Speed Up the Job Offer: Degree Verification Warnings

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Are you on the final path to an offer for that dream job?  Beware.  I’ve encountered a few candidates lately who are having a hard time getting their university to verify degrees and many employers these days will not allow you to start until your application (including academics) is verified.

It’s been 21 years since I graduated, so I wouldn’t be shocked that there was some sort of data integrity issue at my university.  Here are some steps you should take immediately.

But I Graduated!  Photo by ilovefremont2001via Creative Commons/Flickr

But I Graduated! Photo by ilovefremont2001via Creative Commons/Flickr

1.  If you never received your paper degree, follow up on this immediately.  This is often an indication that something was wrong with records (either theirs or yours) at that time.

2.  Find out what organization your university is using to handle degree verification with employers.  Contact that organization immediately and ensure that they have proper

3.  Order a fresh copy of your transcript to ensure that it’s correct, per YOUR records.  Keep it on hand.  Employers are big on accuracy these days!

Don’t wait until you’ve applied for your dream job for this to become an issue that you need to solve reactively.  I’m telling ya, recruiters are skeptical at that point.


The Hula Challenge

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Some of you may have seen the recent challenge proposed to Bob Sterbens, itSMF USA President, and Doug Tedder, itSMF USA President-elect in the Twittersphere.  I reached out to interview these guys to find out what all of the fun was about.

Photo by Norma Frances via Creative Commons/Flickr

Photo by Norma Frances via Creative Commons/Flickr

What is the exact challenge and what are you going to do?

Doug: The challenge is very simple—we want to have 2000 itSMF USA members at Fusion11 in Washington DC from September 25 – 28.   If we get 2000 itSMF USA members at Fusion11, Bob and I will dance in hula skirts.  Bob said we’d dance on the steps of the Capitol; I’m thinking that there may be folks from Homeland Security there that may not appreciate that….we’ll see.  But I am going to be a good President-Elect and will be committed in supporting Bob in fulfilling our end of the challenge.

Bob: We received a challenge in the twittersphere to do something “fun” if we can get 2000 itSMF USA members to register for Fusion.  Doug and I were either going to shave our heads or dance in hula skirts in DC.  We went with the second choice.

Define “Hula Skirt.”

Doug: Well, Hula Skirt should not be confused with Hula Hoop.  I had a Hula Hoop when I was a kid.  I was also much more limber when I was a kid.  Now, I’m not sure I could keep a Hula Hoop spinning around my waist.  I’m pretty sure that I could keep a Hula Skirt from falling down, however.    Especially in front of 2000 itSMF members.

Bob:  Funny looking man wearing a shirt made out of frilly yellow fabric and coconuts on his chest.   A long black wig might complete the custome.

What is the average temp in DC in September?

Doug: Not sure, but I am concerned about reports I’ve heard regarding cool fall breezes that come in off of the Atlantic Ocean in late September.

Bob: It depends on the wacky weather we are having.  I believe it’s typically around 80 degrees.

Will the capitol steps be close or are we going to need to send a video crew?

Doug: I think there are several television stations in the greater DC area that could provide coverage as Bob and I are led from the Capitol steps by Homeland Security.  I think the video crew issue will be addressed.

Bob: Gaylord National is minutes outside DC.  We will need a bus depending on how many people want to see us dance.

Is there anybody out there you’d like to join you?

Doug: Well, I have noticed that Michelle Frilow is surprisingly quiet on this issue.  Sure, she tweeted about our challenge and said she couldn’t wait to see it, but other than that,  she’s not bellied up to the bar here.  Perhaps she’s scared.  From what I’ve seen in the Twittersphere, she’s not alone in that regard.

Bob: I’d love to see the entire itSMF USA board get into the fun.  Team?

Maybe we could get a GROUPON thing going here.  Enter the code HULA upon registering and get a discount for a short period of time?

Is a GROUPON anything like a KLINGON?    You know, I’m a big Star Trek fan, and I am always fascinated by the Klingons.  How did they get that big ridge on their foreheads between the Original Series and the Next Generation?  And what’s this about prune juice being a “warrior’s drink”?  Qa’Pla indeed!

What are you most looking forward to about Fusion11?

Doug: Fusion 11 will be my sixth Fusion event, and I’ve always found Fusion to be battery-charging for me.  I’m looking forward to  seeing old itSMF friends, and meeting new itSMF and HDI friends.  I’ve always walked away with new learnings and perspectives on how to be a better ITSM professional.   So these are the things I’m looking forward to at Fusion11.

