Author Archive

LinkedIn Job Search Update

October 3, 2011 Leave a comment

In a previous post, I suggested that you put your email address in your last name field, following your last name.

LinkedIn now explicitly  asks you to not do this.  Update your profile accordingly.

To see the current LinkedIn users agreement:

Categories: Uncategorized

Why Not to Say, “I’m Always Open to a New Job”

When I go out to recruit candidates directly who are not posting their resume, I often hear them answer me, “I’m always open to talking about a new job.”


So you are just endowed with hours upon hours to talk about random jobs in the universe that don’t meet any plan or purpose for your career?  So I guess when you come to work for my company, that you’ll always be looking for a new job, as well.

I'm Just a Squirrel, Trying to Get a Nut

I want to hear

What I want to hear from a candidate is, “Here is what I really want to do and be when I grow up. If an opportunity came along that helps me progress down that lane, then I’d love to know about it. Otherwise, I respect and enjoy the work I’m currently doing for my current employer.” Or something like that.

Quit Being a Slut

Imagine if you went up to a girl/guy in a bar and asked, “Are you available to have a drink with me?” and their answer was, “I’m always open to a free drink.” Get it? Sleazy. Gross. Not purposeful.

Have Direction

I want people with direction and purpose.  Know where you’re going, or any road will get you there.  Stop being the squirrel tying to get a nut.

Remember, “Money follows passion -not the other way around.”  Dan Siteman Garland, Host of “The Rise to the Top.”

How to Alienate a Recruiter

June 8, 2011 2 comments

REMINDER:  When looking for a job, focus on what you can do for your employer, not what they can do for you!  I received a hysterical email last night that was NOT a good example of this and thought I’d share.

Job Hunting Tips

CRITICAL: Must Wear Jeans?

Seriously….this candidate sent this to me.  Wow, I can’t wait to call him.  He clearly is focused on helping my company.  I can’t wait to get to know him.

Summary:  IT Manager looking to transition from a corporate environment to a jeans-casual environment

Currently, I have limited access to my personal cell phone and personal e-mail during the business day.  Hopefully, the following FAQ will answer your initial screening questions.

* Career Direction:  “Hands-on” Technical Management
* Northern VA Salary:  $125k+ with Full Benefits
* Salary History:  Confidential
* Relocation:  Anywhere in Virginia
* Work in DC or MD:  Only for a FS polygraph
* Citizenship:  U.S.
* Clearances:  TS/SCI with CI polygraph
* Best Contact Method:  E-mail

CRITICAL (Non-negotiable):
* W2 Salary (no 1099 or hourly, please)
* Good Benefits (Health, 401(k), PTO)
* Jeans-casual (Monday – Friday)
* Minimal Travel
* On-site Parking
* On-site access to Hotmail

If you would like to proceed to a phone interview, I am generally available after 5 p.m.  As a professional courtesy, I would request that (1) my personal cell number not be added to any files or databases, and (2) all recruiting-related calls occur after work.


I particularly love that he must wear jeans M-F and that it’s critical that he has Hotmail access.    It’s also handy that he gave instructions for how to pursue a phone interview….I mean who wouldn’t want to phone interview him?

Poor guy….

Photo:  Vivian Chen

Categories: Job Search Tips

Social Media Why? Another Thing To Do?

April 27, 2011 Comments off

Social Media: Take Baby Steps (Credit: Yolanda)

Ok.  We’ve heard the cries to participate in social media.  But remind me again, WHY?  

If you haven’t gotten involved in the social media frenzy, here is a mini-lecture hoping to inspire you to try it out along with a few baby-steps you can take to get rolling.


  • Your Customers are There– Customers want to interact on social platforms.  As IT professionals, if we don’t lead the way to show the organization the new digital platforms and methods to connect with customers, who will?  If I told you that there were hundreds of emails in your inbox, wouldn’t you check it? Refusing to learn how to maneuver in these new platforms would be like refusing to learn how to manage your email because it’s “another thing I have to worry about.”
  • Grow Your Network– Anybody who knows me knows that I am insanely passionate about the fact that you should work to build your network when you do NOT need it.  Building a network is a life survival skill. In the last 12 months, via my social media channels, I have been able to solve the following problems in 140 characters or less:
  1.  Selected a new mattress
  2. Solved a WordPress functionality problem
  3. Located candidates for open positions at my compa ny
  4. Built a stable of professional friends.  (I do now consider many of these contacts friends.)
  5. Got travel advice
  6. Got referred to great restaurants in NYC
  7. Learned a TON about IT Service Management, recruitment and social media
  • To Stay Employable– As I write this, we spotted the first job posting this week asking for a “Help Desk Analyst, with Social Media Expertise.”  The water cooler has moved.  It’s digital now and it’s called Twitter, Yammer, Quora, etc. Basic Life Maneuvering – Thousands of people have recently used various social media platforms to:

1.  Find a job
2. Get introduced to a potential customer
3. Communicate during a natural disaster
4. Overthrow a government

Certainly you can figure out how to use social media to stay on top of your profession and general interests.


Face it, the world is starting to become permission-based.  When was the last time that you picked up your home phone if you didn’t recognize the phone number? 

Social media allows you to customize your inbox.  It allows you to decide who to listen to.  I’ve shut down all “subscriptions” to my email and only gather market information via social channels.  I exclusively use email for detail-specific work.  I’m working to shut out the noise, not create new noise.  Twitter, LinkedIn and the like all allow me to create my own universe of communication.

There are several wonderful social media hubs you can use to manage your online presence.  One URL to log into.  One screen to watch.   (TweetDeck and Hootsuite are a couple of examples.)  I love that I can type in a posting into my hub and select to which platforms I want to broadcast….Twitter?  LinkedIn?  Facebook?  It’s just one click away.

