Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What’s all the Hubbub about Hubs? LinkedIN and Facebook tips

If you don’t know, the first thing you’re likely asking is…What is a hub anyways?

Hubs are a critical part of any job seekers face-to-face, LinkedIN and Facebook networking efforts.

But let’s start out with definitions. A Hub is someone in your network who is extraordinarily well connected. In face-to-face networking a hub is the person who “knows everybody”. On LinkedIN and Facebook, a hub is an open networker, and has over 500 first level connections.

Think of a hub like the hub of a wheel, with many spokes.
Why are hubs important to a job seeker? Hubs can bring a huge boost to your networking efforts. Think of it this way….Hubs know everybody, so you don’t have to. And if you’re someone who wants to know everybody, other hubs accelerate your efforts.

In face-to-face networking events, for instance, hubs can be your most important connections. Think about it…you tell everyone you meet that you’re looking for a job - how many hiring managers do you meet that are looking for your skill set right now (unless you’re at a job fair)? Hubs can introduce you to many hiring managers, because of the size of their networks.

On LinkedIN and Facebook, for a broad networking strategy, connecting to hubs blows up your database, fast. For a tight networking strategy, where job seekers network with a close contacts, adding a few hubs to your network is efficient and adds tremendous firepower without adding significant network management time to your efforts.

What’s in it for the hub? This is an important question to ask.

The good news about hubs is that they are well connected. The bad news is that because they are well connected their time is very leveraged. Hubs have a reason greater than personal ego for choosing to spend their time connecting people. Discovering a hub’s needs, and helping the hub first gets their attention and help…every time.

Just as I discussed earlier in Why “Networking Doesn’t Work”, ask what a hub is looking for to create a bond. Deliver a connection that helps a hub , and you’ve got a personal fan. Ask questions like:

- What 2 things do you need in the next 60 days?

- Why do you come to networking events?
- What types of people do you like to meet at networking events?

- What are two challenges are you facing? Who could help you?

An experienced hub will also ask what you need, especially if you’ve asked first. Should you just ask if he knows anyone hiring Application Development Managers who have led Java teams in the Transportation Industry? What are the chances that your hub will know the exact contact you need (unless you’re at a Java or a Transportation specific event)

A more effective way of asking a hub for help is to ask a broader question. Ask if the hub knows people at specific companies on your target list, people in your target industry, or Java developers. Definitely mention you’re looking for a job and your subject matter expertise. If you ask a hub to connect you to someone else who might know a hiring manager (one off), the hub has a much greater chance of helping you.

On LinkedIN and Facebook, hubs can help in some different ways. Connecting to hubs allows you to see their large networks, especially on LinkedIN. This can give you a broader network to search (LinkedIN), or a braoader network to message through status, blogs, notes, and shared items (Facebook).

Communicating, and offering to help a hub first does so much more. This added step cements a bond, gets their attention, and often their help.

Where do you find hubs online? Look at the active members of user groups databases of open networkers, people who list their email address, or just rank a search by number of connections (LinkedIN). For more information, see Now That I'm Linked, Who do I Link to?

While I’m not looking for a job (for myself), I’m an avid networker and hub in the Chicago area and online. At a face-to-face event, my most valuable contacts are hubs. While I enjoy meeting job seekers, I try to meet at least one new hub at each event because hubs know many people seeking jobs (and hiring managers who might be hiring the skill set of one of my clients). Knowing that hubs know everyone, smart job seekers make sure the hubs in their network know they are looking. Smart hiring managers let hubs know also (to a hiring manager, a hub is like a free headhunter).

On LinkedIN and Facebook, I’m an open networker (I’ll accept everyone into my network who asks). I specifically seek out hubs to expand my network - especially on LinkedIN where your network expands to 3rd level (friends of friends of friends).

How can hubs supercharge your networking efforts?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Do You Create Employer Value?

Do You Create Employer Value? Or do you just take up space?

Employers today have problems that need solutions. That’s why they hire staff, because their problems require too much manpower or specialized knowledge for the hiring manager to solve on their own.

What kinds of problems you ask? Problems reaching sales goals, or expanded sales forecasts, problems lowering costs, problems increasing production, labor problems, tax problems, technology problems, getting goods & services to market problems, making that great idea into a better mousetrap problems – those kinds of problems.

Candidates that clearly demonstrate how they can help solve employer problems create value, and are aggressively recruited. Candidates that don’t demonstrate a track record of solving specific problems end up with a long job search and either unemployed or underemployed.

One problem is that most candidates write for themselves, not for their audience. Most resumes I see are autobiographies describing what someone has led or managed. The number of people you managed, or the projects you participated in might be a source of your own personal pride. But these seldom create value for your potential employer.

This isn’t just a resume issue, because it extends into the interview stage also. It’s a self-image issue. Do you babysit people and projects, or do you create results?

I seldom see resumes that clearly state the candidate:

- beat their sales goals by 40% for the past 5 years (or team sales goals)
- cut costs by 25% by instituting new procedures
- increased revenues by 30% by implementing a new sales channel, inventing a new widget, or creating a new marketing campaign
- improved profits by 20% by instituting cost containment controls, exploiting tax loopholes, or eliminating production waste

For Technology types, I’ll see all the time that they invented a new product, so profound that it changed the molecular structure of the world as we know it … but rarely do I see an estimate of how much value that product added to their employer.

