you just need to find the right one for you.
Do Good Work
Volunteering your time at a nonprofit organization is a good way to help others and feel good about yourself. It may also allow you to display your expertise, especially if there is an opportunity to meet some of the board members. You might also register with BoardNetUSA, an online organization that matches individuals with nonprofit boards. I obtained my last job as a CFO through one of my nonprofit board connections.
Find the Fountain of Youth
Look for a start-up that needs help or find some part-time work. There are lots of groups and organizations for start-ups that could be good beginning points. New York City even provides space and desks for start-ups before they are able to go out on their own. I recently began working with a preseed start-up, and it has been an interesting and challenging experience. I am using my financial skills and connections, and I am learning a lot about the digital media space. I'm happy to take on any new projects that help me expand my nonfinancial skills. You may be able to negotiate some compensation for your efforts in either cash or equity, but don't dismiss an opportunity if no money is involved; the experience and exposure can be invaluable. (By the way, the founder sought me out through my LinkedIn profile and connections. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is robust!)
The bottom line is that there are endless possibilities to market yourself; you just need to move outside your comfort zone. Getting involved in activities that allow you to meet other people, extend your network, show off your skills, keep busy, help others, and generally feel good about yourself is critical while you work through the lonely process of finding that next full-time opportunity. — Edited by Alix Stuart

Original Article

What’s different in LinkedIn Groups today?

What’s different in LinkedIn Groups today?
1. An improved look and feel
We’ve made the conversations within groups similar to face-to-face professional interactions by removing the wall between original remarks and off-site content such as shared news articles. The rich link-sharing experience you already enjoy on your LinkedIn homepage is now also available within the context of groups.

Even better is the ability to easily recognize the participants of a conversation by linking to individual profile pictures that makes the experience more personal. It also brings to your finger tips profile information of the professional participating in that discussion.
2. Ease of use
The new design makes it easy to browse through the latest updates of a discussion and make comments quickly and easily. You can roll over the images of the last three participants on any thread to see comment previews and click their profile pictures to jump to their segment  of the conversation.
Alternatively, you can chime in right away by commenting in line without drilling down into the whole discussion. If you’re new to the thread, clicking the discussion headline or the “See all comments” link will take you to the beginning of the discussion.
3. Surfacing the most popular and recent discussions in a group – faster
A key part of the new groups experience is the democratization of discussions, as group members actively curate the conversations that will be seen by the group. This is most obvious in the carousel of new content – original posts, RSS items, and off-site links shared by group members – that can be voted up or down by any group member.
This feature allows users to quickly peruse new content and vote either by “liking” or commenting on discussions they deem worthy of the group’s attention.  Users who prefer to see all discussions sorted chronologically can just click on the “See all new discussions” link on the homepage.

In a live discussion, nodding fuels a conversation and the new “Like” button is a simple way to do this virtually.  You can also see who has liked a conversation to get a sense for topics that group members are gravitating toward. The “More” drop-down in the carousel also makes it easy to flag new items as a job or as inappropriate for the group.
4. Making it easier for you to receive email updates from select group members
While you may check in to groups ever so often to get the latest news and discussions from your fellow group members, you may also like to set up a persistent email alert when select members of the group make a contribution (like or comment) within the group. This is easily accomplished from the global Groups’ People I’m Following page.
5. Shining a spotlight on users who add most value to the group each week

Finally, the new groups interface introduces an easy way to discover participants who truly drive the activity of the group’s discussions each week by highlighting them as “top influencers”.  This designation is given not only to those who contribute the most, but also to those whose contributions stimulate the most participation from other group members.
Members who are highly regarded and heavily followed in the group often play a key role in stoking the conversation with their comments and Likes even if they don’t start a thread.  Of course, the authors of popular threads are often the most influential.
We’re all about nurturing the professional conversation, and we hope the changes to LinkedIn Groups will make it even easier for you to contribute and participate in a professional groups setting. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post or @linkedin us on Twitter.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Your Resume Says About You

