Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

------------------ In Black and White -------------------------------

Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.



Take a look at this site, but only if you have a strong constitution and are not easily discouraged.

JobVent takes commentary and rating information from former and current company employees. Anybody may post anything about any company.

Based upon the reviews, most people, when given the venue and format, will complain rather than praise. So JobVent is what it says; a place for employees to vent about their place of work.

Also, most of the companies I saw reviewed were large. And the complaints are about large company problems - pay, benefits, work environment and "respect" - all directed at "management" primarily.

JobVent exists because a lot of people don't like what they have to do for a living. And dissatisfaction often finds a soulmate or two or a hundred.

Sites like JobVent popup frequently, and if they collect enough opt-in email addresses, will have a huge mailing list of dissatisfied recipients to market to.

I wonder if employers read these sites (I am sure they do). I also wonder if it really matters.

Lesson learned: Those who are posting are fighting with the only option they think they have.

You know better. If unhappy, LEAVE. And using Web 2.0 technology, more and more employers will know where to find you.



Another new site to check out today - Isabont.


Freehive is a new Web 2.0 jobs/career networking site.

Freehive appears to have been started last week; it is that new. There are still some bugs to be worked out, however Freehive looks promising.

Unlike other social/business networking sites, Freehive guides new users through a series of screens designed to create a new account and profile. Emphasis in the Freehive signup process is on academics (universities attended, degrees, etc.) and employment, (past and present).

Once registered, Freehive users can update their profile and personal information.

What is different about Freehive?

myHive - A screen category which contains contacts, opportunity search and positions available based upon Freehive profile.

Buzzmates - other Freehive members you are associated with based upon school, employment or associations. These people create "buzz" about you on Freehive.

I think Freehive is promising, but needs work. A network search located only 9 other people, which leads me to believe that Freehive, again, is brand new and is still obtaining traction.

Further, whoever is behind Freehive has an emphasis on education, associations and "jobs" - this gives the impression that Freehive was the result of a recent university project created by a student from abroad.

More mature networking sites focus on networking and how well connected users can assist each other with introductions and revenue.

Freehive is promising, the "buzz" and "hive" concept are creative, and with time could develop into a useful business networking site.

Check out Freehive here.


The Career Manifesto (viral'd)

From Seth Godin's blog, a viral'd piece from Gaping Void.

To quote:

"6. Your technical skills may impress the other geeks, but if you can't get along with your co-workers, you're a litigation breeder. Don't be surprised if management regards you as an expensive risk."
- Gaping Void

See the rest here.

Good stuff.

LinkedIn Invitations

LinkedIn is a great application - it must be judging by the number of users, the press releases and the size of its users networks.

I receive about 2-5 LinkedIn emails a day for network requests. At first, most LinkedIn users want to accept every single invite and thus grow their network (and get to the coveted 500+ connection ring).

This is all well and good, but I always carefully consider all LinkedIn invitations before I automatically accept them. Why?

Some invitations come from LinkedIn users who only want to have a large network number. How do I know? Try sending a response email or request first. If the sender does not respond, they most likely have sent out hundreds of invites and are not actually interested in networking on LinkedIn.

Also, I see a direct correlation between the actual networking interest of the LinkedIn user and the type of invite they send. For instance, the generic LinkedIn invitation encourages the recipient to join LinkedIn. If I receive this type of invitation, clearly the sender did not put much thought into their invite.

But a lesson from the other side of the fence.

I have accepted invitations from some LinkedIn users that left me thinking, "What is this guy going to do for me?" that left me eating my words later. It is through many of these invites I have received job interviews, speaking and writing opportunities and sales prospects. You never know so tread carefully.

Finally, LinkedIn has some great new buttons which will help you promote your LinkedIn profile on your blog or website.

Go to your Profile and check Promote Your Profile right above your Summary. There is a link to a number of buttons and code for publishing right on your website.

Now if only LinkedIn had a referral button and revenue plan, that would be cool!

Digg This Story


Writing articles to grow your brand

The Internet has several great services, most of which are free, which can help build and grow your personal brand, i.e. Marketing Me.

Writing articles is a great way to increase your reputation and awareness of your talents and capabilities.

First, always have at least one blog. Your blog will be the test bed for your articles prior to widespread publication and it helps hone your writing skills.

Next, there are several "free" article submission sites which are clambering for content. These sites, like EzineArticles, EzinePlug, and Ezinehub allow you to open a free account and upload your articles for others to read and reprint.

Regarding reprinting, you will be asked to sign off on others reprinting your articles on their websites and blogs. Realize that this will result in a viral transmission of your name and reputation.

Make sure your articles include your name and a URL of your personal website or blog.
(Make sure you create that website or blog first! As always, see my Marketing Me ToDo List for more information and how to get started).

Many professionals report astonishing results from their article submissions. Job and consulting opportunities, speaking engagements, and requests for additional articles.

Writing and submitting articles can grow your personal brand and reputation as long as you submit them to Internet-based e-article websites such as the ones listed above.



Using LinkedIn to build your network

I probably blather more about than any other product right now.

Quite simply it is because I play with the LinkedIn features so much I have LinkedIn on the brain most days.

To quickly build your LinkedIn contact list, make sure you include your email address in your name.

This can be done in your LinkedIn Profile.

In your LinkedIn Profile, Edit your Display Name.

Input your name and follow it with [your email address]in brackets like these.

Every time someone comes across your LinkedIn profile, they will have your email address. They can then send you a LinkedIn invite to join their network.

What about spam? Email has some great filters in place for dealing with spam as does your corporate email server and gmail and yahoo web clients. Spam is annoying, but is less intrusive than it use to be.

Start using LinkedIn today to increase your network contact list!

Using Plaxo to market yourself and products

I have used for a number of years and have been a big fan.

I use Plaxo like everyone else does to manage my address book and contacts.

A great feature of Plaxo is the auto updates it sends to your contacts whenever your contact information is modified.

Besides phone numbers, email addresses and so forth, there is a special feature which is widely underused by Plaxo users.

Log into your Plaxo account and view your business cards under My Cards.

At the bottom of your Plaxo Work Info card is a gray space. This space, when properly populated, will display a Plaxo Card Message.

To edit, click on the Edit button.

Fill in your Plaxo Card Message in the open box marked Card Message at the bottom of the left hand column.

You can add about 500 characters of text to the box. I use this box to highlight -
- products I am promoting
- recent job changes
- awards or honors
- announcements of upcoming speeches, publications, or presentations
- "want lists" like opportunities, etc.

After editing the Card Message, you might want to use one of the other features in your Plaxo Card. For instance, I added a picture of a new product I am selling in the Choose Photo field (who needs to see a picture of me everyday?). You can also edit the URL field to include a specific website as well.

Don't forget to check the Privacy options at the bottom of the card. I allow any Plaxo member to see my business profile. You may want to limit it to your contacts, just make sure your contacts list is as large as you can make it!

Save your Edits and within seconds, your updated Plaxo Card with message, photo, etc will be sent "spam free" to your contacts and inserted in their address cards. Further, they will receive a standard email displaying your modifications!

Imagine how long this would take if you phoned all of your contacts with the same amount of information!

Get Plaxo if you don't have it already and start building your own email networking announcements today.


