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Cartoon by Hugh

Cartoon by Hugh

Thanks to Mike VanDerVort I found this fantastic article this morning in AdAge talentworks, “How to Google-Rank Your Way to a Recruiter’s Heart.”

I’m always telling job seekers that your goal is to be found, and this article clearly defines why as well as some excellent advice on just how you can set yourself up for success.

During an average week, a recruiter reviews countless resumes, responds to hundreds of e-mails, conducts phone screens, video interviews and in-person interviews — all to find one perfect candidate match. The sheer volume of work has been exacerbated by high unemployment and a down economy. As a result, many recruiters are casting a smaller net, relying on sources like social media, employee referrals and Boolean search to attract a smaller, more qualified set of candidates.

For job seekers, this means a change in job-search approach. Rather than the “find a job” mentality, job seekers must focus on being found. Recruiters are holding the proverbial glass slipper — looking for the perfect match to open positions. Are social media and web tools the digital fairy godmother that introduces you? Here are ways to make it easier for a recruiter to discover you:

1. Expand your glass slipper’s footprint. Posting your resume on mega-job boards and searching for open positions on these boards is only a point of entry for job searches today. It’s a foundation — but it isn’t a very strategic or holistic approach. To broaden your digital footprint, start with this checklist: Do you appear on LinkedIn? Twitter? Facebook? Delicious? YouTube or Vimeo? Flickr? Do you have a blog, using sites such as TypePad, WordPress, Blogger?

For an even wider presence, create your own website and register a personal URL for yourself; sites such as make it very easy and inexpensive to do. There are also services that offer HTML resume solutions like and VisualCV. By posting your resume as its own web page, recruiters have a better chance of finding it through a Boolean search.

Once your digital footprint is established, include your information on your e-mail signature to increase connections with those in your network. Cross-post your digital-footprint links on multiple sites. Is your Twitter feed posted on your LinkedIn profile? Is your LinkedIn profile posted on your blog? And so on. Most people still have personal preferences of the social media site they visit the most. The wider your reach, the more likely it is that the right people will find you.

2. Define your magic keywords. A recruiter isn’t going to find you by your name. They search based on skills, experience, your work history. Take the time to think it through: If someone conducts a search on Google, Bing or a social-media site to find you, what keywords will they use? Which key descriptors specify your unique skills and where you’re located?

Start out with 10 words. Include items such as your title, region, area of expertise and your industry. Once you define these words, make sure they appear on all of your digital profiles. Conduct your own keyword audit to check the reach of your digital footprint. Do all of these words appear in the profiles that describe you to a potential employer? If so, that will make it easier to find you.

3. Customize your handle. If your name is common, think about how you might make it more unique. Can you include your middle initial? Maybe initial your first name or perhaps use your full middle name? If you’ve taken on a married name, does it make sense to use your maiden name as well — and hyphenate? As an example, if we search for “Traci Armstrong,” we find 9,740 results on Google. But, at the risk of snickers, if we initial the first name and use her married last name “T. Ann Cakebread,” the results are far more selective: four!

Be cautious, however, on what name you create for yourself: Don’t choose something that makes it difficult for people to identify you. And, whatever identity you choose, be consistent so you appear the same everywhere you post.

Another great tool at your disposal is the vanity URL. Many sites offer this feature; both Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to customize your profile in this way, adding your name to your link. You can claim yours on Facebook or, on LinkedIn, click edit on the Public Profile featured in your profile settings. There is an option at the top of this page that allows you to edit your URL.

Job seekers should also take advantage of signing up for a free Google Profile. This allows you better control of how people see you when you appear in Google — and increases the likelihood you will appear if someone searches you by name by expanding your footprint in yet another direction.

To read the rest of the article click here.

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Attention Atlanta area job-seekers! Unemployment in the state of Georgia is now at 10.7% and predicted to go even higher. If you are looking for a job- or think you should be – join me + Miriam Salpeter of Keppie Careers for a series of job search interventions held at our sponsoring restaurant, Pizzeria Venti on Lenox Road in Buckhead.

youneedajob with tagline

Many people face the challenging tasks alone without the benefit of professional expertise. After all, no one wants to be a professional job-seeker…they just want a job! It’s no wonder that many job seekers feel alone and depressed. Looking for a job can be frustrating and is very often unpredictable.