When I revise resumes and advise clients I pull these value creation experiences out of their memory banks. Nearly everyone has these examples, unless you just weren’t trying. Since I’m an optimist, I believe that everyone tries to do a good job, at least in the beginning, even in Government. I just find that job seekers often have a skewed view of what’s important to a hiring manager.

And it’s interesting….the more people a job seeker has hired during their career, the more they seem to write a personal biography, rather than a relevant track record of solving problems and creating value.

When I ask these same managers about what sorts of things impress them about a resume from a candidate they just HAD to hire – I’ll almost always hear that the candidate has experience solving relevant problems and that they’ve got a great track record (of creating value). These same highly talented people, who have hired many people during their career, are usually incredible problem solvers, with many examples to offer. But the lure of writing a personal autobiography is just too great.

Do you create value? How does your resume demonstrate this?

Or do you take up space?

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".


Related Articles:
Differentiate Your Resume With a Winning Strategy: Fishing and Response Resumes
3 Things Your Next Employer Will Search For On Your Resume

For access to more information:
Become a fan of reCareered on Facebook:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Monday, April 28, 2008

7 Ways to Discover - Who Do I Want to Be?

Who do I want to be? Sometimes this is the most difficult question to answer in your career search.

The answer often involves much soul searching, personal introspection, commentary from friends, network, coaches. But in the end…the answer is inside you.

So what is the best way to figure it all out?

Here’s 7 tips to help:

Set Broad Goals: Set broad goals for Work/Life Balance, material and family goals, knowledge and experience goals, before you set income, title, or company goals.

Ask: Ask yourself what you enjoy, what you are best at, what your challenges are. Ask your peers, ask your network, ask coaches, ask interviewers, ask employers. Ask industry forums and Question/Answer sites (See my earlier article on LinkedIN Questions). Ask everybody.

Listen: Really listen. Remember that listening to this type of advice may be difficult. You may hear things you don’t want to (but need to) hear. You may get advice that conflicts with the personal view you have of yourself. Listen to the marketplace, via job ads, industry forums, question/answer sites. The more people you ask, the more conflicting advice you’ll get. But listen to your gut and to your close personal advisors…together decide who’s right, and who gives advice that makes sense.

Question: Ask Why.

Research: Research the marketplace. See which skills are the most in demand. SimplyHired offers a great tool for this, which I reviewed here Ditch your Crystal Ball. Try Hiring Trends Instead…..

Match: Match your skills with what’s in demand in the marketplace based on your research. For more information, see my earlier article Which Subject Matter am I an Expert at? Match your skills with your non work demands and needs for work vs life tradeoffs.

Embrace Change: Change is good. Change is personal growth and progress. Change brings unplanned opportunity and serendipity. If you embrace change with a positive attitude and visualize your goals, you can’t help but reach your goals. Just remember, that in your journey to reach your goals…they often change as you grow and change personally.

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stand Out From the Crowd with Interview on Demand

Interview on Demand is a great tool for job seekers, as well as hiring managers, to send video resumes and conduct video interviews of candidates.

I was impressed by the service, so I called Peggy McKee, VP Sales & Marketing of Interview on Demand, to demand an interview of her! But how much did I really have to demand? Peggy’s in marketing.

I learned that Interview on Demand is an interesting way to stand out from your competition, but won’t work well as a submission to jobs listed on Job Boards or Websites. Instead, Interview on Demand is structured to work well with networking or social networking contacts, as a way to brand your Subject Matter Expertise.

reCareered: Peggy, thanks for your time today to explain your interesting new service, Interview on Demand. Can you give an overview of the service?

Peggy McKee: First, Interview on Demand is free to any job seeker. In less than 25 minutes, you can record a video introduction with any webcam, review it until you like the way you look and sound, and post it on a personal webpage.

reCareered: Can you add other things to your personal webpage and video?

Peggy McKee: You can link your resume, cover letter, work samples, report samples, power point presentations, graphics, etc. You can upload and attach anything you feel would be a valuable addition to your personal brand.

reCareered: How would a job seeker best benefit from Interview on Demand?

Peggy McKee: Interview on Demand gives job seekers great content to send to their personal networks, LinkedIN networks, Facebook Networks, or other social networks or online groups they are active with.

reCareered: Can you give an example?

Peggy McKee: Let’s say you’ve just recorded your video introduction on Video on Demand, and
you’ve attached your resume and some work samples. Let’s say you are a Java developer. There are a number of online user groups, in Yahoo for instance, where you could write an intro, and publish a link to your personal website and video introduction. Then you could make an email template, and send it to your Level 1 LinkedIN contacts. You can also include a link to your personal site on your digital resume and LinkedIN profile.

reCareered: Are there any risks to passive job seekers who don’t want their current employers to know they are looking?

