Posts Tagged ‘Career Branding’

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting.

Monday, March 9th, 2009
Penelope Trunk Keynote PRSA 2008 Detroit

Penelope Trunk  recently wrote a great article with some take-action suggestions for anyone who is laid off or otherwise out of work.  She suggests spending time creating projects for yourself that will lead to increased productivity and networking.  This is very good advice that anyone can use to get moving in the right direction while on the job hunt.

5 Things to do when you’re unemployed. Hint: It’s not job hunting. | By Penelope Trunk

Let’s say you get fired, or laid off, or you quit because after two weeks you know you’re at the worst company on the planet. In all of those cases, you will face the interview question: What happened at your last job?

Here’s the answer you should always give: “I left to do x.” And you fill in for x.

Which brings me to what you should be really focusing on when you are unemployed: Learning and growing. Because this is what you are going to talk about in job interviews.

Most people require about six months to get another job. This is a big chunk of time that you can piss away sending resumes to Monster and wondering why no one responds. But you cannot job hunt for eight hours a day. Really. You’ll go nuts. (Wait. Here’s a time-saving job hunt tip from my mom.)

So spend the time creating projects for yourself and executing on them. This is good for you mentally – because you are doing something meaningful with your time and that will keep your spirits up.

But this is also good for you in your job hunt. Because when you talk about why you left the last company, you spin it in a positive light by talking about how you are excited about doing what you are doing. Your interview should include you telling a good story about focused personal growth, and no one will get stuck on why you left your last job. Here are five ways to set that story up:

1. Create a job for yourself. These projects can be wide ranging, but they have to show that you are driven, ambitious and focused. During one stint of unemployment, I worked for free for my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day. That way I didn’t actually have a gap in my resume; a resume doesn’t show part-time or full-time and it doesn’t show pay or no pay. So volunteering at my boyfriend’s company for a couple of hours a day ended up looking like a full-time job on my resume.

2. Focus on ambition and execution and not so much on work per se. Another time I got laid off I spent my days learning to swing dance. I took one or two lessons a day and practiced at night, and after my six months of job hunting, I was good enough to teach dancing just off Broadway. I didn’t put that on my resume, but when people asked me why I left my job, I told them about how I gave myself time to fulfill lofty goals as a swing dancer.

3. Start a blog about the industry you want to go into. Blogging is a great way to keep up in your industry, network without looking desperate, and leverage the fact that you have more time on your hands that people who have jobs. Everyone who is unemployed should be blogging as a way to get their next job. Put your ideas out into the world and connect with people that way. This is why you want to be hired, right? For your ideas. So show them. The reason that people who blog have great careers is that bloggers are always thinking about issues in their industry. Show that side of yourself to people. Blogging takes a lot of time, sure. But you have a lot of time. So use it. Here’s my guide for how to start a blog.

4. Start a company. Do you have a company idea? Try it now. During unemployment. There’s nothing stopping you. You have time, and you can try ideas to see which one sticks. Also, whether or not your company does well, you’ll be able to talk about it in an interview as a huge learning moment that will deflect from any problems at your last job. The company that never got out of your parent’s basement can sit on your resume as professionally as a stint in the Fortune 500. It’s all about how you write the bullet points: talk about accomplishments and learning.

5. Practice talking about yourself with everyone. High performers practice for interviews. So now you know what you’re aiming for, but you need to talk about it with everyone – parties, at the gym, on the phone with friends. When they ask how you’re doing, talk about what you’re doing like you are in the job interview. And the good news is that the better you get at talking like that, the more you will actually believe your story, the story that being unemployed is lucky because you have learning opportunities.

What’s important to remember here is that no one can tell you what experience you can gain and what you can’t. You don’t need a job in order to learn cool stuff and be on cool projects. You control what you do with your time and you can make it useful. Talk about that. There is no reason to talk about why the last job didn’t work when you can talk about the great things that leaving opened up to you.

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Twitteriffic Susan Kang Nam Gets Creative with Reasons to Twitter

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Award_Image1 by pinkolivefamily.A big question I am often asked about Micro-Blogging service, Twitter, is simply this, "So what do you do on Twitter, just tell people what you’re doing?"  And my answer is usually, "No".  I use Twitter to network with early adopters and people all over the world who have similar interests in social media and web2.0 technology.  I post helpful links about careers, employment, and job searching.  And I use it to promote my blog, where I write about using those technologies for recruiting, career branding, and employer branding.  I also use Twitter to promote my company, A-List solutions, a full service staffing and recruiting firm for management, marketing, and I.T. positions.  (how about that shameless self promotion!)

