Monday, February 28, 2011

How Can Your Passion Land You a Job?

Stories matter.

I lead something of a double life: on the one hand, I work for the business consultancy Academy28, researching and developing tools and services focused on individual and corporate development. In my other job, I’m a university teacher, writer, and researcher. In other words, I spend some of my time dealing with the theoretical side of personal development (the self-motivation tips, the presentation techniques, the job preparation) and the rest of my time ‘at the coalface’: I put it all into practice, focusing on the personal educational development of university students — not in the blogosphere, or in a hypothetical situation, but in the real world.

As a real-life teacher and ‘facilitator’, then, I spend much of the day immersed in my specialist field—the study of literature. This is why I believe that stories matter: I do a lot of writing, thinking, and teaching about the importance of human stories.

So when I came across the following article in the course of my work for Academy28, it was relevant to both sides of my working life:
“How storytelling spurs success.’
And this got me thinking.

The reason the piece on storytelling got me interested in the subject – interested enough to write this article – was that it engaged with something I was really passionate about: teaching literature, and letting other people know about the relevance of the multiple narratives that structure our existence.
Well, so what? Not everyone cares about books — how is this relevant to other people? Why should it matter to you? And what has this got to do with careers?

I realised that in order to grab the attention of a reader – whether it be a passing surfer coming across your blog during a period of down-time at work, or the HR manager of a company scanning through your job application – you need to engage with things you feel passionate about.

When you go into an interview for a job, you want the interviewer to know that what you talk about and the character traits you present are examples of passion, not just polish. Anyone can learn off by heart the tricks of the trade that will get you noticed during an interview — what is much rarer is evidence that the position is one you feel a certain engagement with.

The best opportunities, both in life and in your career development, are those that enable you to harness multiple interests and skills, and to demonstrate your personal investment in the opportunity. If you don’t do this, you’ll be bored; if you’re bored, so are any potential employers: how can you expect someone to be enthused by something that you’re not?

Next time you apply for a job, think about the following aspects of your application:
  • have you foregrounded your interests?
    • make sure what’s important to you isn’t relegated to the very end of your resume
    • and don’t leave it out altogether, because you think it’s ‘not professional enough’
    • you’re a well-rounded person with outside interests, not a corporate automaton — an interviewer wants to see this!



Guest Expert:Sam Knowles is Senior Instructional Designer at the small UK business consultancy Academy28, which specialises in the use of personality analysis and psychometric profiling to tailor personal, team, and corporate development to individuals’ behaviours and needs. Academy28 are looking to extend the reach and usefulness of the products and services they offer — as part of this, Sam is currently working on launching the first in a series of e-books focusing on the interviewing experience. Visit the blog at iminterviewsuccess.blogspot.com for more information, excerpts from the e-book, and regular digests of useful careers-focused information from across the internet.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Job Search Over 55, How to Battle Back

Peter Macnab

Found yourself without a job after many years of service? Statistics continue to indicate that the job market remains tight. Reports of some positive movement on the job front are quickly tempered with specific stories of employers not wanting unemployed applicants or of extremely long job searches encountered by older workers.



Job Eliminations
A shocked economy forced many organizations to reduce their number one cost, payroll. Realizing the largest savings meant laying off those with the heftiest paychecks. Unfortunately in most cases these were the employees with the longest terms of service and older in age. Corporations strapped with large bank commitments and diminishing sales routinely reduced their payroll costs in this manner.

Job Search: Assessment of Qualifications
It is an emotional time after a lay off or position elimination. Frequently missed is the importance of the resources available for displaced workers. Many corporations will offer access to outplacement services. While helpful in assembling the documentation needed for a job search, these services offer little in the way of actual help finding employment. Further, they do not cover some key basics that will really help as you begin a search for a new position. While hiring is slow to recover, there are some tips that may help accelerate landing a replacement position.

Know what you have to offer
Start looking into positions on the many job sites. Find out what employers are asking for as requirements for applying. Experience alone is no longer a guarantee of resume acceptance. Additional requirements now usually require at least a bachelor’s degree. Once you know what the requirements are for application consideration, begin an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.

1. Credentials: Compare your credentials against the requirements and make your list. If you are lacking in an area of education, training or certifications now is the time to find out. Do you have a required degree? Do you have certification in a certain process? Are you trained in a specific area? Knowledge is power here, if you need additional training to boost your qualifications, it is best to know right away.
2. Resume: refresh your resume as soon as possible. If you have been given access to outplacement services that include resume writing, use it. One note of importance is that a resume needs to be targeted to the position being applied for. If you can, choose several similar occupations and see if you can come away with several targeted “generic” resumes that can be modified as needed.
3. References & Recommendations: Collect as many recommendations as you can from associates, colleagues, business relationships, and friends. These are invaluable to have on file if needed, but are usually forgotten until much later on in the job search process.
4. Network: Catalog your personal and professional network of associates. Everyone you can think of that you have connected with throughout your career and personal associations. A great place to start is your address book and contacts. Fill in the gaps, these contacts are invaluable in ways you have not thought of yet.
Know Where to Go:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Make Resume Accomplishments Measurable Whenever Possible





To ensure your place on the candidate slate, those accomplish-ments have to demonstrate the value you provided your previous employers in measurable terms. Recruiters say they don’t want to read a general listing of your job responsibilities. They want to see: metrics, quantifiable results, quantitative information, and true accomplishments
“A good résumé will show what you know, what you did and how those things translate into value to the organization,” says Topus. “You have to show the outcome, how you made a difference.”
Metrics are perhaps the most effective way to highlight successes and attract the attention of recruiters. “Metrics is the language of business,” says executive branding expert David Topus. “Anything that’s measurable and has metrics associated with it is high impact.” Among the metrics executives should try to include in their résumés:
  • Increase in revenues
  • Increase in market share
  • Increase in profitability
  • Increase in shareholder value
Job seekers really need to “understand how to quantify and monetize accomplishments in each role. ‘Show us the money,’ ” says one recruiter.
“A résumé today has to be more than a descriptive document. It has to sell you,” says Topus. “A descriptive document doesn’t really create enthusiasm in the reader’s mind. But a document that sells you has a different impact. They’re eager to meet you. They feel lucky to have you in for an interview.”

Ascent of the social-media climbers

By Beth Teitell
Globe Staff 


After Valentina Monte accepts a date, the Boston University junior quickly goes online to see how many Twitter followers her suitor has. She checks her own follower count three times a day. When she meets someone who admits to following more people than follow him, she judges. “That means you’re a loser.’’



So when her Klout score hit an impressive 59 out of 100 recently, making it almost as high as Jay Leno’s score of 65, she was ecstatic. “I felt worthy.’’

Klout score? Learn it or, as Monte would say, be judged. Klout.com is one of a number of new status-measuring tools aimed at making social networking more like high school than it already is. Sites such as Klout and PeerIndex.net take public information from Twitter, and sometimes Facebook and LinkedIn, to determine a person’s influence on social media. Anyone can check her score or a rival’s by going to one of the sites and putting in her Twitter handle.

The companies use secret algorithms that go beyond simple numbers of followers — which can be bought in bulk — or friends or fans, and count retweets, the number of links clicked, and even how influential one’s followers are, among other indicators.