Peggy McKee: Since we don’t send video files, the personal videos can’t be copied into YouTube. Our videos are embedded into our website only, and we don’t have search engines index personal home pages. In that way, the candidate controls who sees their information.

reCareered: Sounds like a great tool for job seekers looking to get noticed. What’s the downside

Peggy McKee: Interview on Demand isn’t meant to be submitted to job boards, or corporate websites, because they are text based, and aren’t structured to work with websites or video content. A simple solution is to include links to your personal website on your digital resume and cover letter.

reCareered: What other kinds of services does Interview on Demand offer?

Peggy McKee: Interview on Demand also offers services to HR departments who want more effective pre-screening methods, especially if recruiting from outside their local area or in place of expensive campus recruiting programs. An HR department or hiring manager might develop a list of 5 questions, and email the questions and a link to a prospective candidate. The candidate would answer questions via video (please get dressed for an interview first!), and when completed, send the video to the employer through our site. This can offset the cost of first interview travel (if recruiting out of area), Campus Recruiting, and time and cost of videoconferences. Candidates can be given the option to review and re-record their interview, or one time only, based on employer preference. Interviews can be forwarded to other managers, if a candidate is felt to be a good fit for a different group.

reCareered: How can outside recruiters use Interview on Demand?

Peggy McKee: Many recruiters send highlight bullet points of their Most Placeable Candidates. While bullet point summaries are standard practice, Interview on Demand can give a number of distinct advantages. First, it’s the candidate giving highlights about themselves, not the headhunter pitching. Second, it’s video, more interactive, and better shows the soft skills and personality of the candidate. A recruiter can have their best candidates record an introductory video, assemble a personal webpage, and the recruiter can send to targeted clients who might need these skills. Since few recruiters send video, this is a great way to get your candidates to stand out from the crowd.

reCareered: All this sounds kind of difficult for a non-technical job seeker.

Peggy McKee: Not at all. Interview on Demand is set up so that even your Grandmother can use it. And we’re still small enough that users get personal attention to any technical questions they might have. We are extremely responsive, and can make improvements quickly based on user suggestions.

reCareered: Thanks for the explanation Peggy, great service.

After playing with Interview on Demand, I’m sold.

However, to make Interview on Demand work for you, there’s some work to do first. Interview on demand works well for highly defined Subject Matter Experts, but isn’t a good fit for generalists. Why? Generalists haven’t branded themselves effectively, so they don’t have anything to promote other than your movie star looks.

So unless you’re the spitting image of Jessica Alba or George Clooney, develop your personal brand and Subject Matter Expertise FIRST, before investing your energy in Interview on Demand.

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Interview in a Snap

30 Seconds…

That’s the maximum time it takes to form a first impression according to a number of experimental Psychologists. Some have found that it’s all over with the handshake in the first few seconds. Keep in mind that not everyone interviews this way….it’s just the vast majority that make decisions based on first impressions.

Two Harvard researchers, Nalini Ambady and Robert Rosenthal studied nonverbal aspects of teachers, by having observers rate instructor effectiveness from 10 second silenced video clips. When Ambady ran a second 15 item personality rating based on just 5 second clips, the ratings were the same. They were the same when she showed just 2 second clips. And they were the same as end of semester teacher evaluations. Ambady found that we make snap personality judgments in just a couple of seconds – literally in a snap.

Frank Bernieri, a University of Toledo Psychologist trained grad students to act as job interviewers, and taped the interviews. He then showed the first 20 to 32 seconds to observers – just enough to show the handshake and greeting. The observers then used the same 6 page evaluation as the interviewers to rate each applicant. The surprising results: "On nine out of the eleven traits the applicants were being judged on, the observers significantly predicted the outcome of the interview," Bernieri says. "The strength of the correlations was extraordinary."

"In social psychology, there is an amazing amount of literature and research that show that once we have any expectation, once we have any working theory, any working hypothesis, we are biased in the way we process information," Bernieri said. "We go out of our way to seek confirming evidence. However, in our minds, we think we're being analytical and processing the whole time. So by the time we finish, we think our judgments are based on the data.""People do judge books by their covers," Bernieri concluded. "First impressions are going to predict final impressions."

Do these findings floor you?

So how do you take this information to make it work for you? Ok, the easy stuff: Confidently walk to the interviewer, Shake firmly with dry palms, and look the person in the eyes while shaking and smiling. Don’t chew gum, don’t smell of cigarettes, body odor or too much cologne. Slightly overdress for the interview in clean clothes and shiny shoes, and
dress like the Romans do. But most job seekers already know these tactics….so most serious candidates do the same thing.

If everyone uses the same methods, what can give you an edge? Here’s 6 tips:

Expressiveness: People with animated expressions and vocal variances are seen as more easily read, so hiring managers feel they are seeing the real person, with less guessing involved. This trait makes the interviewee more naturally likable. So leave your “Poker Face” at home.

“Interaction Synchrony”: Mirror postures, gestures, and non-verbal communications of the interviewer. In a way, it shows the interviewer subconsciously that you understand and speak their language. Every hiring manager wants someone who “gets them”, can almost read their mind, avoiding additional explanation and miscommunication.

