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.


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.

Join Blue Chip today

Sign up with Blue Chip Network

I have been invited to take part in Blue Chip Network - read more here
Why Blue Chip to learn about this exciting new opportunity.

Blue Chip puts the power of hiring, getting hired and referrals into your hands.

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

- If you are looking for the right candidate to join your current company, you need Blue Chip.

- If you are looking to network (again, that is why we are here!) you need to join Blue Chip.

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

Click on the link below and get started with Blue Chip.

Join Jack at Blue Chip



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.

Making money by completing surveys? It's worth a look! Click Here!


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.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.