One of my Twitter networking friends, who I originally met through on RecruitingBlogs.com, is Susan Kang Nam.  She is what I like to call a social media darling.  She is a master networker with a knack for recruiting, collaborating with the top players in social media and recruiting.  She supports her sister’s boutique, Pink Olive Inc. based in NYC, where she uses various social media tools to network and build relationships with customers, vendors, and community organizers around the world.  Susan also has responsibility on the boards and committees of numerous groups and associations related to social media, recruiting, and careers.  You can see a full bio of her at her Google profile page: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/117560664691580702505

When we talked last week about ways to encourage more participation in a Twitter networking group that she runs on Talentbar.com,  she told me that she had been invited to sit on a panel at the upcoming BlogHer conference.  She thought this was slightly ironic because she doesn’t have a blog.  In January we had talked about her plan to start a blog and she told me at the time that she hadn’t done so yet because she was still finding her voice, -deciding on the right content, key players, and collaborators- to present persuasive information that is original and unique to readers. 

Susan excels at the concise format of micro-blogging, which, with the help of Twitter, has become the hottest new form of blogging.  The BlogHer panel she has been asked to sit on is a "micro-blogging" panel called "Is MicroBlogging the Key to MommyBlogging Bliss?".  But she is still working on the idea of a real blog.  She has encouragement from blogosphere luminaries like good friend Chris Brogan.   But she is in no rush to set one up, having such enthusiasm for twitter (She’s happy to be a micro-blogger) offering values & engaging in interesting dialogues via tweets.

Still she joked, in a tweet she sent to me after our call, that she doesn’t do that much creative writing.  I tweeted her back with a gentle nudge and she responded the way I would expect her to.  By writing something so useful that I wanted to blog about it.  She posted the following note on Facebook shortly after our exchange.  It’s a great lesson for would-be bloggers.  And it is great info for anyone wondering what this Twitter thing is all about, highlighting some of the multiple ways that it is useful. 

Why Tweet? Tweeting for 5 reasons so far…

By Susan Kang Nam

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 2:23pm

Encouraged by my latest "tweet" from a twitter recruiting pal Craig Fisher, I decided to "practice" my creative writing on this post via FB notes today. His tweet to me was:

Fishdogs (Craig): @PinkOliveFamily (Susan) That’s crazy. You are plenty creative. It’s like anything else. Research + Practice makes perfect : )

Ha! So as much as I’d like to believe that I am a creative writer. I solely admit I am not. However, here is my further attempt to continue writing and exploring via this post.

Many ask me why I "tweet" and there is no short answer for that obviously. To be honest, from the beginning it was just another tool ~ an exploratory tool that I have used after hearing it from a couple of recruiters over at recruitingblogs.com back in late June of ’08.

I tweet for the following 5 reasons:

1. Content: Initially I came to twitter to review and correspond with other recruiting professionals to share content. I find some of their links that they share online quite useful i.e. Fistful of Talent to various other recruiting bloggers that showcase their knowledge and thoughts. I also came in initially to reach out to other pink olive customers and to provide value i.e. Tory Johnson over at ABC news Good Morning America, Women for Hire CEO – as her little one was a fan of pink olive boutique in east village location. I was happy to reach out to other Pink Olive customers and give information back to my sis Grace Kang, founder/owner/designer for Pink Olive Boutique. Other contents I valued overtime include Social Media in general, Marketing sources as well as reaching out to mainstream media professionals (i.e. CNN, Wall Street Journal to Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick etc and the list goes on and on). As I continue to look out for my next executive recruiting position I’d like to continue to explore connection via Twitter and find it worthwhile. In the meantime, appreciate sharing contents via peeps I follow on Twitter.

2. Contacts: As I started to lead a club called Boston Salty Legs Career Club, I have utilized all social media tools including Twitter to reach out and get referrals for our membership roster. I found it quite helpful and the contacts I have made via twitter has been phenomenal. Of course, I talk about Chris Brogan quite often however since I have the great opportunity to meet him via his New Marketing Summit I have been in awe of what he has brought reference to contacts I have made via Twitter. I highly recommend following him on twitter if you have not yet to recognize the "value" that he brings to connecting with professionals all over the world utilizing this platform. And yes I would not have had the opportunity to connect with someone like Tory either if it wasn’t for our tweets shared back in October of ’08. Currently I have little over 4400 followers and I am humbled by what they know and share (even funny jokes really helps – that reminds me – can’t forget about @animal – aka recruiting animal ;P).

