Thursday, May 31, 2012

Promoting your brand through personal networks

by Matt Owen 

One of my regular tasks is to run through the comments on the Econsultancy blog and sweep up any spam comments.
We currently use a learning filter, so while it does let through the odd comment shilling pneumatic lubrication while simultaneously blacklisting reasoned, in-depth comments about SEO, by manually updating it, it gets better (at least, that’s the theory). 
Checking out all the comments is also extremely useful for me, as it gives me a daily digest of what users are talking about, what their consensus is and which issues are of importance to them in general.
We all benefit from this as we can use it to make our content more relevant. 
Now, this may seem like a random fact about my rock n’ roll lifestyle, but bear with me, it all makes sense in the end (and apologies in advance for length and lack of concrete answers). 
Recently one of our users asked why Econsultancy, as a company, aren’t generally active on LinkedIn. Given LinkedIn’s user base, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it would be our first social port of call, but we certainly don’t cover LinkedIn anywhere near as often as we do Twitter, Facebook or even Google+. 
The truth is that we are active on LinkedIn, but possibly not in the way you might think. 
Unlike Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn doesn’t make it particularly easy to maintain a branded, unified presence. Yes, there are company pages available. Our own page currently has a couple of thousand followers, and we do update it regularly with news and new products. 
We also showcase our conferences and other events on LinkedIn and run a few small groups, one for those starting out in e-commerce and digital, and two for users interested in multichannel and data analysis respectively. 
They aren’t huge and aren’t particularly busy, but again we update regularly and they are useful points of call for anyone who may not be aware of our extended offering, who want to network or who use LinkedIn groups as a news source. 
One of the main reasons for this is that, despite the obvious difference in size, LinkedIn could technically be considered a competitor to Econsultancy, albeit not a direct one.  
Ultimately, we’d much rather users headed over to our own forums, or became members and updated their on-site profiles, rather than hanging around in satellite groups. 
We offer a more focused agenda than LinkedIn, with a specific target audience, but there’s still room for crossover. After all, there are literally millions of marketers and professionals from associated businesses on LinkedIn, so it would be rather foolish of us not to want a slice of the pie wouldn’t it? 
So how do we (and you) get around this?

Making social media personal

Along with comments on our own blog, I also run a lot of searches on LinkedIn (along with forums, Quora, Reddit, Twitter and more) specifically in the Q&A section. Here’s a screenshot of a netvibes account I use to keep an eye on all of this:
From Early 2010 until mid 2011, we targeted these questions, but not as a single entity. LinkedIn specifically promotes the value of the individual and close personal networks, so I would curate a few relevant questions each day and distribute them in an all-staff email with links. If they had time, members of staff were encouraged to dip in and answer a few questions. 
If they felt like linking to a relevant blog post or a report, then so much the better. 
A lot of people do this, but here’s the important bit: We always answered the question in full. Links were added with a ‘there’s some more in-depth information here if you’re interested’ qualifier. No hard sell (No sell at all for that matter), just exists’. 
LinkedIn's forums are full of people posting answers, but a huge amount of them read 'Our software can help you with this', or 'suggest this expert:' with little value in doing this, because it's just spam. It doesn't look good and isn't helpful.
We also made a game out of it internally. We added a ‘share’ link to the site. When logged in, each member of staff could click this and would receive a unique code to share. Staff members were assigned as ‘campaigns’, with prizes for the member driving the most traffic or the most revenue each month:
And it worked incredibly well. While last touch conversion relays a very limited view of social value (especially so in Econsultancy’s case), in this case it’s an excellent benchmark for success. 
Here’s our total LinkedIn last touch revenue from July 1st 2010- July 1st 2011: -- Find out the results  and the complete econsultancy article

How to Really Make the Most of Connections in a Job Search

By Miriam Salpeter

With summer upon us, some of you job-seekers may think about taking a break from your search. Instead, you might want to ramp up your efforts and consider the new season an opportunity to relaunch any unfinished career plans.

One inevitable aspect of the search? Interacting and engaging with connections—extending your network to tap into the hidden job market. Sudy Bharadwaj is the co-founder and chief executive officer of, which allows you to log in with your favorite social network and learn which of your connections work in companies that interest you. He has seen many job-seekers benefit from carefully accessing their extended network.

Here are Bharadwaj's nine suggestions for successfully networking your way to a job:

1. Connect with your network before you apply for positions. Even if you identify jobs via boards or postings, touch base with connections before applying directly. Many organizations prioritize applicants referred by employees. Some companies even give bonuses to employees who suggest candidates who are hired, so some networking contacts may have a financial incentive to pass along your information. Don't be shy about reaching out and asking for a hand.