By CAREEREALISM-Approved Expert, Heather Huhman
You want your résumé to impress the future employer reading it. It’s the first impression you’ll get to make, but it’s amazing how many people continue to gloss over errors. In the job market today, you need to ensure your résumé is going to be read rather than quickly scanned and thrown away.
So, do you know what your résumé really says about you? Here are some typical mistakes job seekers make—and what they can make future employers think of you:
  1. Typos, misspelled words, and bad grammar can make a hiring manager think you’re careless or won’t pay attention to details on the job. Show you are capable of doing the job by choosing words carefully and catching any mistakes.
  2. Including too much information can make employers think you aren’t able to write clearly and concisely, which has become increasingly important in today’s high-tech world. Your résumé might not be read if it’s too long, either.
  3. A busy, cluttered résumé may make others think you are unorganized and scatterbrained on the job.
  4. Sending the same document for every job opening shows you aren’t great at adapting. Show the future employer you know what they need and you are the one who can help them fill that need.
  5. Using an inappropriate name for your e-mail address will very likely make hiring managers skip your résumé altogether. It’s unprofessional—create an e-mail account with some variation of your name for job seeking purposes.
  6. Incorrect or false information can make the employer think you haven’t updated your résumé for the job opening—or worse, that you aren’t being honest.
  • Make sure your name is bold and stands out from the rest of your résumé.
  • Combine sentences that are too similar. This will make your message much clearer and allow for easier reading.
  • Change all responsibilities to accomplishments you had at that position. Most people who will read your résumé don’t want to hear about the general tasks you did, but rather how you benefited the company while you were there.
  • Eliminate anything that doesn’t pertain to the job for which you are applying. You want to show the employer you know what they are looking for and YOU are it.
  • Read your résumé out loud or have a friend look it over. You will catch anything that sounds awkward and your friend can probably give you some suggestions you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
  • Don’t bury important skills. If it’s important in your field to have extensive computer skills, write about that in your professional profile (at the top) rather than burying it in a ‘skills’ section (at the bottom).
The lesson is to take your time to make your résumé showcase the best “you.” Highlight those accomplishments. Update it when necessary. Make it concise, compelling and error-free.
Did you enjoy this article? Read more articles by this expert here.
CAREEREALISM Expert, Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), national entry-level careers columnist for and blogs about career advice at Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhuhman.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Top 15 LinkedIn Groups For Job Seekers

LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking sites on the web, and if you haven't set up an account yet, you should do so right away! If you already have one, check out this list and see if there is one or two that you haven't joined.
Although LinkedIn is not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, it is offers one of the best resources for job seekers to network and find out about openings in their job field. For one, your LinkedIn profile is also your online resume, and there is also a recommend feature that allows other users to recommend you for a position, so it works as an instant personal reference.
LinkedIn groups are an invaluable resource for expanding your job. You can join up to 50 groups out of thousands of user created listings. Some groups are created by individuals and some by companies. Each group is a community where like-minded people who are in similar situations can discuss problems within the group. As you can imagine, this lends itself perfectly to the job search. Some of the groups are devoted to job listings and networking, and some focus more on support and helping others find jobs. Whatever your needs are, take a look and see if one of these groups can help you with your search.
Here is the top 15 groups for job seekers and their group summaries, if I am missing one of your favorite groups, please let me know.
  1. JobAngels - “Become a Job Angel by helping one person find a job! It can be a friend, a colleague, a neighbor or a total stranger. And if you need help yourself, join JobAngels to locate someone who is willing to lend a hand. “
  2. Project:Get Hired : A motivational support group for job hunters to share creative strategies and stay motivated. Whether you are recently downsized or have been unemployed for awhile, join for valuable information and insight.
  3. Job Search Help : This group is for all Job Seekers. Share advice and leads. Network and help each other. Discuss Job Boards, job search engines, career sites, ways to write a good resume etc.
  4. Executive Suite - Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.
  5. The Talent Buzz - Job Seekers, Candidates, Recruiting, HR, and Marketing professionals interested in networking, and being kept up to date with the latest trends in Human Resources, Diversity, Talent Management, Recruitment, Social Media, and Social Networking.
  6. Star:Candidate for Hire - Group working in tandem with Linked:HR, the largest Recruiters’ Group on LinkedIn, to help top candidates find jobs quickly and efficiently.
  7. JobsDirectUSA - Official job search group on LinkedIn for
  8. Career Rocketeer - Career Launch Network - Fastest-growing professional network for career search, career development and personal branding, bringing job seekers and employers, recruiters and career experts together for mutual success.