3. Presence: At Jeff Pulver’s SocComm summit I had the opportunity to share my thoughts via being part of his twitter team in NYC. At the Summit, many mainstream media industry moguls spoke on topic of "presence" on social media. I highly recommend to attend his next SocComm2 Summit in June and continue the conversation on various topics. The topic of "truth" from Fred Wilson was an eye opener for me for sure. His thought processes intrigued me.

4. Branding: There has been lots of tweets regarding Branding lately and I hope to explore more on this topic as I am not 100% clear on both personal or professional/employer branding. I’d like to "think" that I know what exactly it means to brand yourself using twitter however that topic is open for more to come.

5. Fun: I know we speak of ROI for everything ~ however twitter is also about having "fun" engaging in conversations while making an impact in this "new" social media world. For good example, Jyl Johnson Pattee and Carissa Rogers, founders of MomITForward and #GNO have done a great job energizing the 200+ mommy professionals providing "fun" content on Twitter along with their efforts to reach out. Their mission is "to change the world one mom at a time." achieving that by 1) strengthening women, 2) helping them become the best moms they can be, and 3) providing ideas, opportunities to, and recognition for carrying out the Mom It Forward mission in small and large ways, locally as well as internationally. I am in awe of their efforts & energy and I do my best to join their #GNO hashtag party in Twitter every Tuesday night from 9PM EST.

As a micro-blogger, I am happy to share content, RT contents, making contacts, defining presence, learning about branding and having fun utilizing this tool. It helps me to pinpoint what I’d like to get out of for that day. Usually I’m on from 5:30-9:00AM on weekdays to engage in conversations (except this week I am "suppose" to be on vacation ~ so I have been on more often than usual ;P). On weekends it really varies. Sunday early mornings are an interesting "time-frame" to tweet.  Why?  Hmm, that can be another post.

So, why do you tweet? :) What drives you to use this platform over others out there, not to mention already "addicted" to twitter ;P

Susan
On Twitter
@pinkolivefamily
@shuffergreene (for #GNO ladies and gents)
@saltylegs (private for members and guest speakers/ update for the club)

Craig Fisher Featured in ZoomInfo Newsletter

Friday, February 20th, 2009

zoominfo

One of the web’s top business information search engines, ZoomInfo.com (which I find extremely helpful in sales and recruiting research), has kindly featured an article I wrote, Employer Branding with Web 2.0 & Social Media, in their February Recruiting Newsletter, Zoominformer.

Thanks to Flora Felisberto and Martin Burns of ZoomInfo for including me, alongside recruiting industry great, Lou Adler, in this edition of the newsletter.

If you haven’t done so, I would recommend going to www.zoominfo.com and searching for yourself.  If you find yourself, but the info appears out of date, claim your profile and update the information.  This is a great place on the web to stamp "brand you".

Here is an excerpt from the February Zoominformer:

The social media phenomenon is no longer breaking news, but its impact on talent (finding, recruiting, and retaining) has started to accelerate.

Over the coming months, we’ll be taking a closer look at social media trends. We’re working with our clients and industry thought leaders to get to the "actual" behind all of the hype. It’s our goal to help you work in the present, as well as understand the future. This month’s newsletter will focus mainly on some of the practical impacts of social media, but we are also looking to a future that may be wildly disrupted by new methods of connecting with prospects, companies, and candidates.

If you have any ideas and interesting examples, please let us know. We are always amazed by the creativity of recruiters in navigating this world.

Stay tuned….

Are You a Web 2.0 Wannabe?
by Lou Adler

According to Lou Adler, "If you don’t invest in finding tomorrow’s candidates today, you’ll become history." By investing time in key low-cost technologies, recruiters can increase both the visibility and interest of their job postings. In this article, Lou Adler describes the six most important web 2.0 trends and tools. Read on to find out if you’re a "Neanderthal or a new ager."
Click here for the full article

Employer Branding with Web 2.0 & Social Media
by Craig Fisher

If your company’s HR department is not already utilizing web 2.0 tools and social media to market the company to job seekers, it should be. A new report by Gartner, Inc., shows that even though corporate marketing and web strategies are embracing social media, HR departments are generally slow to align with those efforts for the purpose of employer branding.

