Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LinkedMinnesota Subgroups Launch Party (like it was 1999)

IMG_0357Thanks to everyone who made it to the LinkedMinnesota Subgroups Launch Party tonight! It was great to meet everyone (and do that thing called “networking”).   We love social media and LinkedIn – but nothing beats what “breathing the same air” with someone brings you.

For those of you local to Minneapolis, a reminder the Looking for Opportunities Subgroup Monthly meetings (held on the 3rd Thursday of the month) begins in October.   So come join us on October 18th for the inaugural meeting.   It’s a chance to network with peers, hiring managers and staffing professionals in the Twin Cites as well learn and share all aspects of the “looking for opportunities” lifecycle (even if you’re not looking right now).

Thanks also to Joule for hosting and  and Leeann Chinn for sponsoring (and catering some awesome food).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

iPad Job Search Tips | Take You With You (Part 3)

photoI love to tell the (all true) story of being introduced to a room full of conservative peers for the first time.  Of course, I was there taking notes on my iPad (v1) – since I am all about employing emerging solutions. 

When my name was called and I stood up – I fat fingered my Home Button and My Music came on at full VOLUME with Lady Ga-Ga getting busy with Judas.   The 17 seconds (that seemed like 17 minutes) it took me to unlock the iPad with my code was a great way to kick off the meeting. I made an impression for sure.  I’m just glad it wasn’t Darling Nikki.

I retell that fable since it is a reminder as the final Chapter of “iPad Job Search Tips | Take You with You” is here (where we’ve been talking about bringing you – and your body of work on your iPad - into an interview).  However, taking your iPad into “the room” is not like curling up under a blanket at Starbucks.  A measure of prudence and planning (and common sense) is needed before strapping on you iPad for your next interview.

And the ring at the end of my nose makes me look rather pretty

Some quick review items (I hope that you already know): 

  • Clean your Home  Review your Home Screen(s) for apps that might not be a good companion on your interview.  If your apps consist of only Angry Bird type games and iNap at Work- and nothing that indicates you might read a book from time to time – here’s your sign.  You Apps are definitely a reflection of you – but remember we want just the part of you companies are willing to hire for pay.
  • And the ring at the end of my nose makes me look rather pretty  Check your photo library.  Pictures (or worse videos) of you on the couch in a wife beater or your wife in a bikini at a Holiday Inn swimming pool is also something to remove from your iPad.  I know you put your work examples in one Album and Spring Break 2009 photos in another – but (as the Duke once said) I wouldn’t want to live on the difference of you fat fingering Photos (and showing “all of you”).  
  • Wallpaper (See guidelines above)
  • You and yours  Ethics.  Remember – take your iPad to an interview, not your company issued one.  There’s a wrong vibe in doing (like putting your work email on your resume).  Also make sure there is no client or company confidential information on there as well.
  • I didn’t know someone could go to McDonald’s that many times in a day  Personal confidential items (consumer apps with “save password”) are other things to review.  You don’t need someone surfing your US Bank account.
  • Turn your passcode off  You don’t want you to you resume to close on someone – or not be able to quickly dispatch with something like the aforementioned Ga-Ga incident.
  • Cloudless  Have an offline plan.  Some interview locales may be impervious to even LTE.  Don’t assume you can show them things online.  And before you fire up Safari - remember to close the tabs in your browser.  You may not want the last 4 websites you visited to come up.
  • Fight the (lack of) Power! Make sure your iPad (and all the accessories you bring with you) are all powered up.

In other words (that was 637 words to say),  “plan and ahead and be smart”.  Don’t bring anything into the room that could submarine your changes.

Related and not so related links:
Judas (Lady Ga-Ga)
iPad Job Search Tips
Venus & Mars/Rock Show (Wings)
My Rifle, My Pony and Me (Rio Bravo)
Fight The Power (Public Enemy)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

iPad Job Search Tips | Take You With You (Part 2)

IMG_1512In Part 1 of Take You With You, I opined about ditching the paper resume and bringing it with you inside of your iPad.  It is an engaging way to change the interview from the back and forth volley of a Q&A to a more tactile and interactive conversation.

But let’s not limit it to the resume – why not take all of you (at least the professional you) into the room.