Ask and ye shall receive..

If I could give anyone ONE piece of advice it would be to ASK.

- Ask for the sale - 25% of all sales are received this way.

- Ask for the job - most employers, HR staff and recruiters are not expecting this question.

- Ask for the raise - most employers will give you one if you deserve it.

- Ask for the date - many attractive people have fewer dates than you think. The same applies for sales and jobs. The most attractive company often gets few offers because "people think it is too hard".

The most dissatisfied person never asks for anything. They make statements ("I am broke") or they complain ("I never get the good deals").

Successful people ask and ask often. Try it.

Requests for references

Do you need a reference for your next job? Most likely you will.

There are two types of references, personal and professional.

Personal references can be written by anyone who knows you well. It is best however, to have someone with "authority" - a minister, doctor, family friend with a strong professional title or well-known personality.

Personal references will vouch for your character, personality, ethics and personal history.

Professional references are from former (and current) employers, co-workers and clients.

Your current employer may be reluctant to provide a reference for obvious reasons; they may not want you looking for another job! But most likely, your current employer will not provide a professional reference because of legal ramifications - if your reference does not reflect your current job status (such as promotions, pay raises, responsibility), then your employer could be sued - by you.

The exception to the rule is if you are voluntarily leaving your current company or are being released due to layoff or economic downturn.

Your former employer will usually provide some sort of professional reference. Generally it will consist of "worked from date X to date Y and eligible for rehire".

If you remain on good terms with your previous employer, you could very well receive a strong letter of reference. Keep these on file and use them again and again.

Co-workers are a good source for references which many overlook. Co-workers are especially good if they have a strong title and can reference specific projects they completed with you.

The most overlooked professional reference sources are clients and customers. If you have provided good service and have a good professional relationship, these are potential wellsprings of incredible value.

After all, professional references from customers attest to your excellent service and value you produced for a revenue source to your customer!

How to ask for a reference?

First and foremost, stay on good terms with your network of potential references. Remain in contact and don't wait until you need a reference to ask for one.

Second, offer to return the assistance in kind at the very least. At best, offer something of value to your references which they will translate as a gift of good faith - referrals, introductions, free consulting or contractual work.

Finally, have several reference sources in mind. No one who provides references wants to be hounded daily by the sad sack who has no network.

If a reference does not get back to you in a timely fashion, do not take this the wrong way - be understanding of their schedule and have an alternate plan.

A final note, do not forget to write a thank you note for the reference. This is common courtesy and should never be overlooked.

Phone messages

I recently received a phone message which made me think about ways we can all improve on this important, yet neglected activity.

The Do

- Speak slowly and clearly.
- Say your name, your company, your callback number and a brief reason for your call.
- Repeat your callback number at the end of the message.

The Don't

- Speak quickly, especially when leaving a callback number.
- Call while eating, coughing, or sneezing.
- Call while outside or a loud environment.
- Leave messages while carrying on a conversation.
- Leave rambling messages which exceed common courtesy.
- Leave a pitch, plea or unusual request.
- Forget to leave your name of callback number

Voice mail is your friend. Use it wisely and with courtesy and it will pay back handsome dividends.


IT job market best in years

Besides Sales, IT work is a field I know best and write about frequently.

Robert Half Technology announced that IT jobs are at a high not seen since 2001 and growing.

From my own experience, I know this was true already. Over the past year, several colleagues in IT work have changed jobs and reported higher earnings.

MS Windows and network management top the list. But DBA's don't need to worry.

Jobs are everywhere, but the Southeastern U.S. is hot as are several major metropolitan areas.

Read the rest here.


I am a big fan of .
- I use it for research on companies (for Sales, Work)
- I use it to market myself, my work, my revenue.
- I use it communicate with coworkers (current and former), business contacts and customers.
- I use it to keep track of others.

Key actions which help others find you

- Update your profile regularly. Update at least once a year. I update mine every week.

- Change your links in your Profile regularly. These can increase your "discoverability" by others. They can also be used to promote your blog, website and other activities.

- Include your email address next to your name. People want to contact you to network. (If you are worried about spam, join the 21st century and get some filters in place on your email!).

- Under Specialties in your Profile, include as many keywords which best describe you and your interests. Keywords are how people are found.

- Elaborate in your Summary (also in your Profile). Don't be shy. Include those keywords, company names and positions which best describe you.

- Use your Experience (Profile, again) as a soap box. Brag about what you did when you were there.

- Write recommendations for others. Ask them to do it for you.

- Use your Additional Information space for Additional Information. Don't waste billboard space!

It drives me crazy when I see someone's profile which looks like it has not been updated in months.

is your friend. Use it!


Career planning

Career Advice

I have written about this many times before and cannot stop expanding upon it - What is your career plan?

All too often we depend upon our employer or "management" to have a career plan or path ready and waiting for us?

Why is this?

Your employer hired you for a specific job.

Managers in most companies, (especially the larger ones) are trained to keep employees busy and productive.

Companies do not expect managers to build realistic career paths or plans for their employees.

When companies do anything which resembles an employee career plan, they are only doing this activity to build a reasonable expectation for the employee within the organization.

Your career plan is yours and yours alone.

Start on it today.

How to get started

Decide what you want to do. Base this solely upon your interests and desires. Ignore what everyone else - especially what magazines, newspapers (anybody read those anymore?) and television news - says. If you want to be blacksmith, then be one!

When are you are going to do what you want to do? This is the killer. We have dreams, hopes and plans yet never execute on them primarily because we do not have a "drop dead date". Get a calendar and make a date with your life.

How are you going to do it? Want to be a dance instructor? Can you dance? Do you have shoes? Are there any preparations you need to make? Get busy.

Who will know about your plan? How will you tell them? Do you have the proper tools to remarket yourself to the world?

Finally, are you ready to walk away? This is easier than you think. Once you make your plan, you will know when to walk.

Your career plan is yours alone. Stop being stuck in the same place and make your plan today.

Great places to find new customers

From the people at Just Sell. 50 Ways to Find New Business and Generate Leads


Sales Tough

You know I am in sales so I read a lot of sales books, newsletters and web sites related to sales.

Check this one out - Sales Tough from Just Sell. Download the ebook, print it out, save it on your hard drive and read it frequently. It is that good.

I have said this before, and will say it again - what you put in you get out. If you fill your mind with negative, defeatist garbage you will regurgitate the same in your life.

Stay motivated and positive. If you need help, read, listen, and watch that which motivates you.

Stay tough.


Change your number

"“I’ll tell you a secret: When your number comes up, you’re going to go. Well, every morning I get up, I change my number.”"
- Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Chun

I love that statement from Mr. Chun. Something that stuck with me all day long.

Work is a far cry from war. Not to be disrespectful, but it is a battle out there. Layoffs, outsourcing, downsizing, offshoring, age discrimination, and so on.

Work is hell, to paraphrase.

Changing your number can mean a number of things in your career.

How can you change your number daily?

- Disrupt (they hired you to diversify the gene pool, not inbreed it)
- Make things (sales are good) happen
- Exceed (expectations, earnings, sales)
- Uncover (opportunities, savings, products, features, markets)
- Praise more and complain less
- Get out and grow the business (plants die without sun)

Never design the box. Live without the box. Demand more of yourself and your value to everyone. Keep raising your stock value. Break records. Set new ones.