Click here for the full article

The newsletter is: http://www.zoominfo.com/About/m/newsletters/february_2009.asp

You can subscribe to it here: http://www.zoominfo.com/About/resources/newsletters.aspx

ZoomInfo is a business information search engine used to quickly find information about industries, companies, people and products. ZoomInfo is used by sales and marketing professionals to identify business opportunities, by recruiters to locate talent, and by anyone conducting in-depth research about products, services and businesses. ZoomInfo’s semantic search engine continually crawls the Business Web – the millions of company Websites, news feeds and other online sources – to identify company and people information which is then organized into fresh, comprehensive and objective profiles. ZoomInfo currently has profiles on more than 40 million people and over 3.5 million companies, and its search engine adds more than 20,000 new profiles every day.

What You Should Know About the New LinkedIn

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
IMG 0742

Did you know that people with more than twenty connections on LinkedIn are thirty-four times more likely to be approached with a job opportunity than people with less than five.  That fact came from Guy Kawasaki’s blog in January of 2007.  And while his 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn are still a good primer, much has changed since then.

In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn has many new features for networking, job searching, and recruiting.  This article contains some tips that I think are very helpful in getting more out of this powerful tool.

The first is an indisputable fact.  You should be LinkedIn with me.  Go to my LinkedIn Profile and invite me to join your network.  Right now.  If LinkedIn wants you to list my email address in order to invite me, here it is: craig@alistsolutions.com .  I don’t sell anything there, and I will never harass you.  But I will answer questions, refer you to people with whom you wish to network (if your intentions are honorable), provide a plethora of great job search and networking advice, maximize your marketability, help you hire your next great employee, or help you find your dream job.  And I will scratch your back whenever I can. 

Now do you see how easy that was?  Building your network is an important part of being on LinkedIn.  It takes a little work, but it’s worth it.  Just ask the people with less than 5 connections.  Oh, wait, you can’t because you would probably never find them even if you did a search.  I’m not saying that you should indiscriminately network with just anyone.  But chances are, if you are reading this article, I want to know you, and you want to know me.  Don’t be completely generic when asking people to join your network.  Give them a compelling reason or at least be friendly.  "I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" is neither, though that won’t bother me.

Obviously there is more to it than just building up a great network.  Participation is another key to good networking.  Julius Solaris wrote a great piece on his blog entitled 10 tips to master the “new” LinkedIn

10. Group Discussion not Q&A

After Linkedin introduced discussions within Groups, Q&A are redundant. Group Discussions are more specific and targeted to your interests.

You can see threaded conversations and, if you are lucky enough, you get some moderation from the group manager.

Linkedin Groups

9. Share your trip details

An interesting application is My Travel from  Tripit.

One of the best uses of Linkedin is to find connections when you are travelling. I heard great stories of people setting up successful business meetings just by asking in the Q&A section.

My Travel brings the concept further and displays your network where you are and where you will be.

My Travel

8. Ask for opinions

The Linkedin Poll application achieves the simple task of asking for opinions.
Polls have been there forever in online communities, it was right about time to have that functionality in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Polls

7. Update your profile, twitter style

The “Update” section is becoming key to Linkedin. Hopefully they will develop this feature even further with better search tools.

This section is a very powerful tool as it gives premium information such as “This person is hiring” or “Looking for a business partner”.

Keep an eye on this one.

6. Promote and attend Events

The recently introduced Events section helps in finding relevant events in your area.

If you are organizing both, formal or informal gatherings, this is also a great opportunity to promote.

Linkedin Events

5. Be informed with the News section

I actually really like this section, it gives you the chance to see relevant information, again according to your Group belonging.

This feature used to be reserved to companies, welcomed opening.

4. Blog to the top

If you don’t have a blog, you should get one soon.

Once you do have one, I strongly suggest you integrate either with the Blog Link or WordPress app, the latter being my favourite.

WordPress

Blog Link

3.Unleash your presentations

My beloved Slideshare.net released an application to show your slides in your profile.

Out of all the apps, this is the most relevant as it really serves the purpose of networking.

Presentations are indeed the most accepted form of business communication, a great match.

Slideshare Presentations

2. Collaborate

Huddle is a great service for online collaboration and sharing.

This is a great application which enables teamwork, really like the 1GB shared space.

Huddle Workspaces

1. Perform a better search

Linkedin focused on delivering an improved search experience.

Make sure you check below for few tips on how to perform better searches.

5 Tips on How to Search LinkedIn Like a Pro

Regardless of how you use LinkedIn, you should probably be paying closer attention to it these days with so many ways to improve your professional profile, your personal or career brand, your employer brand, or your sales and recruiting efforts. 

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