Archive for September, 2008

Great Place Jobs – Online Job Posting Site for Great Employers

I am happy to announce that I am the designated career advice expert for an online job posting site, GreatPlaceJobs.com. (Take a look at my blog at GreatPlaceJobs, where I will be sharing exclusive content.) Asher Adelman, the founder and CEO of eBossWatch and greatplacejobs.com calls the site, “the world’s first exclusive ‘great workplace’ job site to help people find jobs at award-winning employers.”

Asher notes, “For most people nowadays, it’s not enough for a company to pay you well but treat you poorly.  GreatPlaceJobs was designed for job-seekers who aspire to work at companies that care about their people as much as the people care about the company.”

What is special about GreatPlaceJobs? They only post jobs from specifically certified employers designated as “excellent” based on criteria such as having a culture based on trust, fairness, respect, open communications, recognition and camaraderie. When you search their database, you know that every organization represented has been scrutinized and/or has won awards as a high-quality place to work.

This is what the site says about itself:

  • Over 150,000 new jobs each month.
  • Only jobs at certified excellent employers are featured on GreatPlaceJobs.
  • More than 1,300 companies approved as great employers.
  • All companies are individually qualified and approved before being added to GreatPlaceJobs.

GreatPlaceJobs posts positions free for eligible companies. Job seekers pay a $20 membership fee for a 3-month subscription. Asher anticipates exploring many avenues to connect great employers with job seekers. Members will be the first to learn about potential opportunities. Learn more by clicking here.

So, looking to add an online site to your job search plans? Consider a site that screens the employers for you! Use your time wisely online: www.greatplacejobs.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

Need help with your hunt? Did you know we offer a resume consulting service? We advise, you write! Or, hire us to write your resume for you. Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Social Networking Bridges the Generational Gap and Propels Your Career Forward

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So, I’ve written that participating in social networking can help you look younger without the aid of botox or hair dye! Since I’ve been writing about Twitter this week, and how you can use it to help you network and find a job, I thought I would end the week with some stories of people just like you who believe that using social networking tools are useful to propel them along the right career path.

Veronica Gliatti, a 40-something, experienced public relations and marketing expert, believes that her blog, which she created to help her look for not just a job, but the right career position for her, has helped drive interest in her for job opportunities.  She notes that the blog also “Helped instill more confidence in [her] own abilities” and that she knows several recent leads were directly related to writing a good effective blog with a powerful message.

Melissa Balmer, of Creative Conscious Connecting, 44, emphatically believes that being on line with her website, blog, Facebook profile, yelp profile, etc., helps keep her seeming younger, hipper and more connected in the eyes of her current and future clients.

Melissa notes, “Now that I have quite a dynamic web presence, including an updated photo, blogs in more than one place, presence on myspace, Facebook, linkedin and more, I’m finding that the ageism I grew to fear doesn’t exist for me. People are looking for great, responsible, tuned in people who can connect cross- generationally, and the internet is truly the way to go for this – it’s not someone’s age that matters so much as how ready they are to understand what makes things happen now.”

John Williams, Partner in B2B CFO® believes that having a presence on linkedin and other networking sites gave him more visibility than just being on The Ladders, Exec-U-Net and similar job sites. He also suggested that having a Blackberry “created an impression of being connected” and gave him an edge during his search. He notes, “Utilizing the web was very useful [during his search] and much more efficient than networking at the C level.” He suggests that “Job seekers will miss a major outlet if they are not on the web in this fashion.”

Perhaps one of the more persuasive arguments for using social networking to make yourself seem younger in the job hunt (especially for older workers) comes from Gary Stewart, an executive recruiter in the pharmaceutical industry. He says, “The problem that I have experienced as a recruiter is that there is a definite gap between those who are familiar with [social] networking” and the people he seeks – those who have a minimum of 10-20 years of experience.  He notes, “Most people with this much experience are not aware, or do not know how to take advantage of this sort of medium.” Gary acknowledges that anyone with that experience who participates in online networking would have an advantage in his book.”

If you’re convinced that learning about social networking can help with your job hunt, I can help you! It’s not rocket science, but if you’d like a helping hand to guide your entree to the online market, Keppie Careers is here for you. Email me at results@keppiecareers.com.