Wake up on December 8 and change you number. Do it again on December 9. Don't stop.

Here's to you Mr. Chun and may you have a never ending supply of numbers.

Call toll free for a free gift yours for the asking

Examples of tired marketing statements which won't go away.

We are immune now. We hear that operators are standing by or read that Marketing Me was seen on TV and we don't care.

Our minds tune out the repetitive clutter and search for the substance to the ad, the product or the person which best meets our need.

Does your resume declare how productive you are? Or brag about the timeliness or quality of your work? What about how cost-affective you are?

How about your profile in LinkedIn, Ecademy or XING? Still proclaiming your loyalty and teamwork?

Who cares.

In a world where computers screen resumes for keywords and recruiters hunt prospects based upon company affiliation and industry, why aren't you changing your calling card?

Stop wasting white space and start managing your ad. You may only have one shot at the big time... today.

And call before midnight tonight for once a year big savings.



Earlier I posted here: Check out my lens

- I am becoming a bit disenchanted with Squidoo as of late. There is no support to speak of save impersonal auto-responders and blogs which are infrequently updated (once a month!). This is a Web2.0 company?
Seth Godin seems more obsessed with making a difference charity-wise than making a "company different" - which is how he made his name in the first place. ("Seth, you are not Mother Teresa or even Bob Geldoff. Do what you do best. Market and make Squidoo a great business first").
I hope Squidoo does not follow the same path as GM - remember the great quote from Walmart's CEO? "General Motors is a benefits company which makes cars". Think about it.

I stand corrected as far as support goes. There is a forum which is regularly monitored by staff members at Squidoo as well as volunteers. Several recent problems were addressed in the forum and explained.

Fair is fair. Regardless, Squidoo is a neat little place to market yourself - any place like that is good.

Marketing Me Blurbs

Lots today to keep track of...

- Check out formerly known as , a professional business networking platform. They are based in Europe but are trying hard to enter into the U.S. growing social networking market. If you do business in Europe or want to, XING might be a good idea to join.

- is another EU-based business networking platform. I think it has more of a "Wild West Frontier" feel to it (if you can say that about a Europe-based company!). There are plenty of opportunities and JV deals offered by users throughout the site making it a very capitalistic place to visit.

- I am becoming a bit disenchanted with as of late. There is no support to speak of save impersonal auto-responders and blogs which are infrequently updated (once a month!). This is a company?
seems more obsessed with making a difference charity-wise than making a "company different" - which is how he made his name in the first place. ("Seth, you are not Mother Teresa or even Bob Geldoff. Do what you do best. Market and make Squidoo a great business first").
I hope Squidoo does not follow the same path as GM - remember the great quote from Walmart's CEO? "General Motors is a benefits company which makes cars". Think about it.

- Watch out what you send from your account! I passed along an email to some people in my network and had my Send Invitations temporarily turned off.

- Finally, some good words - Seven traits of effective leaders

1) Make others feel important
2) Promote a vision
3) Follow the Golden Rule (Google it if you don't know it).
4) Admit mistakes
5) Criticize others only in private
6) Stay close to the action - visit your customers and suppliers often. Get out of the office!
7) Make a game of competition - celebrate the successes and measure the failures!

- Courtesy of The Toastmaster, Mission Viejo, California

Until next time, keep on Marketing Me!


How to increase


How to increase your the Marketing Me Way


My second quarter this year stunk. I mean bad. It was the equivalent of an extra paycheck.

In the clock punching world, that may be fine, but in the Sales world, that is the kiss of death.

I had tried everything to increase my sales that quarter - cold calling, lowering the price, free shipping, promises I could never keep. Nothing.

So I regrouped. I got out of the office and really thought about ways I could genuinely increase my sales. I took a week off and read a few books and websites on sales and the sales process. I studied companies - especially their ads and advertising strategy. "How did they get sales?"

I realized that "dropping my pants" and bothering customers with unwanted calls was not the answer.

I needed a new approach for attracting customers to my company, my product but more important, to me. In the end, what matters most in sales, is the customer who wants to buy finds YOU and buys from YOU.

Use what works

I had no problem using the Internet to attract and build traffic for ME, but what about for my company? I mean "employees" are not exactly taught to go out and buy a billboard for our company out of our own pocket, are we? That's Marketing's job.

Wrong. This is what sales is about. Sales people can now attract good qualified customers with today's technology and tools. Further, successful sales people are not "employees". They are independent contractors paid for moving other people's merchandise.

Getting Started



Sales people for years have been buying advertising for their own sales. Take realtors and insurance sales people for instance, who buy ads in church bulletins and school yearbooks.

I already had a Google Adwords account. So I created a number of ads for my company and limited them to my territory. Because there was the chance that some potential customers researched products like my company made, at night and on weekends, I went ahead and left my ads viewable during those time periods.

I researched keywords for my ads carefully using Keyword Selector Tool from Yahoo and WordTracker which is a great keyword research tool.

I took advantage of the name recognition of my competitors and used those as keywords as well.

I then considered different variations on my ads and moved text and wording about.

Also, I used the AdWords option for content. Most marketers advise against doing that because content ads often appear where your competition is most likely to click - thereby wasting your money.

But I knew my ads could also be where my competition may not be looking. Like in blogs or press articles.

After my first week with AdWords, I only had received a few clicks. But my ads had appeared in the top 10 or so ad slots more than 700 times! I had the right keywords, just the wrong wording. I changed the ads out and managed to get a few of them to convert in the 5-7% range. Very respectable for a newbie.


Using , and others

When I say networking, I mean online networking tools (one of my favorite topics). I changed two of my favorite, LinkedIn and Plaxo, profiles to reflect a more aggressive sales tactic. For instance, I included a description of my top selling product in both profiles. Hopefully, they would attract interest from parts of my network I had not considered.

I also signed up for about a half a dozen other social networking websites and increased my visibility. I joined groups within networking sites to increase my visibility. I actively asked for referrals.

At first, nothing happened. But in the weeks that followed, I started getting requests for information. Sometimes it was to write a brief article about my industry (never turn those opportunities down!) and other times just an email or phone call from an interested company. Nevertheless, people contacted me interested in my product - I did not have to "cold call" or phone spam them!


(Now by "mail" I mean snail mail, post, postal mail, etc. Not email).

I read a great book once called "The Power To Get In" which described ways to build interest for your company or product by sending multiple mail outs to key people within an organization. This way you can create "buzz" within an organization.

Taking this to heart, I created a sales letter and put together a packet of materials on our products. Next, I researched dozens (ultimately over a thousand) companies who might be interested in my product.

Then I concentrated on the names of the key people at a company. Once I knew who the key people were, I dropped them one of my packets. Then I did it again, but this time I changed the sales letter to a follow up letter.

I included a business card as well.

Since these companies were in my territory, if they "Googled" my company, they would see one of my ads. I am now bombarding my prospects with my company name.

The end result, by the end of the year, I had fielded about a half dozen calls and emails from interested parties. This may not seem like a lot, but these are calls from prospects who are interested in what I am selling. One sale more than pays for my time and mailings; two sales pays for some nice Christmas presents!