By-Melissa Kennedy: Melissa is a freelance writer, having contributed to various blogs and websites, a volunteer, a full time mom and an active job seeker.

Friday, June 18, 2010

When Is It Okay To Ask For A Job Lead?

After a workshop I led, an attendee connected to me via LinkedIn. Shortly thereafter, she asked me for an introduction to a few of my contacts. I recommended that she find connections who might know her work better than I. She then responded with a very good question that I bet is on the minds of many: a lot of the advice out there promotes networking as a way to access those jobs and companies you want, but as you meet more and more people how do you know when it’s okay to ask for referrals?
Kudos to this jobseeker for a number of things:
1) She expands her network. We connected (as it happened via LinkedIn but you can also use email or other social network);
2) She stays in touch. Some people stop after one contact;
3) She doesn’t stop at No. She didn’t push back on my hesitation for a referral but she did ask for more information (she asked why). So while she didn’t get exactly what she asked for, she got more information and that will help her search.
You can’t expand your network if you always only focus on people you already know. You have to take a chance, like this person did, and reach out to people. Attend social events, go to conferences, take classes, participate in community activities, and then actually reach out to the people you meet.

You also have to follow up because even if you do manage to introduce yourself and get this person in your LinkedIn network or on your email list, if you don’t correspond further, it doesn’t really matter.
But, the follow up stage is a long stage. The best follow up is non-committal.
You focus on the other person – just saying hi or giving an article, a recommendation for a good book, a holiday greeting. Give something that is welcome and doesn’t require a response. This way, you build familiarity and rapport without bothering the person. Then, when you have established familiarity and rapport, you might try asking for something.
A connection/ referral to someone else is a big favor. When you make a referral for a job or even an informational meeting, it is a reflection on you, so you want to make sure that before you refer someone you know them. Likewise, asking someone else to refer you is a risk for them. They need to know that you will reflect on them well, so don’t jump the gun to ask your network for this.

Asking for information is less of a favor, so if you’re not sure where you stand with a contact, ask your connection for information on a company or type of job.
The contact may offer on their own to introduce you to someone they know at the company or to pass on your resume for that type of job. This way, you have put yourself out there, made your aspirations known, but also not imposed too much on the other person.
People have different comfort levels for sharing contacts and referrals. So when you are expanding your network and not quite sure where people stand, be conservative and assume that you need to know the person very well. Then be generous and patient with your network so it becomes connections you know very well. 

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (, a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How to request new Connections on LinkedIn The correct etiquette for business networking

We've all done this: You sign into LinkedIn, glance at the "People You May Know" box and recognise a few names. Perhaps they're former colleagues, friends from college, or maybe they're people you've never met before, but you know they'd be a good connection to make. You click "Connect," choose how you know her, and fire off the invitation with the typical boilerplate, I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

 Good, right?
Not if you're serious about making the connection, says Lewis Howes, author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success On The World's Largest Professional Networking Website.
"Never send an invitation to connect with anyone without making it a personalised message," Howes says. "You want to be remembered; you want to connect with them on a personal level."
Here are three steps to follow the next time you're serious about making a connection on LinkedIn.

1. Do your homework

Before job seekers interview for a job opening, they research the company to learn everything you can about it, right? The same holds true for connecting with people on LinkedIn.
Before you click "Connect," browse their profile to obtain an understanding of who they are. Where are they working? What jobs have they held in the past? What LinkedIn groups do they belong to? What are their interests? Do they have a blog? Having an understanding of the person before you interact with them is key, Howes says.