“A credit score for your reputation,’’ is how Dave Wieneke, director of digital marketing at Sokolove Law, in Boston, describes the Klout score.

Although many don’t know enough to worry about their Klout scores, for those keeping track, it can be one more ego boost or slap. “There’s a lot of emotion around this,’’ said Mark Schaefer, author of the “Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time.’’ “Generally it comes from people who have a low Klout score.’’

Garth Holsinger, vice president of global sales and business development at the San Francisco-based Klout, sees the desperation on a daily basis. “People call and say, ‘I work in social media, and I’m going to lose my job if my score doesn’t rise.’ We get celebrity managers asking how they can get their clients’ scores higher. We get people who are literally crying because their Klout score went down.’’

The stakes may only rise, Klout-wise. The company, which was founded in 2008, recently raised $8.5 million in new funding and said it plans to measure influence in more social networks — and beyond, to capture industry leaders who don’t bother tweeting or friending people.

Schaefer, an adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers University, said the new score-keeping tools create a “disturbing’’ social media caste system that he dislikes. But, he adds, “from a marketer’s standpoint, they’re a dream.’’

Read The Rest Of The Boston Globe Article

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Drop old jobs from resume to avoid dating yourself

By Cindy Atoji Keene

As a longtime college housing director, Maureen Wark said, “How do you move 1,300 students in two days into three dorms? It’s not easy, but I got really good at it, and loved the job.’’ But in July 2008, after 12 years working at a large Boston-area university, Wark’s supervisor called her in to her office and told her it was time to move on for her own professional growth.


Wark, who agreed she would leave in June 2009, would have nearly a year to look for a new job. But the timing couldn’t have been worse as the economy plunged into a deep recession.
More than 100 applications later, Wark is still looking for a full-time position while teaching part time at a community college and doing consulting work in higher education administration.
When Wark, 48, of Salem, met with Boston career coach Elizabeth Freedman, she wanted advice on her job search and resume. Although she had a career of more than 20 years in higher education, she felt she was losing touch with the industry.
“When I’m sitting in my pajamas on a Tuesday, it’s hard to reach out and feel like I’m still part of that world,’’ she said.
Freedman’s first piece of advice: create a plan for managing contacts. Freedman suggested taking an e-mail management tool such as Microsoft Outlook, creating an address book of possible job leads, and importing the names into an Excel spreadsheet. Then, she said, Wark should use the spreadsheet to track how and when she followed up with a contact to make sure she followed up every six weeks.
Next, Freedman recommended editing down a three-page resume by removing college graduation dates and deleting jobs she held more than 15 years ago.
“By putting absolutely everything on your resume, you’re running the risk of appearing overqualified,’’ she said. “I think you’re aging yourself on paper.’’

More Advice and Complete Article

9 Steps to Getting Hired in Today’s Digital World

Step 1: Analyze Your Online Presence
Search for yourself in Google. What do you find? Is there anything unprofessional? Are there any search results for other individuals who share your name that could potentially harm your job search?
Recommended resource: Vizibility
Comb through your social networking profiles. Take down anything that would be inappropriate for an employer to see, including photos, videos, notes, wall posts, offensive language, etc. Don’t rely on privacy settings to protect your content—clean it up!
Recommended resource: MyWebCareer
Step 2: Get Your Marketing Documents in Shape
Think of your cover letter, resume and other documents during your job search as marketing documents. What are they marketing? You.
Your cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager will see. It should be more personable than your resume. Use it to convey your passion and interest for the job and to concisely state why you are a good match. Always make it about what you can do for the company—and customize each cover letter in your job search.
Your resume is the driving force in landing you an interview with the hiring manager. It should be concise, tailored to the job opening, and convey how your skills and expertise fit the job description. Only include experience that directly relates to the open position.
Your business cards make you look like a professional. They also come in handy while networking. Be sure to include on them your name, title or area of expertise, e-mail address, phone number(s) and website or blog address.
Step 3: Join & Engage in Professional & Social Networking Communities
It’s often not what you know but who you know (and who knows you) that lands you the job. During and before your job search, join professional and social networking communities in order to meet new people, build mutually beneficial relationships and strengthen connections with contacts.
Step 4: Create an Online Portfolio
In today’s online world of personal brands, you need to stand out by having your own website to showcase your work. No matter what your field, a portfolio can help you land a job if it’s done correctly.
Find out if your personal domain name is for sale and buy it. Begin building a portfolio on a site that you’re comfortable using – make sure to include an “about me” page, excellent portfolio pieces, and a “contact me” page.
Step 5: Start a Blog
Blogging is a great activity to boost your job search and increase your visibility. Not only are most employers impressed when you have a blog, but you become easier to find online and build up your professional network in the process.
Important steps in starting a blog:
  • Choose a blogging software
  • Decide on a topic
  • Create a blogging plan
  • Think about how you’ll publicize your content
  • Start writing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All-too-common mistakes can sink the best job search techniques

Last week's JobsSunday feature focused on what job candidates could do to re-energize and re-focus their attitude through their job search techniques.
This week the focus is on the opposite -- what job candidates should make sure they avoid as they look for work.
The phrase "shoot yourself in the foot" didn't create itself. Although it didn't originate with job seekers, it might as well have.
Every day, as job candidates look for a job, almost every one of them makes at least one mistake in the process. The worst part is, many of these mistakes are avoidable.
These are some of the most common -- and most critical -- job search mistakes that experts say can be avoided with a little extra thought and up-front consideration.
1) A non-professional email address. Job candidates can use free email hosts such as gmail.com or aol.com to establish a plain but professional email account that is nondescript.
2) A last check on appearance before an interview. Job candidates who get their foot in the door for an interview need to make sure they look the part. Badly wind-blown hair can make a difference.
3) Pay attention to detail. One mistake, mentioned a number of times by hiring managers, is job candidates who use a cover letter template and forget to change the company name. Cover letters and resumes should always be customized.
4) Real networking is work. Real networking builds mutually beneficial relationships. That can be hard to do in a group setting. Job candidates need to make sure they have a few one-on-one meetings each week.
5) A focus on specific jobs and job types. No job candidate is a fit for every job, or good at everything. A job search will be much more effective if the focus is on exactly the kind of work qualified for.

Tips 6 - 10 

Monday, February 21, 2011

When Looking For Work Is Your Job - Tax Advice For Job Searches

Written by NAPSI


Sacramento, California (NAPSI) - Searching for and starting a new job can cause people to spend money when they may be short on funds. A bright spot is that some of those expenses may be tax-deductible. Unemployed And Searching For A New Job
Taxpayers—particularly the unemployed and underemployed-should file tax returns to claim all tax credits and deductions they are entitled to on their tax returns, to ensure they get the largest tax refund they are due.
Remember, all income must be reported to the IRS, regardless of the source. It does not matter if it’s from unemployment compensation (all of which is subject to federal income tax this year), tips, a lawn-mowing business or working as a nanny.
While looking for a new job, keep good financial records because items used exclusively for the job search are tax-deductible if the job is in the same field. Among these expenses are resumé development, professional placement services and unreimbursed mileage, airfare and hotel expenses for interview travel.
Moving For A New Job
If relocating for a new job, unreimbursed moving expenses may be eligible deductions that do not have to be itemized. These are the eligibility requirements:
• Any moving expenses incurred within one year from the first day of work
• The new job would have increased the taxpayer’s commute by more than 50 miles
• If the taxpayer was previously unemployed, the new job must be at least 50 miles from the taxpayer’s old home
• Taxpayers must be employed at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after the move.
Starting A New Job
Expenses for unreimbursed items necessary for working, such as computers, mobile phones, training that allows workers to keep their current positions, union dues and required uniforms may be eligible tax deductions. To be eligible, these items must be required by the employer and used exclusively for work purposes. Use the H&R Block job deduction guide to learn what expenses are typically claimed for certain occupations.
Eligible job expenses must be claimed as itemized tax deductions and they must total more than 2 percent of adjusted gross income; only the portion of job deductions and other miscellaneous itemized deductions that exceed 2 percent of adjusted gross income may be claimed.