2. Rotate your thinking. Bharadwaj suggests: "Instead of finding jobs and focusing on connections in those companies, consider targeting your connections first and investigating who among them may be able to provide a link to a potential opportunity."

To be successful, it's important to know what you want and to be able to articulate how you can help an organization solve its problems. Once you know what you offer and how it relates to companies where you want to work, it will be much easier to leverage your network of contacts who can help you land jobs successfully.

3. Encourage your network by making it easy for them to help you. Bharadwaj reminds job-seekers: "Your connections are busy—aren't we all? It's up to the job-seeker to be specific when asking for a connection. Forward the job description and information about your background and skills. Tell the contact exactly how he or she can help you."

4. Be concise and offer easy access to your information. It's likely your contacts will access your information or email inquiry via their smart phones. Include all key points in the body of your email, such as links to online social resumes or your LinkedIn profile, instead of asking them to download and view your resume.

5. Go wide. Spread out your inquiries; try not to ask one person for too many things. Most people will want to help, but if it seems you are knocking on their door every week, the welcome will wear out quickly.

Tips 6 - 9 and complete US News article

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How to Make Recruiters Work for You

By Jak Phillips

A call from a recruiter is more likely to be for their gain than yours. Still, that call could be the springboard for your next jump up the career ladder.

With the economy still sputtering and the unemployed outnumbering job vacancies by six to one, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recruiters and headhunters are becoming an increasingly vital contact. Last year they helped nearly 13 million U.S. workers find temporary, contract or permanent jobs, and more than 90% of U.S. companies now use staffing firms to fill vacancies, according to the American Staffing Association.

As you might expect, technology, health care and engineering are some of the major industries that are looking to hire at the moment, while ironically enough, the recruitment industry itself is one of the biggest boomers. (The U.S. Department of Labor expecting it to grow more than 50% by 2014.) While you might not expect it, you could soon get a call from one these smooth-talkers, so here are TIME Moneyland’s top tips for how to make recruiters work for you.

1. Set The Tone
It’s important to establish a dynamic from the outset and ensure your relationship starts on a comfortable footing. For Alison Doyle, job search expert for, the first call is all about laying down cards on the table at the earliest point. “It’s important to set the tone at the very beginning of your relationship,” she says. “Find out what information the recruiter needs from you and if they have specific openings they are interested in talking to you about.” She also recommends determining how you will stay in contact with the recruiter, and how often.

Meanwhile, Michael T. Robinson, president and founder, says he thinks you should already have a sales pitch in your head, pinpointing what it is you do and how you’d like to progress. “You need to give them your 7-second elevator pitch,” he says. “Make it quick, memorable and practice it until it rolls off your tongue.”

2. Establish Their Credentials
Having hopefully established an understanding, it’s important to make sure this is actually someone worth talking to. Oodles of charm is one thing, but if the recruiter doesn’t have a good rapport with the hiring manager, they’re unlikely to get you an interview. “When I used headhunters to find talent for me, we would talk several times per week – thus they knew a lot about me and what I was looking for,” says Robinson. “If the person calling you does not know much about the hiring manager, they are probably not that good.”

It can also be worth checking up on a recruiter’s history. As well as asking the recruiter about their specialties and previous dealings with their client, Doyle recommends looking at their LinkedIn profile to read the feedback from people they’ve placed.

3. Build a Good Relationship
At the end of the day, this is abusiness transaction. But as we all know, it never hurts to build a rapport with the person you’re dealing with. As Charlotte Weeks, the career guru behind points out, being on friendly terms with the recruiter could give you the edge over equally qualified candidates. “Treat them like a networking contact and stay on their radar the way you would with anyone else,” she says. And at the same time, it’s a two way-street. “Call or email once in a while to see if anything is coming down the pipeline,” she adds. “They’ll especially appreciate you if you’re ever contacted about a position that doesn’t seem to be a fit and you refer them to someone who might be.”

How I Leveraged LinkedIn to Create a 7-Figure Business In Three Years

Lewis Howes, Contributor
Marketing, entrepreneurship and the parallels of sports and business

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

LinkedIn for Job Seekers: An Interview with Jason Alba

by VivekaVonRosen

I recently interviewed Jason Alba, author of “I’m on LinkedIn, Now What” for a special Job Seeker’s section of my book,“LinkedIn Marketing:  An Hour a Day.”  Jason is one of my mentors, and as usual, incredibly generous with his time and information.  He is truly one of the first LinkedIn Experts and the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to LinkedIn for job seekers.