I don't like dropping emails to individuals who did not ask for my email. I call this spam (you should too). However, I do not have a problem checking company website for mail forms. This forms go directly to sales people, but sometimes they go to the head of Marketing, Sales or even the President.

These forms are invitations into the inner workings of any company and they should be used for general questions which can be turned into leads.

And in the end...

After all those mail outs, ads, profiles and emails what happened?

Well, my fourth quarter (right now) is shaping up to be the best quarter I have had yet. I have done more this quarter in the first two months than I did in the first and second quarter combined!

What worked best? For targeted sales increases, I have to say the mailouts worked the best. For most interesting sales calls, networking was by far the most exciting. Your results will vary, but it is definitely worth it to try new means to increase your visibility and sales.

Until next time..

Hey, it's not my job!

From Seth Godin's blog (sorry trackbacks don't work with Blogger!).

You can see the line painter staring at the fallen tree, scratching head and going around it. Like Seth says, classic!

Don't paint around the tree today. Let's make that our motto today at Marketing Me!


Making and How Much Should You Ask For?

Yahoo has an article in their career center about salary advice.

Negotiating the best for the position you are considering is probably about the most important decision you can make for any job.

I don't care what anyone says, getting paid is the reason we work. Sure, it is nice to be financially secure and not have to worry about how much your will be every other week, but the reality is most of us have to be concerned about money.

Simple rule which Jeffrey Fox outlines in his book "How to Become CEO" - take the job which pays the most money.

Why? Because the you make at this job will go on to the next job you take. If you make $150,000.00 per year at job one, your next employer will be expected to match that at the very least in order to attract you.

Besides, it makes paying bills easier which allows you to focus on your work and your own worth.

Another idea is to take the job which pays the most overall.

That is, take the job which has the best cost to you (i.e. lower insurance deductibles, matching 401K, etc.), a better bonus structure (because you ARE going to get that BONUS) and other payment incentives like stock or stock options.

Happiness at a job is important, but one can be much happier making ten grand more per year at job one than suffering joyfully at job two.

Self fund your life. Start now.


Ho Ho Ho! Off to a new job you go!

Are the holidays a good time to change ?

According to a recent article in the Arizona Republican, a change might be in order during the holiday season.

A recruiter quoted in the article suggests, ".. this is a time of real opportunity because of lot of your competitors are taking time off from their efforts."

I like that. Take advantage of timing for your . The article also mentions that often, positions which have not been filled during the year, but have been budgeted, require an immediate hire.

Read the whole article here.

Who knows? You may find something you had not expected in your stocking this year!



I work in

I have a quota to meet each quarter and annually. I have to constantly build and maintain my pipeline. No pipeline means no sales this quarter or the next.

I hate . Many sales managers like cold calling however. It makes sales people "look busy". So when I had a bad quarter earlier this year, my manager recommended that I start cold calling prospects.

Did I mention I hate cold calling?

My friend Frank has a new book on the subject of cold calling and has a few chapters available. Check it out at Never Cold Call. Guess what? He hates cold calling too, thus the name.

What's neat about Frank's book is the first 10 chapters are free. Which is too bad because I bought the book from Amazon when it first came out. Good for you.

Never Cold Call has the same philosophy as Marketing Me. Where portable people like us use Web 2.0 technology to market ourselves, Frank advocates using the same technology to increase sales leads and sales.

Remember, we are all in sales. If you are not part of the process you WILL be part of the exit process. Everyone is a sales person sometime.


Right Place, Right Time

...the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects five out of the 12 fastest-growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 will be computer related.

But you knew that, right?

Losers and Leaders

As you give thanks and reflect on the past year, remember this:

Losers Blame Others, Leaders Lead.

'Nuff said.


Job Fair again


I was recently in a large town which hosts many conventions.

This place has thousands of hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants.

One of the hotel chains was holding a job fair.

A crowd stood outside.

Some were dressed in suits, dresses and ties.

Others were in bluejeans and t-shirts.

There were multiple ethnicities and ages represented.

The crowd stood outside.

A banner on the roof of the facility proclaimed "X Job Fair".

The line for the entrance snaked around the building.

As fair attendees moved closer, uniformed attendants handed out paper forms for completion prior to entrance. In the wind, standing applicants poured over the forms, pulled identification cards and contact information from their wallets, and attempted to scrawl answers all while trying not to lose their place in line.

The crowd stood outside.

Eventually, a few would be admitted into what one can only imagine; a faceless room full of draped banquet tables arranged like a gauntlet for the job seeker to walk through.

Resumes would be brushed aside in favor of the company provided form... Questions from candidates would be kept to a minimum.

Applicants would be prodded towards a massive meeting room with a stage at one end, directed to folding chairs and given a glowing presentation by an HR representative of the chain.

No "one on one" interviews. No questions about the applicant's background or experience. No question or answer session for the moderator.

Instead, applicant forms were collected and the applicants shown the back door with the parting comment, "We will call you if interested. Please don't call us".


This was not twenty years ago. This is right now. This is what job applicants think they HAVE to do. This is what is wrong with centrally controlled bureaucracies run by small minded thugs with little respect for actual hardworking people.

Why can't companies which hold these types of events be honest?
They might say in the fair advertisement "We are only looking to fill ten positions, all of which require at least two years of experience in information technology or accounts payable activities".

Instead, their "human resource" departments want the largest pool of attendees to pick through and play against each other.

This is why I loathe job "fairs" (even the name is a lie - they should be called cattle roundups) and encourage you to skip, no, to avoid attending them at all costs.

One day, this barbaric practice will be shuttled out the backdoor with a brief "Don't call us, we won't call you". But until then, keep using your intelligence, your network and all of the massive decentralized resources available, "thug free".

Offense vs Defense


All career counselors tell you to focus on money in your resume.

No, not how much you want to get paid, but the financial impact your hiring will have on the company.

There are two approaches.

The Saver - Your resume highlights your experience at saving money, cutting costs, cutting unprofitable product lines. This candidate believes the Franklin adage, "A penny saved is a penny earned.". I call this a defensive strategy.
The Rainmaker - Your resume focuses on your revenue generation ability. Increased sales, successful grant writing, increased market share, collections and closures.
I call this an offensive strategy.

I am a firm believer in the latter strategy rather than the former. Why?

Because there is only so much "fat" that can be cut before you end up with ribbons.

Revenue is a much more deep resource. Sell more shoes. Build more servers. Consult more hours or for more money.

Any business will look at a candidate much more seriously if that candidate has the ability to increase sales and market share of a product or service. It is that simple.

More money, not saving what is left, is what matters.

Be frugal. But focus on the work which increases your company's income.


Here's what's changing


What happens on the Internet today will affect the rest of the world tomorrow.

Think about it. It seems plausible.

Have newspapers, electronics stores, garage sales and auto dealers been affected by the Internet? What rock have you been under?

Used to be, companies put ads in newspapers or through employment agencies and filled positions. People were cogs in a growing machine of commerce and progress. People filled slots. Slots were filled by using centralized systems - "send out to personnel and get me 12 more engineers!".

The internet is content driven. Content is king. Websites make money from advertising. No content, no ad money.

People are content. We are provide value. Without people, companies have no product and thus no revenue.