Complete Article

Friday, February 18, 2011

'Are You There God? It's Me, Jobless'

Shira Hirschman Weiss

Last Thursday, the Labor Department released data stating that the number of new unemployment applications is at its lowest since July 2008. While this indicates the economy is picking up speed, the news can either be a beacon of hope or salt rubbed into wounds for the presently unemployed. Faith is in a precarious perch for the religious and jobless. While some become despondent from repeated rejection and thwarted efforts, others cling to faith and turn fervently to prayer.

Deirdre McEachern is a career coach who says she sees clients "whose faith has been enhanced and re-affirmed by the job hunt." One of those clients, Jennifer Bindhammer, was a flight attendant with United in September 2011. "She came to me in early 2002 re-evaluating her life," explains McEachern. "We worked together for several months and in the process she reconnected strongly with her personal faith. Once she deciphered her life purpose, she felt as if God was opening doors for her -- helpful coincidences kept appearing -- like the sign she spotted on a subway platform advertising an MBA program." This literal and figurative 'sign' led the flight attendant to pursue her MBA.

In the process of contemplating the switch to a corporate profession, Bindhammer -- no stranger to the friendly skies -- turned to the heavens. "I enjoyed flying and I enjoyed my job, she writes in a testimonial, "It just wasn't the challenge that I wanted it to be, and realized that I needed to be challenged. When I thought about changing careers, I prayed about it -- I actively prayed."

Bindhammer followed her passion, received her MBA and kept praying. She is now working with an international air transport consultancy that focuses on aviation.

While the former flight attendant's faith was reaffirmed, Fiona (not her real name) reflects on how she sunk into a deep depression when she was laid off from a Public Relations start-up during the late 90s "dot bomb" era. She stopped praying and began spending Friday nights at local bars instead of the synagogue. She could have benefitted from an organization like Project Ezrah, had it been around at the time. The North Jersey based organization was founded in 2001 to aid members of the Jewish community (and now helps Jews and non-Jews alike) who were suffering from the hardships of unemployment.

Rabbi Yossie Stern, Executive Director of Project Ezrah, has seen individuals like Fiona who have been turned off to the synagogue experience, who are angry with God, and who are depressed about their situation to the point of losing faith. His organization has put together programs to help those who feel despondent. Notably, it developed initiatives to professionally retrain unemployed baby boomers.

"When your brother is impoverished, you have to be able to empower him to be self sufficient," he explains, "The highest form of charity is being able to afford someone a job, to help him achieve the same sense of self-esteem and quality of life that you have." His organization provides a wide range of services including a popular job board, career counseling services, financial counseling, mental health counseling, job training, and "in the box and out of the box services. We try to provide it all," Stern says. There is also a LinkedIn group that includes seminars on how to use social networking to find a career and much more. "We empower people to network, which is the best way to find employment."

Fiona eventually found her way back to a public relations career and to the synagogue, but admits that she felt at odds with her faith when things were uncertain: "I didn't feel it was God's fault," she explains, "It was related to a sudden, dark depression, which came about from my unemployment." And which, she admits, also may have been related to the fact that she was in a bad relationship at the time. "When life is unstable, it contributes to the instability of unemployment." Rabbi Stern stresses that it is critical that spouses be encouraging and not place blame due to unemployment. He emphasizes that a support system and building of confidence is essential to one's job hunt.

While Fiona received counseling for her depression, she realized she needed to make significant efforts to find a new job. "The Hebrew word Hishtadlut kept flashing through my head," she says. Hishtadlut means that one must make their own efforts. It relates to the universal concept of "God only helps those who help themselves."

Read the rest of the Huffington Post article

Social Media 101, 202, 303: Self-guided training

By Cassandra Nicholson


These three sessions deal with a social media basic introduction, tips for journalists to use social media as a research tool, and strategies for cutting through the clutter of social media.
The free Webinar series, “Social Media 101, 202 and 303,” was originally held Feb. 8-10, 2011. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find self-guided training links.
Robin J. Phillips, Web managing editor at BusinessJournalism.org, presented these three Webinars. Each session provided tips for business journalists in need of jump-starting their social media initiatives, both personally and professionally. The sessions are designed to help someone with a specific level of experience with social media. But feel free to take any one or all three.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA 101: The basics for social media newbies
  • SOCIAL MEDIA 202: Tips for reporters about using social media sites as research tools
  • SOCIAL MEDIA 303: Filtering to contain the clutter
SOCIAL MEDIA 101:
How do you get started? Should you create both a personal and a professional account on Facebook? On Twitter? Can you join LinkedIn if you aren’t looking for a job? How do you find people to follow? How do you get people to follow you?
Don’t worry about it. Phillips will walk you through the basics of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. She’ll help you get started.
SOCIAL MEDIA 202: How social media can make you a better business journalist.
So you have a LinkedIn page and have been on Facebook and Twitter since the election. What now? Phillips will show you ways to:
  • turn social media tools into databases to help find local stories and sources,
  • distribute your content and track whether people are reading your links,
  • connect with your community,
  • find out what real-time conversation is happening about issues on your beat,
  • take part in that conversation, and
  • use Twitter lists to help you track what people are saying.
This session will also cover ethics, standards of practice and practical tips on using sources that you find on the Web.
SOCIAL MEDIA 303: Cutting through the clutter.
Most everyone hits a point where the information coming in on social media tools begins to feel overwhelming. It can become difficult to know what information is important, what’s worth spending time on, what links are worth clicking on, what articles worth reading.
Phillips will show you tools that help filter, ways to set up keyword searches, tactics for juggling your social media profiles.

Links To The Trainings

Thursday, February 17, 2011

9 ways to reconnect with LinkedIn pals who change jobs

By Joan



When your LinkedIn connections change jobs, that’s the perfect time to reconnect.
But you might not always be aware of the fact that a guy you know left one company and joined another, or that a former co-worker was laid off from her job in corporate and started her own business.
That’s why I love the helpful photo chart that LinkedIn emailed me this morning with the subject line, “Joan, 245 connections changed jobs in 2010.  Did you reconnect?”
Chart showing photos of Joan Stewart's LinkedIn connections who've changed jobs
That got me thinking, how can I use this chart?
Here are nine ways to reconnect:
  1. Send one of your connections a personal email on LinkedIn acknowledging their job change and wishing them well in their new position this year.
       
  2. Write a recommendation for one or more people whose work you admire. But before you write it, email them, tell them what you want to do and ask if there’s a particular aspect of their work they’d like you to comment on. A keynote speaker, for example, might want you to comment on his excellent platform skills and his value to audiences and meeting planners.
      