Jason Alba’s Bio:

Jason’s new career as a LinkedIn aficionado started sometime in 2006.  Prior to that he was an IT manager and General Manager of a small IT company, finding it to be a very important learning experience…until he was laid off in January 2006.
He started his first job search then and found the job search experience to … suck.
He wrote I’m on LinkedIn — Now What??? in September 2007.  This book has sold thousands of copies and has been a significant factor in Jason becoming a “professional speaker.”  He co-authored I’m on Facebook — Now What??? which came out early 2008 and helped unbrand Jason as just a LinkedIn or job search expert, and more of a social media/network guy.  Of course he still speaks to job search and networking groups, to unemployed or employed people.  He also speaks to associations, universities, marketing groups or clubs, etc. He spends a lot of time writing (He has 4 blogs that he keeps updated.)
Jason considers his main role to be CEO of (which we will discuss  below) and hi THIRD edition of  LinkedIn for Job Seekers DVD ships out next week.  It’s 2 hours of how-to, essentially watching over Jason’s shoulder.  Details here:

Here’s a potion of my interview with Jason Alba:

Viveka:  What are some “Best Practices” for job seekers on LinkedIn?
Jason:  The most important thing a job seeker needs to do is get serious about their profile on LinkedIn.  Too many people do the bare minimum on their profile and that can hurt rather than help you on LinkedIn.

Viveka:  Why does a job seeker want to spend some time optimizing their profile?
Jason:  When a job seeker gets found in a LinkedIn search, or someone happens upon their resume, or finds them on Google, we want them to be impressed with the job seeker’s profile – we want them “sucked in” and engaged.  A well-optimized profile has a better chance of attracting a recruiter, employer or hiring manager:
For 21 Steps to Create a Better LinkedIn Profile Click here:

Viveka:  How can job seekers use LinkedIn more effectively?
Jason:  Job seekers need to be proactive about what they are doing.  They are either searching or they are stagnant.  Too many job seekers create a profile and then sit there and do nothing.  Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature and go find people they should be prospecting
There‘s a mentality with many job seekers that to find a job all they have to do is apply, apply, apply to job boards and then wait for the phone to ring.  But that doesn’t work anymore.   Job seekers need to get out of their comfort zone and proactively look for the right connections.  They need to figure how to move from reactive to proactive!

Viveka:  So what should job seekers do?
Jason:  Start by using the advanced search to find the right connections.  Take a few minutes to make a list of company executives, HR professionals, recruiters, Influencers in your industry, potential mentors – and then reach out and contact them!
Job seekers have to start developing relationships.  The job board puts you back into comfort zone mentality.  Don’t rely on LinkedIn’s job board, apply for a job and wait.  Use it to find who works at a company you are interested.  How are you connected to the person who posted the job?  You might as well reach out to them, what else do you have to lose?

Viveka:  I assume you suggest reaching out and connecting to people they don’t know on LinkedIn.  How should Job seekers reach out?
Jason:  One way of reaching a lot of people – without connecting to a lot of people  - is through a LinkedIn group.
To communicate with an individual, find out where they are comfortable.  Are they active on Twitter?  Then maybe the job seeker should reach out to them on Twitter.
When reaching out, ask your new contact where they would like to have the conversation – through email or through phone.  Ask them where they are most receptive to the conversation.  If you can send a connection a direct message on LinkedIn, then that is your best bet.
I also like Introductions a lot, getting your message and branding in front of multiple people.  However, if it’s a time sensitive message, be aware Introductions can take a long time.
Invitations will work, but your first conversations shouldn’t be an invitation. Relationship should come first whether you connect with them or not.

12 Ways to Optimize Your Resume for Applicant Tracking Systems


Mona Abdel-Halim is the co-founder of, a job application tool that tailors and optimizes your resume for a specific job. You can find Mona and Resunate on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

You filled out the job application, updated your resume and clicked “Submit.” But as the days or weeks pass, you never receive a phone call or email from the employer. What happened?

Unbeknownst to many job seekers, a whopping 72% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. Why? Well, employers large and small now use applicant tracking software to parse the information from your resume and map it into a database called an ATS (applicant tracking system). From this information, the system will assign you a score based on how well you match the job the employer is trying to fill, and then rank and sort all candidates. Naturally, the potential employees with the highest scores move on, while others are left in the dust.

Wondering how you can optimize your resume and rank highly in the employer’s ATS? Here are several tricks to improving your resume’s score.

1. Use Language from the Job Description: Look through the job listing to determine the skills required. Identify industry terms, buzzwords and jargon the hiring manager uses most frequently in the description and incorporate these words into your resume when possible and applicable — the ATS is looking for these keywords.

2. Get Rid of Images and Graphics: Remember, the ATS is breaking down the information you’re providing and sorting it into different “buckets.” It will not be able to read or understand an image.