Hopefully the hula skirt thing won’t have our conference attendees running out the doors.   Speaking for myself, I’ve joined a gym and I’ve set a goal to lose 15 pounds by Fusion11.  I will be in great shape for the hula dance.  No hula hoops for me, though.  Aloha.

Bob: Meeting many of the members in person,  attending good sessions and seeing the latest software vendors have to offer.

Well, there you have it.  Grown men ready reduce themselves to British humor to tempt us to attend.  I hadn’t registered yet, but am ready now…see ya there.

Connect, Learn, Grow -FM. The itSMF USA Podcast – Month 8

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Welcome to Month 8 of the itSMF USA Podcast, Connect, Learn, Grow-FM.

This one was fun, as we distributed the Asmufti awards!  http://ht.ly/367wy

Back Up Your Social!!

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Can you remember exactly when you started your Facebook account? Early 2008 for me.

Do you put lots of things on that page that would actually make a great scrapbook? Yes!

Well, lucky for us, Marky Z and his gang allow you to download your Facebook history.  This is very cool.  So I just downloaded a file and saw my postings from March 2008.

Here’s what you do:

When in facebook,

1.  Top right, select “My Account”

2.  “Settings” tab

3.  Scroll down to “Download Your Information…learn more”

It pretty much takes you from there!  I clicked on it last night and this morning, I woke up to an alert that my file was ready for download.

Tell me the craziest memory you discover as you go through this exercise!  I found that there was a time when I ACTUALLY played those Facebook games.  I never do now.

Happy reminiscing!


Interview Tips: Getting Directions

December 22, 2010 7 comments

Just had a random interaction with my father-in-law that made me think of a piece of advice.

I just sent out a note to my nearby family asking if they woukd like to meet for dinner. I sent a link to the proposed restaurant, complete with menu, photos, address and phone number.

Guess his response. You guessed it, “Where is this place?”

I guess the address and google map just didn’t do it for him. This is a major difference between people 40 something and people 70 something, however I suddenly had flashbacks. Flashbacks to candidates asking me for directions to the interview when I have taken the time to post our address and detailed directions on our web site.

So, let me get this straight.  You are trying to impress me.  You want a job.  You are trying to prove that you are resourceful.  So right out of the gate, you want me to spend 5 minutes giving you detailed directions.  WRONGO, Bucky.  Your interview will be cancelled as soon as I have 30 minutes to come up with an excuse.  #fail

If you are dealing with potential customers, employers or friends, don’t ask them for directions.  Google Maps or any map site will create easy directions for you.

Google Maps


Let me know YOUR favorite map software or resource for directions!  Also, I’d love any “directions” horror stories.

Office Etiquette: LinkedIn “Forwarding” Protocol

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Use good etiquette on social media -especially on professional forums.

About once per week I have a colleague asking for an introduction to somebody in my LinkedIn network.

Emailing me outside of LinkedIn for such request puts all of the work on my lap and kind of misses the whole point of LinkedIn:)(Don’t worry if you’re reading this….people seem to have a hard time with this concept.  It may just be because you have low frequency of LinkedIn use.)

If you want to be introduced to somebody, here are proper steps to request an introduction via LinkedIn.

1.  Go to the profile of the person to whom you want to be introduced.

2.  Near the top right, select “Get Introduced Through a Connection”
3.  Select the name of the person that would be appropriate to forward along your request.  Remember, the person through which you are connected may not be a direct connection of the person you’re trying to get to.  They may be a step away.

4.  Write the request:

You will be asked for information such as your contact information and the reason for reaching out.  Chose the closest accurate reason, as nobody appreciates deception.

You then write a note to the person to whom you are getting introduced.

You then write in the box to the person who will be forwarding the request.  The final recipient of this trail will be able to see all of your notes, so write something appropriate.

5.   Send!

6.  Sit back and enjoy the networking magic.

Hope this helped.


P.S.  If you’re waiting until you NEED your network to start building it, turn that habit around.  Just adding a new contact per day will build a healthy network.  Start with all of the people you’ve worked with in the past.

Connect. Learn. Grow. Month 6

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

itSMF USA’s Monthly Podcast- Month 6

Categories: ITSM Industry Stuff