  3. Reconnect by asking about their favorite LinkedIn groups.
      
  4. If you see that they use the Amazon reading app on their profile, ask a question about one of the books they’re reading, or a book they want to read.
     
  5. Offer to help them—for free. Everybody’s sick to death of being blasted by free commercials. So encourage your connections to call on you if they need help with (fill in the blank). Offering free advice positiions you as helpful, approachable and smart.
     
  6. Comment on something you see in her profile and ask her a question about it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Clout

JD Lasica


Most people use Facebook for personal reasons: to maintain contacts, stay in touch with friends who live far away or to stay on top of one’s social life. Only 15 percent of us use it to maintain professional or work contacts, according to a 2010 survey by ExactTarget. Some people turn to professional networking sites like LinkedIn or A Small World for professional networking.
But for many of us, our professional and personal lives intersect and blend in deep ways — and this is the new multidimensional public identity we display to the world. That mashup of the professional + the personal is likely to grow, as Facebook rolls out new communications features and now lets you segment your friends into lists and groups, like family, co-workers or professional colleagues.
How can you get more mileage out of your Facebook presence? As it routinely does, Facebook declined requests to comment about how its EdgeRank ranking system for news feeds works. So a parlor game of sorts has emerged — a distant cousin of Kremlinology that combines rigorous analysis with a fair amount of guesswork. Whether you call it Facebookology or News Feed Optimization or “building edge,” it’s more art than science.
Let’s play, shall we? Here are our recommendations on how to become more visible in your friends’ feeds — helping you gain greater traction, influence and clout on Facebook:

1. Find the right vehicle for your professional voice

On Facebook, you need to find the right balance of business and personal and decide what works for you. Several of my friends have created Pages for themselves — not their businesses, but their personal brands. For example, nonprofit strategist Beth Kanter has a Profile page and a public figure Page for her writing and work in the field, while Chris Brogan manages to do both on his Profile page. Note that personal Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends while Pages have no limit. You should decide what’s right for you. If you use Facebook for personal interactions with your family, you’ll want to create a separate Page for your professional identity. Remember: Creating a second personal account violates Facebook’s Terms of Service and, if you represent a business, nonprofit or organization, you should be reaching out to people with your Facebook Page, not your personal Profile.

2. Segment smarter

FB-friends-lists-feeds
You needn’t be captive to Facebook’s two main news feeds, Top News and Most Recent. Create Facebook Friend Lists and browse updates from contacts you target in your industry or sector. Create a Friend List by following these steps, then head over to the Most Recent link (pictured above), click it, then click the down arrow to reveal the feeds of the lists you’ve created. (Can this be any more well-hidden?) Your Friend List updates will appear with most recent posts at the top — a subset of your Most Recent feed. Although Facebook’s Home page remembers whether you chose Top News or Most Recent on your previous visit, it doesn’t remember the Friend List you chose, so you must choose it each time you load the Most Recent view.

3. Choose quality over quantity

One or two strong Facebook updates per day is better than a half dozen scattershot updates that fly by and don’t have the staying power to attract people’s feedback. One social media “expert” at a recent Barcamp said you need to have at least 20 updates a day per Page to get into a News Feed — that’s patently false (though it may be good advice for Twitter). Dan Zarrella, author of “The Facebook Marketing Book,” even suggests that posting just once every other day may get the best results. You want your updates to be sticky so that you jump-start conversations. Quality doesn’t mean an essay-length post. Save that for your blog — and write a short update linking to it. Or if you don’t have a blog, you can write a Facebook Note. Be selective about what you post: Don’t post a status update every time you mow the lawn. Include links to stories that are interesting, remarkable, sexy, funny or newsworthy, and include an image if possible. By stoking user engagement, Facebook will reward you for making people spend more time on Facebook.

4. Say it with the right media

Here’s the most important secret about building up more authority on Facebook: A lot of it has to do with what tools you choose. Upload videos, check in with Facebook Places, share some photos — hitting the Like button isn’t enough. It appears that Facebook assigns the most weight, or value, to these kinds of content types, roughly in this order:
embedding videos on Facebook
To embed a video on Facebook, enter the url, attach, then add a description and share.

  1. Video. Facebook puts its finger on the scale whenever you share a video that you’ve uploaded to Facebook. With Facebook members sharing than 10 million videos a month (as of mid-2010), the company believes that multimedia increases engagement and time spent on the site. With options to record video with a webcam or upload a video from your computer, Facebook makes it super-easy to post a video. YouTube viewing is robust as well. A YouTube group product manager wrote the other day: “over 150 years worth of YouTube video is watched on Facebook every day.” (See above for how to embed a Vimeo or YouTube video on Facebook.) Does sharing a link to a YouTube video or embedding a YouTube video bump up your visibility? Yes. Does it count as much as uploading a video to Facebook? Nobody outside of Facebook knows — and Facebook isn’t saying.
  2. Facebook Places updates. If you’re a mobile power jock, you already have gotten into the habit of checking in with Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places. You can use Places on touch.facebook.com or the Facebook app for iPhone, Android, CrackBerry and other smartphones. Facebook sometimes tweaks its algorithm to give more weight to updates in its newer services, and so it’s now awarding extra juice to members using geolocation updates — a wise business decision given our increasingly mobile society. Chad Wittman, founder of social media management firm SBN, says, “Facebook Places definitely has a heavier weight than competitors” such as Foursquare and Gowalla, whose members’ check-ins carry little weight on Facebook.
  3. Photos and photo tagging. The next best way to elevate your Facebook juju is to upload photos to the site. Facebook members today upload more than 4 billion photos per month, making Facebook by far the largest photo sharing site on the Web. Does cross-posting to Facebook using an app like Posterous, Tumblr or Flickr bump up members’ visibility as much as uploading photos directly? Probably not. Says Facebook strategist Wittman: “We see more interaction with true Facebook applications such as Photos. We definitely see a bigger EdgeRank value for Facebook Photo uploads as opposed to Flickr uploads. Photo albums most likely experience on average higher EdgeRank values due to three times more exposure on the feed — three thumbnails vs. one.” One thing’s for certain: Adding a photo tag will immediately get your photo noticed, assuming the person is one of your friends or you have her email address.
  4. Share. Fascinating as you are, it’s not all about you. Use the Share button to share interesting updates from friends and Pages you follow. But don’t overdo it, and be sure to add your own personal twist or insightful, provocative observations. “An object created in Facebook — that is, sharing another user’s update — should weigh at least equally to, if not greater than, linking externally,” Wittman says.
  5. Link. Use the Link option to share content from the open Web, adding your own distinctive take on the subject, of course. According to an experiment by the Daily Beast, there was no practical difference in results between directing users to an external site vs. embedding YouTube videos on your Facebook Page. So Facebook doesn’t reward people just for staying within its walled garden. But does Facebook prefer links that you share directly on the site over links posted via third-party apps like Tweetdeck, Ping.fm and HootSuite? Facebook won’t say! But Wittman draws this conclusion: “Recently I’ve started to believe that links posted via third party apps inherently have lower weight. I just don’t see how they couldn’t. One thing naturally working against third party apps is the Top News feed auto-hiding updates in close proximity to each other from the same app. I find this to be direct evidence that the Top News feed ultimately punishes third party apps.”
  6.  Status updates & Wall posts. What riveting things are you up to? Be sure to let your friends know.
  7. Comments. If items you post attract comments from a few friends, it raises your visibility overall, particularly mutual friends. Comment in a helpful, friendly, engaging way. Add value. Just remember, it’s a process — you build up authority a little bit at a time, not overnight.
  8. Likes. Like away — it’s an incredibly powerful tool. Use it for news articles on outside sites that sport a Like button, on updates, even comments. Using lots of Likes doesn’t mean you’ll appear in others’ news feeds, but it will begin to solidify your reputation as a peer and supporter. Don’t be stingy about passing out Likes in your own comment threads. When you Like the comments of the people who chime in on your postings, you potentially draw them back to the thread (by sending them a notification), helping to keep it alive and growing, and you also encourage them to comment on your postings in the future. Adds Dave Awl, author of Facebook Me! (new second edition): “Although I can’t prove this, my sense is that Likes in the comment thread count as edges [EdgeRank juice] for the posting itself — so passing out those warm fuzzies may also be an easy way to add edges.” AllFacebook reported in July that 65 million Facebook users Like something every day, and the numbers have doubtless mushroomed since then. By the way, you’re ostensibly limited to a total of 500 Likes, though Facebook doesn’t enforce this rule.