3. Choose Fonts Carefully: Stick with standard web-safe fonts like Arial, Georgia, Impact, Courier, Lucinda, Tahoma or Trebuchet.

4. Don’t Hide Keywords: Think adding in a bunch of keywords in white text is the best way to rank highly? Think again.

5. Get Rid of Irrelevant Information: Only include past positions and skills that are relevant to the job at hand. Irrelevant positions just end up as filler — a waste of valuable real estate on your resume.

6. Don’t Use Any Special Characters: Standard bullets are fine, but other characters (such as arrows) can cause issues that could prevent the ATS from correctly parsing your information.

Tips 7 - 12 and complete article

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Beginner’s Guide to LinkedIn


LinkedIn is considered the non-sexy, sleeping giant of social networks. It keeps a low profile, perhaps due to the professional nature of its users. Nonetheless, LinkedIn continues to exert a powerful influence on connected job seekers, brands, recruiters and industries.
Founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to 161 million members in over 200 countries, making it the world’s largest professional network on the Internet (by comparison, Twitter has 500 million registered users, and Facebook has 900 million). Currently available in 17 languages, LinkedIn remains a relevant platform the world over.
That being said, we doubt you spend 20 minutes on LinkedIn per day, like Facebook’s power users do. So, if you need a crash course on what LinkedIn has to offer, browse the network’s most prominent features below. Or send this to your recent grad as he or she prepares to enter today’s daunting job market.

Have you used LinkedIn to find a job, network with professionals or research hot topics in your industry? Please share your own tips in the comments below.

1. Profile

Like most social networks, LinkedIn hosts your personal profile, a page on which you may list information like job experience and professional skills.
However, unlike many other social networks, it’s important to complete your profile to the best of your ability — especially if you’re using LinkedIn for the job hunt. LinkedIn measures your “profile completeness” from 0-100%. The higher your profile completeness, the more likely you are to appear in search results. For instance, when you list skills like “Final Cut Pro” and “Photoshop,” potential employers may come across your profile when they perform an advanced search based on those keywords. Handy.
To ensure that your profile is 100% complete, LinkedIn recommends including the following information.
  • Industry and postal code
  • A current position with description
  • Two more positions
  • Education
  • At least five skills
  • Profile photo
  • At least 50 connections
  • A summary
For more information about optimizing your LinkedIn profile, see these additional resources:

2. Connections

Of course, to get those “50 connections” mentioned above, you’ll have to expand your network on LinkedIn. Don’t worry — LinkedIn’s algorithms and data mining make it pretty easy.
I recommend first performing a series of basic searches to find people you know by name. (See the search box at the top of each LinkedIn page.) Click the “Connect” button next to people’s names to add them to your network. You may send a custom message along with that invitation to make the connection more personalized.
Once you have made several connections, head to the “People You May Know” page. LinkedIn’s algorithm will likely have begun determining additional suggestions based on your connections’ networks. LinkedIn labels these connections by degree. People you’re already connected to are “1st degree” connections. People you’re not yet connected to, but who are linked to your 1st degree connections, are 2nd degree connections. And so on. You’ll see a blue icon that says “1st,” “2nd” or “3rd” next to their names.
You may also choose to connect your email’s contact list to LinkedIn for the purpose of finding additional connections. Head to “Import Contacts” and allow access to your contacts to pull up a list of potentials. Be aware, however, that this may generate a huge list of people, especially if email services like Gmail tend to save every address you’ve ever contacted.

3. Groups

LinkedIn groups are spaces in which professionals and experts can share content, ask for advice, post or search for jobs and network with others. Groups are tailored to brands, associations and societies, support groups, causes, publications and industries in general. That can mean anything from “On Startups – The Community for Entrepreneurs” to “Cal Alumni Association | UC Berkeley.”
On the other hand, don’t confuse LinkedIn “groups” with “companies.” Coca-Cola has a “Coca-Cola Current & Former Employees” group, but its business lives on “The Coca-Cola Company” company page. More on that later.
With over 1.3 million groups to choose from, you’re likely to find at few that fit your field and interests. Keep in mind that many groups require authentication before the manager permits you to join. However, nearly one-third of groups don’t require review, and are labeled “open.”
Once you’re familiar with group functions, you may choose to create your own group. That means you’re the group owner, but you may also appoint a group manager and moderator, who are responsible for supervising discussions, subgroups, settings, etc.
To get the most out of your LinkedIn group, take a look at the following features:

