Online Brand: Nasty or Nice?

This week’s WXP News had a great article that also relates to the job search process – and your online identity. If you were not aware, about 35% or more of recruiters and employers check your online identity before they meet with you. It’s amazing what a quick Google search can find out.

Also, much of job searching today is done via email. Quick, email your resume to an ad or online post. Before sending, check out your subject line. Is it relevant and attention-getting in a good way? What’s your cover letter or intro like in the email? Does it portray you in a favorable way, while addressing the needs of the employer? Have you spell-checked it?

Think about email ettiquette throughout the job search process, not just in the first email. How do you respond to their request for more information? For clarification? For setting up the interview?

And sadly, how do you respond if you are rejected?

Suggestions: Keep cool. Ask for suggestions. If this is the type of career you wish to persue, perhaps they have some tips for you.

Here’s a link to the WXP News article: Flame Away: Does the ‘Net Make People Nastier?.

Recruiters: Don’t be afraid of Video Resumes

Just recently we had a big story on the news, “Throw out your resume. There’s a new way to job search.” So, I waited through all the commercials and other stories until finally, the big career story! I mean hey, writing resumes is part of what I do, so I need to know why they’re throwing them away.

On with the news. What’s the news? Video resumes! Sheesh. This is OLD news. Plus, the one they showed during the broadcast was poorly done and had the oddest lighting. But the new twist was posting it on Jobster and YouTube. That part was very new.

After the “non-news” of video resumes, I wondered, “Hmmm, what do employers and recruiteres think about them. What about the EEOC?” And then, I received this in my ERE (recruiter themed) ezine today.

Here’s what one recruiting industry guru said about video resumes:

Author Dave LefkowDon’t let the big, bad EEOC scare you

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | by Dave Lefkow

Video resumes and video interviews are here. Yet some employers, afraid of the legal ramifications of reviewing videos of people in the hiring process, are curling up into the fetal position and taking steps to avoid them altogether. Here’s why you should do the exact opposite and fully embrace them.

I recently had a conversation with a director of recruiting at a large organization who said that he had just put a policy in place to reject all video resumes. “And why would you do that?” I asked.

“Because I don’t want the EEOC or OFCCP breathing down our necks and want to be protected if we are ever sued for discrimination,” was his response.

As I’m about to illustrate, legally protecting yourself from video resumes or interviews would require locking all of your recruiters and hiring managers in a broom closet with a copy of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.

I also fully expect pigs to fly well before the EEOC or OFCCP can develop sensible regulations that address the unique challenges presented by these new tools. This is exactly why you should embrace them for all of the benefits they can provide to hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates.

Read on!

The Power of Nice – and Your Career Search

Check out this quiz and see how nice you are. Click here.

So, are you naughty or nice? Why am I asking? When you’re in career search mode, nice finishes first. People love helping people who are nice. Nice is not sappy, smarmy, or in-authentic. Nice can be:

1. Sending an article to a friend related to his/her career.
2. Referring a friend, if the job’s not right for you.
3. Connecting two people you know in complimentary busineses so they can team up on sales calls.
4. Asking good questions and listening to how you may help.
5. Volunteering for a favorite organization or charity.

When looking for a job, it’s sometimes hard to remember to be nice. Trying a few of these ideas can lift your mood, put you back on track, and increase your network connections. Networking’s a two-way street. If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want — a job.

Life Balance–Who’s in Charge?

As I’m reading my emails this a.m. (100+ first thing), this article popped in from Coach Joan Bolmer’s ezine Insights. Thought you’d enjoy her insights here:

To have good balance in our lives, we have to pay attention to and make time for things that really matter and set boundaries for other things that distract or interrupt us.

Email, cell phones, Blackberries and other technology wonders were intended to save time and add convenience to our lives, not run our lives. When a client says he or she receives 200 emails a day that have to be read and often answered, it is clear that email has become more of a time waster than a time saver.

Recently, I was teaching a class and two of the participants were texting away like mad on their Blackberries. I asked if they were taking notes or playing a game. The answer was that there was a problem with a project and they were giving instructions. They may have just been bored but, if as a manager they could not confidently leave their staff to work on their own for two or three hours then there is a leadership problem.

On the other hand, ego issues may be a factor in such constant interruptions. Does being constantly interrupted by phone calls and text messages make you feel important and needed? Is it a status symbol to always be on call? (As a side note, paying attention to laptop and cell phone messages during a meeting is rude and implies that the meeting, client or leader is less important than your messages from others.)

These constant distractions often keep people from doing the more demanding and important work that needs thoughtful, undivided attention. Thus the distraction may be a way to escape doing more demanding tasks.

An operations manager that I was working with complained of constantly being interrupted by her project managers even when she was in meetings with clients.

I asked her if perhaps by being constantly available, she was training her staff to depend on her instead of learning to think for themselves and be responsible for making decisions on their own.

She had not considered this, and soon changed her outgoing voice message to say that she was in meetings and would check and return messages at 11 AM and 3 PM. She was amazed at how quickly her staff started to manage their work more effectively. She was now more in control of her time. The best part was that her staff grew in confidence and capability, which is what she needed and wanted.

Take a look at your life to determine who is in charge, you or your communication devices? Placing too much priority on message interruptions puts others, not you, in charge of your life.

LinkedIn & Personal Branding

Jason Alba,, asked a great question recently: “Do you use LinkedIn for personal branding? Sure, you have a public profile… but what do you do PROACTIVELY to share that with others? Check out my blog post on an idea that I have… and then share what you do!”
Here’s his post:

And here’s my answer:

Hi Jason,

Just created my public profile custom address on LinkedIn. Very cool: You can use LinkedIn in many ways for personal branding:
1. Invite your clients, business partners, affiliates, professional organization members, etc. to join.
2. Write a thorough profile so members get an idea of who you are, what you do, your interests, and your brand.
3. Add a picture. -)
4. My personal fave, ask for recommendations. People are fantastic and want to help you. And you can use the recommendations in many ways for your business – including popping them onto your website.
5. If you’re in job search mode, the recommendations can be linked into your resume. This creates instant access to references.

Wendy Terwelp, Career Coach & Personal Branding Strategist