Saying Thank You

25 05 2010

I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly say thank you. This phrase is one that I think a person can’t hear enough. However, we all get busy, forget, and it gets overlooked.

In keeping this short, I’d like to highlight a few reasons to say thank you:

Thanks for support. Support is one of those things that can be hard to get at first, but once you have it, don’t forget to pay it forward and help support others.

Follow-up thank you. Thanking someone in follow-up can really help you. When was the last time you wrote a short note thanking a person for their time in an interview, their time at the career fair, on the phone, etc? It’s easy to do, yet most people (candidates or otherwise) don’t follow up. Believe me, people hang on to notes of sincerity. Them remembering you can help greatly.

Thank you to people who work hard. It’s all about recognition! Again, life gets busy, can be complicated and we can overlook our top performers doing great things. I try to say thank you several times a day, but when someone does something that took extra effort, initiative and creativity, a special thank you is warranted. Again, handwritten notes, sometimes an email copying their supervisor. It shows not only that you appreciate the extra effort, but also brings special positive attention!

Thanks for reading. To those of you that read this, thank YOU! I hope that I continue to bring value to you with each post. Your readership is important and much appreciated. If you would, please help pay it forward and tell a friend, co-worker or family member about my blog.

That’s it. I tried to keep it short, simple and to the point. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!

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Twitter’s Down! Now What??

18 05 2010

 

Last week, Twitter was hacked by a user that implemented an auto-follow bug that forced users to follow others.  Twitter discovered this, and immediately went to work to resolve this security breach.  While that was going on, somehow everyone’s follower/following count was reset to zero. 

 

Talk about a panic!  At one point last week, we all had the same amount of followers as Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and CNN.  How’s that for ironic?  All that hard work, competition and dedication went down the drain in seconds.  The Twitter team eventually resolved the situation, restoring everyone’s accounts, but it got me thinking about something.  Online personal branding could be hugely affected if a person put all their effort into one platform.  What happens if you had your entire (professional or even your business’) presence dependant upon a singular medium such as Twitter? 

So, here are four things that come to mind that will help you build and manage your online personal brand:

Spread the wealth.  Use multiple platforms online such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Brazen Careerist (all my suggestions – there are more) to promote your personal brand.  Don’t rely on a single site to do this.  That way, if one goes away or is hacked, you’ll still have the others to rely on.

Be consistent.  This is your personal brand, right?  No matter if it’s on Facebook or any others, you should be consistent.  That way, people can see that you’re the same person across the board.  It becomes very clear very quickly if you’re not being yourself online.

It’s a supplement, not replacement.  I can say this all day long.  Social media is simply an extension of your personal brand and identity.  Don’t let it serve as a replacement.  Instead, I would encourage you to view it as a supplement.  You still need a résumé, need to network face to face with people, and pick up the phone for a discussion. 

Own it.  Starting a blog can help bring together all your profiles into one centrally located portfolio.  There are several free hosting services out there such as WordPress, Blogspot, and Posterous.  All have extended services for a small and very reasonable fee.  Creating your own blog will allow you to own your information.  If Twitter, Facebook, or others go away, you’ll still have your blog. 

Those are just a few suggestions to help build and manage your personal brand online.  I’m sure that there are other ways, so please feel free to share them with us.  Leave a comment below, join the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CampusToCareer), and subscribe to the blog.  I’d love to connect with you as well.  See my information on the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top of the page.  As always, thanks for reading. 

Photo credit: Mashable





6 Ways to Compete in the Job Search

11 05 2010

We all have competition.  Hopefully, we all provide competition.  And we like to win, right?  I do.  This isn’t Little League where everyone gets a trophy for participating.  We eventually grow up and enter the “real world” with bills, family, and other responsibilities. 

It has been said that competition fosters innovation.  In other words, people work a little harder when they know they’re competing for a prize.  We’re all competing for something whether it’s someone’s attention or even a job. 

So, what are you doing to compete in today’s job market?  Here are a few suggestions for you:

Create a targeted plan of action.  Someone once quoted, “if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”  Having a targeted action plan with goals, steps to achieve those goals, and a completion status is a great tool for anyone to use who wants to see results.  Follow through with that action plan to the end.

Think differently.  You can’t do what you’ve always done.  Doing something the same way as before guarantees one thing: a consistent outcome.  But, that consistency doesn’t incorporate change. 

Accept change.  Change creates opportunity.  Without change, growth is inhibited.  Making just a small change in how you approach the job search could get you moving in a new direction quickly.

Find what fits you best.  Be authentic in your job search.  Hiring managers want to know that they’re hiring a person, not a personality.  Make sure that your personal brand represents your entire brand and keep it consistent.

Stay positive.  For anyone looking for a new job (currently employed or unemployed), staying positive is crucial.  Spend time with the positive influences in your life: your friends, family, even pets.  Sometimes, pets are the best because they’re always happy to see you, seem to listen intently to every word you say, and have eyes that say “hey, I get it. What can I do to make you feel better?”  On the flipside of this, try to distance yourself from the negative influences – some people can use negativity to their advantage, pushing harder than ever.  But for most, negative influences simply add to the doom and gloom.