4. Companies

Just as you have a personal profile page, many companies choose to represent themselves on LinkedIn, too. Like Facebook brand pages, you may choose to follow the activity and updates of companies on LinkedIn.
Company pages contain general information, such as a business overview, list of employees and press mentions. Many companies also choose to list job openings on their pages, and some even encourage applicants to apply through LinkedIn, a very handy tool of the network.
Once you follow a company, you’ll see its updates appear on your LinkedIn homepage alongside those of your connections. Mashable, for instance, tends to post business-related articles on LinkedIn, since that seems to be the content most pertinent to the network’s audience. Businesses also use LinkedIn to post company announcements, such as acquisitions, new hires or updated policies. LinkedIn warns against update spam, however: “Businesses that post updates excessively are subject to review by LinkedIn and could risk having their page deleted.”
If you’re interested in adding your own company to the network, LinkedIn advises you take the following steps.
  1. You’re a current company employee and your position is on your profile.
  2. A company email address (e.g. is one of the confirmed email addresses on your LinkedIn account.
  3. You associate your profile with the right company. You must click on a name from our company name dropdown list when you edit or add a position on your profile.
  4. Your company’s email domain is unique to the company.
  5. Your profile must be more than 50% complete.
  6. You must have several connections.
If you’re interested in learning more about how companies can use LinkedIn, see the following resources:

Tips 5 - 9 and complete Mashable article

10 Questions to Ask a Recruiter (And 1 to Avoid)

By Andrea Sobel

Are you so flattered when a recruiter rings you that you forget to ask them critical questions? Take this quiz to see if you’re covering your bases.

Every once in awhile, the phone rings, and it’s a recruiter on the other end. While you might not be interested in what he is offering, you have to admit that it’s flattering to get the call. (“Someone thinks I might be right for a job!”)
Once you get past the initial compliment, though, you have to get down to the serious business of determining if you are interested. The recruiter wants to know about you, but before you turn over your resume, there are things you should know about him.
Here are 10 questions to ask a recruiter and one question to avoid. See if you can figure out which is which. (Answer at bottom.)

1. “What are the three main qualifications the recruiter’s client (the employer) is looking for?
The recruiter probably has a one-page laundry list of what the perfect person looks like. The truth is, however, the client/employer most likely has only a few ( three to four) key requirements that are the deal-breakers. Get those on the table first to see if you’re even in the ball park. You probably don’t need all the requirements. If you don’t have the basics, you might as well say thanks and cut the conversation short. Especially in a tough economy, managers are not generally willing to massage the basic requirements because they believe they will find someone who has them. Here’s when you tell the recruiter to call you if she finds another job that matches your skills and desires.

2. “What’s the job description?”
Hearing what the client/employer expects you to do is important. While the job may entail more money or a higher title, you have to show up and do that job every day. Is it something you want to do? Will it stretch your skill set? Will it represent more of the same at a moment in your career when you’re ready to do more? (Don’t give up yet. This might be a company with rapid promotions, and a lateral job is just what you need to get you leverage to climb the ladder. See #6.)

3. “Are you working with this employer exclusively?”
Here’s where you find out what has gone into the search so far and maybe what your chances are. If the recruiter has the job exclusively or is sharing it with only one other recruiter, you have a better chance to get your resume reviewed by the hiring manager. If it’s out to a zillion agents, your chances just dropped, but it doesn’t make it impossible. It just requires you to stay in closer touch with the recruiter to find out where things stand. The process will probably go more slowly because the employer will be wading through more resumes. Make sure your recruiter believes in you for the position and is doing everything she can to get you noticed. Also, make sure the resume you present really highlights the experience the employer is looking for. Here’s where you need to really stand out from the pack.

4. “How long has the job been open?”
This is bit like Goldilocks: The right answer is not too long and not too short. If you are the first candidate interviewed and you are really great, the employer may conclude the search will be easy and want to see more for comparison. That’s not to say everyone else won’t pale by comparison, but it is a waiting game for you.

5. “Why has the job been open a long time?”
If the recruiter says the job has been open a long time (and especially if he then sighs ), you need to get him to get more info. It would make lots of sense if the recruiter would go back to the client/employer and find out what has been wrong with the people they’ve interviewed. When you hear the answer, you can begin to determine if you’ll be another in a series of misses or a better fit than the candidates who have come before.

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete Ladders article

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How I used LinkedIn to get Interviews and Land Offers

Hey Guys,
Been using this site for a while now and figured it would be beneficial for me to give back a bit. For starters, I thought I would detail my experiences using linkedin and cold emails to land a summer offer.

Coming from a semi-target undergrad b-school, I had my hands full. Nonetheless, it all worked out for the best and I'll be at a top tier BB (GS/MS/JPM) this summer for IBD.