5. Interact!

It’s not all about creating great content. Facebook rewards interaction. If there are certain friends or brands you’d like to see appear in your Top News feed, post comments on their Profile or Page and Like their updates and soon you’ll see their updates appear in your feed, regardless of whether they respond. To lure them into interacting — so that your updates appear in their Top News feed — use a wide range of conversational techniques: Educate, inform, entertain, be funny and engaging, say “thank you.” Be patient, this can take some time to show results.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete B2C Article

How To Avoid the Resume Black Hole

By Alison Doyle

One of the things I hear, over and over again, from job seekers is that it feels like their resume is getting sucked into a black hole when they apply for jobs online.
They take the time to search for jobs, follow the application instructions, and wait - and wait -  and wait.  They don't hear a word back from companies and their applications seems to be lost in a resume black hole.  In some cases, we're talking about hundreds of resumes submitted without a single response from an employer.
What to do to keep your resume out of that black hole and, hopefully, get it reviewed by the hiring manager?  These tips will help get  your resume, as least,  a fighting chance of being considered for a job.
  • Use resume keywords that match the skills listed in the job description, so your application has a shot at making it to the top of the pile.
  • Take the time to write a custom cover letter that specifies why you are a strong candidate for the job.
  • Use job search words to find appropriate jobs to apply to. The better a match, the better your chances are.
  • Apply direct - bypass the job boards and apply directly where companies are hiring.
  • Use SimplyHired to see who you are connected with at a company before you apply.
  • Check LinkedIn for job postings (and check the Groups you belong to, as well) and to find connections at companies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 Ways You Look Out-of-Date in Your Job Search

by Susan P. Joyce


For most of us, a job search, fortunately, is NOT something we do often enough to be really proficient.  So, when the time comes to job search, we must look at what is effective now – not what we did when we last hunted for a job 2, 5, or 15 years ago.

Effective job search methods have changed a great deal since 2007 because recruiting methods have changed dramatically with the widespread use of the Internet and search engines and, particularly in the last 2 years, with the growth of social media.

If job seekers don’t understand how “the new system” works, they can look out-of-date and less desirable as potential employees.  These are the 5 major ways that job seekers can look out of date. 






Whether over 50, under 30, or in the middle, job seekers risk looking out-of-date by:
  1. Being a ”missing person”!
    I know several older job seekers who are proud to be invisible in Google.  You search on their name, and you may find other people (eek!), but you don’t find them.  When I warn them of this lack of visibility, each has said to me, ”I am protecting my privacy.”  But, they are invisible, which makes them “missing people.”  And that is most definitely NOT good!
    Particularly for people looking for positions in marketing or sales, a lack of positive online visibility demonstrates a lack of understanding of current, effective marketing methods.
    A missing person is a “nobody.” In the 21st century, people often assume that only someone who is 100% off-line, who demonstrably does not understand the Internet, is invisible.  And who would want to hire someone who is obviously out of touch?  So, the employers move on in search of people more up-to-date in their understanding of how the business world works today.  Opportunities lost!
  2. Ignoring the power of the Internet to connect with old friends and former colleagues.
    People often hire someone they already know, at least a little, or someone known to someone they know – in other words, someone in their personal network because hiring someone who doesn’t work out is so expensive. The Internet offers many tools for staying connected, and for re-connecting, with people you liked and respected from your past – Google/Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
    Employer “alumni groups” are wonderful for helping job seekers find former colleagues, coworkers, bosses, etc.  You find them on LinkedIn, in Job-Hunt’s Employer Alumni Networking Directory which lists over 250 groups, and by Googling “[employer name] alumni group.”
  3. Having a poor LinkedIn Profile.
    LinkedIn offers people with jobs - and also job seekers – wonderful opportunities to network.  For someone who is employed, they may be more effective in their jobs as a result of the connections they make, the visibility they have, and the information they learn through LinkedIn. 
    For job seekers, LinkedIn offers an opportunity both to showcase their accomplishments and also to demonstrate their understanding of how business is done now. So, use that showcase – list major accomplishments in the “Summary” section, put a description, not just a job title, in the “Professional Headline” section.  Find more ideas and excellent advice in Job-Hunt’s LinkedIn for Job Search section.
    Recruiters love to search through LinkedIn to find potential employees with the right set of skills and experience, offering job seekers a wonderful opportunity to be found, without the effort of finding and applying for jobs. And, the good news about a good LinkedIn Profile is that it eliminates the “inivisibility” problem. 




Monday, February 14, 2011

Career Transition - It’s All in a Name … or Is It?

By Louise Fletcher


I'm happy to be one of CareerRealism's Twitter career experts. We answer job seeker questions in 140 characters or less, but today's question seemed to call for a more detailed answer. Here it is:

"I am in job search mode, and have decided to take the opportunity to transition into another field. It is a role I have performed in the past but not titled. Advised by professionals/experts in the field, that it is feasible. However, although my targeted resume has gotten to the hiring managers, and even some interviews, I do not get offers because I lack experience. How do I find the right balance? I don't want to give up on this new dream!"
This is a situation many of my clients find themselves in. It's a common misperception to think you have to have held a title in order to have success. Actually, this isn't true. You just have to be smart about how you communicate your skills in your resume. Because a great resume will not only open doors - it will also remove the 'not enough experience' reservations people have about you.

If you are in a similar situation to the one outlined above, I'm going to give you a few of my favorite resume strategies to change perceptions. For the sake of illustration, let's say you have been employed for 10 years as an executive assistant within a small company. During that time, part of your responsibility has been marketing and this is the part of your work that you love. You've now decided to apply for marketing positions but you don't have any related titles on your resume. So what can you do? Here are just 3 ideas:

Find ways to demonstrate expertise and then link to these on your resume

Write an article, blog posting or Squidoo page about marketing. Make it really, really good! Write about something you know inside and out. Then place a link prominently in your resume and cover letter, saying something like "Check out my article on 10 ways to market a small business through social media."