The following program is brought to in living color

Portfolios, sample work product and other “leave-behinds” have been strewn across the desks of interviewers infinitas infinitio.  However, digital and “moving pictures” were not so easy to display (unless you had your own 3DBB). Stopping an interview in its tracks by setting up a projector (and littering the room with the vibe of a stale drive-in movie hot dog) was not a good idea. 

But in the tablet era – you are able to bring those nice bright colors of your life to life without jarring the interview off the rails.

Phrasing in tribute of Dick Clark’s recent passing, let me describe to you the things you would find on my iPad during an interview:

Of course – if you have access to “the interwebs” – you can show even more of your work.   Heck -  I can even show you my personal Facebook site (without giving you my password).

Never do I want to hear another word…show me

Whatever it is that makes you a most valuable candidate to a potential employer – show them.  Online, offline or how you drive results to the bottom line – bring all of that with you to the interview to help “digitally enhance” the picture of you that create in the interview.

Up next, in the final chapter of the “Take You With You” trilogy, I mention some “safety tips” when bringing your iPad to an interview (i.e. pants on, ethics and Lady Ga-Ga).


Related and not so related links:
iPad Job Search Tips
All of Me (Billie Holiday)
NBC Network ID (1968)
Tennessee Tuxedo - The Bridge Builders
It’s Time for a tasty and refreshing snack (Drive in Move Intermission film)
Kodachrome (Paul Simon) explains the Social Enterprise (Forbes)
Best Winner’s Circle Ever (25,000 Pyramid Billy Crystal)
Show Me (Audrey Hepburn)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

iPad Job Search Tips | Take You With You (Part 1)

IMG_0451As you’ll hear here – and on the likes of 60 Minutes - the hardcopy resume is swimming towards the top of the dead pool.  It is on the same trajectory as the Blackberry: stolid corporations still love it - but consumers and progressive companies loathe it. 

But until the world catches up  – you still need to have a resume along with all your social media derivations (at least a Linked In Profile for  professionals – other sites depending on your industry and job). 

But now is the time for you to show the world – and your perspective employer – that you’re ahead of the curve.  You need to show them you’re not doing your homework on the back of a shovel with Honest Abe and that you are relevant in the digital and social age.

It’s a thousand pages give or take a few

Earlier this year, on my trek along the job search process, I decided to go paperless and also green.  For certain interviews, I printed zero copies of my resume and simply loaded a PDF of it onto my iPad. 

As often happens, a number of interviewers would come to the meeting empty handed and ask, “do you have a copy of your resume”?

With one tap of the Home button, I closed whatever app I was using to take notes, opened my Kindle for iPad (with my resume already loaded), and flipped the iPad around and handed it to them and said, “here you go”.  

Better still – you can click to your Linked In profile and show them a recommendation that underlines a point you had just been making in the interview.   At that point – like the iPad itself, the interview becomes interactive and tactile.  You can show them you are relevant online by showing them you online.


Epilogue: Let’s make this clear about these posts on the iPad and job searching:  You do not need an iPad to get a job.  If there is any reason that cash is king for you and your family, then be smart.  But if it makes sense for you – and is a differentiator in your industry - it’s another tool in the bag.  In other words, have style. There are always other ways to demonstrate your prowess during an interview.

Further – we all know results vary.  Make sure you know the person on the other end of the table will appreciate this tactic (“you never open your mouth until you know what the shot is”). 


Related and not so related links:
Pad Job Search Tips | Every Move a Picture (3Minus3)
3Minus3 Facebook site
”The resume will become an obsolete tool” (Trapped in Unemployment-60 Minutes)
Style ain't the jeep U bought when U know your broke ass got bills” (Prince)
Paperback Writer (The Beatles)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

iPad Job Search Tips | Every Move a Picture

IMG_0296I mentioned the other day that I recently went through an interview cycle on the way to a new gig with an awesome company.  During this process, it is easy to see (what you should already know) how smart phones and social media are increasingly intertwined with the interview/job search process in big and small ways.

Here’s one small way: documenting what you wear to an interview.

Tryin' hard to look like Gary Cooper

Ok.  Guys have it easier on this front.  2 suits, a sports jacket, a few shirts and a few more ties and you’re ready for 3-4 rounds of interviews at a number of companies.

