Posts Tagged ‘social media’

SFail Hashtagince I’ve had the privilege of working with a plethora of job hunters over the past twenty plus years, I thought I’d share some insights on the downside of the search adventure: How to FAIL in your job search. I can almost guarantee that following any one of these rules exclusively will increase the likelihood of your catching all the episodes of  “The View” and “Judge Judy” as well as completing “to-do lists” for everyone on your block!

Are you ready? OK, here we go…

MISTAKE 1: STICK WITH A SINGLE JOB SEARCH METHOD

There are a lot of job search techniques out there and I’m frequently asked which one should be used. The answer? Use ALL OF THEM! If you restrict your search activity to any single method (including excellent ones like research interviewing or networking), you severely limit your opportunity for success. For example, the ads in the Sunday News are real jobs, not hallucinations. The Internet does list employment opportunities through sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Careerbuilder, and others. Some companies do have “NOW HIRING” signs on their front lawns. Talking to friends and relatives about your interests can help identify employment opportunities. Recruiters and agencies, used intelligently, can be helpful. Social Media applications (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are becoming exceptional search tools. Although I recommend that you invest most of your time in activities that tap into the “hidden market” through research, social media and networking, an effective job search campaign is probably one that uses all available methods to unearth opportunities.

MISTAKE 2: APPLY FOR EVERY POSITION THAT YOU FIND.

When you reduce job hunting to the lowest common denominator, it’s basically a numbers game, right? So it stands to reason that the more times you apply, the more chances you have for success. Logic then dictates that every time you see any job that you’re even remotely qualified for (e.g., I’m not a brain surgeon, but I have a brain), you should go for it. Well, not really. First of all, you’re likely to experience an even higher level of frustration when you’re not considered for most of these positions, chipping away at your already fragile self esteem. In addition, you’ll probably invest a significant amount of time with little or no results. Finally, sooner or later you’re likely to be labeled in the employer community as someone who would do “anything for a buck.” Would YOU hire someone like that? Neither will they!

MISTAKE 3: TELL EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME THAT YOU NEED WORK.

Similar to the above technique, this process will certainly gain you some visibility… as damaged goods! Although the vast majority of people will be willing to help, most of them will quickly tire of your contact as you continually bemoan your lack of a paycheck. OK, I know that’s not what you’re doing, but that’s what your approach will seem like to them! It won’t be long before the word is out for everyone to avoid you at all costs – crossing the street when they see you coming, getting caller ID, spam-blocking your e-mails, ignoring your LinkedIn connection request, turning you into a job search pariah. There is nothing wrong with staying in touch with others to assist you in your search, but you should be seeking information, advice and referrals, not pumping innocent bystanders for job leads.

MISTAKE 4: SPEND ALL OF YOUR TIME JOB HUNTING.

You’ve probably heard that “looking for a job is a full-time job.” I respectfully disagree. Looking for a job is NOT a full-time job; it’s much more that that! Looking for work is, for most of us, much harder than the most difficult job we’ll ever have. Be sure to schedule some downtime, fun activities and recovery time from the wear and tear of presenting yourself to potential employers. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up as a worn-out interviewee, barely able to sit up straight in a chair, not to mention being totally unable to sell your qualifications to the company. To quote a cartoon in my files, “My name is Bob and I need a job!” Be sure to schedule some relaxation and recreation with friends and family along with all of your search activities. You’ll be a better candidate for it.

MISTAKE 5: USE A RESUME THAT SAYS YOU DO IT ALL.

Since you don’t know exactly what a company may need to know about you, be sure to include every single job, experience, class, volunteer activity and project in your resume to make them aware of all of the marvelous ways you could contribute to their organization’s bottom line. This gives you the highest potential to connect your skills with the employer’s needs, right? Wrong! This will more likely turn your resume into an unread epic poem destined for the shredder or recycle bin. And if someone decides that he or she needs something to read before dozing off, it will show you to be an unfocused candidate who will happily take the first position offered (and just as likely to move on for something better as soon as the opportunity arises). Resumes need to be targeted, honest and focused to the needs of the industry, the market and the company.

I trust you get my point: the sooner you decide NOT to follow these rules, the sooner people will be able to send you “Congratulations!” on your new position!

 

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Social Media IconsThat IS the question for many of us, both employers and employees. And the answer is not as simple as it may appear to be.

Can time be wasted, hours of unproductive time spent posting mundane (What are you doing right now, what are you eating, where are you sitting, ad nauseam?) notes on any of these online programs? That answer is easy – YES!