Friday, February 11, 2011

Are you prepared to interview? Probably not!

by Matt Berndt

Some topics are timeless – How to Prepare for an Interview is one of these timeless topics.  Following is an updated version of a blog I posted about a year ago.  Why the update?  I’ve discussed this topic at least five times in the past week alone in career advising sessions. ‘Tis the season; so, if you are getting ready to interview – pay attention; you’re probably not as prepared as you think!
I’ve seen the shocked look many times:  A lost and forlorn “how could this have happened” expression right after they tanked an interview:
“How could it have gone so badly?  I really wanted that position.  I have everything they were looking for!” 
So, I ask:  “What did you do to prepare for the interview?”  or “How much time did you spend getting ready for the interview?”
The most typical responses: “Huh? Prepare?” and “I read the job description, I thought I was prepared.  All I had to do was talk about myself.”
When interviewing candidates, most employers really want to know four things:
  1. Why you want the job - show them you understand the position for which you are interviewing.  It will prove your interest.
  2. Why you believe you are qualified for the job  - give them examples that illustrate/prove you have the qualifications they are seeking.  Don’t make them take your word for it.  Give them evidence.
  3. Why you want to work for them  - demonstrate that you understand their company; who they are; what they do; and help them seek how and why you will fit into their culture.  Don’t just claim that you are a perfect fit, show them you understand their world.
  4. Why you want to work in their field, profession or industry  - show them that you have some knowledge about their world.  Let them see that, at least on some level, you understand the good, bad and ugly of their profession.  Show them you’re not wearing rose-colored glasses.
Employer can and will ask any number and variety of questions to arrive at answers within these core topics. The success or failure of your interview will boil down to how well you address these topics through your responses.
The reality is that most people do a poor job of addressing these topics.  Think about it, if you can’t answer these questions for an employer, how are they supposed to figure it out?
Well,wait a minute! You are the foremost authority on you, right?  After all, you have lived with you longer than has anyone else.  You know everything you have ever done, right?  Who better to talk about you than you? Maybe your mom and dad, but they can’t (better not!) go to the interview with you.  It’s your job to find your job, not Mom or Dad’s job (or my job) to do that for you, so you better be prepared to put your best and most relevant foot forward in an interview
So, why do so many people mess up interviews?  They don’t prepare.  If you really want a job or an internship, prove it by preparing for the interview!
Where does this preparation begin?

Set Realistic Expectations

First off, expecting you can walk out of any interview with the job offer is an unrealistic expectation.  Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed.  Do set expectations.  At the end of an interview you should be able to say:
  • I told them everything they needed to hear about my qualifications in order to consider me as a candidate.  Never leave an interview saying “I should have mentioned . . . . .”
  • I got answers to all of my important questions about the job and organization. Never leave an interview saying “I should have asked . . . . .”
These are realistic expectations.  They are challenging, yes, but they are expectations you can meet. And, you will meet these expectations if you do your homework.

Do Your Homework

You know that one question you hope they won’t ask?  Guess what? They’ll probably ask it, so be prepared to answer it and every other question they might ask.
Research the company; know what it does; where it operates; its market position; its competition.  Who do you know who works there and what do they have to say?  What have you read about the company in the news? What is going on in that industry?  What are the trends?
In doing your homework, don’t just depend on the company website for information; seek out multiple sources of information.
Research the job itself – how well do your qualifications and interests match with what they are seeking in candidates?  What examples can you offer to illustrate your qualifications and capabilities (don’t make them take your word for it)?  Who do you know that has done that same job or worked with that company? What advice do they have?
Research the people with whom you will be interviewing.  Can you find them on LinkedIn? On association boards? In industry magazines, newspapers or websites? What impact are they having on the profession?  The more you know, the better prepared you will be the more credibility you will have with the interviewer.
In order to come across as a credible candidate, you have to demonstrate some level of knowledge about the industry and field you claim you want to enter.

Dress the Part

You cannot wear the uniform until you are on the team!  Even if the general workplace attire at a company is casual, do not show up to an interview dressed casually.  Show them that extra level of respect by dressing up for the interview.  Doing so conveys a “this is important to me” message.  Jeans, flip-flops and an old polo shirt sends a “yeah, whatever” message.
Be smart about this, though.  Dressing the part does not necessarily mean a dark blue banker’s suit, white shirt and wingtip shoes, guys!  If you do your homework, you should be able to get a feel for the company culture; dress to the high end of that culture.  If you are not sure, ask.  Remember, if you are overdressed you can always get more casual.  Just loosen or lose the tie and jacket.  Try looking more professional when you’re wearing your best cargo shorts and t-shirt – it ain’t gonna happen!

Rehearse your Part

Think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it.  If you want employers to believe you are skilled in managing people, what examples are you going to share to illustrate your abilities?  They want writing skills and you believe you are a strong writer – what examples are you going to use to defend your position?  You think you are a “people person” – what does that even mean and why is it a good thing?  Examples from your experience inside and outside the classroom will make your qualifications real.  Rehearse the answers you want to give so you will know where you want your examples to begin and end.  This strategy will keep you on message and help prevent you from giving rambling answers.
BTW – Please, please never tell anyone you are a “people person” – unless, of course,  you want them to snicker behind your back!

More Tips And Complete HireStandards Article  

Unemployed last year? How to get the tax breaks you deserve

At the end of 2010, 14.5 million people were unemployed and many more were out of work at one time or another throughout the year. In preparing 2010 tax returns, people who've been unemployed should make sure they are getting every available tax break they deserve and preparing their taxes correctly.

"Being out of work is stressful enough. Not knowing if you're getting all the tax breaks you should, or being concerned you're going to make mistakes that may cost you, just adds to the stress," says Gary Lundberg a tax software professional with CompleteTax. CompleteTax is an online tax software program offering free federal tax preparation for people who were unemployed during 2010.

He offers these tax tips to help people who have been unemployed.

1. Understand what your tax responsibilities are. People who are out of work are still responsible for filing a tax return and paying income taxes. This includes taxes on unemployment benefits or severance benefits they may have received.

Many people incorrectly believe that simply being out of work means they do not have to prepare a tax return or pay taxes, according to a nationwide survey conducted by CompleteTax of more than 1,000 taxpayers.

"Even though you still have to file a tax return, your income is likely lower than in previous years, so there's a good chance you may have a refund coming," says Lundberg.

2. Make sure to get all the tax breaks you deserve. Being out of work may allow people to take advantage of several credits and deductions. For example, certain job-search expenses can be deducted if you're looking for a job in your current profession. These include:

* Travel for job interviews
* Printing and mailing resumes
* Outplacement firm fees

However, the CompleteTax survey found that many taxpayers also incorrectly believe they can deduct haircuts or clothes necessary for job interviews, a home office to use in their job search and classes to learn new skills outside their trade.

Many taxpayers also mistakenly believe that simply being out of work allows them to deduct their health care costs. While in some instances, people who are unemployed can deduct their health care costs, other criteria also must be met.

"You want to make sure you know what you can and can't claim. By using a tax program that includes resources to help you make those decisions, you can be confident you're completing your taxes accurately and getting the maximum tax refund you deserve," says Lundberg.

3. Look for affordable tax prep and file as soon as possible. People using online tax preparation programs can often prepare and file their tax returns for less than $70. People who are out of work may be able to file for considerably less. For example, Lundberg notes, CompleteTax offers free federal tax preparation for people who were unemployed during 2010.