However, because of the Internet, we no longer need centralized systems to place us where we are needed. We go where we want. We create positions and build revenue.

If there is any one thing you must understand, this is it.

Content is king. You are content.

Here's what's changing


What happens on the Internet today will affect the rest of the world tomorrow.

Think about it. It seems plausible.

Have newspapers, electronics stores, garage sales and auto dealers been affected by the Internet? What rock have you been under?

Used to be, companies put ads in newspapers or through employment agencies and filled positions. People were cogs in a growing machine of commerce and progress. People filled slots. Slots were filled by using centralized systems - "send out to personnel and get me 12 more engineers!".

The internet is content driven. Content is king. Websites make money from advertising. No content, no ad money.

People are content. We are provide value. Without people, companies have no product and thus no revenue.

However, because of the Internet, we no longer need centralized systems to place us where we are needed. We go where we want. We create positions and build revenue.

If there is any one thing you must understand, this is it.

Content is king. You are content.


LinkedIn Again

Getting The Job Done

Still wondering if you should use LinkedIn?

While you are thinking about it, consider who is using LinkedIn as part of their career change.

Would a future Presidential Candidate convince you?
Or how about a hopeful past Presidential Candidate ?

With the Internet playing the major role in all things, astute politicians (or their handlers) have figured out the value of using Web 2.0 tools and sites to get their message out.

You should too.

The Squeaky Wheel


What is the Squeaky Wheel?

The SW is the person (coworker, customer, etc.) who makes the most amount of fuss and ends up receiving a larger allotment of attention.

It does not seem fair, yet it happens all to often.

At your place of work, there is a coworker who is the Squeaky Wheel. They always seem to complain the loudest and always seem to get their way. Perhaps they are complaining to you and perhaps you are accommodating them. Perhaps you are shorted by your employer because Squeaky Wheel is getting your time, attention or accolades.

What can you do about the Squeaky Wheel? Here are some solutions.

1) Ignore them. Let them complain to their heart's content. If they do not get what they want, eventually they will leave.

2) Give into them. Better to pick and choose your battles and win the ones which are really important.

3) Stand up to them. Carefully record their complaints and put it back in their face.
"I know what you are doing, here is the proof. Stop now or leave.".

4) Leave. If you are in an environment which caters to the Squeaky Wheel, do you really want to be there?

5) Migrate. Move to another role in which Squeaky Wheels are not welcome or is hazardous to their livelihood.

Squeaky Wheels are prevalent in every company. Remember, they typically congregate where they have the greatest effect, i.e. they get what they want. Eventually, they will die out as a species; in the meantime, find a way around or away from them.

Happy Monday.


Increased self funding

Think of yourself as a start up.

You have a product.

It nicely addresses a specific market, smaller of course, always being better.

You have a small client list. In fact, it is one customer. This customer however, orders regularly, let's say every weekday, and pays on time, let's say every two weeks.

One day, your customer calls you in their office and announces they are no longer going to be buying from you. Rather, they have chosen one of your competitors. They cite a number of reasons why your product is no longer desired and in the end, hand you a final payment for your product and send you away.

If you were a start up, you would either fold or get real busy finding a replacement customer. But wouldn't it be better to not get caught in that same bind again?

Would it not be better to have 2, 3 or 5 customers rather than one?

If so, then why are you still working for one company for one paycheck and hoping it will never end?

Pick something. Pick several somethings which you enjoy doing. Can you increase your revenue doing something else you enjoy doing?

Consider these options:

Writing - articles, ezines, etc.


Consultant for friends or business contact's companies (don't conflict with your current job!).

Contract for certain fixed work.

Sell something - write an ebook and sell it online, or sell someone else's product on your website.

All of these ideas you can start today. Think hard. How can your company diversify its revenue and increase its self funding?

Worker shortages looming in all places..


On Slashdot and Lou Dobbs, the alarm was raised, "Offshoring of IT workers to India is hurting the U.S.!".

Now, learn about a possible IT worker shortage in India which might affect their productivity and future growth.

India is home to over a billion people several of whom hold college degrees in IT related fields - all to meet the demand over the past decade from high technology countries many of which are based in the U.S.

Yet they may not be able to meet the demand.

Where will the overflow go? As demand rises, supplies increase. Rarely will an opportunity go unnoticed.


Election Day

Across the United States, the polls are open and citizens are flocking to pull the lever and cast their vote.

All admirable - vote early and vote often as they say.

As we get bombarded by the non-stop speeches, articles, soundbites and candidate phone calls, we will inevitably hear our politicians make reference to jobs at sometime or another.

Terms will be bandied about like "job creation" or "worker uncertainty" or something similar.

In the spirit of the election, let's remind our politicians about the new contributor to progress in the U.S., the self promoter and marketer. We are the future, and they had better listen to our platform.

1) Job creation is something self promoters and marketers always do. We make creative things happen where ever we work. Our employers, customers and cohorts will always find a way to keep us involved and onboard because of the incredible value we bring to the work place.

2) Job security happens when the offers keep coming despite our relative happiness at our current location and occupation. We market ourselves and talents and thus, are sought out from all corners. We use the Internet to advertise our personal brand and the calls come in. We feel very secure.

3) Worker benefits are the benefits we bring to our current place of work or to our customers. Because of these benefits, rewards come our way in increased personal funding for our efforts.

4) I am a successful, confident, active and remarkable contributor. I am not a victim or a statistic.

5) Self promoters and marketers always have their hand in a half dozen different projects. Layoffs and closings mean little to us because we work constantly towards self funding and foster multiple revenue opportunities. Adherents to self marketing often leave one job on Friday and start another on Monday.

6) You won't find us punching the clock 9-to-5, standing in line at a job fair or waiting for a callback from our old job. We make lousy soundbites or campaign footage.

As our politicians have been finding out (usually too late), that the world is changing. Work is changing and most of us have easily adapted.

That adaptability is our real strength and coupled with our ingenuity and resourcefulness, we are an unstoppable force in this ever shrinking, globalized world.

Happy Election Day, America.


Professional Social Networking

Previously, I mentioned Hoovers' new professional social networking service, (with a name like Hoovers, I can't wait). I also frequently mention LinkedIn. A reader asked if I considered or tried some of the other sites and services available.

There are quite a few to consider.

Besides LinkedIn,

Ryze - I have not tried Ryze in more than a year. At the time, I was going through social networking overload.
Note: To the good people at Ryze, I will give it a try and report back my experience here.

Can You Connect - New. I have yet to give Can You Connect a try.

Ecademy - Ecademy is highly popular. I have a profile, but have not updated it in several months.
Note: I recently received several invitations to rejoin Ecademy which I will try and update my future experiences here.

Spoke - Spoke offers a great deal of information, but I quit using it after Spoke wanted to charge for continued service. I am reluctant about paying for professional social networking software because so many use our profile information (content) to generate ads (revenue). Free access for content for advertising is fine; just don't ask me to pay for the profiled.
Note: I will probably try Spoke again to be fair.

Konnects - Brand new and I will sign up and try.

There are many, many more available. The value of professional social networking is two fold; first to place an online profile of your value in as many reputable locations as possible. Second, to grow your network and name with companies and organizations searching for your career keywords.