Eye Contact: Practice your eye contact. Use video with mock interviews, paying attention see if you look at the interviewer while they are speaking, and if you maintain eye contact while answering. Lack of eye contact can give the non-verbal impression that you’re not interested, a poor listener, even that you might not be telling the truth. Have someone else evaluate your eye contact, and give you feedback.

Preparedness: Always go to an interview prepared with a pen and portfolio for note taking.

Posture: Sit forward, never back, with your hands in your lap. Keep both feet on the floor, and sit straight and still. When answering, lean forward slightly. Don’t slouch or kick back, even if the interviewer does (this is one non-verbal cue that you shouldn’t mimic). Some interviewers will lean back as a test…to see if the candidate mimics.

All of these non verbal cues take place in the first 30 seconds. Your non-verbal cues, along with the first impression your resume already gave the interviewer typically determines the hiring manager’s decisions.

What will you do differently during your next interview?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to Use Facebook Chat in Your Job Search

Facebook chat isn’t just for kids.

Remember Facebook now has 75M members (compared to 15M total US college students) – Facebook is about 50% business.

Sure, your teenaged kids use chat as a way of communicating with friends when they aren’t wearing out their thumbs on text messaging. Even major enterprises have instituted internal IMs as a communication tool.

But Facebook chat is a LOT more powerful than kids chatting, with a little creativity in its use. So how to make it work as an effective tool in your job search?

Facebook chat is like being at a networking event filled with thought leaders, industry experts, authors, and top industry recruiters…and you don’t even have to bring business cards. Look at it this way…would you like to be able to easily start conversations with industry leaders and recruiters in your industry? Could that help you to network and search for your next job?

Facebook chat itself is a breeze to use. With no installation, it sits on the right margin of your Facebook screen. All you have to do is set whether you are available or not for chats. But let’s back up a sec, because before you can make Facebook chat more than just a toy, you’ve got to do some prep first. But once you do, Facebook chat will be an important communications and personal branding tool.

In a job search, it’s critical to find who to chat with, and what to say. Sending an IM to your online chat available contacts saying “Got any Jobs?”, or “Need an IT Manager?” probably isn’t the most effective way to leverage your job search. Worse, that move will likely just annoy your intended audience, along with everyone else you’ve pinged.

The first trick to empower Facebook chat is building the right audience. As a job seeker, you’ll want an audience of business leaders, peers, authors, other job seekers, and headhunters in your industry or with your Subject Matter Expertise. If you can’t figure out where to find them, start with Facebook Groups. For help, refer to my article: Facebook Strategies – The power of Facebook Groups.

Once you’ve started a network of industry experts, find out who they are networked with. Either ask for an invitation, or just invite directly with a personalized note. If your search is geographically based, choose experts from all over, but connect mainly to the experts’ contacts in your region.

So how do you IM someone without annoying them? I find that starting a conversation that is focused on helping the other person, is a great icebreaker. IM with a link to an article, saying you thought it might help them. If you’re IMing a blogger, comment on a recent post, ask what they think about industry developments. Make the conversation about ANYTHING other than your job search.

At the end of your chat, do a “Columbo” (remember that old show?). When you’re saying goodbye, say “I almost forgot”, “By the way”, or “one Last thing”….”I’m looking for a career change in this field…do you have any advice?...who would be a good person to talk to?...what would you do in this situation?” If the chat ends too soon, but you’ve established some Chat rapport, send this in a Facebook email, after thanking for the chat and their insights.

If you’re asked for a resume, make sure yours is online, so you can send a link through Chat. Better yet, send a link to your ResuBlog that contains your own industry insight, as well as your resume.

To sum up….Facebook chat is a power rapport building tool, but not a resume spamming tool. With the right preparation, right audience, and polite messaging, Facebook Chat can leverage and accelerate your job search.

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

People in career transition often pause to take stock. One of the really valuable parts of job changing is taking the time to decide “What do I want to do?”

Too many of us stay locked into jobs or careers that we hate because we’re afraid of change, afraid of risk, or simply don’t believe we can get paid for doing what we love.

Today’s internet provides amazing opportunities to those considering alternate careers. Many Web 2.0 tools give an amazing ability to create subject matter expertise and monetize rapidly. For instance, a friend was a journalism graduate, who didn't want to work for a traditional corporate journalism job, but wanted to write, and run her own show.

My friend realized she really enjoys dining out, discovering emerging music acts, enjoying Chicago’s nightlife, and recommending her favorite places. She loves being a local expert about the Chicago area entertainment scene (I bet she likes the occasional VIP treatment also). She figured out how to make enjoying Chicago her job by building a website that provides independent restaurant and entertainment reviews in Chicago. That’s right…she earns her living going out to dinner. When she started out, she worked as a server for a few years while launching, but now runs her wonderful site full time.

It’s not always easy following one’s passion, and requires serious introspection and bravery. It’s not for everyone, certainly not for the weak of heart. Not every person thrives equally well in an entrepreneurial vs corporate environment. You’re probably not going to step into a salary equivalent to what you left.

For the brave workers who are sick of the corporate lifestyle, there’s never been a better time to jump off the cliff. Costs of entry are shockingly cheap. Computing power, promotion opportunities, guerrilla marketing opportunities, voice and data costs keep dropping and becoming more user friendly. Social media gives individuals a voice, and effective online guerrilla marketing gives us the opportunity to bootstrap and shamelessly promote our passion and expertise.