For things we consider to be important, such as issues involving our health or safety, we don’t even hesitate to hire an expert for assistance; so why not hire an expert to help with your job search?

Your career is one of your most crucial financial investments. Whether you are actively engaged in a search, underemployed or unhappily employed, it makes sense to consult an expert as you embark on your search for a new job. Many job seekers don’t stop to think about how much money less-than-optimal job search methods costs them. Consider, if you are unemployed, how much money you lose for every day that you are out of work? Your return on investment in yourself to get help and land a job sooner than you might have on your own may pay off substantially!

No one wants to be a professional job seeker. Wouldn’t it be nice to have experienced allies who will help you every step of the way? This is not a “come as you are” job market. Stop wasting your time; learn how to make use of today’s tools and resources to propel your search forward.

Let us help you help yourself! Learn more about what we are offering Atlanta-area job seekers, including coaching on LinkedIn, Twitter, interviewing, and in-person networking. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS and to sign up.

Don’t delay – our Early Adopter price is only good through August 6th….and you get a free coaching session as an Early Adopter!

Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have questions about You Need a Job, but seating is limited, so don’t wait!

Lunch provided by Pizzeria Venti is included with the interventions; this includes pizza, salad, and a soft drink. Learn more about our state-of-the art presentation site.

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In April, 2009, I made my radio “debut” as a guest on Gravity Free Radio along with hosts Erik Wolf and Stephanie Frost. Joining me in the studio as a guest was Sean Nelson, author, LinkedIn 101 (no longer available), The LinkedIn MBA, and LinkedIn Marketing Secret Formula.

On that day we had a roundtable discussion on Social Media + The Workplace.

Recently Sean had the opportunity to be a guest on Thrive America and share his 5 Steps to Effectively Use LinkedIn with host Brent Brooks. Sean shared some excellent tips and whether you are or are not (yet) on LinkedIn it’s worth your time to watch, listen, and take notes!

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Thanks to Dan Schawbel‘s generosity on Twitter I recently discovered an article on, “Here’s how blogs can work for you” by Laura Raines.

Raines writes, “Blogs are spreading faster than kudzu in the business world. Why? Because, when done effectively, they are a great marketing, sales and public relations tool for corporations or entrepreneurs,” said Barbara Giamanco, CEO of Talent Builders Inc., which helps professionals attract business and increase sales by using social media strategies and tools.

“You know it works when you start getting calls from people you don’t know who want to work with you,” she said. Recently, Giamanco garnered a major corporate client. A friend had referred her, but before calling, he did an online search, and read her LinkedIn profile and her blog, which relates to her core competencies of sales, people development and social media technology. “He liked what I had to say, so before he even met me, I had made an impression as a professional with credibility and integrity,” Giamanco said.

What Giamanco describes are the fundamentals of relationship-based selling. These are the same principles that successful recruiters apply to their businesses, and a blog can be a fantastic vehicle to demonstrate your expertise and connect with others in the field, as well as with candidates and prospective clients.

The technology has made it easier than ever to start a blog, and with search engines preferring content that is relevant and recent, blogs often top the results list of a search. That can be a business advantage—-or not.”

Cartoon by Hugh

Cartoon by Hugh

The same rules apply when using social media tools to build meaningful relationships with people. Nobody likes spam and people aren’t interested in “bots” spewing information at them. It’s the difference between the law of attraction and an obvious sales pitch. Developing credibility takes thought and energy. It’s an investment.

Says Raines, “A blog is not a brochure. “One of the quickest ways to fail is to make it an online sales pitch,” Giamanco said. “Nothing turns people off faster than a ‘slick Willy’ hawking his product or services. You want to have a conversation with people and get them to participate.”

Giamanco goes on to say. “People want to do business with people they know, like and trust, but building that relationship takes time. Don’t expect instant results.”

Raines says that you should be authentic when writing on your blog. “Use your own voice and be real,” Giamanco said. “But always treat others with courtesy and respect. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online.”

Brett Borders recently wrote on his blog, Social Media Rockstar, 10 simple ways to show kindness online, “Some of the top social media “rockstars” come across as incredibly nice people. They’ve cultivated a conscious, polished online interaction style that makes other people feel included, welcome, important and appreciated. An “aura of awesomeness” is crowned upon them, in part, because their fans feel good after interacting with them.”