2. Find common ground

After researching the person you want to connect with, find and jot down at least two or three things you have in common, Howes recommends. This could be anything from sharing an alma mater, to belonging to the same LinkedIn group, to having another connection in common.

3. Craft a personal note

Now you're ready to connect. Instead of sending out the impersonal, standard message that accompanies LinkedIn invitations, Howes recommends combining the information above to generate a memorable introduction before you tell them why you want to connect. As an example:
Hi Megan,
I noticed that we were both in the (fill in the blank) group on Linked In, that Jeff Smith and John Rodgers were mutual friends and that we grew up in the same city.
I've heard great things about (fill in the blank) and thought it would be great to reach out and connect to learn more about it from you.
Would you be open to a quick call this Tuesday at noon or Thursday at 3pm to discuss it? Let me know if email works best for you instead, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Connecting with them on a personal level breaks a barrier," Howes says. "People only do business with people they trust, so you want to try to make them trust you right off the bat," he says. 

Original Article

Thursday, June 10, 2010

4 in 10 Use LinkedIn For Business Purposes

According to a study by NetProspex and Rapleaf, 43% of the employees surveyed use LinkedIn for business purposes.
Most of which, I believe, are used for headhunting and employee validating. Promotion wise, business-to-business (B2B) marketers are actively seeking for potential partners and buyers.
With 70 million professionals on its site (and growing as you read), LinkedIn has slowly become an essential tool for employees, employers and marketers. On the flip side, this causes us to be increasingly pressured to beef up our LinkedIn footprint. Not only have social platforms made personal data “open”, our career track records are also widely available to anyone who searches through LinkedIn or Google.
social sites for business
While all the hype normally surround Facebook and Twitter, these sites are “less utilized” as they mainly offer advertising and communication opportunities. Companies do use Twitter for hiring but essentially still rely on LinkedIn for resume and validation purposes. This doesn’t necessary mean Facebook and Twitter are less capable or attractive. It simply highlights that different social site has its own strength. Understand where your audience are and mix and match for the optimum social strategy for your business.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Job Search for Good Food Movement

I just came across the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association website which has a listing of professional listings.

Foodies know where the good markets are to find the best strawberries, crispy kale and first peaches of the season, but when it comes to finding their dream jobs, the classified ads just won't do. Since my friend and colleagues (self included,)are all in the market for a job that fuels our passions, allow us to live the good life and pays our loans, I thought it would nice to centralize some resources.

1. Comfood listserve- this is a great place for job announcements, up to day news in the sustainable food security movement and discussion about decisive issues. Many of the amazing players in the field can be found collaborating, asking questions, and offering up expertise. Share yours as well.

2. Sustainable Food Jobs (SFJ)- this is a domestic site that is updated weekly and has jobs from sustainable food service, farm to school, Americorps and farming internships as well as CEO positions at non-profits and start-up businesses. The site is cool if you want to search by region.

3. Good Food Jobs- similar to SFJ - this site is due to launch this summer. In the mean time sign up for their weekly email to catch the latest.

4. Idealist- a great place to land a non-profit career or organize with like minded people.Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives. I have been successful searching by key words.

5. Linkedin-When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts. A fun part is you can recommend your colleagues.

You can come link up with me at:

6. Juju- Do a search like "sustainable food jobs"

7. Jobs - search by topic, demographic, or job category. There are also career advisors and other resources.

8. Wise Earth Jobs -helps the global movement of people and organizations working toward social justice, indigenous rights, and environmental stewardship connect, collaborate, share knowledge, and build alliances. All tools and content are free to use. The site is commercial-free too.

9. Craiglist-not only good for getting used furniture or sports equipment, Craigslist can be a great place to find consulting gigs, freelance writing or part time work in your new city. I usually use search terms to sift out the junk. Beware of scams or jobs that are posted over and over again. If your bored of the job search, the Best of Craigslist is good for a laugh.

10. HigherEdJobs- A good place to look for adjunct faculty, part time or other teaching positions at community colleges or university. I search "nutrition" and get a lot of hits.