The New Format for Portable People

I am rolling out a new format for Marketing Me which more accurately reflects my philosophy.

All of us are portable people.

The Marketing Me Manifesto determines that we work in a world where loyalty, conformity and mediocrity are no longer valued.

As such, it is up to all of us to market ourselves to potential employers, to have the right tools for the job and develop as many opportunities as possible.

The typical Marketing Me Maven works for one employer... provides contracted services to at least one other... and promotes multiple projects (primarily using the Internet) which generate additional leads, opportunities and revenue.

Like I said in my last post, the world is moving faster than ever. Each of us only has so many hours in the day to stay ahead of the competition and as such, needs every tool at our disposal.

Make the commitment today to reinvent yourself and your work.

Marketing Me's new format will focus on three areas -

1. Remarketing yourself and your work to the world. Positive changes you can make today which will reenergize your work search and life direction. This will never change.

2. Tools for the job. These include Internet sites and services, communications hardware and how-to books, audio and video.

3. Become self funding. Ask any startup, and unless you want to lose control of your dreams, self funding is the only way to go. The internet presents a GIANT opportunity to diversify our personal self funding through contracting, consulting, writing, speaking, and marketing.

I hope you will join me as we work together to discover the best ways for all of us to expand our opportunities and truly become an in demand product in the new world of work.



Conde Nash/Wired acquires Reddit

Reddit is similar to Digg, a read/share/post site known as social news sharing.

Do you see the model? Everything is going quickly in this direction.

First, you join, you share, you grow, you gain.

The we merge with another entity and start over again.

Career related indirectly, but we have a related convergence going on which will affect you and your work.

The keyword of the day is faster.

Hoovers Social Networking

A hot business to be in, social networking (and marketing). Hoovers, the first name in business research, will be launching a new social networking site shortly. Sign up for the beta - it looks promising. Get a Resume that Gets Results!

Dangerous work, if you can get it

Great article from 2003 to consider. What are the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.?

I recently watched a program on crab fishermen in the northeast, and indeed, it was harrowing work. It will make me think twice the next time I eat crab or lobster.

E-Mail your Resume and Cover Letter to 1000's of Headhunters, Click Here

Where the jobs are and will be

Are you in a hot area?

This website shows jobs in geographical areas and projections for new opportunities up to ten years in the future.

It is a handy tool for determining if your neck of the woods has openings and growth in the profession of your choosing.

E-Mail your Resume and Cover Letter to 1000's of Headhunters, Click Here


What to do when things go wrong

Great advice from Brian Tracy, Author of Crunch Point on what to do when things go wrong.

1) Stay calm.
2) Be confident in yourself.
3) Dare to go forward.
4) Get the facts.
5) Take control.
6) Cut your losses.
7) Manage the crisis.
8) Communicate consistently
9) Identify your constraints
10) Unleash your creativity.

The secret is to face the problem, realize it can be solved, deal with what you can change and get busy working on a solution.

Most of us panic, get angry, depressed or worst of all, freeze in a crisis situation.

Remember, things are never really as bad as they seem.


What are you keywords?

Originally posted on Squidoo.

For years, want ads read like this:

"10 key punch operator needed" ..

"tool and dye machinist wanted" ..

"Receptionist needed with pleasant phone voice".. and so on.

Jobs had descriptions and people had limited windows for their skills to fill these positions.

Not so anymore.

Jobs now have tags like websites - marketing, sales, business development, travel, forecasts, planning, budgets, management, etc.

Resumes are no longer read by hand but scanned and read by machines which match positions with key words.

Or key words are used to search for candidates online.

The secret is to increase your occupational description with the keywords the employer is looking for.

10-key punch operator is not enough. Neither is loyal. Punctual. Or Productive.

What are your keywords?


Guess who always wins?

The disrupter.

What is the disrupter?

Disrupters tump things over and mess things up in a good way.

They refuse to do things "because they have always been done that way".

Disrupters love change and hate people who stand in their way.

Disrupters are hired to make things happen - to improve sales, profits, production and service.

Disrupters run up against the corporate sticks in the mud who clog the drain pipes of success. And like Drain-O, they always clear the mess and make things flow.

Disrupters always win. Always. You can't beat them and you really can't join them.

You have to be one.

What can you disrupt today?

Whose apple cart can you overturn and make applesauce that sells?

Can you disrupt things where you are today? Do you have to leave and go disrupt somewhere else?

Go out today and mess things up and make them better. Today, become a disrupter.


ToDo Again - Send email to get email

To repeat -
Meeting in person is best.
Voice contact with telephone and its modern variations comes in at second.
Next up is email.

Email has been with us for nearly a generation and continues to be the most popular application of Internet technology.

Email applications -
First up, use what everyone else uses. For business, it is MS Outlook. Period. Nothing else is used as widely.
- Outlook can be customized and personalized with hundreds of add-on applications you should already be using, like Plaxo and LinkedIn.
- Outlook integrates with popular email devices like Treo and Blackberry.

Next, get a web based email client. For years, everyone had a Hotmail account. Spam and lack of memorable user names have driven Hotmail out and replaced it with alternatives. The best out there is GMail or Yahoo.

Web based email is useful when your office VPN is down or you only have web access on the road. I also use my gmail or yahoo account for personal emails which may conflict with my job, such as interviews (hint hint).

Next, collect the email addresses of contacts. Use Plaxo for offsite storage and management of addresses. What happens if you are locked out of your address book at work such as in the case of a layoff or bankruptcy? Make sure you have a backup or two.

[Another suggestion is to invest in a portable digital assistant. I swear by my old Palm Tungsten W (see top of page) - you may have another in mind. But keep your contacts and addresses organized and available on a separate storage device. Just in case].

Build a mailing list, better yet, build several. Ask your recipients if they mind joining your mail list before sending them email! This is called an opt in list and is required. Use a mailing list hosting company like AWeber to maintain your mailouts and addresses.

Rules for email -

1) Keep your emails brief and on subject.

2) Use spelling and grammar check - your email program has it built in; use it.

3) Proof before sending. Reread and verify your email is factual and will not offend the recipient (happens more than you think).

4) Match the subject to the body of the email. For instance, if your email subject is Great News! and the body is a dissertation on the reproduction of the African river toad, you have misled your reader.

5) Avoid attachments unless they are absolutely necessary. Many read their email with portable devices using slower wireless networks. Instead direct readers to obtain the file from a website.

6) Avoid large graphics and text and distracting stationary from your email. HTML is now more acceptable for sending email though.

7) Make sure you have a signature file which includes your full name, phone and fax number, organization and email address. Web site URL's are acceptable, however anything else is not necessary and is often bad form. Keep signature files to four lines or less.

8) Never cc another recipient on an email without alerting the original or intended reader. It is rude and can lead to greater problems for you.

9) Verify your recipient's email address before sending. Many horror story abounds about emails reaching an unintended recipient.

10) Never include private, sensitive or personal information (like passwords, financial information, or personal data) in an email.


Travel story

Okay, you have flown to another city for a meeting/interview/presentation.

The flight is on time. You find the baggage claim and the shuttle to the car rental location.

Then the fun begins.