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

picture by skampy

Using Twitter to Hire – the Employer’s Perspective

Yesterday, I shared several stories from people who used Twitter to help drive their career bus. Jessica Smith found her “dream job” from a tweet. Kyle Flaherty, moved his family from Boston to Austin, TX as a result of a job hunt that started as a tweet!

Kyle’s boss, Pam O’Neal (who hired him as a direct result of his tweet and blog post), was kind enough to answer some questions for me about using Twitter and social networking sites from the employer’s perspective. I hope you’ll agree with me that her answers help shed some light on the subject of social networking for a job hunt.

Tell me about using Twitter to hire?

Happy to share. I think it is a fantastic tool to find a job and for recruiting new hires. It’s a great way to expand your network exponentially to spread the word about an opening. And, if used properly, to alert employers that you are available.

In this instance, I knew it was going to be difficult–if not impossible–to find an experienced social media marketer. I had hired bloggers and other new media marketers before, so I knew what to expect. It’s a new role that demands a completely different mindset. Also, it’s difficult to find marketers who fit into a start-up culture. It’s usually best to hire someone you know or based on referral, but in this case, I knew no one that matched our needs.

How did you actually come to find Kyle? Did you receive his tweet directly? Via another contact? What about his tweet and/or blog appealed to you?

An important thing I’ve learned in my marketing career is to think like your prospect, speak their language and go where they are. So, when it comes to recruiting, I follow the same path. I had done this in my last position, pre-Twitter. In this case, however, I was not ready to broadcast the position, so I alerted my LinkedIn network, my PR agency, etc. Fortunately, one of the folks at our PR agency Porter Novelli was on the lookout for me and saw a tweet that Kyle posted about his next career move and alerted me that he would be a fantastic hire.

What was special about Kyle?

Kyle really took an out of the box approach using Twitter. He had already informed his employer that he wanted to make a career move and made a list of the exact opportunity he was looking for, so he posted an announcement to his 700+ Twitter followers and described that role. So, between the agency referral, Kyle’s use of Twitter and the insights he’d posted on his blog, I knew he would be a great addition to the team. I emailed him immediately.

(Note – I thought Pam’s description that follows of how she and Kyle used Twitter to update each other on the hiring process was really interesting…)

Once Kyle and I connected, we communicated throughout the interview process via Twitter. I followed his Twitter updates and sent him regular updates on what was going on at BreakingPoint (Pam’s organization) and in the industry. I could also tell the other companies he was talking to in Austin so I knew my competition. It was also a good way to get to know each others’ interests and philosophy about the role prior to closing the deal.

Do you (or your colleagues) regularly source employees online?

Not typically, but for hard to find specialists, I will alert my network via Twitter and other social media sites. We’ve had candidates reach out to us on Twitter and I’ve also spread the word for other colleagues who are hiring marketers.

What sites/tools do you use?

LinkedIn and Facebook mostly. I’m now a member of several online professional groups that I will use in the future.

How many employees have you connected with via social networking tools?

Wow, too many to count. I use them almost exclusively these days. Ads are a waste of money and sorting through stacks of resumes is an extraordinary waste of time. My last 4 or 5 hires have been through social media sites or personal referrals. I found Kyle via Twitter and a demand generation specialist via LinkedIn. I found a blogger via a social media content site. I can tell you that it has dramatically reduced interviewing costs. In two instances, I was able to hire the first candidate I interviewed as they were a somewhat “known” quantity based on their online profiles, content, network, etc.

Do you do background checks online as well? Have you ever NOT hired someone because of what you found?

I’ve used MySpace to do some “reference-checking” to see if a candidate would be a good hire. One such candidate foolishly posted publicly that he had enlisted in the army but would try to “get out of it” if he found a job. That was a couple of years ago. Needless to say, we didn’t bring him in for an interview.

Your Turn

So, how do you feel about engaging in a job hunt via Twitter? Would it be great if your prospective employer tweeted updates so you wouldn’t be left in the dark? What if you were also tweeting where else you were interviewing? Please share your thoughts about open-book hiring using Twitter!