- I first decided to set aside a huge chunk of time to look up possible contacts.
- Hours upon hours I searched the web/linkedin/google/etc
Where to begin...
Create an excel sheet / access table / word document and start writing down every bank, consulting firm, investment firm you know of or wouldn't mind working for. I wrote down most BB and MM banks since IBD was target. After your list is complete, I went through my list and would type "School Name + Firm Name + LinkedIn" into google. Coming from a semi-target I would only get a handful or so people, which was manageable. I would then change my college to my high school in the search (or hometown, etc). I would open each person's page and figure out if they were relevant to my job search and if we had any "small world" type connections to talk about if we ever spoke. I kept track of everyone and eventually had a list of 200 hundred people at 50 or so banks. If you feel uncomfortable about these individuals seeing that you viewed their profile make yourself invisible in the settings or disable cookies and if you click on the linkedin in google you will not be signed in.

Also, I joined as many relevant groups on linkedin as I could, and would spend the time to go through the entire members list.

With my list complete, I used WSO to find the correct email formats for these people and after finding each individuals email, I began my cold emailing. I created a very generic email that all I needed to do was change the firm's name and the division I was interested in (IBD/S&T/PE/IM/Consulting/etc/). For example...

Dear Mr./Mrs. XXXXXXX (even if they graduated last year - always show respect),

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is XXXXXXX, a junior finance major at XXXXX and have developed an interest in XXXXXXXX. I was wondering if you had some time to speak on the phone within the next few weeks to discuss your experiences in XXXXXXX and any suggestions you may have as I approach this year's recruiting season. I have attached my resume for context and look forward to speaking with you soon.

I would sometimes make it a little more customized if they were some BSD, but also made sure to include my resume to show them that I was worth their time.

I received a 50% response rate  -- More tips and complete article

Top 4 Tips on How to Prepare for a Job Interview


It is perfectly normal to be a little anxious when you’re preparing for a job interview.
In fact, many people rank interviewing for a new job with other nerve-racking activities like public speaking and going to the dentist. There’s a lot riding on your interview performance, so it’s understandable to feel this way.
However, there are some simple steps you can take to better prepare for a job interview.

1. Do Your Homework

Most companies have an online presence, so it should be relatively easy for you to learn about the company. You should also familiarize yourself with the position for which you are interviewing. If possible, print out a copy of the position description and take it with you to the interview. Be sure to bring a few extra copies of your resume in case an interviewer needs a hard copy during the interview.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Interviewing is a learned skill and the best candidates practice, practice and practice some more to prepare for a job interview.

For college candidates, there may be opportunities through career services to participate in mock interviews. A mock interview is usually conducted by an employer, a career services professional or a professor. Essentially, you will be interviewing for a pretend job. Mock interviews are helpful because they can relieve you of nervousness and the interviewers usually are able to provide some feedback on your interview skills.

For more seasoned candidates, opportunities to prepare for a job interview may also exist with local workforce services offices and career coaches. Another option is to ask a friend or family member to “role play” an interview with you. If you have access to a webcam or video camera, try recording your “performance” and reviewing the areas where you need improvement.

Tips 3 - 4 and complete Careerealism article 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