…not to mention the possibility of sharing confidential information, posting inappropriate content or leaving something out in cyberspace where you have, at best, limited control over who reads it. Oh, I know there are privacy settings and related controls to reduce this possibility, but my rule of thumb has always been to assume that anyone may bump into your digital musings (your mother, your boss, etc.) and I type accordingly!

Even with these caveats, many organizations are creating Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) for social networking applications, fully aware that, even with the potential risks, there are true opportunities for their appropriate and professional use. I have  had the opportunity to speak to universities, professional networking groups, Human Resource organizations, etc. on the use of applications the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, et al as bona fide business tools.

Here are a few examples of how Social Networking can be beneficial:

  • Seeking real world, virtually immediate feedback from your customers on your products or services.
  • Providing an avenue for your staff to collaborate with peers in their industry or disciplines.
  • Opening up a communication channel to interact with clients (present and potential) anywhere in the world.
  • Creating an on-line presence for you and your organization that enhances your “Brand” in the marketplace.

Do these potential benefits have their downside? Most certainly, but in this global, digital age, failure to consider the appropriate use of these applications may leave you out in the cold!

Social Media IconsThat IS the question for many of us — careerists, employers and employees. And the answer is not as simple as it may appear to be.

Can time be wasted, hours of unproductive time spent posting mundane (What are you doing right now?) notes on any of these online programs. That answer is easy – YES!

…not to mention the possibility of sharing confidential information, posting inappropriate content or leaving something out in cyberspace where you have limited control over who reads it. Oh, I know there are privacy settings and related controls to reduce this possibility, but my rule of thumb has always been to assume that anyone may bump into your digital musings (your mother, your boss, etc.) and I type (or text) accordingly!

Even with these caveats, many reputable organizations are creating Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) for social networking applications, fully aware that they are true opportunities for their appropriate and professional use. I have  had the opportunity to speak to universities, professional networking groups, Human Resource organizations, etc. on the potential use of applications the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as bona fide business tools.

Here are a few examples of how Social Networking could benefit:

  • Seeking real world, almost immediate feedback from peers, customers, contacts on “what’s happening,” their perspectives, insights and thoughts.
  • Providing collaborative opportunities with peers in virtually every extant industry or disciplines that’s in existence.
  • Opening up a communication channel to interact with others any where in the world.
  • Creating an on-line presence for you or your organization that enhances your “Brand” in the marketplace.

Do these potential benefits have their downside? Most certainly, but in this global, digital age, failure to consider the appropriate use of some of these potentially troublesome applications may leave you out in the cold!

Can you see the connection? (Probably not yet, but be patient…I’ll get there).

As a former apartment dweller and a college student making the trek to the laundry room, I recall perusing the cork-covered bulletin board whImageile killing time during the rinse cycle.

What did I see? A collection of signs with tear-off phone numbers, providing access to used sofas, pleas for roommates, lost pet information and a panoply of related requests and announcements.

Some time ago, I used a BBS to gather useful advice on improving my marathon performance (a goal that has since gone “the way of all flesh”…these days, I’m happy to finish standing up!). Amazingly, I was awarded with a plethora of helpful advice and support. Since that time, I have come to see the multitude of Social Media applications (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc., etc.) as the 21st century replacements for that corkboard that had served so well.

Allow me to suggest some key points on using a digital thumb tack to post your “sign” at the new “Laundromat”.

  • Be professional. As you request insight and advice or referral (please, NEVER job leads!), be aware of the sacrifice these people are making in taking the time to share their perspectives with you.
  • Use these tools with discretion. If your every communication is to “get something,” you will soon be branded as a “user,” and rightfully so. Remember, “Givers Gain.”
  • Always, always be appreciative. A simple “thank you” (taking precious little of your time) can cause you to stand out from the teeming mass of “gimmes” out there.
  • Participate in groups as an advocate and contributor. Don’t be a “cyber stalker.”
  • Pay it forward. For every time you to seek to gain, find at least two times you can give.

Please don’t take this metaphor too far. If you have an ottoman for sale, I really don’t want to read about it on LinkedIn. However, at the same time, Social Media can present an extraordinary goldmine of information, advice and referral that would take months, perhaps even years to unearth without it.

…I’ll be watching for your “ad.”

As I have noted on many other occasions (and will continue to do so), everything you say, quote, type, publish, email, etc. brands you. Of course, many of us will have email addresses related to an employer, but all of us should also have a personal email address for correspondence outside of work. Your email address is no less important than that post you just released to the world on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or the latest Social Media application that was just launched as I type this sentence.

Here are some quick recommendations, presented for your consideration:

Don’t be cute.