11. Check your local school districts, college websites, and county & city job boards.

12. Good luck and let me know if you have any other resources that may be of assistance!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Twitter 101: Tips to Get You Started

I have a confession to make: I was not an early adopter of Twitter. To be honest, I didn't get it. I didn't get the language. It seemed like a string of links to even more things I had no time to read. It felt overwhelming. LinkedIn and Facebook made sense as a perfect extension of networking I was already doing, but the charm of Twitter eluded me.
Sound familiar? I hear the same thing from many people, but what I discovered when I actually engaged on Twitter has turned me into a devotee. Twitter has been one of the greatest learning tools of my career.
If you are hesitant to join Twitter, you are not alone. However, I want to encourage you to give it a shot. Set up an account, follow some people and learn some things. People on Twitter are very generous with their time and knowledge. Yes, you will spend time on Twitter that you already don't have, but you will also learn things that will make you more valuable, smarter and "in the know." I use Twitter instead of Google for information gathering, and it has made me more productive.
Change is all around us, and the only way we can move forward is to change together and collaborate. I am still a newbie, but if I have inspired you to try, here are some tips to get you started:
1] Come up with a goal for trying Twitter. Is your goal to interact with the media or journalists? Is it to gain exposure for personal branding in your area of expertise? Is it to learn from others who are experts in their field? Or is it to increase traffic to your Web site or blog?
2] When you sign up, complete the profile as fully as possible. Add a photo, short bio, user name and real name. People want to know who you are. Your bio should reflect your goal. Make sure you include the URL for your site, blog or Facebook page.
3] There is no need to panic if you don't have a ton of people following you. If you post good information, people will find you slowly and steadily.
4] You may have multiple goals for Twitter, feel free to have multiple accounts. At our firm we have 11 accounts and each one has a different audience and purpose.
5] Start off by sharing your knowledge. I bet you know a lot about your industry and your business. Think of Twitter as a great way to share that information. If you read something helpful, share the link on Twitter and let others benefit from your find. Generosity is a good business practice.
6] Because we are limited to 140 characters on Twitter, you will need to learn about shortening URLs. I use a site called because it helps me track my shortened URLs. Or you can use a web site called Hootsuite which allows you to shorten URLs, track them and manage multiple accounts. It's kind of like the Swiss Army Knife of Twitter.
7] Learn the common abbreviations. We created a helpful postcard for our clients. Please feel free to print it for yourself.
8] If you read something you like on Twitter, remember to retweet it. It's a great way to give credit to people who are putting out good information. If you want to join the conversation, use reply.
9] Follow people you already follow in other ways: Journalists you admire, comedians who make you laugh, or authors who inspire and teach.
10] Be a good community member. A good rule of thumb is to have a 4 to 1 ratio for self promotion. One self-promotional tweet to 4 that will help others or engaging in the community through reply or retweet.
If you are new or nervous, follow me on @websnapshot and we'll learn together. My goal for this feed is to learn and share good ways to integrate social media and web publicity. Along the way, I share resources and tools with my staff, increase exposure for my clients, get business ideas, and collaborate with smart people. I post links and articles everyday that help me be better, and I hope they will help you as well.
In the comments below, tell me about your experiences with Twitter. Do you like it?
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a web publicity and social media firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. Founded in 1995, FSB's mission is to give authors an opportunity to promote their work to an eager, targeted audience online. FSB is based in the NYC area. Please engage with FSB on Facebook or Twitter. For web publicity and social media news, follow Fauzia on a new Twitter feed: @WebSnapshot

Original Huffington Post Article

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ten Tips For Startup Job Search Success