But for every gift there is a down-side.  Most dudes are not normally fashion conscious.  Unless our favorite sports teams have given us the Garanimals head-start (e.g. Patriots Nautical Blue suit with a white shirt and red tie), we may be challenged.  It is such a blind-spot for some guys that I have a recruiter buddy who escorts charges to the first meet to ensure they are dressed like an adult.

Snap, Snap!  Grin, Grin!

Enter the iPad camera.   Snap a quick self-pic on the way out the door and then tag the photo when you get home (e.g. Job x, Interview 2). 


You’ve got a pictorial catalog of how much variety you are mixing into your wardrobe that you can store right next to your “customized for that job resume” you did (because you did – right?).  This “scrapbook” can be especially valuable given the extended sales cycles of most jobs in this market (interviewing with more people over and extended period of time).

Any interesting ways you are using your iPad or social media in your job search you care to share?

Related and not so related links:
Every move a picture” (Jerry Lewis)
Putting on the Ritz (Taco)
Nudge, Nudge (Monty Python)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

3Minus3 Does Facebook

The new 3Minus3 Facebook Page is live. 

Thanks to Sara for the new logo (avatar).  The banner is from a local Caribou Coffee shop (there’s a shock).  I especially like the Oatmeal in the foreground.  As my buddy @ReidCarlberg would also tell you – best not to venture too deep into a day filled with the Social Enterprise without an ample helping of #oatmeal onboard.

Check us out.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Facebook Strip Search

imageHaving just successfully completed a job interviewing cycle, and having gone through more than my share of background checks for employers/clients (that required me to hand over my fingertips or a bottle of pale yellow liquid from time to time), I’m all for qualifying candidates.  I have often used “the Google”, Linked In or other tools on the “interwebs” during my hiring process (as have people that I have worked for – I know because they often have mentioned this blog during an interview).

Cutting to the chase, given the hue and cry in the news, I’m pretty sure I would think twice before giving my login credentials to my Facebook account during an interview. 

Let me be clear – I have nothing to hide on Facebook (which has mostly an open profile).  I assume that anything on my Facebook page is public – or may be  (“the web is forever”).   Therefore – sorry ladies – there’s no pictures of me shirtless on Facebook.  As my Facebook friends can tell you – my posts are mostly “tame” (and more often than not – much like this blog - obtuse and random).

The Right to Chose 

My pause to produce my Facebook passwords during an interview is based on – like the Bozo Interview Question – I don’t know why you care or what you intend to learn from my timeline?  Do you want me to dig up my high school yearbook so you can see what folks wrote in there (other than “stay gold”)?

How I look at it - unless I am applying for a job that requires top level clearance (TSA) or the job as your Social Media Director – it is likely not germane.  That being said – let that be a choice between me and the person interviewing me.  If you REALLY want to ask me for my password and I REALLY want the job – then you may get lucky and see pictures of my cats (who by the way – also have Facebook pages of their own).

Trying to write a law (Bill Would Put Facebook Off Limits To Employers) is silly and not needed. To quote my good friend Joe – “the marketplace is brutally efficient” and will take care of this hiring manager.  Companies will properly screen many candidates this way – which is to run away.

p.s. Max (the cat) said he’d also give his credentials to you for the right opportunity (such as Cat Food Quality Control Engineer).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Job Search: Matchmaking is not paper-based

I just go crazy when I read blog posts like Seven Reasons Why IT Recruiters Instantly Reject Resumes.  I’ve seen so many of these types of articles the past two years.   With a scolding tone up front in the mix, they are written by (what sounds like) weary recruiters complaining about how candidates resumes are making their life difficult and getting in the way of their payday.  

This latest post is littered with pandering prose:

If a company is going to pay a recruiter a significant retainer fee, they expect a perfect match…

If candidate is in medical software development and the job is in financial development - the recruiter will not be calling...

Any good recruiter can find a candidate with that current familiarity…

Companies are not paying recruiters to help candidates transfer their skills from one field to another…

Although these statements are based in truths (you never want to give anyone a reason to reject your resume) – it is just looking at the problem the wrong way and it diminishes the extreme value that top staffing professionals provide the customer and the candidates.  

Even in tighter job markets like today – talented talent-finders remain as busy as ever.

