Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Update Your Resume, Even if You’re Not Looking For a Job

Friday, June 20th, 2008
You're not really looking for a job right now, and with all of the other things on your to-do list, updating your resume isn't top priority. But what would you do if the perfect opportunity popped up today? Would you be ready? Would you have anything to show for the experience you've gained? I found myself in this situation recently, when I received a message through PROpen Mic from Phil Gomes (check out his Ask Phil videos on the site) about a position on the Edelman Digital Integration Team. I was not about let this opportunity pass. I was able to swing the LinkedIn profile for a little while, but ultimately I had to scramble to take that information and update my good-old-fashioned one-page resume (I did end up getting the job, and it has been fantastic so far). So if you found out the perfect job position at this very moment, what would you do? If you're a creative type, is your portfolio updated? Do you have a website to show off your work and voice? Do you have your resume updated, not only on LinkedIn, but also as a formatted document? If not, I suggest you schedule some time to work on these things.

How to Set up an Informational Interview

Saturday, April 5th, 2008
So the end of your life as a college student is rapidly approaching, and people are starting to ask the dreaded question—what are your plans after graduation? I recently went to a dinner with a group of soon-to-be college grads, and I was surprised by how many of them have never taken advantage of informational interviews. Before you start freaking out that you don't know where you'll be in a month, consider setting up some informational interviews to build relationships and get advice directly from people in your business of interest. This may have been the single-most valuable resource to me when I was a college student. It's amazing how many people will take the time to offer up their great advice if you only ask. Don't know where to start? How about here: 1. Make a list. Write down the companies that you would love to work for. Make sure you do your research so you really know the companies before you start reaching out and asking to set up the informational interviews. 2. Reach out. When you are ready to reach out, one option I recommend is checking with a career counselor to see if you can get in touch with alumni from your university. (Who doesn't want to help one of their own?) Not in college anymore? Another option is to search for the company name on LinkedIn—this is a great resource because you can browse through titles and find the person who is most relevant to your interests, then send a message to that person directly through LinkedIn. 3. Don't get discouraged. Be aware that not everyone will get back to you. Sometimes professionals just get so caught up in their work that these things slip by. Still, they've all been in your shoes at one point, and most people would love to share what they've learned. 4. Plan your trip. If these companies are in another city or state, you may have to invest in a trip. I know paying for travel on a college student's budget is not ideal. Here's one idea—when I went to New York City for a career conference my senior year, I convinced a few friends in my major to come along&mdashlwe were able to split hotel and cab fares, which made it much more reasonable. 5. Dress appropriately. This may not be an official job interview, but you want to make a good impression. You may have the opportunity to build a valuable relationship or mentor for the future. 6. Enjoy the conversation. When I used to go to informational interviews, I usually started by asking for a person's story. "What do you do and how did you get to where you are today?" will usually kick start a great conversation. 7. Send a thank you. Follow up with a thank you to let them know you really appreciate the time they have taken to talk with you. It's always nice if you can point out a few of the points you took away from the conversation.

Building Your Personal Brand On and Offline – Advice From Christopher S. Penn

Sunday, March 30th, 2008
[display_podcast] Christopher S. Penn has been paving the way for companies in new media since he started the award winning Financial Aid Podcast for the Student Loan Network and co-founded Podcamp, the new media community unconference, with Chris Brogan. He blogs at, twitters regularly (great stuff, I might add—a good follow) and co-hosts a fantastic weekly podcast with John Wall called Marketing Over Coffee (which I have recommended in the past).

Show Notes

  • Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, summed it up when he said, "Your brand isn't what you say it is, it's what Google says it is." This can be applied to your personal brand as well, so it's time to start thinking about protecting your online reputation .
  • - When it comes to new media, there is no substitute for getting out there and playing with new tools. Do it yourself if you truly want to understand it.
  • - Go to conferences like PodCamp and BarCamp (unconference are free, which makes them ideal for students who have time but no budget).
  • - Create an account on LinkedIn (or your "resume on steroids," as Chris puts it). This will allow you to provide more details about yourself than a typical resume. Go out and ask relevant people to add recommendations/testimonials to your LinkedIn profile to build your personal brand.
  • - Read Chris's comments about commitment, motivation and consistency over at Mitch Joel's blog, Six Pixels of Separation.
  • - Keep a calendar and update it regularly—ask yourself, "What do I need to accomplish today?"
Books and ideas Chris recommends, depending on personal weaknesses you want to improve on:
  • - What Sticks, by Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart—for those looking for advice on how to distill ideas down into something that is usable and memorable.
  • - Seth Godin's Books—for those looking for ideas and inspiration on how to become a better marketer.
  • - Study Art, particularly paintings and photography. The principles that are important to marketing (capturing attention, for example) have been studied for years in art.