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If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Can You Find a Job On Twitter? Yes You Can!

Networking and social networking tools are big topics of conversation when it comes to the job hunt. I’ve written about using Facebook to find a job, but I wondered if Twitter, the microblogging platform/social network would be a rich source of potential job opportunities.

So, I asked, “Can You Get a Job on Twitter?” It seems that the answer is a resounding (Bob the Builder-esque) YES you can!

Jessica Smith found her current “dream job” as Chief Mom Officer simply by tweeting to approximately 400 followers, “Anyone looking for a marketing or biz dev person?”  She reports receiving a DM from Max Ciccotosto, Founder of Wishpot.com, within minutes, asking for a phone interview! The result, Jessica landed “a flexible, family-friendly job doing marketing, biz dev, and community management for Wishpot’s baby channel making competitive pay.” She makes a point to pay it forward, and now helps other companies connect with moms who have the skills they seek.

Kyle Flaherty‘s use of Twitter for a job hunt resulted in moving his family to Austin, TX from Boston. In March, he tweeted the news to approximately 650 contacts that he had left his job and had no immediate plans. He included a link to a blog post outlining his interest in connecting. He explains, “Within hours I had several emails, IMs, phone calls and Tweets about the topic and it actually ended up that I took a new job… This may have happened without using Twitter, but since I was looking for a job that would allow me to use social media tools like microblogging, I knew that this was a targeted way to network myself and could lead to a job more inline with what I was wanted.”

Kyle’s boss at the job in Austin, Pam O’Neil, explains that she had the firm’s PR agency on the lookout for someone who would make a good addition to their team. Her contact saw Kyle’s tweet and alerted her that he would be a fantastic hire. O’Neil explains,

“Kyle really took an out of the box approach using Twitter. He had already informed his employer that he wanted to make a career move and made a list of the exact opportunity he was looking for, so he posted an announcement to his 700+ Twitter followers and described that role. So, between the agency referral, Kyle’s use of Twitter and the insights he’d posted on his blog, I knew he would be a great addition to the team. I emailed him immediately.”

Heidi Miller, the “Podcasting Princess” found a three-month freelance project using Twitter. She harnessed the power of her Twitter network (around 900 people) by tweeting updates about her job hunt. (“Applying for a social media position in Boston,” “Applying for a cool social media position in London,” etc.) Although many of her colleagues questioned the wisdom of being so open about her search (would she look desperate? foolish?), in the end, the ends justified the means.

Heidi explains, “One day, one of my Twitter buddies, Amy Gahran, sent me a DM that our Twitter buddy Susan Mernit was looking for people for a project. I’d met Susan at BlogHer the year before, so I sent her a Tweet asking about the project. A resume and phone interviews followed, and I got the position.”

Heidi says,

What I discovered is that Twitter is just another way of communicating with your network. When you are seeking a position, you tell your associates, colleagues and friends so that they can keep their ears open for you. That’s exactly what I did on Twitter–by updating on my job search, I ended up with a contract position that since has opened doors to several offers for permanent positions for me once I finish up here.”

(It’s interesting to note here how Heidi’s story really combines both in-person and social networking. She used online tools to keep in touch with people she may have met at conferences or via other means, which ultimately led to her finding a job.)

Clearly, if you are looking for a job involving social media, Twitter is one great place to cast your networking net. However, don’t ignore the possibilities to use Twitter to make connections that could lead to opportunities in any number of areas. The fact is, job search networking is much more effective when you make “loose” connections – touching base with people you do not know well, but whose networks and contacts are much different from your own.

I’ve noticed that Twitter has been getting quite a bit of press in mainstream media outlets lately. My colleague Dan Schawbel, the Gen Y Personal Branding guru, notes that Twitter already has 3 million users. Surely, there are some great connections for your job hunt just waiting to be found! As more and more get involved (dare I say addicted?), the more opportunities there will be to leverage Twitter for job search networking. Don’t be the one left behind!