These days I see a surge of new startups as we fight our way out of the recession. If you are not starting one yourself, the next best thing is joining one as a partner, or being an early employee. Believe me, there is no better way to get the experience you need for your own venture.
According to Ford R. Myers, a noted career coach, and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring,” many job seekers and career changers make the mistake of halting all their efforts during the summer, believing that nobody will be hiring until early fall. He and I believe that summer is the perfect time for starting a new career.
Here are some tips from his perspective and mine to stave off the summer “brain drain” and focus on the next step or starting a whole new career as an entrepreneur:
  1. Create and control your Internet image. Whether it's LinkedIn, YouTube, or Facebook, you need an online presence. No online presence may brand you as “old school,” and not startup material. Carefully monitor the "personal brand" you're building on the Internet to keep it positive.
  2. Perform an internal career audit. Summer is a perfect time to take an honest look at your career -- where you've been, where you are today, and where you'd like to go. Identify new goals based on your own definition of career success and then take action.
  3. Invest in career coaching. A qualified career coach can help you get totally clear on your objectives, differentiate you from the competition, market you effectively, get the offer, and negotiate the best compensation. Don’t assume it’s a luxury you can’t afford.
  4. Actively work the network. Summer is one of the best times of the year to make new connections and find new startups, with outdoor activities and sports. Contrary to popular belief, business networking is not all done at investor receptions and conferences.
  5. Follow-up with existing connections. Make new connections through your network, and always follow up with people you've already met. I’ve never met an executive or professional yet who didn’t enjoy being asked to share his expertise and views, and most will then remember you as someone who really cares.
  6. Update your career "tool kit." Most job seekers still use only their resume as the cornerstone of their search. But there are many other items you should have in your "career tool kit" – good online profiles, accomplishment stories, positioning statement, contact list, professional references, letters of recommendation, and more.
  7. Tune your business fashion sense. Fashion trends in startups are more relaxed and modern than you may see in large enterprises. It may be time to update your apparel to prevent the impression that you are stuck in the past and may have a difficult time adjusting to the startup world. It also will boost your own confidence level as well.
  8. Volunteer or seek internships. There are many volunteer opportunities available during the summer. This is a good way to get practical job experience, help people, and to meet other professionals who may be able to recommend you.
  9. It is better to give than to receive. The fastest and most effective strategy for getting help is to offer help to others. Ask the people in your network who they might like an introduction to or if there is any way that you can be of assistance to them.
  10. Become an opportunity magnet. Always think and speak positively, and never say anything negative. This will help you to become an opportunity magnet -- poised to attract, interview and "hire" your next employer.
The most important thing is to get out there and work the territory. If you adopt a defeatist attitude or wait for the job to find you, entrepreneurs will quickly see this, and you will be defeated. Startups are hard work for everyone, so enthusiasm, confidence, and a can-do attitude are essential to success. You make your own luck in this world.

Original Article

9 Places to Share Your Blog Feed to Automatically Update Your Social Media Contacts

Most of us are active at a number of social media sites. And I bet, we all have a blog (or several blogs). You are very likely to be eager to share what you blog about with your social media friends.
This post outlines the ways to automate that sharing. Someone may frown upon the “automation” part here (after all, social media sites are all about live conversation, automation is not what we want from our social media contacts.) But in this case, this is a so-to-say “whitehat” automation: we share news from our own blogs. This news are meant for our friends and we would share it anyway, so why not make the process faster?
You are probably aware of most of these ways, but this post should serve as a checklist: be sure to drop your blog feed URL everywhere.

1. Facebook

1. RSS connect application offers to add a blog or any RSS feed to your wall or boxes tab or create a fully customizable tab dedicated to your feeds.
You will be able to :
  1. Add a box to your profile wall;
  2. Add a box to your boxes tab;
  3. Create a customizable tab for your feed.
Visibility: Visible to your Facebook friends.
RSS connect application
More ways to share your content on Facebook can be found here.
2. Facebook Notes:
  • Click the Import a blog link;
  • Enter the URL of your blog (RSS) into the text box, and check the box underneath that states that you agree to our Terms of Use.
  • To complete the process, click on “Save Settings.” Once you do this, your previous posts will appear as notes and any new posts you make will automatically display.
Visibility: Visible to your Facebook friends.
Note: This way will allow your friends to keep track of your blog updates but there won’t be a link back to your actual post on your blog:
Facebook notes - import blog

2. Facebook Fan Pages

1. Simply RSS allows to automatically update your fan page wall with your blog RSS
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “nofollow).
2. Fan page notes: Go: “Edit page“, find “Notes” under “Application” and click “Edit“, then “Edit import settings” and at last provide your feed URL.
Promote Facebook fan page: import blog feed
Visibility: visible to everyone (with no actual link back to your post).
Note: Many people prefer to share links on Facebook manually for many reasons (one mentioned in #2), here’s a well-reason post on the drawbacks of autos-sharing.