Be the best.  I think Abraham Lincoln summed it up when he said, “whatever you are, be a good one.”  Be the best at everything you do.  If you’re unemployed and looking for a job, be the best job seeker on the planet.  Network with others, learn about job opportunities, and build your personal brand and credibility.  Unemployment could be the hardest job you’ll ever have, but don’t let that discourage you!

These are just a few suggestions to get things kick-started.  Please feel free to add your own insight to this post with your own comments.  I would certainly value your opinions and views on this subject.  In the meantime, the invitation to connect is open.  As always, thanks for reading.

Shameless plug: I’m competing to win Blogging4Jobs’ Job Search Blogger Contest – comments count as votes.  Click here for more information.  Voting ends May 11th 11:59PM CST. Please vote and vote often!  Thanks in advance.





Paying It Forward (vol.4)

7 05 2010

REQUESTING YOUR HELP: PLEASE SEE THE END OF THIS POST. THANK YOU!!

I have a lot to be thankful for this week, how about you?  This week, rather than listing individuals to follow for #FollowFriday, I thought I’d take a step back.  Instead, I’d like to let you know of a few things that I’m grateful for in hopes of inspiring you.  Sound good? 

Family – This Sunday (May 9) is Mother’s Day.  Did you remember?  I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my family.  From my parents and grandparents teaching me core values to valuable nuggets of wisdom like “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” or “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”, they have made me who I am.

Friends – They’re there when you need them, provide a good laugh often, and simply show you that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.  You never know how long you’ll be friends with someone, but I am lucky enough to have a friend (BFF :)) that has been my friend since 1st grade.  That’s over 20 years and counting!  Old friends or new friends, when was the last time you unplugged from the world and helped someone else out? 

Colleagues, Tweeple, & More – I’m thankful for my colleagues.  They keep me on my toes, continue to challenge my thought process, and help make me a more developed, well-rounded professional.  My interest in social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more) has helped me find people all across the world that bring diversity of thought, amazing support, and provide growth for me as an HR professional. 

So, that’s it.  Next week, I’ll resume with #FollowFriday recommendations.  Until then, I’d like to ask for your help. 

Job Search Blogger Contest http://bit.ly/b08Wyj – I’m a finalist!  My post, Facebook – Friend or Foe? has been selected in @blogging4jobs contest for Job Search Bloggers.  I’m up against several other worthy opponents who are also helping job seekers. 

Here’s how YOU can help me help MORE people: 

Visit this link: http://bit.ly/b08Wyj.  Comments count as VOTES. You can leave an in-depth comment, respond to other comments, or simply just say “go Kirk”.

NOTE: You can vote as often as you like!! Each comment is one vote, so please vote and spread the word!  If you’ve already voted, please do so at least once more – everything helps!

The contest ends 5/11 at 11:59PM CST. Thanks in advance!





5 Reasons Why Athletes Make Great Employees

4 05 2010

What sets you apart from the competition?  How will your skills help an employer?  Student athletes seem to have a tough time with their job search.  Why?  There are several skills and attributes athletes possess that would make a recruiter jump at the chance to hire them.  The challenge is how athletes are viewed (not all want to go pro) and how most are taught to position themselves for success.  Here are a few different ways to think about student athletes:

Teamwork – From day one, you’re working as a team.   You know how a functional and dysfunctional team operates.  Use this to your advantage in the job search.  Reach out to your fellow teammates and network to help each other.

Leadership – As a member of a team, you may have the opportunity to serve as the team Captain.  This is your chance to work with senior leadership (the coaches) calling the right plays to win.  In the workforce, it’s no different.  Employers need people who will work with their bosses to achieve the greater vision.  Possessing the skills to call the play and function as a team can be mutually beneficial.

Communication – Whether you’re the team Captain or not, you have to be a good communicator in sports and in business.  If you have a great idea, speak up.  It may seem like a stupid question to you, but it could help the team function more efficiently and effectively.   They’ll never know if you don’t ask.

Execution – Athletes work as a team, using leadership and communication to get the “W”.  However, that’s just part of the play.  A great play has flawless execution.  Follow through with your game plan.

Dedication – As an athlete, you’ll likely never hear a complaint about an 8:00-5:00pm job.  In most cases, they’re used to getting up early, running drills and preparing for the big game.  The dedication that athletes possess carries over into the professional workplace.  The big game is their (and your) success. 

As an athlete, I would encourage you to highlight these skills and attributes on your résumé.  You may not have had traditional employment experience, but you’ve had a full-time job: your role on the team.  List this as experience, quantify the results, and show that you’re more than just a jock.  Be a jock that gets the job!

Recruiters and HR Managers: What are your thoughts on hiring athletes?  Do you have a strategy already in place?  In my opinion, they’re an untapped asset missing from many recruitment strategies. 

Student Athletes: What challenges are you facing in your job search?  Let us know how we can help!

As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing your insight with me.  You can subscribe to Campus to Career by clicking the button at the top right-hand corner.  If you prefer RSS, that link is below.  Additionally, I would invite you to connect with me and Campus to Career on Twitter and Facebook (see the “Like” button on the right).  More connection options can be found by clicking the “Let’s Connect” tab at the top.

Now, let’s GO TEAM!