Your midsized car rental has turned into a luxury sedan, SUV or minivan. The daily price just went up a whopping $70.00 a day! No, they have no other cars available. Yes, you can talk to a supervisor. Sure, you can take what they have or go to another rental company.

What? Your meeting starts in fifteen minutes.

You go to another agency and get a car. What? They have only minivans left. Fine. Take the first one you see. Great, a big scratch on the passenger door. No, you did not do it, but you need to get that confirmed before you leave the lot.

Call your client. Apologies, you are on your way.

What, google maps has you going left when you should be going right. Twenty minutes late.

Into the client's office, jacket off, presentation begins.

Five hours later, get to hotel. Reservation is missing. Sorry, only a smoking room left! Oh your rate is twenty dollars higher than quoted. Do you need to call your travel agency? Oh, they have already left for the day.

Get in the room. Get directions to dinner with client. Accident on the expressway? Get there ten minutes late.

Three hours later, get lost on way back to hotel. Get in at 11:00 PM and have a 6:00 AM wake up call. Great.

Do you see the trend? How many of these events could have been avoided with a few brief phone calls the night before?

Great events rarely happen - they are planned and executed upon. You get one shot in most cases - practice, plan and prepare for each one.


More ToDo - Today, Let's Talk

Let's talk about communications.

Whether you want to get a new job or sell something or land a contract, someone needs to reach you.

The best way is in person.

Next is with voice.

Then email.

Then snail mail.

Someone in Dubai, Mumbai or Shanghai is not likely to stop by to discuss line fourteen on a contract, so I can expect instead a phone call.

There are three ways for this to happen.
Landline, cellular or Internet.

You have landline covered. So did your parents and their parents.

Cellular is simple.

Cellular phones can be obtained at retail outlets or online.
Advice on cellular phones.

1) Get one that works more places or at least where you see yourself going. I prefer GSM technology because it works natively in more places around the globe. But you may prefer CDMA so go with what you know.
My personal advice is go with a carrier who provides non-roaming service in the places you most likely will be.

2) Get an "all in one device" like a Blackberry or a Treo. That way you can take voice calls but stay on top of your email as well. It helps to have business friendly features like a calendar, alarm, organizer and text message friendly keyboard.

Blackberry Phones

Treo Phones

3) Have a spare phone! A back up in case your battery dies or you have left the charger at the office. Make sure the phone number is available to your contacts. GSM is neat because you can take the SIM card from your old phone and place it in your backup phone (as long as it is unlocked) and therefore have your number and contacts at hand and working.

Nice, inexpensive phones

Take a look at PhoneScoop for other phones and plans.

Internet calling.

Do you Skype? You should. The service (Internet only) is free and it takes a few minutes to sign up. I use Skype to speak with others across the globe and nearly every connected contact I have has a working Skype ID.

For an additional fee, Skype users can use their account to make and receive calls from non-Skype users.

In addition, consider Google Talk. If you have a Google GMail account, you can set up a Google Talk account and instant message or place voice calls to your contacts.

And now, our list of the day!

1) Make sure your phone number is available to anyone who you would want to call you.

2) Have your number on printed business cards and on your resume.

3) Naturally, pay your cellular and/or landline bill regularly! An out of service message does not inspire confidence.

4) Putting your phone number on a website is still not a good idea. Unless it is a business number on which you do not mind getting calls.

5) Avoiding the telephone lets callers know they are not important. You are not cool if you do not take calls.

6) Screening your call is acceptable from time to time, but please return calls promptly.

7) There is no rule which says you have to take calls outside of normal business hours (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM US). Some recommend taking calls one hour earlier and fifteen minutes after these times, but I leave that up to you, your profession and personal discretion.

8) When leaving a phone message, identify yourself, speak clearly and give your phone number, mention briefly why you are calling, leave your name and phone number once more and hang up.
Brevity is key. Nobody likes a five minute long voice mail. Don't leave them.

9) Use your native colloquial when speaking numbers. Leave "zed" to the native speakers, please. (Same goes for writing, but that is another entry).

10) Test your phone number, especially when it is new.

Until we talk again, speak clearly and speak often.

The Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda List

How many of us have looked back at a particular job we held once and thought how things might have turned out different.

If only we had said or done that "one thing" at the right time and how things would have turned out differently!

I call this a "Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Moment". There is no harm done in thinking back on incidents like this, only, please don't allow yourself to wallow in self-pity and remorse over opportunities lost.

Rather, consider making a "Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda List" for the future today. At work, look at what you are doing and what decisions you should be making today which will increase revenue, sales, uptime, or any other sort of success for your company today.

One of the best points which reinforces this was from a thirty five year old man returning to college to complete his degree. "I don't want to be forty years old and say, I should have done this when I was thirty five".

Make today your day to complete a "Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Moment" for tomorrow.


The "L" Word


We associate loyalty with all things good. Service to country. Man's best friend. Faithful companions.

We hear often about "company loyalty".

We hear about "x number of years of loyal service".

What is the real value, in the twenty first century, on loyalty?

In an age where we ourselves expect to change careers five times and jobs twelve, is there really any place for loyalty these days?

As companies shed and add jobs based upon quarterly stock reports, does loyalty really matter or have any value?

Why do we still kid ourselves?

Loyalty is a grand concept and should be lauded in many categories. But loyalty is a dead subject in the work place.

Take loyalty off your "Benefits I Bring To The Workplace" list and replace it with something more tangible today.

More for the Marketing Me To Do List

On the road this week with presentation.

For your todo list, please remember the little things (which rapidly become big!).

1. Have a working cellular phone which you can be reached on while away from the office.

2. Take business cards, send follow up emails and thank you notes.

3. Verify your travel arrangements twice. (Travel story - next post).

4. If renting a car, verify your driving directions.

5. Verify your credit card before leaving the house for little things like expiration dates.

6. Bring material which might tell your story better.

7. Remember to thank your host in person.

8. Call when leaving and before arriving.

9. Dress to match you audience. If interviewing always wear a suit.

10. Never turn down an invitation after your meeting. For instance, if the employer invites you to lunch or another activity. Change your schedule and go!

Google buys YouTube

Is anyone surprised?

Next, Google buys ABC, Ford, Exxon and Walmart. More at 11.


Job Fair (y Tales)

My local news station had a story about a job fair sponsored by the city this weekend.

It seems like a great proposition.

Get a bunch of great companies who need new employees together with a large number of people who are looking for work. Put them all together in one location and watch the hiring begin!

Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

Let's ask some questions.

Why go to a job fair anymore?
The internet is a job fair. There are companies hiring. There are jobs posted online on company websites, recruiter's sites and ad boards.

and so..

Why go downtown to a job fair anymore?
Why spend the gas or mass transit costs in order to stand in line for a few hours when I can stay at home and use the internet and telephone to accomplish so much more?

but before we go...

Who will be there? How about telling me before I waste my time coming downtown?
Every exhibitor listing I have seen for a job fair looks something like this:
A handful of city jobs (bus driver, trash collection, etc), trade schools, etc.


Where are the "real" jobs?

Where are those professional jobs paying a decent salary? Where are those high tech jobs? Where are those career jobs? Where are the money jobs in finance, sales, marketing, banking, and operations?

Job fair participants are never pleased with the turnout and opportunities at job fairs, yet cities and non-profit groups host them monthly hoping something will change.