So whether your passion is stamp collecting, baseball, scrapbooking, cooking, or Chicago’s nightlife, consider that you might make your passion your job.

I’ve personally found that doing what I love makes every day an adventure to look forward to. I enjoy helping people, and reCareered gives me the opportunity to take what I learned sourcing top talent for large corporations, and applying it to candidates.

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Monday, April 21, 2008

5 Killer Places to Network

I’ve been writing about how to network effectively, but where should you network?

Sometimes this answer depends on your Subject Matter Expertise, but there are some things that work for most job seekers.

Five best places to network effectively:

Industry events: If you are a Java Developer, a sure fire place to find great networking connections is at Java conference or user group. If you are a CFO, finance or accounting events are good – for instance Robert Half hold CFO round tables in most major markets once or twice a year. These are great events for CFO, Controllers, Accountants, Auditors, Tax, Cost, Inventory, and Procurement specialists.

Go where your potential new boss will go: Go to events that attract hiring managers that you want to work for. Industry events (#1 above), trade shows, Conferences, group meetings.

Networking events: There are all sorts of general networking events, from small job seeker groups, lead exchange groups, all the way through large events. For Job seekers, the best events are the larger ones, that are held periodically in every city of any size. For instance, this Thursday (4/24) in Chicago, Spring-n-Counter, hosted by BNC-Chicago is the premier networking event of the season. Last fall’s event had a turnout of over 400 people. Somewhere in that crowd, there’s someone with a lead to your next job.

Chamber of Commerce events: If the Chamber events are large, they can be valuable. Look for regional chambers over city/suburban chambers, as they tend to get a greater draw. Chamber events are especially valuable for professional service providers (Accountants and Lawyers) and financial sales people.

Non-profit events: If you are targeting a company, learn which non-profits the C-Level managers support. There’s a good chance that manager will support the events of his or her favorite charity. Be careful, non-profit events aren’t an interview. Just a card exchange, with a common interest. Leverage that interest into a coffee meeting, and you’re on the right track.

Back to Spring-n-Counter (Check their site for details & RSVP at Spring-n-Counter) - It’s like a Mega-networking event, sponsored by all these networking groups. How could you not find a lead to your next career move at an event like this?

Which networking events to you attend? Do you make that a regular staple of your professional life, so you have a ready network to help when you are on the hunt for a new career move?

If you’d like more information about how networking can help your career search, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Friday, April 18, 2008

How to Rise Above Resume Hell

Resume Hell is where all the poor sad resumes go that never see the light of day. Do you want to be in Resume Hell?

Or would you like to rise above Resume Hell?

It’s really not that hard, because the vast majority of resumes do the same thing, make the same mistakes, and say the same thing. So if you take a different approach that’s thoughtful and distinctive, it’s not hard to rise above the rest into the daylight.

Tips to stay out of Resume Hell:

Be Different: Show how unique you are in business, and in your personality. Be you. Stop being afraid that what you say will disqualify you for a job – you wouldn’t want that job anyways. Be you, and find a job where you are the unique answer to company problems.

Be Specialized: Be a Subject Matter Expert, and wear it proudly - Especially if you are a manager or an executive. Your subject Matter Expertise doesn’t have to be about industry, though it can be. Your subject matter expertise can be in a specific corporate problem, solution, management technique, technology, etc. Your Subject Matter Expertise can be in Marketing, Operations, Finance or IT.

Be Most Awesome, Dude!: Write about what you accomplished. I saved X by doing Y. I increased sales by X% by doing Y. WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU DID, NOT WHAT YOU MANAGED. Stop being ordinary, stop writing about what you managed, what you were responsible for, what you organized, participated in, or advised.

Be Efficient: Use your Resume Real Estate efficiently. The average reader spends 15 seconds reading a resume before making an interview/no interview decision. Make your 15 seconds count by putting the sizzle at the top, and grab the reader by the throat in the top half of the first page. Shrink headers, move summaries and skills inventories to the back.

Be Customized: One size doesn’t fit all today. Heavily customize your resume for each job you submit your resume. Your resume should be a single use document.

Be Honest: Why lie? The truth is so much more interesting. Besides, chances are you’ll get caught by the target company or Karma.

Be Precise: You’re only perfect two times in your life - At birth, and on your resume. So you’d best spell check.

So how come so few people dare to be different? Well, we were taught to be generic resume writers, taught to write paper passed resumes, and it’s hard to change old habits.

Don’t be generic, be you. Fitting a square peg into a round hole is short sighted, and creates unworkable situations.

Instead, why not search for square holes?

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".


Related Articles:
3 Things Your Next Employer Will Search For
Resume Search Optimization

For access to more information:
Become a fan of reCareered on Facebook:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why “Networking Doesn’t Work”

If you keep your eyes open, you’ll never stop being amazed.

Jason Alba of quoted stats generated by JobBait (a resume mass mailing company) claiming (tongue-in-cheek) that “Networking Doesn’t Work”. But Mark Hovind’s (JobBait’s president) numbers also claimed that mass mailing 3,500 pieces of junk mail works 85% of the time for executive and managerial jobs. Maybe these stats were from the good-old 1970’s.