Be prepared to make a commitment
. Blogging requires time and effort to draw readers in and keep them interested and engaged. Once you get started you’ll need to post at least several times a week.

However, it doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-consuming as it sounds if you’re smart about it. There are so many things you can write about, and so many ways that you can structure a blog post without spending too much time. I suggest a healthy combination of several different types of articles.

  • Write a response to something you have read. It could be something you read in a book, article, or blog post. I don’t comment on other people’s blogs very often but I do write blog posts in response to what I read and link back to it. (Bloggers like it when you do this FYI. Unless your blog post is horrible or you are launching a personal attack on them but let’s assume that’s not the case and I do not recommend either of these things.)
  • Do an email interview with someone. I do these a lot. They’re easy to do for both the blogger and the interviewee and very popular with readers, and I love the fact that unless you are a complete idiot this leaves very little room for misquoting someone.
  • Answer people’s questions in a blog post. I do this all the time too. Someone comes to me with a question and I ask them if I can write my response in the form of a blog post and I have yet to have someone say no. Plus even if they said no you could just do it anyway and not mention their name so there.
  • Obviously you need to write about original ideas that you have related to your field. I’m just saying that not every single post needs to be one of these.

Michael Kogon, CEO and founder of Definition 6, a leading interactive solutions marketing company, suggests focusing on a subject “that draws from your expertise and is broad enough to interest readers. It should be professional, not your personal musings. No one wants to read your thoughts on the universe, unless you’re Stephen Hawking.”

Five things that I recommend when blogging:

1. Write about things you care about. Tell us what you do and how you do it and tell us how you feel about what you do and why you do it the way that you do.

2. Let us in to your life. We want insight. While we definitely do not want a play-by-play account of a day in the life of your pet snail we do want to know your interpretation of the information you are sharing with us so don’t just say Apple just released the next gen iPhone. Tell us if you bought it and if so why and if not why and do you like it or love it or hate it and why.

3. Put a picture in your blog post. At least one. Some of us are visual and some of us have absolutely no imagination whatsoever and we need to look at a picture.

4. Don’t be all business and don’t be stuffy. If we wanted to read a textbook we would buy one and no we do not want to read about your cat. That is not what I’m talking about.

5. Have a blogroll. Call it what you want but we want to know what blogs you read so we can learn more about you and also if we like to read your blog (?) we might also like to read some of the blogs that you also like to read.

Last but not least, do not forget: Links are good manners! Chris Brogan says, “Links are good manners. They signal intent. They connote sharing. They help your audience connect better. Link, even if it takes a bit more time. Fair?

Ready to get started? I suggest you read How to get a job by blogging in order to learn how to set up the kind of professional blog that will get you hired. This is an excellent article that walks you through the process, step-by-step, with links to and explanations about the things you’ll need. And then check out and bookmark @Animal’s guide to basic HTML for bloggers.

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Interview with Optimal Resume’s Social Media Strategist Kelly Giles

July 3, 2009

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Kelly Giles, Social Media Strategist for Optimal Resume. Kelly introduced herself to me by email and I was so dazzled by how professional – and yet personal – her approach was that I asked for her permission to share the email with you.  You can read that here. […]

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Being interested in the human condition and being interested in you isn’t the same thing, babe.

July 2, 2009

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Kelly Giles, Social Media Strategist for Optimal Resume. Kelly introduced herself to me by email and I was so dazzled by how professional – and yet personal – her approach was that I asked for her permission to share the email with you. (She said yes.) Subject: New […]

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Me + Stone Payton + Lee Kantor on High Velocity Radio

June 30, 2009

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join @StonePayton and @LeeKantor on High Velocity Radio. We talked about using social media tools to connect and build relationships with people. Correctly using social media platforms such as Twitter and blogs can help people find a job, and companies can use social media to find, attract, and retain […]

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Q + A: What you really need to know about working with recruiters

May 13, 2009

Recruiters are not resume writers or career coaches. Their job is not to “find you a job,” help you change careers or figure out what you want to be when you grow up. You should consult a professional career coach or resume writer for help in these areas.

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