Can the job fair concept be changed to make it more successful?

Probably not.

Job fairs revolve around the old concept of centralized control and distribution which the Internet has completely done away with. Centralized systems, and their advocates, like the idea of shoveling large numbers of people and opportunities to and fro with the intention that "Surely something good will come from this".

Because of massive information deconstruction and dissemination, people no longer need central authorities to supervise opportunities, meetings, encounters and networks.

What is sad are the people who have so few resources left they are encouraged to go stand in line for an opportunity to learn about a possible job which they may or may not be qualified for.

Sounds more like those pictures during the Great Depression.

Don't waste your time with random, non-focused job fairs. Hold a Me Fair instead.

Now, before the hate mail flies, let me temper this with a few working examples of how SOME job fairs do work.

- Job fairs which target a particular industry or need. For instance, a recent fair specifically for law enforcement positions both local and overseas was well exhibited and attended. The attendees were screened and had experience in a specific industry and the exhibitors knew this.

- Job fairs at college campuses for specific majors. For instance geared towards companies looking to hire entry level grads in a specific industry.

Hopefully, we can all work happily ever after.

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- If you are looking for your next position (always - part of the Marketing Me strategy), you will want to join Blue Chip.

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Joining is by invite only, so use my code below to join.

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How about recruiters, Jack? Are they worth it?

Well, that's a relative question.

I have some very close friends who are recruiters. They are good, hardworking people who enjoy connecting quality candidates with the right company.

I have also met with recruiters who are only after a quick buck and will do anything to get that commission. I mean anything.

Recruiters can connect you with some great positions you would have never heard of otherwise. Almost all of my dealings with recruiters over the past few years have been very positive.

During the post-DotCom crash of 2001-2002, however, I had nothing but bad experiences with recruiters. I wasted a lot of time going to "interviews" (meetings at a recruiter's office, no employer present) and getting dressed up for nothing.

So take it with a grain of salt. As I said, I have a number of friends who are recruiters and they know my opinion.

Here are some (also opinionated) things to watch out for and expect when dealing with recruiters.

1. A recruiter must be either a full time, recognized recruiter and/or a member of an established employment/recruitment company. Watch out for "fly by night" operators!

2. A recruiter must understand your occupation and industry. Unethical recruiters will only know buzzwords.

3. Ethical recruiting companies will have direct, long term relationships with several different client companies for which they provide quality candidates.

4. Good recruiters constantly network for both candidates and target companies. Further, they maintain regular contact with their network for future placement.

5. Good recruiters are long term employees or owners of their own recruitment company. Beware companies with high employee turnover.

6. Recruiters do not charge you, the candidate, for their services. Never pay a recruiter a fee, payment, surcharge or stipend for matching you with a position. The employer pays the recruiter when they hire a candidate.

Remember, recruiters cannot hire you.

Recruiters cannot pay you.

An interview with a recruiter is not the same as an interview with the end employer.

If looking for work, a call from a recruiter is better than no call at all.

But you know my philosophy, Marketing Me is not a passive art. It is a constant network and work until you drop occupation.


Resume services? Good or bad?

Having a good resume is part of my To Do List.

Your resume should be in both paper and electronic format.

It should be readily available and presentable at all times.

Preparing a resume causes unnecessary grief to so many job seekers.

To help, many companies provide resume writing services for a fee. Some are worth the price, others are a waste of money.

Some things to remember

1. Resume services should provide an honest and correct resume per your instruction and direction.

2. Resume services should never include fraudulent or dishonest information on your resume.

3. All resume services should have writers who understand your occupation, desired position, technical and occupational details of your work and skillset.

4. Resumes should be formatted correctly for presentation both in person and electronically.

5. Resumes should never appear "boiler plate" or direct from any popular desktop publishing software.

6. Rewrites, edits and corrections should always be part of the original purchase price.

7. Money should never be exchanged prior to receiving and approving a resume.

8. Resume services should provide samples of their work online for viewing. Resume services without an online point of presence should be avoided.

9. Resume services should provide written follow up within one month on delivery of services and ask for feedback on resumes effectiveness.

10. Resume services should offer a money-back guarantee or rewrite if a resume fails to generate an interview within a certain time frame.

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Don't look back

More than just the great Boston song, Don't Look Back holds a lot of meaning.

Say you just got fired/laid off/downsized, etc.

After the initial shock sets in, we get busy trying to find something to keep us busy - like full time work!

After a week or so, we generally commiserate with one of our fellow former employees. You know, share gripes, complaints, status, etc.

Outside of networking ("Hey Bob, how is your job search coming? I have been talking to Fulltimers, Inc; know anything about them?"), always limit your contact with former fellow employees.

That former employee may be a good friend and that is important, but if you are remaking and remarketing yourself, why are you maintaining the Old You?

Old coworkers and friends have a tendency to drag you back to where you came from. They rarely encourage you; rather they tend to dwell on what happened rather than why will happen.

After leaving my last place of work suddenly, I limited my contacts with former coworkers to the bare minimum. References, contact information, that sort of thing.

Move on. Let the past go and return when life has made a new you.

A new week starts

What can you do this week to affect positive change in your professional life?

Start with some housekeeping.

1) Pull out your electronic resume and update. Add any highlights from the last quarter. Remove details from four years or two jobs ago outside of title, length of time employed and area of expertise.

2) Clean up your contacts. Add new ones from email, appointments, trade shows and networking. Make sure your contact list is up-to-date in Outlook, your PDA, LinkedIn, and Plaxo.

3) Update your website. (Mine was horribly out of date). Clean it up and add new information about what you are doing.

4) Update your profile on LinkedIn. Update your Plaxo profile and watch updates fly out to your contact list.

5) Clean out your desk. Throw out old paperwork. File. Rearrange. Change is good.

6) Clean out your briefcase or laptop bag.

7) Examine your CareerMap. Find your location. Plan your next destination.

Get ready, set, go.


What makes you angry?

What makes you angry about your job?

The health benefits?
What you get paid?
When you get paid?
No 401K?
No pension?
No dental plan?
No parking?
Working hours?
Vacation time?
Reimbursements and expenses?


Product development?
Customer service?
The color of your ads?
The lack of ads?
The phone messages/tree your customers go through?
Your email?
Reliability of internet/phones?
Your offices?
Your location?
No travel budget?
No trade show budget?
No marketing budget?
Broken product features?
Website out of date?
Website design?
Website broken?
Poor communication between sales and production?

Do you get angry because your company could do better and be more successful?

You see, if you are not concerned about the effectiveness of your company, it's product and the customer and are more concerned about your own benefits, then there is a problem. About where you are working.

You will never be fulfilled with your job unless you are deeply concerned and engaged with the company you work for.

There is a direct correlation in my opinion between employee satisfaction and their satisfaction with the way their company does business.

If pride is exhibited in a company and it's products by its employees, and it is shared by every single employee from the President to the shipping clerk, than satisfaction will follow in every other facet of the company.

Don't believe me? Check out Southwest Airlines and The Container Store. Both have high employee involvement, employee satisfaction and high customer approval ratings.

Get involved with your company. If the company you work for discourages involvement and responsibility, then change companies.
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