It made me laugh, because the statement is just so blatantly wrong. Networking is a very effective way for subject matter experts to find the best jobs – that goes for face-to-face and online networking.

Of course networking doesn’t work if a job seeker under utilizes networking opportunities.

At their well attended event last night in Chicago, I asked the three founders of Networking for a Cause, Mark Carter, Becky Brett, and Justin Roy how people misuse networking opportunities.

Networking Coach, Founder and CRO Mark Carter offered “Networking is connecting others who will help you also; not just trying to sell everyone you meet.”

Justin added “Often, people blow it by being too selfish and self serving in their introduction.”

Becky commented “People self destruct during networking when they focus too much on themselves and not enough on the other person. How many times do we have to say, ‘it's not about you! It's about what the other person needs.’ ”

Networking isn’t just gathering business cards. Networking isn’t passing out resumes or asking everyone in the room or in your LinkedIN network for job leads. Because that isn’t networking, nor is it effective.

Effective networking is helping others…first. Because a pile of business cards won’t help you much. Personal fans will.

Networking for a Cause’s event invitation suggested that attendees ask other networkers what TWO things (or people) they need in the next 30-60 days. These could be connections, resources, information that are relevant to achieving a solid result soon. What are two problems are they facing? Who can help solve them?

Great advice! An effective networking contact for me, is someone with a problem that I can solve, or recommend someone to solve. If I’ve provided value first, without asking for anything in return, I’ve recruited a personal fan.

Personal fans help, because you’ve established a relationship with a personal fan. A personal fan wants to help, and depending what help you first provided…may even feel that they “owe” you.

Sending your resume or a letter to a LinkedIN database, passing it out at a networking event, or snail mailing it to 3,500 people is just junk mail.

What do YOU do with junk mail?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I Learned About My Second Life at MIT

Well, it was at the MIT Enterprise Forum on Tuesday…but I did learn about my Second Life, and other business uses for Social Media.

Second Life is a Virtual World and Social Network built into one. It’s kind of like The Sims and social network rolled into one. While Second Life is best known for fantasy games, it has its own economy, and its first millionaire. It turns out that a character has turned the $9.95 sign-up fee into a cool Million (Exchanged to US) by savvy virtual real estate deals, and made the cover of Newsweek (the real one).

Plus you can fly (with wings) in Second life, a skill that might come in handy. I wonder - do you have to go to flight school?

What I also learned is that Second Life also has job fairs, for some creative jobs hire primarily through Second Life, in a virtual interview process. While it makes sense for designers, it also helps employers cost effectively pre-screen, and determine how someone thinks on his or her feet. There are even some jobs where experience in Second Life is a must (these are primarily jobs to design things within in Second Life).

Back to the event – University of Illinois-Chicago demonstrated some effective real time training and simulations which could be delivered with Second Life. Kevin Harvey described and briefly showed a disaster recovery simulation and a Health Care First Responder simulations.

While Second Life’s uses aren’t yet widespread, they are predicted to be the next wave.

How could you use Second Life to learn more about companies you’d like to work for?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New functionality, Indeed!

Job board aggregator has some interesting new functionality, including search by salary.

But first, many job seekers have never heard of job board aggregators, like and Job board aggregators scan multiple job boards (close to 100 for each), so they post a much broader variety of jobs than Monster or CareerBuilder can.

While Monster and CareerBuilder each have more highly defined search criteria, the sheer number of jobs and boards that Indeed and SimplyHired cover is staggering. So it’s great news that Indeed is improving its ability to segment jobs, adding salary as a criteria.

But you say that few employers give estimated pay in job ads. Indeed estimates salaries based on job title when no salary data is given by the employer.

How can you use job board aggregators in your search efforts?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Get Out of Voicemail Hell

Pass this post onto your recruiter friends – they’ll love you for it! is an online resource that allows you to get past the automated attendants to a live human at the largest US companies. Gethuman lists instructions to get past voicemail at hundreds, maybe thousands, of US companies.

In addition, gethuman has FAQ’s, a blog, and even humans to help you use their resources.

So get out of Voicemail Hell, and gethuman.

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Friday, April 11, 2008

27 Resume Killers

According to CareerBuilder, these are the 25 worst words to put in your resume. How many of these empty words are in yours?

- Aggressive
- Ambitious
- Competent
- Creative
- Detail-oriented
- Determined
- Efficient
- Experienced
- Flexible
- Goal-oriented
- Hard-working
- Independent
- Innovative
- Knowledgeable
- Logical
- Motivated
- Meticulous
- People person
- Professional
- Reliable
- Resourceful
- Self-motivated
- Successful
- Team player
- Well-organized

And I'll add two more - Proficient, - Responsible (or worse yet - Responsible for)

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".


Related Articles:
Who's Hiring - Top employers week of 12-21-09
David Letterman's Top 10 reasons Your Job Search is Frustrating

For access to more information:
Become a fan of reCareered on Facebook:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ditch your Crystal Ball. Try Hiring Trends Instead…

What’s happening in the Job Market? Employment Trends knows all.