3. LinkedIn

1. Blog Link is a LinkedIn Application that imports your recent posts to your full LinkedIn profile.
Visibility: visible to LinkedIn registered users.
2. WordPress is another one for Wordpress-driven blogs.
Wordpres application for LinkedIn
Visibility: visible to LinkedIn registered users.

4. LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn allows to submit news feeds to automatically post your blog updates to the group. You can manage your feeds from your group “News” tab:
Add news feed
Visibility: visible to LinkedIn registered users.
See this page for more ways to manage your LinkedIn group.

5. Twitter

There are a few tools that automatically update your Twitter stream with links from the provided RSS feed. I’ve been traditionally using Twitter Feed.
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “nofollow”).
Note: Make sure to take advantage of Twitterfeed “Advanced settings” (i.e. “Post content” and post prefix):
Twitterfeed settings

6. Friendfeed

While being primarily a tool for aggregating your social media life, Friendfeed can be used to share your blog updates as well. Go:
Settings -> Services add/edit -> (Miscellaneous) Custom RSS/Atom.
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “nofollow”).
Friendfeed share rss

7. Any Ning-Powered Community

There are plenty of semi-popular websites powered by Ning (Twitter Moms and Doterati are two widely-known examples). To share your blog updates on your profile page:
When logged in, go to your profile page and in the sidebar look for “Add RSS” link (normally under the list of your friends).
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “follow” but go to your feed posts). However if you have “Related posts” enabled in your RSS and choose “Details” when setting up your feed at Ning, you’ll end up with “follow” links to the deep pages:
Ning-community: Share RSS

8. Naymz

At your Naymz account page, scroll down and find “Add link”. Click the link and provide your blog RSS:
Naymz share RSS
Your recent posts will appear under “Recent activity” heading:
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “follow” but go to your feed posts). However if you have “Related posts” enabled in your RSS and choose “Details” when setting up your feed at Ning, you’ll end up with “follow” links to the deep pages:
Naymz share RSS

9. Zimbio

Head straight to “Blogs” tab and add your blog URL. The articles will be automatically imported to Zimbio and linked back to the original.
Visibility: visible to everyone (links are “follow”).
Zimbio Share RSS
Any other social media sites to promote your blog feed?

Written By:


Ann Smarty | @seosmarty

Ann Smarty is the Director of Media at Search & Social where she serves as the Editor of Search Engine Journal. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyGuestBlog.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Top Three Concerns of Recruiters Using Twitter (Resolved)

A few weeks ago, I held a roundtable discussion with recruiters on their opinions of and experience with social media sites. Mentioning LinkedIn elicited a positive response and Facebook stimulated a robust discussion about balancing their personal and professional lives. When I brought up Twitter, one of the recruiters responded “eh…” and another shrugged her shoulders (sigh).
After the crickets stopped chirping, they only expressed concerns:
  • My daily schedule is full. How do I have enough time to be twittering?
  • I get how LinkedIn works, I’m getting the hang of Facebook, but Twitter is a mystery.
  • Who will follow me on The Twitter? I’m not that interesting.
Recruiters recognized that some companies were successful recruiting candidates on Twitter, but could not picture themselves as active users.