What is holding YOU back?  I’d love to hear below.

Categories: Social Media

Tips For A Great Resume

March 23, 2011 5 comments

In this new day and age, here are some basic resume tips, as I’ve been asked to review several lately.  I’m actually still astonished that anybody looks at a resume.  By the time I’ve decided to check out a candidate, I’ve reviewed their LinkedIn, Twitter and their blog.  If they don’t have any of that, they are about 2 days behind other candidates.

1.  FORMAT:  Keep the layout simple.  Use a white background and no cute images.  Most resumes these days are getting scanned into resume databases.  When you add images, text boxes or cute backgrounds, you are damaging the format that your reader will eventually see.

2.  SPELLCHECK:  That little red underliny thing is telling you that you may have misspelled a word.  Use it. I’d say 40% of all resumes I see have simple spelling errors.  This blog post probably has one also.

3.  USE YOUR VOICE:  I might stab myself  if I have to read, “An enthusiastic leader with x years of management experience looking for a progressive organization.”  SAY something.    Here’s my opening SUMMARY of my resume:


Aggressive Senior Marketer and Recruiter with 15+ years experience in technology, sales, healthcare and general executive level recruiting.   Ready to join an entrepreneurially-minded organization that is looking for a multi-tasking, business-centric, social media animal.   Highlights:

  • Versatility to work with clients at multiple levels of management.
  • Strong writer, message architect and copywrighter.
  • Strong candidate hunter and Web/Recruiting 2.0 champion.
  • Skilled at direct recruiting, networking, advanced Internet sourcing, employee referral management and trade show effectiveness.
  • Sharp technical screener and behavioral interviewer.
  • Effective negotiator and closer.

4.  LENGTH:  I know people say to have a one page resume.  I’ve been reviewing resumes since 1993 and have to say that I am skpetical when there is only one page.  Two pages is perfect.  Three pages in the technology field is not out of line.

5.  SOCIAL MEDIA:  Show that you’re present in the social media world, if you are.  Add your LinkedIn URL, your Twitter handle or your Blog.    More and more, organizations like to get a feel of a person BEFORE they contact you.  They like to see who you are, what you stand for and who you network with.  (P.S.  If you haven’t been inviting connections on LinkedIn, start today.  Don’t wait until you NEED your network to build it.)

6.  FONTS:  Yes, it matters.  Cute fonts say, “I’m 16 years old and am a lifeguard.”  Times Roman says, “I’m too lazy to find a font that I like, so I’m going with this one.”  Find something easy on the eyes.  Calibir,  Arial and Gill Sans MT are all easy on the eyes.  Also, remember that your resume will most likely be inhaled into a database and “read” electronically.  Don’t get too cute.

7.  WORDS:  Your word choice needs to show that you are ACTION oriented. 

Rather Than Try
Achieved quota Knocked the quota out of the territory
Research and keep up with OSHA requirements Drove OSHA compliance awareness
Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook experience with Access Avid software user.  Developed proposals (MS Word), budgets (MS Excel), team  presentations (MS PowerPoint) and customer databases (MS Access).
Responsible for release schedule Managed communication and coordination of releases

8.  The BLINK TEST:  This sounds crazy, but give your resume to a friend for 5-6 seconds and take it away.  Ask them what they remember.  You want them to remember something about what you DO and something about HOW you do it.  (Skill AND flavor.)

More later, but the key is to be purposeful in all choices on your resume.  It makes a quick first impression.

Categories: Uncategorized

Job Interviews: 5 Ways to Fail a Video Interview

Companies are starting to interview via Skype and other video tools like never before.  Here are things to avoide in a video interview to ensure a successful result.

Webcam Video Interviews

Webcam Video Interviews (photo by Raymond Fruseth Gangstad via Flickr/Creative Commons)

1.  Dress–  Just because you can work at home in bunny slippers doesn’t mean you should do the same for a video interview.  Dress just as you’d dress for a face to face meeting.  Dress your best.  Suits for men with white shirts and conservative professional dress for women.  You can always become more casual over time, but never are able to remove the image of the “My job sucks” tshirt you wore to the video interview.

2.  Environment-  You shouldn’t go into a face-to-face interview with your ringer on carring your 2 year old.  Same goes for video interviews.  Lock down the doors, turn off the ringers, clear the styrofoam cups off of your desk and be respectful. 

3.  Roaming Eyes–  The streaming video of yourself is distracting.  Prior to the meeting, get familiar with the software tool you’ll be using.  Roaming eyes during the interview say, “I’m not taking this seriously and I’m not that interested in your company.” Don’t do it.  Know your way around the software prior to the meeting by practicing with a friend, if it’s your first time.  Minimize the streaming video of YOU and only have the video of the person you’re meeting staring at you.

4.  Not Showing Serious Interest–  Nothing says, “I don’t care,” like NOT taking notes.  I’d raise up my pad on which I’m writing, shove it into the camera and say, “Pardon me, but I will take some notes during the meeting, if you’re ok with that.”  The interviewer will be delighted.

5.  Not Closing the Deal–   Remember, employers get most excited about people who seem the most interested.  If you want the next date you have to ask for it- Ask for the Face to Face Interview!  Ask for the meeting in a way that works for your personality.

I’d love to hear funny video interview experiences.  What other recommendations do you have for us?  Have you survived one?

Boost Your Career: Office Etiquette

February 17, 2011 1 comment

My friend’s office passed around this note with helpful tips on appropriate language in the workplace.  Here are some new and innovative communication techniques.  Helpful!  (P.S.  This friend is one of the greatest consultants in the world!)

Boost Your Career:  Language Advice

Boost Your Career: Language Advice