You don’t need a crystal ball these days to know what’s happening in the job market. Is the market for Controllers better than for Finance Managers? Are there more jobs for Project Managers in Java, .net, or Ruby? What’s happening with the job market overall?

So pack away your crystal ball, and check out Employment Trends by Simply Hired. Employment Trends allows you to graph the % of total jobs on Simply Hired by keyword combination over the past 6 months. So compare “Left Hand Martian” (0%) to “Ruby Developer” (.025%, increased 230% over the past 6 months) and you’ll see that the market isn't so good for little green men.

As a job seeker, how can you use this? As you figure out your subject matter expertise (see ), Employment Trends can help you discover which skills are in greater demand, and which are growing or shrinking.

Also, you can quickly see what’s happening in the local market. Just search the name of your city or state to see how jobs are trending.

Best yet, combine the two, and you can really get some interesting trend information. You’ll see that:

- .net jobs decreased by 19% nationally, .net jobs in Chicago increased by 12% over the past 6 months
- Ruby jobs increased 253% nationally, Ruby jobs in Chicago only increased only 47%.
- This comparison demonstrates that Chicago continues to be a more stable job market, though not often on the bleeding edge of new technologies.

How about this?

- Mac Jobs nationally decreased by 24%, but decreased in Chicago by 68%
- PC jobs nationally decreased by 24%, but decreased in Chicago by 28%
- This is comparison shows that nationally, while job listings are down, there’s not much further erosion of Mac’s market share. But in Chicago, if you’re a Mac worker, as much as it may hurt, you might want to pick up a Vista machine and figure it out.

Hiring Trends is a great tool to play with, to help you figure out which Subject Matter Expertise will give you the best chance of finding your next career move. My Dad, a labor economist geek, will spend hours playing with this site as his new toy.

Pretty cool, huh? How will you use Hiring Trends to determine which subject matter expertise you should choose?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

5 Tips on Slaying the Phone Interview

Your phone rings, and Caller ID tells you it’s a company on your target list where you've sent your resume. Congratulations – you made the short list.

So now what?

Job seekers can kill their chances during the phone screen. Often, experienced professionals don’t appreciate what a critical part of the interview process the phone screen is. The phone screen is much more than scheduling an in person interview…it’s the first part of the interview, but it’s usually handled by an HR clerk or internal recruiter.

What can you gain from a phone screen? You can gain an interview appointment early in the schedule, giving you the chance to set the bar. You can gain HR’s support, which can help in the case of a close choice between two top candidates. Or you can blow it, and get lost or buried.

Here’s 5 tips on how to get the most out of the phone interview:

1. Do it on YOUR Terms – Let the call go to voice mail. If you’ve sent out individually customized resumes, and tracking your resumes to measure response rates, as this blog recommends, then how will you know which of the many versions of your resume the HR rep is viewing? If you’re looking at a different version, you won’t emphasize that your unique skills are the best solution to the target company’s problems. Call the HR rep back when you are sitting in front of a computer, or with a printed version of the job description, your notes on the company, and the specific version of your resume in front of you.

When you call back, expect to get the HR rep’s voice mail. Much of their day is spent on outbound phone calls. If you get their voice mail, give two possible times when you’ll call them back, and ask which is better. Ask the HR rep to email you confirmation – this a) cuts the phone tag game and b) give you the HR rep’s email address.

2. Be alert and in a good mood – Don’t call back until you are well rested, and in a good mood. As any salesperson will attest, your mood carries through on the phone.

3. Be fast – A quick turnaround gives you the chance to schedule an interview early in the schedule. Also, replying quickly gives the impression that you’re excited about the opportunity.

4. Have Questions – Have one or two questions prepared for the HR screen. It will make you look more interested in the job, and will help you learn more about the company. Make these lighter questions – Ask about dress code, corporate culture, types of people who excel at this company. Don’t ask about salary, benefits, or flexible work schedules yet…you’re still too early in the game.

5. Write a thank you note – The phone screen is an interview, yet almost nobody sends a thank you note afterwards. Not only does it make you stand out and impress the HR rep, it gives you another chance to form a positive impression with the company and advertize your personal brand. Keep in mind timing – if you are interviewing in two days, don’t mail a handwritten thank you (the HR rep won’t get it in time). See my earlier article on Thank you notes for ideas.

How will you change how you handle phone screens during your career search?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Facebook gets Chatty - Reason to Facebook #326

Facebook recently announced on it’s blog that they are releasing a Chat application soon (

You know why your kids will love this new feature. But why is Facebook Chat important to job seekers?

Think about it…much like with Twitter from my earlier post, with Facebook Chat, you can now broadcast your availability and your online resume, resume blog, or profile directly to recruiters and employers who are online. Also, you can just broadcast that you’re looking for a job to Facebooks’ 68 million users.

While developers have made Facebook chat applications available as an add-on, the most used chat application has just 35K users. But a built-in chat application reaches the entire world of Facebook.

Watch for Facebook chat which is supposed to launch in the next week or two. How will you use Facebook Chat in your job search?