Rewind to January 2010, when I found myself in a situation that has nothing to do with social media…
After doing some research, I found that buying a house provided a substantial return-on-investment, better than purchasing a condo, renting or living in my mother’s basement, especially with the current tax credit. Minor problem: I had no idea how to go about buying a house. So I took a trip to Barnes & Noble and bought the most obvious book possible, “Home Buying for Dummies.”  Bringing the book to closing at the bank elicited some laughter from my loan officer and sitting on the floor in front of the sump pumps at Home Depot with my subsequent purchase of “Home Maintenance for Dummies” provoked stares from more savvy home-owners. However, I overcame my worries about how time consuming this would be and the dread of spending entire weekends trimming trees & gardening after learning about the process. I did the research, absorbed a lot of information and eventually purchased a house.
Leaping into some unfamiliar terrain (i.e. Twitter) is worth the time it takes to learn something new and make some mistakes along the way for that ever-so-satisfying ROI.  With the right tools and resources, recruiters who can alleviate their fears about Twitter, become consistent users and feel a glow of satisfaction when that first candidate rolls right into their applicant tracking system. Don’t believe me? Talk to attendees of ERE’s #SocialRecruiting Summit.
I’m looking for recruiters who don’t have enough time to pick up a copy The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter. What questions do you have? How can I help you understand Twitter enough so that you can improve your sourcing & recruiting efforts?  Tell me (I won’t make you fork over $26.99). Too shy to comment? Fine. Read Geoff Peterson’s post on 3 Ways Recruiter Can Get a Jump Start in Social Media instead.

Read The ERE Article And Comments

Networking: Tips for Job Seekers

By Laurie Berenson, CPRW

I love social media, don’t get me wrong, but the downfall of today’s social media is that it can give people a false sense of security that they are effectively networking. Spending time on LinkedIn or Twitter is a smart component to your job search plan, but in order to reap the full benefits of networking, you need to back away from the computer, pick up the phone, attend a business card exchange or other networking event, or meet up with a former colleague for coffee or drinks. In other words, network the old fashioned way, the way we networked before we became addicted to so many of these networking sites.
Here are some networking tips for job seekers –
General advice –
Talk to anyone and everyone. Don’t judge a book by its cover or prejudge someone’s effectiveness when deciding with whom to network and share job leads. You never know who someone’s uncle is. You never who their next door neighbor is. You never know what their old college roommate does.  Part of networking is a numbers game, so be sure to speak with as many people as possible about your areas of expertise and your job search target.
Specific, actionable advice –
Create a target list of companies for whom you’d like to work. Network and research these companies. When speaking with people, it’s more effective to ask who they may know at one of these companies or who they know that does a certain function rather than asking people if they know of anyone hiring. When you’re introduced to someone connected with one of your target companies, conduct an informational interview with them and ask their advice on how you could get in touch or connect with people in a certain functional area. Identify the decision makers and network your way to them. The goal is to introduce yourself to decision makers and get your background in front of them before a job opportunity arises. Introduce your expertise to the decision maker and show him/her how they could benefit from your skill set.
How to best leverage networking in your job search?
The best way is to never stop doing it! Ideally, networking is not a stop and go activity reserved for when you’re wearing your job searching hat, but that’s unfortunately how many professionals view it.  The key is to always be connecting. If you are consistently nurturing the relationships in your network, then when you do reach out for assistance during a job search phase, it will not be viewed as “give me, give me, give me” but rather as a natural opportunity to reciprocate as you will have recently helped them, provided them with leads, shared resources with them, or introduced them to a valuable contact, and they in turn will want to help you. Stop and go networking ony when you’re job searching can leave people feeling used and overlooked, without a sincere interest in helping you advance.

About Laurie Berenson, CPRW
As a career strategist and Certified Professional Resume Writer, Laurie successfully works with clients on projects related to resume development, career change and transition, job search strategy, interview coaching, and salary negotiation.  She is passionate about helping clients in career transition or career re-entry, including career changers, stay at home parents, and entrepreneurs returning to corporate America.
Before establishing her own firm, Sterling Career Concepts, Laurie began her career in investment banking and equity research and then transitioned to the recruiting industry with a national executive search firm. Her experience combines with strong academic credentials, including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Honors from Georgetown University.