Some information you may find useful:

Common Craft’s great video explaining Twitter
Chris Brogan’s 50 ideas for using Twitter for business
Marci Alboher’s Shifting Careers blog at the New York Times – How Twitter Can Help at Work

Convinced that Twitter may be a good use of your time? Feel free to follow me:
http://twitter.com/Keppie_Careers

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by jevy

Why Use Twitter?

As a regular Twitter user, I have become a big fan of the micro-blogging platform that invites you to share thoughts in pithy, 140-character blasts. Chances are, you:

  • Have never heard of Twitter.
  • Have heard of it, but think it is just another way to waste your time, or
  • You love Twitter and use it to keep in touch with friends, colleagues and to meet people.

If you are in the first category and have never heard of Twitter, this is a good time to get acquainted! My favorite place to learn about social networking applications is on commoncraft.com. They have a great video that describes Twitter in very easy to understand terms.

I must admit, before I found a niche of people to “follow” on Twitter (that is – people whose “tweets” I receive on my home page) – I thought the whole thing seemed like a big waste of time. Once I got over the fact that so many people share what they are eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I realized that, by following the right people, I would be “in the loop” on up-to-date information my colleagues all over the country (and world) are sharing. It is also a wonderful way to form new connections with other professionals, clients and business owners.

So, if you are looking for a job or are a professional in your field (working for someone or an entrepreneur), these are the reasons I think you should try Twitter:

Get Connected. There is no doubt that Twitter facilitates connections. It is a great place to introduce someone or to get introduced in an informal way. You can learn who is talking to whom in your field and choose to “follow” people who are “in the know.” Unlike Facebook, where it is kind of creepy if you start trying to “friend” people who are connected to your contacts, it is much more acceptable (and expected) to follow people on Twitter because another friend or colleague does.

Personally, I have had phone conversations with several colleagues, shared information with many and am working on several partnerships directly as a result of our interactions on Twitter.

Business Growth. No doubt that you can grow your business using Twitter. Chris Brogan wrote 50 ideas for using Twitter for business. He notes, instead of answering the question, “What are you doing?” (as Twitter suggests), answer the question, “What has your attention?” He also reminds us that it’s great to retweet something your friends or colleagues have shared. This is a terrific way to connect and potentially lay the groundwork for networking opportunities.

Yes, you can get business on Twitter, but don’t think of it only as a way to get business. The idea is to be in the networking space, which will lead to great opportunities as you grow your connections and help each other.

Personal Branding. For those unfamiliar, personal branding is the way “individuals differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd.” Twitter is a great way to build your personal brand. By sharing professional information along with just the right amount of personality, you can strengthen your personal brand and help people get to know you. The result – those who know (and like) you will become part of your network and will be willing to help you when you have questions or need help.

Look for a Job. Deb Dib (the CEO coach – an esteemed career professional and someone I’ve gotten to “know” on Twitter), wrote an in-depth post on how Twitter can be useful for the job search. She asks, “Where can you create almost instant exposure to (and build credibility with) other executives, recruiters and the press?” The answer – Twitter!

Stay tuned for a post that answers the question, “Can you find a job on Twitter?”

Convinced that Twitter may be a good use of your time? Feel free to follow me:
http://twitter.com/Keppie_Careers

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

Networking for Success…Think Being, Not Doing

Today, columnists JT O’Donnell and Dale Dauten of JT and Dale Talk Jobs included a quote from me in their Best of the Month – Career Resources Worth Checking Out:

J.T.: A lot of job-search advice boils down to more and better networking. That assertion always frustrates people who aren’t naturally outgoing. Those who think of networking as mere “schmoozing” will always struggle. Networking is about sharing information, about being genuinely interested in what you might learn from others and what others might learn from you. You don’t need to be a smooth talker or the life of the party to network properly. There’s a great discussion of this in a blog written by a fellow career coach, Miriam Salpeter. Find it at www.KeppieCareers.com. I particularly like this quote: “I try to think of networking as a way of BEING instead of something to DO.”

In light of today’s economic situation, it has never been more clear how important it is to network effectively and with goals in mind. Stay tuned next week for more about how to network well, including a post about people who actually found their jobs using Twitter!

(If you haven’t started using Twitter, NOW is a good time to start! Feel free to “follow” me at: http://twitter.com/Keppie_Careers.)