People who were out of work also want to file as early as possible. "If you were unemployed, you'll especially want your refund as soon as possible," says Lundberg. "If you e-file and choose direct deposit, you could have your money in as few as eight days."

For more tips on tax preparation and to read the nationwide survey on unemployment and taxes go to www.CompleteTax.com.

Original News6 Article

Thursday, February 10, 2011

LinkedIn reveals best time to ask for a promotion

Do you think you deserve a promotion? A LinkedIn survey reveals when the best month to do it and career coach Phyllis Reardon gives you tips on how to prepare for your big pitch.
By: Nestor E. Arellano



f you didn't get promoted last month, don't lose heart – you still have eight more months this year to convince your boss that you've been working smart and hard, according to LinkedIn.
The online social networking site that focuses on career-based connections recently released a survey that indicates January, September and April are the top three months for professionals in Canada to get promoted within their company.
The global survey tracked promotion trends in companies of all sizes in the information technology and sciences, higher education, management consulting, and retail industries. By analyzing more than 90 million LinkedIn member's career histories, the site was able to observe the evolution of labour market trends and discover some “surprising, interesting or simply fun insights,” according to Monica Rogati, senior research analyst for analytics at LinkedIn in San Francisco.
For decades, January has been the top month for promotions, but the month is losing its claim to fame as more promotions are starting to be given out evenly throughout the year, Rogati said in a recent blog. “During the 1990s, 22 per cent of the promotions occurred in January, but in the most recent decade that number decreased to 16 per cent.”


The LinkedIn analyst attributes the trend to the rise of so-called millennials (individuals born in the 1980 and 1990s) in the workforce.
Compared to their parent's generation – the baby boomers – their promotions are less concentrated in January and instead spread more evenly throughout the year, according to LinkedIn's findings.
What's behind the shift? “Perhaps millennials have outlandish expectations of the workplace and are asking for promotions throughout the year,” said Rogati.
LinkedIn is also looking into the following possibilities:
  • Do baby boomers hold more senior positions that are budgeted on a yearly cycle compared to the more junior positions held by millennials?
  • Could it be that millennials are over-represented in industries where fast career progression is the norm? If so, is it a matter of correlation or causation?
  • Are titles split across more “levels” these days? Has the labor market adapted to a workforce that demands more frequent incentives and feels a constant need to level up?
If you have any insights you'd like to share with LinkedIn, you can answer their poll here.

Read Complete Article

HOW TO: Use Career Branding to Bring Jobs to You

First of all, career branding is not the same as personal branding. Personal branding is everywhere, and people are starting to develop their personal brands with earnest. But what about career branding? What’s the difference between the two? It’s really quite simple. Personal branding is all about you, what you do, and the type of person you are and portray. A career brand is part of your personal brand, focused on highlighting your current and past professional accomplishments.
Finding a job in this market is harder than it ever has been. Gone are the days of merely looking for jobs on boards. Job searching has evolved into a two-way stream of conversations, connections, and ideas with individuals from around the world.
To pass the competition, you must impress employers with your online presence, your résumé, and in person. To do this, you need to present the unique value you bring to the table. Think of it like this: You are the “product,” and your potential employer is the “target audience.” Your message must compel the target audience to purchase the product. A successful career brand does just that.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Make Your Brand Sizzle
Determine what special “features” you have to offer that your competitors don’t. This could be any and all of your skills, work experience, and even volunteer experience—it’s all valuable. As a leader in your industry, you have a unique blend of qualifications, talents, expertise, and accomplishments to offer a potential employer.
Use the Right Mediums
Showcase these strong points where recruiters and hiring managers can see—LinkedIn, and increasingly Facebook and Twitter, are great networks for this. Engage in discussions with employers—start by asking questions. Your involvement shows initiative and won’t be overlooked.

Read The Complete Career Rocketeer Article


Guest Expert:
Greg Coyle is the co-founder and Director of Product Development at MyWebCareer. For the past year, Greg and his co-founders at MyWebCareer have been working on developing online tools for career professionals that enable you to discover, evaluate, and monitor your professional online brand. You can visit the beta at www.mywebcareer.com and get your free, personalized Career Score.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

10 Things Seth Godin Taught Me about Social Media Marketing

With Seth Godin about to appear on stage in Orange County in just a few weeks time, there is a buzz around here about what new insights he will provide to us in 2011.  And the event, in line with what Seth preaches about holding BIG events, is set to be HUGE – he will be speaking at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, a location that is host to the likes of Natalie Cole and the Vienna Philharmonic.  In my eyes, but more importantly the eyes of the event organizer and friend Bryan Elliott, Seth Godin deserves to be on a similar stage.  And Bryan made it happen.  The greater Orange County community made it happen.  We are all making it happen!
From a social media perspective, I have found a lot of great takeaways from Seth.  The funny thing is that he never blogs or writes specifically about social media marketing, but his thoughts are so applicable to the situations that many of us social media practitioners face on a daily basis.
What have I learned from Seth Godin’s blog posts which, like Twitter, are so short and concise yet full of such deep insight?  I went through my favorite blog posts from Seth over the last 12 months and chose those which I felt were gems in this respect.
If you live in Southern California and are looking for a free ticket to see Seth, keep reading for a chance to win ;-)

1. Social Media and Experimentation
Sure, go ahead and test what’s testable. But the real victories come when you have the guts to launch the untestable. – A Culture of Testing
You can do all of the planning you want in social media, but the problem is that you are dealing with people here and hopefully trying to socialize with them.  And the social landscape changes with every tweet.  Without some experimenting and doing things untestable you might not achieve a real victory.
2. Building Your Tribe (Through Social Media)
The magic of the tribe is that you can build it incrementally, that day by day you can earn the asset that will allow you to bring your work to people who want it. Or you can skip that and wait to get picked. Picked to be on Oprah or American Idol or at the cash register at Borders.
Getting picked is great. Building a tribe is reliable, it’s hard work and it’s worth doing. – No Knight, No Shining Armor
Anyone who has read the classic Seth Godin book Tribes understands the potential for social media to help provide the infrastructure to create a tribe, and that ideally community managers are building “tribes” of fans.  While Seth’s quote was aimed at authors who wanted to get rich quick, his point is similar to what I wrote about in Why Social Media for Business is Like a Marathon.  Building a tribe in social media will take time, but it can help you create a true platform of fans that will reward you over the weeks, months, and even years.
3. Content is the New Search Engine Optimization
I resist the temptation to optimize this blog for traffic and yield. I’d rather force myself to improve it by having the guts to write better posts instead. – The Non-Optimized Life
Too many people focus on SEO without focusing on content marketing.  If social media is the new SEO, your content is what should separate you from your competition.
4. Embrace Social Media and Become a Leader, Not a Follower
Every brand, every organization and every individual is either running away from something or running toward something (or working hard to stand still).
Are you chasing or being chased? Are you leading or following? Are you fleeing or climbing? – Running Away vs. Running Toward
Almost every social media strategy consulting client I work with will be a pioneer in their industry in social media if they implement according to plan.  Why?  Because most of the competition is either fleeing from social media or doing the bare minimum to try to show that they are “relevant.”  Guess what competition?  It’s not working!
5. Engage with Your Customers, and You Shall Increase Your Engagement
The customers you fire and those you pay attention to all send signals to the rest of the group. – Train Your Customers
In social media, you truly get what you deserve.  Treat your customers right and they will spread thanks and praises about you through their tweets and comments.  Ignore them when they try to engage with you and that message will be sent to all of their tribes.  Do something insensitive and, well, just ask Kenneth Cole what happened.

