June 27, 2009

New Site, New Name, New Location

Hello Friends!

Thank you for visiting Blogging for Jobs. Great News! Our site is moving to it's own domain now located at http://www.blogging4jobs.com. I'm excited to announce several different features and updates that will be coming to the site in mid-July 2009.
Some exciting things will include:

  • Free Job Board

  • Ability to Tweet your Job Postings

  • Guest Bloggers

  • Interactive webinars for both businesses and job seekers

  • Prizes, prizes, and prizes!!

Go ahead and please visit the site, leave comments, and subscribe to my feed. I'm looking forward to bigger and better things at http://www.blogging4jobs.com.

It's been a wild ride these last two years and I'm excited about continuing to educate job seekers on the unwritten rules of the job hunt. Learn tips and tricks at Blogging4jobs.



June 14, 2009

Shoestring Networking

In these economic times, the best defense in the job market is a good offense. Building a solid networking base to draw from takes time, planning, and effort. Effective networkers develop and maintain relationships long before they become an aggressive job seeker.

Traditional networking is about getting back to basics and streamlining your networking in a creative and cost effective sort of way. My concept, Shoestring Networking is all about high octane networking and developing relationships for the budget conscious.

  • Conference Volunteering. Volunteering at a conference is a way to network and develop relationships with different professionals in an industry or location that is of interest to you. A close, personal friend of mine, who was recently downsized, volunteered to man the registration booth at the Oklahoma State Human Resource Conference. My friend, whose interests lie in the Marketing Industry had access to 400+ Human Resource professionals from throughout the state.

  • Local Coffee Shops. Frequenting these establishments is a great way to engage and interact with professionals across industries. Choose peek times to set up shop either at the beginning or end of the day. Ask the management staff if there are any networking meetings or groups that meet on a regular basis.

  • Summer Parties & BBQ’s. Not only are summer parties fun and a great way to enjoy the hot summer months, but they are also an effective way to develop relationships and network all for the cost of a few beers and a bag of chips. Perfect your elevator pitch, bring business cards, and a pen and paper to quickly take down a number.

  • Hair Salons & Spas. Your hair stylist and massage therapist can be a great resource for networking. Make sure to spell out your intentions and provide him/her several business cards to distribute.

  • Your Daily Commute. Those of us in metropolitan areas that use public transportation like the subway and other types of transit can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger leading to job leads, new connections, and other possibilities.
    The Travel Bug. The airport is also another great place in which to engage in conversation. Several years ago, a co-worker returned from her vacation only to immediately resign. A contact, she met while in flight led to an amazing job opportunity.

  • Gym Rats. This is another great place to engage professionals in a casual atmosphere. Most gyms have great group classes or activities that are included in the cost of a monthly membership. Strike up a conversation with someone in your Spin or Yoga class by complimenting them on their gym bag or other fun accessory. Have you been recently downsized? Many gyms like the YMCA allow you to maintain your gym membership by applying for financial aid or scholarship.

June 10, 2009

HR and Our Social Media Due Diligence

Last week, I attended the Oklahoma State Human Resource Conference as an attendee and speaker. My topic of choice was Social Media and how it can be successfully leveraged as a business, as well as for recruiting, and also a marketing tool. By more than a handful of human resource professionals, I was dubbed "the Twitter Girl," a more than all too familiar name I've been called.

During the conference I engaged in a number of conversations surrounding the use, success, understanding and safety surrounding Social Media. I received more than a few open mouthed stares, comments, and questions like-
  • How can I use this tool called Tweeter?
  • I really don't have time to spend hours on FaceBook. How is this beneficial?
  • Can someone gain access to my all my personal information and find my home address on MySpace?
  • I'm over 30. I don't do Twitter.
  • This sounds like something for marketing. Can I have them contact you for questions?

What really hit home for me at the conference was that I was the lone human resource blogger of the more than 400 attendees at the State HR Conference and that my beliefs and acceptance of Social Media as a way to engage and develop relationships with employees, candidates, and customers are a very new and foreign idea to those within the Human Resource Industry.

How can the 17 million unique users who logged onto Twitter in April be wrong or the 3.37 million mentions Starbucks had on Twitter in a three day period be something that can be casually overlooked? Social Media is a free resource in which businesses and human resource professionals can use to build relationships and develop a brand, realistically cut their advertising and recruiting expenses between 20-50%. And most businesses I have spoken within the past six months, are always interested in cutting overhead and expenses.

I urge all human resource professionals to get out there and do your due diligence and bring an open minded attitude when considering Online Social Media Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. Isn't it our responsibility as progressive HR professionals who desire the coveted seat at the table to take advantage of learning about new resources and opportunities and these sharing with our business leaders as a way to further strengthen our business and also gain crediability?

How amazing would it be to flex your strategic business muscles by benefiting your company's bottom line in a way other than outsourcing payroll, suspending your 401(k), or exit interview process? How's that for job security?

June 2, 2009

Job Search Bermuda Triangle

Just like the Bermuda Triangle, it is easy for job seekers to get lost in the sea of applications, customized cover letters, and advice from experts and friends on how to successfully and effectively manage the job search. Throughout the job search, job seekers often lose their sense of direction mysteriously vanishing and falling victim to the Job Search Bermuda Triangle. However, with proper preparation and a good sense of direction, job seekers can navigate the seas of change.

  • Know your Destination and a Plan to Get There. For a job search to be effective, job seekers must have a marketing plan and strategy to promote themselves in this crowed market. Job seekers need solid marketing materials to effectively and creatively market themselves in these economic times. This includes eye catching business cards, customized cover letters, job specific resumes, and career portfolios. Job seekers also must consider both their online and offline brands. Candidates are strongly urged to pay close attention to those in the professional community and their perception of them in the every day face to face interaction and also online through social media networking platforms like LinkedIn as well as reviews and blog comments on sites including Amazon and YouTube.
  • Tune Up Your Engine. Many professionals fail to take a personal inventory of their skills and abilities while in the job search. Seek out mentors or advisers to provide you with guidance, advice, and direction. Your "Professional Tune Up" could be in the form of a career coach, community college class, or other recommended reading list. Find creative ways to fine tune your brand and experience through volunteering or serving on professional committees. Follow a brand and development strategy. Understand that a strategy or plan such takes time. New skills, abilities and experiences must be developed and cannot be rushed. Pace yourself and do your best not to over commit.
  • Working on Autopilot. The job search can be turbulent and sometimes their are even flight delays on your way to a new position or career. Do your best to understand and realize that the flight to your destination takes time and offers personal and professional challenges. Companies are now receiving hundreds of resumes for one open position. Because of this, it is easy for your luggage to get lost in the shuffle. Know when to led and when to follow. Your job search has many different layovers before your final destination. These might include the phone interview, the face to face interview, and the job offer and negotiation process. The art of balance is very important in these processes. Be confident but not overbearing, available but not desperate, and polished but not brash.

And with proper planning, preparation, and creative spunk, job seekers are sure to see clear blue skies ahead. . .

Tweet This! Powerpoint

Take a look at my discussing tips and recommendations for businesses interested in using Twitter as a business tool. I presented this powerpoint to HR Professionals during the Oklahoma State Human Resource Conference held in Oklahoma City, OK May 31st-June 2nd, 2009