31 LinkedIn Tips – How to Use LinkedIn Best Practices for B2B Prospecting

LinkedIn is the greatest source of business to business (B2B) sales intelligence and research data for the average sales professional ever invented. This kind of tool has never existed before. LinkedIn let’s you connect with people and see their network of connections. Once you understand that you can only see relationships that are 2 levels deep it gets much easier to use and understand.
My LinkedIn Network of Professionals - 3 levels deep
My LinkedIn Network of Professionals - 3 levels deep
I just came from training a great team atVeracity Networks, a local internet, voice, and tv provider in Utah and long-time customer of ours. We talked about all the ways that LinkedIn can help in B2B prospecting. I also promised on my last webinar that I would make a list of 20 ways to use LinkedIn, well I got carried away.
Here is one thing you can do for every day of the month.
1- First, use LinkedIn to get in to a new account. I remember when I wanted to get into the inside sales department at a company just up the street by the name of Novell. I looked up the company, found an old friend of mine that works there named Morgan Spencer, contacted him, and asked for a referral.
My friend Morgan Spencer worked at Novell when I needed him
My friend Morgan Spencer worked at Novell when I needed him
Now he works at Concierge Communications, so maybe I should see if he can refer me again. Anyway, it worked and took just a few minutes. That was my first productive use of LinkedIn years ago.
2- Follow your customers companies.That means you should be connected through LinkedIn to ALL OF YOUR CUSTOMERS! That seems like a no brainer, but very few companies do that. We recommend that your CEO, VP Sales, VP Support, etc. reach out with the welcome pack to each new customer and connect. Then ping them now and again to ask “how are things are coming?” Follow each of your customers companies in LinkedIn.
3- Make sure you complete your profile, keep it fresh, and set it up correctly so you have credibility. Complete the profile! That means 100%. Salespeople never take the time to finish and this hurts them.  
4- Use a good close-up picture that stands out. Our company uses black and white short-cropped head shots that are sort of cool. Why black and white? We stand out. Nobody else on the page is black and white. I like to zig when everyone else chooses to zag. (Sorry you can’t use this one, everyone else has to stay with color pictures.)
Notice my name in the Public Profile has my name!
Notice my name in the Public Profile has my name!
5- Grab your name before someone else does! Make sure that your public profile is shortened to contain just your name, ie: If you leave this to LinkedIn it will have lots of crazy random letters and numbers and looks like a mess and is hard to link to. Write a compelling introduction to you and your company so people know what you do! If your company is hiring, mention it like our VP Sales did, it works!
6- Have a point person at your company. LinkedIn works by letting you connect to people 2 levels deep. It is a good idea to have at least one person in the company who reaches out to lots of connections. If everyone else at the company is connected to them, they act like a “window” with great connections for everyone else.  I’m connected to over 2300 people, and through me, all of my sales reps have a connection that is far more broad than their own.
7- Connect to your employees. Spend time and teach your colleagues and employees the value of using LinkedIn as a team. By designating a “point person” as mentioned above, make sure that person is connected to every single employee. Do it from day one in the onboarding process for all new hires.
8- Connect to your customers. Who in the B2B world is more important than your customers? I like to use Tags to connect to and classify my customers as part of my LinkedIn network. Why? I care deeply about my customers. They are like the kinds of prospects I want to also become my customers. Be getting to know them well, I can connect to others just like them. I can find the groups they are part of. I can ask for referrals or recommendations that will really have impact (if I have earned it.)
9- Connect to your prospects. We ask our salespeople to connect to all of their prospects right after the first contact attempt. Do they always do it? The smart ones do. Why have them connect? Increases rate of building a relationship. LinkedIn increases response to communications by 300% versus email.
You can also search by keywords to find lots of prospects. For us anybody with “inside sales”, “lead management” or “” in their LinkedIn profile is a prospect. What are your keywords?
10 – Do a 3×3 analysis of your prospects.My friend Steve Richard from Vorsight,outsourcers in inside sales training, taught me this. Take 3 minutes before calling a prospect to find 3 things you have in common to talk with them about.  LinkedIn is great for a resume, company, college sports or alma maters, common trade groups perspective, Facebook for hobbies, sports, etc.

7 Grown-Up Lessons From Your Favorite Disney Movies

By Adam Britten

We all know Walt Disney Animation Studios has produced some treasured stories about self-discovery, love and growing up. Ariel becoming human and Cinderella going from rags to riches are relatable stories, even if they’re whimsical.
But as someone in the midst of a job hunt, I’ve discovered that many of my favorite Disney classics have lessons that can be applied in the professional world, too.
Here are a few of my favorite career lessons inspired by Disney movies:

1. Speak up — from A Bug’s Life

Flik was often ignored by the rest of the ants in his community. They thought he was unfocused and disruptive, when in reality he was the most innovative.
If you have an idea that you know is gold, don’t shy away during meetings. Raise your hand, get noticed, and put your idea out there. Every community of ants needs a Flik, and every company needs a problem solver.

2. Be curious — from Alice in Wonderland

Alice might have dozed off while her sister was trying to help her study, but Wonderland was too intriguing to ignore. Don’t feel the need to stay trapped where you are, doing what you’re doing. If you’ve always wondered what it might be like to quit your job and become a freelance photographer, there’s only one way you’ll get to experience what that feels like!

3. Be true to your heart — from Mulan

Always go with your gut. While I don’t recommend cross-dressing for work like Mulan had to, if there’s a warrior inside of you, don’t be afraid to let him or her out.
All along the journey, make sure you are doing what you think is right. This has an equal meaning for workplace ethics, too. Bring honor to your family (and company) and stand up for what you believe in.

4. Train hard — from Hercules

Sure, now Hercules is a hero with more muscles than the juice-head at your local gym. But remember the beginning of the movie when he was a scrawny little boy? He had to put in a lot of time and work to get from A to B.
You might not have a satyr voiced by Danny DeVito giving you motivational quips the whole way, but practice makes perfect. (Even athletic practice can make you a more valuable employee.)

Lessons 5 - 7 and complete BrazenCareerist article

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adding QR Code to your Resume


Would a Quick Response code get you a quick response on your resume? Maybe or maybe not but it’s a wise move to catch on the new trends and with some solid reasons that I list here, I hope you’ll agree.