If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Why I’m a Twit…and why it will help you too

Yes, I’m a Twit, though still a baby twit. I’m a baby Twit because I’m new to another Social Networking Phenomena, Twitter.

Twitter lets you tell the world what you are doing in 140 characters or less. You can send short SMS (text messages) to the world through Twitter, plus use it to automatically update your FaceBook status.

Why would anyone who’s not in school care? That’s what I wondered. I tried it out, and thought it was silly. I looked at Twitter as something my kids, in the text message, sound byte oriented world would find cool. I didn’t view Twitter as a serious business tool.

Boy was I wrong, as I'm finding out as @philreCareered.

How can Twitter help me, and help job seekers?

Every major blogger Tweets (yes, it’s a verb) to keep in touch with their audience, and to alert their audience to new posts. Some, I swear, Tweet while going to the bathroom (yuck) in an attempt to bring their audience into their daily life. It builds and keeps their audience connected between posts.

Now you don’t have to quite put your private life on such display.

Job seekers can Tweet also…by connecting to their LinkedIN and FaceBook networks that are on Twitter. Post that you’re a CIO, with Subject Matter Expertise in Project Management over Architecture, and you’re looking for a job in 140 characters or less. If you’re connected to a few hundred fellow Twits, and a few hundred FaceBook friends, ESPECIALLY if you send a link to your online resume, or better yet, your BLOG….you’re marketing yourself to the universe, baby.

Twitter works most powerfully as a Public Announcement system to your other Social Networking activities. Using Twitter to promote your online resume, your LinkedIN and Facebook profiles, your blog, your FaceBook comments, your groups, your Questions, Answers, forum posts, blog comments.

Twitter does the same thing with all of these Social Networking activities….promotes them. Twitter is like a billboard you see on the highway, or a 15 second radio spot.

But Twitter is even better for two reasons:

  1. You can send links to your content
  2. It’s free!!

Shel Isreal, one of the Fathers of Social Networking (he co-wrote the best selling Naked Conversations), posted this article, interviewed Housefrau turned Global Consultant, Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) in this great article Laura gives great insight into using Twitter, and how Tweeting made her a celeb and business superstar.

So how can you Tweet your way to a great new career?

Executives exploring Career Change: For a free 30 minute resume consultation, or career advice for executives, email your resume confidentially to reCareered (, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Staff, Managers, Entrepreneurs, and career changers outside the US: Send your resume to to enroll in a free group teleseminar "Accelerate Your Job Search - tools you can use".

Friday, April 4, 2008

Resumes Stink!

And so does yours…. I don’t even have to see it to know it stinks. How can I know this?

Because it’s a resume, and resumes stink. They don’t work well in today’s world because they only work one direction….you to the employer. Resumes don’t grab the employer's attention, and don’t allow the employer to communicate back to you. So what’s a better way? The same way I’m reaching you!

Hats off to marketing guru Seth Godin, because he “gets it”. I’ll explain tactics of how to create this in later posts, but for starters read Seth’s post

If you’d like to discuss how to get your resume into a blog, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Now that I’m Linked, Who do I Link TO?

OK, so you’re on LinkedIN…Now what? You filled out a profile, put excerpts from your resume, got a few recommendations, linked to your close contacts.

So then what?

If you’re adopting a tight network strategy, then you’re pretty much done with linking. But you can imagine that a tight network strategy has limitations for job seekers.

For a broad network strategy, building your network is about targeting and efficiency. You want to build as quickly as possible, but build your network with people who are more likely to be able to help you.

So if you are limiting your search to a specific metro area – it’s probably a good idea to concentrate your network in that metro area. But not so fast, bukko, keep in mind that LinkedIN gives you 3 levels of connections. That means the guy you link to in India, might have many contacts in the US who can help you…and by linking to your new Indian friend, you get those people in your database also.

An efficient strategy includes targeting to a couple levels of geography, plus industry focus, potential boss’ job title, and target companies.

I recommend “The Rule of 50’s”:

Link to me: ( You start out your database with almost 600K connections. Happy Birthday.

Close Geography: Link to the top 50 connected people in your metro area. Regardless of industry or job function, link to the most connected people, and you’ll pimp your database in no time.

Broad Geography: Link to the top 50 connected people in your State (different ones than city), and in your country. Again, these folks are hubs, and hubs connect to lots of people. Hubs will likely accept your invitation, because they are interested in building their own databases.

Industry: Link to the top 50 connected people in your industry. These are industry hubs….maybe not as broad of a reach, but more targeted.

Boss’ Title: If you are an IT Manager, connect to the top 50 CIOs, Director of IT, VP of IT. If you are a Controller, connect to CFOs and VP Finance. If you’re bucking for a promotion, connect one level up the food chain. Consider geographic limitations here also.

Target Companies: Link to 10 people in each target company. Since people in target companies often link to their peers, you’ll get a reach of a few hundred at larger companies. Add more selectively as needed.

Results: This method delivers 300-350 level 1 connections, and a few million level 3 connections.

Caution: Don’t spam. LinkedIN kicks spammers off its system.

Think that’s a big enough database to get started?

So….what are you waiting for? I don’t see your invitation in my inbox yet!

If you’d like to discuss your LinkedIN strategy, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.