Analog solution in a digital world

It’s no all about the resume.  Here’s 7 of my own points on the subject.

  1. Let’s get something straight up front: Companies are not paying a “significant retainer fee” to someone to sift through a pile of resumes.  For that skillset – they get an intern.  I can search Linked In, too.
  2. The most successful recruiters I have employed are relationship based for the long-term.  They maintain these relationships from job-to-job (town to town, up down the dial) with people.  They get to know both the hiring manager and candidates very well.  It’s those relationships (and not a bullet in a resume) that allows them to make the perfect match. 
  3. Recruiters know their market.  They know which companies are hiring for what kinds of skills and who and where people that can do it are (or want to be).   If I need a UEX maven with Dreamweaver experience  – I know who to call today that knows where one is.
  4. Successful recruiters rarely have carpal tunnel.  More time at Starbucks and less time in their cube or on the “interwebs” is how they roll.  They are constantly networking with candidates and hiring mangers alike (attending user groups, professionals association meetings, or breakfast meetups).  It’s all about eye-balling people more than resumes.
  5. Good recruiters are creative and do not stick to absolutes.  They often (with great success) match companies and candidates that may not seem a fit on paper to one another.  We know culture/team fit can be as (if not more) important than some industry/technical experience (obviously to a certain point).  Numerous times – I’ve interviewed and hired candidates based on the recruiters recommendation that I “must meet Jill – she’s a perfect fit for your team”.
  6. As with any service business,  if you are focused solely on cost - and not value to all sides of the transaction - you’ve already lost.    Even when I have worked at companies that had internal recruiters and had policies against “agency fees”, I still have employed outside recruiters for key positions if needed.  I say it all the time to staffing pros I work with:  find me the right person, and I will make the case to get the fee.  Finding the right people fast is a such a competitive edge that the ROI is an easy sell.
  7. Top recruiters value both candidates and companies.  Why?  Well today’s hiring manager is tomorrow’s candidate and visa-versa.  If my candidate experience with you feels shopping at Walmart, I’m probably not going to employ you to find candidates for me (and worse yet – your candidates will not refer future hiring managers and candidates your way). 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tweaks and small steps can take you far

imageMy buddy @ReidCarlberg talks about how tweaks beat resolutions in a post today.  Loved it.  Reid has set a goal for himself to do my morning reading of the Internets at the gym instead of while drinking coffee at home.  No mention of when he is going to ingest his oatmeal (but that’s another story).

I talked about resolutions (more as goals and how to reach them) the other day.  This tweaks concept fits into the main thrust that there is a lot that goes into reaching your goal and it usually starts with something small.  Just as (what was all the rage in the late 90’s) Big Hairy Audacious Goals failed for so many companies that tried to adopt it when their culture did not support it, you probably want to start small (and specific) with your goals.

A journey of 1,000 miles started with a single step and a lot of heavy breathing

In that resolutions post, I also spoke of achieving a personal goal of running and completing my first marathon.  That was not something I started in the same year (I didn’t start from being a couch stalagmite to running 40 miles a week).  Instead, it was the result of many small (and yes – some large) tweaks over 3 years that got me home.

Some steps on the path:

  • I had to lose 80 pounds. Not with a rapid-loss fad diet or pills – but simple things over a period time (like mixing in a salad).
  • Getting back into running shape.  When I picked up running seriously (after a couple of years layoff), I started small.  My first workout was walk 1 min, jog 1 min for 20 minutes.  6 weeks later – I was running a 5K. 
  • Adding overall fitness in my life.  Whether it is spending some time with the Wii Fit, or taking the stairs at work (the latter more challenging when you’re hoofing it with a 9” Logger boot) – tweaking to a more active lifestyle helped the mental aspects of this life change.

Start small – but just start

So if you’re on the health kick bandwagon for 2012, find the tweak in your life to get you started.  It may not being going to the club 5 days a week with the other folks who started today and will be gone by Valentines Day.  It can be as simple as committing to walking the dog two blocks twice a day (instead of the one you do today). 

If finding a job (or a new job) in 2012 is in your sights, a goal of having coffee with two people you don’t currently know each month may be your first step.

Whatever your goals (and steps to get there are) – they start with that first one.