I never cease to be amazed by the incredibly clever, iconoclastic, cryptic, even mildly profane email addresses that polished and professional individuals use, to their own detriment. Why cheapen that carefully crafted resume or the LinkedIn profile that you labored over so long with an email address that Imagestarts with “deadhead” or “funky.monkey?” (Don’t laugh too loudly, I have seen these and much, much worse!) To quote an earlier and favorite blog of mine, “you should never say quote-unquote, only quote-end quote,” since you cannot take back something you have spoken or written. In case you are interested, here’s the link to that blog as well: https://bdavismcdp.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/why-you-should-never-say-quote-unquote.

Don’t broadcast information you need not share.

Believe it or not, I have learned things about people that I have no right to know based on their email addresses. Dates of birth, names of family members, strange hobbies, etc. are often broadcast unwittingly within those few letters and numbers that make up one’s email address. The best way to “brand” yourself in that email handle is with some kind of professional variation of your name – no more, no less.

Don’t cheapen your brand.

With all due respect to all of the free email programs out there, an email that ends with a suffix like “aol.com” brings flashbacks of the annoying sound of a dial-up modem followed by a sing-song voice enunciating that hackneyed phrase “You’ve got mail!” At the very least you should consider employing a more professional or current email program, or investigate purchasing your own personal domain to add another level of credibility to your “handle.” There are any number of services out there that offer this at reasonable rates.

I’ll close this blog with the classic catch-phrase of Chester Gould’s crime fighter Dick Tracy: “Six-two and even, over and out!”

That IS the question for many of us, both employers and employees. And the answer is not as simple as it may appear to be.

Can time be wasted, hours spent in unproductive activity, posting mundane (What are you doing right now?) notes on any of these online programs? That answer is easy – YES!

…and we must note the likelihood of sharing confidential information, posting inappropriate content or leaving something out in cyberspace where you have limited (or almost no) control over who reads it. Oh, I know there are privacy settings and related controls to reduce this possibility, but my rule of thumb has always been to assume that anyone may bump into your digital musings (your mother, your boss, etc.) and I type (or text) accordingly! I once wrote a blog called on this very topic – https://bdavismcdp.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/why-you-should-never-say-quote-unquote/.

Even with these caveats, most organizations are creating Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s) for social networking applications, fully aware that they are true opportunities for their appropriate and professional use. I have recently had the opportunity to speak to universities, professional networking groups, Human Resource organizations, etc. on the potential use of applications the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as bona fide business tools.

Here are a few examples of how Social Networking can be a true boon:

  • Seeking real world, almost immediate feedback from your customers and clients on your products or services.
  • Providing an avenue for your staff to collaborate with peers in their industries or disciplines.
  • Opening up a communication channel to interact with clients and potential clients any where in the world.
  • Creating an on-line presence for your organization that enhances your “Brand” in the marketplace.

Do these potential benefits have their downside? Most certainly, but in this global, technology-laced age, failure to consider the appropriate use of some of these new applications may leave you out in the non-digital gulag!

OK, so maybe this is a lousy pun, but I have real concerns over the knee-jerk dismissal of Twitter as a social media tool because of the plethora of inane, insipid, even profane babblings out there.

Here are a few key reasons why I am an advocate for the Twitterverse:

I’m a BIG FAN of the 140 character limit!

Although I’m not all that enthused by shortcuts like 2nite and b4, any application that makes us do more with less is OK in my book. I can easily glance at a Tweet and determine if it’s worth considering or skipping. If the author’s point resonates with me and there’s a URL in the message, I’ll check it out. If not, I can quickly move on. 

#Hashtags rule.

Using a product like www.wefollow.com, I can easily search out the hot topics or issues that are mission critical for me at that moment. I can then find out who is saying what, increase my audience by imbedding the appropriate tag in my message, or perhaps create my own tag to start something new.

Friendly “helper” applications are everywhere.

You can download a “dashboard” like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, et al to keep connected with Twitter (as well as other applications) easily and quickly. I seldom open Twitter (unless I am revising my profile), using one of these “helpers” to keep a digital eye out for me.

Companies and organizations are joining the show.

As is the case with many other Social Media tools, more and more sites are displaying the little blue “t” or his ornithological companion on their home page to allow customers, clients, potential employees, etc. to get engaged within the 140 character universe. There are even sites like http://www.tweetmyjobs.com http://www.twitjobsearch.com, etc. that post job openings. Log onto the sites of companies and organizations of interest. You’ll be surprised how many request that you “follow us on Twitter!”

In closing, I cannot deny the fact that a large percentage of what is “tweeted” is inane, insipid, banal, even profane. The answer to this is simple – Don’t follow anyone who does this! To quote www.despair.com and their take on Twitter: “Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few..”

Notwithstanding all the digital drivel that is out their under the auspices of that little bluebird, Twitter has much to offer!

… and you can retweet me on that (@bl_davis)!