Some might resent the idea that it kind of makes my resume look too “techy”, ugly or impersonal – but hold on, answer this question first. Are you preparing a 1 minute elevator pitch during jobsearch or networking – if yes, then this could be a cool new way to get on someone’s radar in a minute or less?

Since it is new to many, it also generates curiosity or a second glance to find out where your QR code leads to. It is a way to display your creativity – and don’t we all want to see something different – hey, that’s exactly the definition of unique.

Now what will the QR code display – it could be a link to your online resume/portfolio or your favorite search links about you / your accomplishments as one sees through Google search and read on to find out that the possibilities could be endless.

Basics first: You can read about QR codes on Wikipedia which really is good to know.
Now here’s something you need to know before you insert a QR code on your resume:

  • Create an online portfolio or online resume.
    Now if you can get your resume close to as impressive as these ones, you’d better put it online. You may have your own domain name or just add it to the available website services for online CVs and resumes like You can generate the QR code easily by following either of these steps:
- Go to, shorten your URL, click on the “details” link on right hand side and the next window displays your QR code. Save image and use where required.
- Go to a QR code generator website
Tip:  Add a short description of where the code will take the reader once scanned. For example, just below your QR code image write: Scan to see my online portfolio.

  • You have a choice of displaying your top 5 Google search results (selected by you) on your QR code. Here’s how: Use Vizibility. When your Vizibility QR Code is scanned, the person scanning it will immediately see your Top 5 Favorite results (if you have selected them) on a mobile-friendly app right on their device. They also have the option of viewing all of your results right in Google, and any optional information you may have shared. Get Vizibility and your QR code from their website.

  • Get Creative! And just when you thought that the QR codes link up to resume web links, about me page and online searches; there are many creative people using QR as creatively as possible. Have a look at this one: Interactive Resume with QR Code

QR CODE – Content-rich Resume from Victor petit on Vimeo.
  • How to read the QR code?
    Mobile phone must have a reader application installed to read these QR codes.
    - Also Google Goggles is an application which the recruiters or the hiring managers can use to view your resume.
    - iTunes has a free QR reader app for the iPhone, download through iTunes.
    Note: Always test your generated QR code by taking a picture from your mobile phone and using any reader to view the QR code result before sending it out to the world.

Where to add the QR code on the resume?  - Find out where and read the complete CareerBright Article

Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn At Your Peril

Allison Cheston, Contributor

You’re on LinkedIn, of course. But do you use it? Do you connect with people regularly, do you worry about your profile, is it part of your routine? Engagement with LinkedIn seems to be part generational, part whether you’re marketing-oriented or not. Despite LinkedIn’s penetration of the professional market, there are still a lot of skeptics who don’t believe it will help them enough to warrant spending time on it.

As a career advisor who works with both senior professionals and those just starting in their careers, I deliver workshops on finding your right career and how to change your career. As I speak with job seekers at both ends of the spectrum, I’m continuously surprised that so many people still don’t use LinkedIn effectively. In fact, I find that many active candidates don’t even have a LinkedIn profile.

I’ve had job seekers range from dismissive to downright hostile when I’ve strongly suggested that having and even more importantly, building out a LinkedIn profile, is key to finding a good job. Since I believe that LinkedIn is pretty much ground zero for discovering your right career as well as for a specific job search, I decided to confirm that recruiters and retained search firms agreed with me.

Why be on LinkedIn in the first place? Michelle Kedem, a partner at search firm On-Ramps, said there are two reasons: “First of all, if you want to be found by recruiters and have recruiters know who you are, you should be on LinkedIn. The flip side of this is if you don’t want to be an active job-seeker but want recruiters to know who you are, then you need to be the seeker and not the sought-after, which is tougher, especially if you have a full-time job.”

“The second reason is that if someone tells me I should talk to (x person), the first thing I’m going to do is look them up on LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn, I can quickly figure out whether someone is worth speaking to, which saves me a lot of time.”

Everyone interviewed confirmed that LinkedIn was frequently recruiters’ first point of entry to a candidate. What if a candidate could not be found on LinkedIn? Kathleen Yazbak, a partner at executive search firm the Bridgespan Group, said “For senior folks I’m assuming they have a strong network, cultivate it, and are seen as a leader in their field. Without a LinkedIn profile, I’m not sure how they can say this.”

Cindy Stamer, who’s responsible for recruitment for Bloomberg’s Media Group, told me, “I use LinkedIn continuously to locate and screen candidates for positions. In addition, outside of my recruiter role, I find that I use LinkedIn more and more personally to connect with people I meet or know already.”

More advice and complete Forbes article