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.

photo by vasta

Suddenly Unemployed: What Steps to Take Now

It is a sad state of affairs when previously top-rated and well-respected firms go belly up and leave a slew of dedicated, talented, but unemployed workers in their wake.

I worked on Wall Street and survived one lay-off before deciding to change industries. My department and ultimately the firm was subsequently swallowed up, so I feel particularly empathetic. Many who believed that a Wall Street job was their golden ticket must now take a deep breath and figure out plan B.

In light of today’s situation, and in particular for Lehman and Merrill employees (and AIG…), here are some action steps to consider:

Pause, but don’t stop.

If you don’t have a great network and job search materials at-the-ready, facing an unexpected job loss can be very overwhelming. Take a moment to take stock, but don’t take a month. Consider potential next steps. Assess your skills and figure out what you offer that is unique and special. In an environment where many people are looking for opportunities at once, you need to be able to identify what sets you apart.

In a post for the Wall Street Journal, “Dealing with a Job Search When You Least Expect It”: Toddi Gutner notes: “Despite the need to mobilize a quick job search, ‘you don’t want to send out a bunch of things into the marketplace without any thought behind it,’ says Mr. [Doug] Matthews [CEO of Right Management Consultants]. Take some time to create a thoughtful and measured approach to your job hunt. Be specific about the position you want and target the companies where you want to work.” (Hat tip: Lindsey Pollak)

Clean up your digital footprint.

Especially if you’ve been thrown into a job search unexpectedly – IMMEDIATELY clean up your social networking profiles so that they are professional and wouldn’t cause any potential employer to think twice about hiring you. (Including your photos – make sure you are dressed like you are ready for work in your highlighted pictures.) Set a Google alert so you know when your name comes up online. With 1 in 5 employers researching candidates online, an un-professional comment or picture may be the difference between getting the job and being the #2 choice.

Network smart.

You already know. Network, network, network. But, do you know how? If you’re not familiar with social networks (linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.), now is the time to get familiar!

When you are planning your networking, focus on information gathering and sharing. Don’t ask for informational meetings to discuss your need for a job. If that person doesn’t have a job to offer, he or she will probably not want to meet with you and will suggest you contact HR.

The key with your networking is to expand your group of “loose contacts” – people who don’t know you well, but are willing to do what they can to help you achieve your goal. If you can present yourself as talented and skilled and make a personal connection, you will get much further with your job hunt.

Job hunt full time, but don’t be a workaholic.

Make a plan. Get up, get dressed, make appointments, keep a to-do list. Have goals for your job hunt as you do for your work life. I don’t have to tell you that this is a stressful time, but don’t feel the need to be job hunting 100% of your day. Take time to enjoy yourself and seek supportive groups to help you get through this tough time. Take time to vent and to be angry, but try to achieve a positive outlook, as that will help you in the long run.

Consider the cost benefits of seeking career advice.

The fact is, most people don’t have a very good resume and have no idea how to search for a job in today’s economy. In a competitive environment, your job seeking materials (this includes your linkedin profile and web 2.0 presence) will be even more important. Money may be tight, but hiring a coach and/or a resume writer might be just the boost you need to propel your search. Anita Bruzzese, career advice columnist and author suggests,

“If you don’t think you can afford a career coach, consider giving up some of the extras in your life (a gym membership, eating out, cable television, etc.) which can can help you pay for a coach.”

Consider the cost of unemployment and the fact that you are much more likely to land a job in a timely way if you have a great resume, understand how to market yourself and are well prepared to interview and negotiate.

The list of things to do when suddenly facing a job hunt is very long…Those who make a plan and  methodically move toward their goals are most likely to achieve them.

Some links that might be useful:

If you want to receive free up-to-date tips to help with your job hunt, Click here to subscribe to receive future blogs sent directly to you via email! Prefer to subscribe in a reader? Click here for a link to receive Keppie Careers’ feed sent to the reader of your choice.

We can help you with a successful job hunt. Need a great resume? Career search advice? Visit Keppie Careers online for information about our services: www.keppiecareers.com.


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September 2008
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