Tips 6 - 10 And Complete B2C Article

Why you should use LinkedIn BEFORE graduation

Working in the Career Center at my university, I have found many peers have never heard about LinkedIn, let alone used it. Many students don’t see its value and think waiting until after graduation to join will work.
However, joining LinkedIn before graduation can benefit students during their college and professional careers.
LinkedIn offers an easy way to break the professional networking ice.
Each social networking tool out there — from Facebook to YouTube — has its own unique purpose. For LinkedIn, that purpose is meeting, networking and communicating with other professionals with whom you’ve got something in common. Many students don’t want to feel left out of the social loop by not using Facebook. Similarly, not using LinkedIn means students will be left out of the professional loop.
LinkedIn contains fewer 18 to 24 year olds than other social networking sites.
The average age for the LinkedIn audience is 45. To college students, this might seem intimidating. However, this means joining LinkedIn gives students and younger professionals an edge over their similarly aged peers who have comparable experiences.
LinkedIn makes it easier to find internships or jobs while in school.
One day while browsing LinkedIn I noticed one of my connections (a former professor) knew someone who worked in my field within my somewhat small hometown. I asked my connection to introduce us. One thing led to another and after some conversations, I landed a (paid!) freelance summer gig at a couple of local newspapers. If it weren’t for LinkedIn, I never would have known that common connection existed and, most likely, would never have gotten the job.
LinkedIn helps students build and maintain professional networks efficiently and effectively.
While it’s always good to ask contacts for a business card, if you forget, you can go home and look them up on LinkedIn. I did this at a conference I went to last year. I met some wonderful students but none of us had business cards. Instead, we knew names and connected with each other on LinkedIn after the conference.

Read The Rest Of The Article

Ruth A. Harper, an Integrated Marketing Communications graduate student at St. Bonaventure University, has a LinkedIn profile. She also blogs and tweets.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LinkedIn Tips for Job Hunters - Basic To Advanced

It’s been called “Facebook for grownups” and “the world’s biggest networking group.”
LinkedIn is both of those — and more.
Used correctly, LinkedIn can be one of the most valuable weapons in your job-search arsenal.
To get the latest and best tips, I interviewed Rob Mendez, an expert on LinkedIn and other social media, who helps job hunters via his CareerNetworkMinistry.com web site.
Here’s what we talked about.
“First, you have to figure out your target audience and your goal with LinkedIn,” advises Mendez. “Use LinkedIn to network with as many people as possible, because it is not about who you know; it is about who other people know.”
He urges job seekers to make connections at companies they want to work for.
“If you can’t find someone to champion you at an employer, you may have a hard time competing.”
Another tip: Know that first impressions count for a lot on LinkedIn.
“If someone searching LinkedIn and you pop up, they quickly see three things: your name, your picture, and your headline,” says Mendez.
Your name, photo, and headline should be compelling enough to cause someone to click through and view your profile. Otherwise, people will move on to someone else.
How can you make these three items stand out effectively?
For a start, your name can repel more people than it attracts, so play it safe there.
“Some people include an e-mail address as part of their name, or numbers or special characters, in the hopes of being different. Yes, they stand out, but in an annoying way. LinkedIn is a professional network, so make sure your name looks professional,” advises Mendez.
What about your photo? Again, the more professional looking, the better.
“It does not have to be taken at a studio. It should a headshot of you dressed up nicely. Not a body shot, not wearing sunglasses, not at the beach,” says Mendez, who recalls one profile picture of a man in a hammock.
“If I am looking to hire someone, do I really want him working for me, based on this picture?”
What about the headline section of your profile? In a nutshell, make the most compelling claim or promise you can about yourself.
“If I search LinkedIn for a realtor, for example, I can find a thousand of them. The results will include headlines like, ‘realtor, realtor, realtor, real estate agent,’ etc. Then, one profile has this headline ‘I’ll sell your house within 30 days guaranteed or I will buy it for cash, even if it is a bad economy.’ That person just got my attention,” says Mendez.

More Tips and Complete Article @ LinkedIn Tips for Job Hunters

7 Tips for Using Your LinkedIn Profile to Land Great Projects

LinkedIn may not have the name recognition of Facebook or the popularity of Twitter, but what it does have is the reputation as one of the most effective social networking services for freelancers. Boasting more than 80 million users and counting, LinkedIn has something for everyone, from writers to designers, from podcaster to vbloggers.
Thanks to LinkedIn’s huge, active network of professionals, many seeking the perfect freelancers for projects of all shapes and sizes, you should make your LinkedIn presence just as important as your Twitter account, and probably even more so than your Facebook profile. In fact, LinkedIn can mean all the difference between you seeking out work, and having the work come to you.

Land Great Projects Using LinkedIn

Here’s how to land solid projects with your LinkedIn profile:
  1. Build your profile to 100% completion. A complete LinkedIn profile is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. It carries the same weight as a college degree does by showing that you stuck things out to the finish line, rather than going in, signing up, and getting out when the going gets rough (or boring). As a freelancer, that’s the worst reputation to have. Period. To start, make use of the basics such as the summary and experience fields, as well as new features like the Skills and Publications sections. According to LinkedIn itself, a completed profile increases your chance of successful networking by 15 percent, meaning you have a greater chance of establishing connections, generating leads, and finding gigs that pay well.
  2. Pick a custom URL. If you’ve ever used LinkedIn (or Facebook for that matter), you’ve seen the person with a URL that looks something like: www.facebook.com/8297328Z028BZ. In other words, their URL is complete gibberish, and anyone who lacks a photographic memory would never, ever remember it. Instead of going down this road, you should personalize your URL to reflect what you do. You could change your URL to include your name, for example: www.linkedin/joeshmoe, but a better idea is to set it up so that it shows exactly what you do for a living and what you’re looking for. A LinkedIn URL like www.linkedin.com/freelanceeditor4hire will grab more attention than one that simply lists a name.
  3. Add lots of apps. Apps have become a huge part of the social networking universe, and LinkedIn has jumped on this train by adding more and more on frequent basis. With LinkedIn’s present set of apps, you can share presentations with SlideShare, show pictures of where you’ve traveled via Flickr, and even cross-promote your blog through the BlogLink app. The BlogLink app connects your blog to your LinkedIn site, so that any time you blog, posts are automatically published to your LinkedIn profile. In a nutshell, installing applications is a great way to make your profile stand out and gives you exciting ways to share content.
  4. Build an army of connections. If you’re stuck with just a few dozen LinkedIn connections, a group that may or may not include family members, it’s time you kicked things up a notch. Connections not only show that you’re active on LinkedIn, but they give the appearance–at least in the Web world–that you’re the person pressing palms and passing out business cards at the cocktail party and not the sullen person parked by the door. When building your connection pool, size matters, but remember that quality is also a major consideration. If you need to enlarge your pool by including your local dog groomer or cable repairman, you’ll probably need to uncouple yourself from them as you build up more connections with people working in your general field.