Going Public… with your resume Pt.2

Placing your resume in the public realm requires certain considerations:

1.  Be selective.

Presumably you don’t handout your resume to everyone, you are selective.  In the same way you should be selective about the mediums you post.  That way it is more likely to reach the intended viewer and thus increase your odds of being noticed.

2.  Keep it tailored.

Just as you are selective in where you post your resume, you should also keep it tailored to the specific job or area you are interested in.  It can be tough fitting everything in one page and it’s tempting to lay everything out to cast a wider net.  This is a mistake.  If you’re going for certain jobs, keep the resume tailored to those jobs.

3.  Keep promoting yourself.

Nothing replaces actual, physical networking with people.  Following up and connecting with them on LinkedIn or Facebook is not only a great way to maintain those ties, but having a resume posted makes it convenient for those you are trying to reach to see what you have to offer.

*Note:  I’m currently re-tooling mine before I post it on LinkedIn.


Going Public… with your resume Pt.1

Another au naturale day for the Joneses

Another au naturale day for the Joneses.

Going public with your resume is like standing nude in front of a painting class.  Before all those eyes there is only you, flaws and all, for good or bad, being judged.  Posting your resume through your website, blog, or one of the various social media websites is mostly likely up there with public speaking in terms of people’s anxiety to do it.

For this reason, I understand the apprehension in taking your resume public.  No one likes being judged, especially with something that for many is a personal thing.

The key thing to remember though is that you are being judged everyday.  People make assumptions and comparisons about you whether you like it or not.  Why not take as much control over that view as possible?

Looking at my Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, my resume is already public, though somewhat condensed.  You can see my academic and professional history, so why not add some detail by posting my full resume?  It seems like a logical step.

That being said I think there are some general considerations to make in choosing to go public with your resume.

Those I’ll discuss tomorrow!


#1 Worst Job Description.

Run away! Run away!!

Run away! Run away!!

My friend received a job offer which was subsequently described by her future boss as “an endless succession of routine projects… often mundane and rarely too difficult or great in scale.”  These she told me appeared to be positive aspects of the job, at least by her boss’s tone.

I am fully aware mundane and routine are workplace realities, at times.  However if the office culture appears firmly entrenched in those realities, it is probably time to start looking for another job.  Unless you like never being challenged.


Personal Branding: It’s Not Just About You

You are the company you keep.

You are the company you keep.

This may be common sense but bears repeating, your personal brand is NOT just about you.

Your personal brand encompasses not only your work product, personality, attitude, etc., but also your associations both professional and personal.

This is important as social media applications are being more readily adopted by the public.  It is a principle that should be remembered by those seeking to publicly promote their brand on the Internet.

The Internet has allowed each of us to network in ways not dreamed of 10 years ago.  It has allowed for  traditional barriers to establishing networks to be broken.  New and old connections are constantly formed and reinforced.  Networks are being redefined as the broad scope that they can encompass increases.

The danger lies in the broader your network, the greater risk of having a “bad connection.”  That is, someone associated with you acting in a way that does not conform to your brand.  The association doesn’t have to be that strong, i.e. a close friend.  It could be through photos, articles, boards, etc.  Think about the hoopla during the presidential race concerning Obama and Ayers or the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

While your actions largely impact the personal brand message you wish to convey, associations for better or worse, can heavily influence the way people perceive you and the credibility of your brand, just as easily as the clothes you wear, your hairstyle, or the way you speak can.   Is it right that we make these judgments?  No, but it is human nature.  A great book to read on this subject is Malcom Gladwell’s Blink.

I’m not saying that one should seek to associate themselves with the “right” kind of people; friendships defined in such ways are not friendships at all.  Moreover, networks are becoming so expansive that one would be hard-pressed to eliminate all the “wrong” associations from your contact list.

The point is one should be aware, just as their own actions affect their personal brand, so too can the actions of associates.  While you can’t control another individual’s actions, you have a measure of control in how it may affect your brand.


LinkedIn vs. Doostang: Is Anyone Paying?

Pay Here

Pay Here

Both LinkedIn and Doostang, Web 2.0 job/networking sites geared toward professionals, offer premium services.  My question is, who’s paying for them?

Unlike Doostang (of which I am a member but rarely use), LinkedIn offers more than enough free services to users that there is no real enticement to pay for more.

LinkedIn is passive in promoting it’s premium services.  The site has an “upgrade” feature under the Accounts and Settings tab, and a prompt to upgrade for accessing the rare profile that is a part of the premium groups.  However in the past two years that I’ve seriously used LinkedIn, there has not been anyone  I could not reach, or job information I could not access, using the standard free service.  In contrast Doostang is proactive, promoting its premium services through emails and at every click around the page.

The standard business model of Web 2.0 platforms is what has been to referred to as “Freemium”.  Freemium has been evangelized by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, and was first articulated by venture capitalist Fred Wilson as such:

“Give your service away for free, possibly ad supported but maybe not, acquire a lot of customers very efficiently through word of mouth, referral networks, organic search marketing, etc., then offer premium priced value added services or an enhanced version of your service to your customer base.”

LinkedIn has four account types: Personal (free), Business ( $249.50/year), Business Plus ($499.50/year), and Pro ($4,999.50/year).

Doostang offers several premium rates: Three months for $35/month, six months for $30/month, and 12 months for $25/month.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being bothered with prompts to upgrade, or seeing semi-postings for jobs but upon clicking on the posting being asked to upgrade.  While Doostang does offer some open postings, the postings on LinkedIn are entirely so (as far as I’ve seen).

On one hand I feel that LinkedIn is giving away too much to make it’s premium services special enough to entice users to pay for more.  Why pay more when you’re giving me everything I want and need for free already?  I’ve found coupling email and real world contacts with the free services LinkedIn offers to be more than adequate to fulfill my networking needs.

On the other hand I don’t believe Doostang offers enough free services to build a following comparatively to LinkedIn.  Though this may be by design as it bills itself on catering to “elite professionals” (I’m honored).

It is not that I am dissatisfied with Doostang as much as the current membership model, especially with the down economy.  I believe in casting a wide net, and don’t believe Doostang adequately provides enough up front for me to even think of paying.

So for now I’m sticking with LinkedIn.


Summer Development: My Book List

Summer is coming.

Summer is coming.

Below are a few books I’ve had queued in my mind over the course of a very busy Spring.  There’s a good mix of genres with various styles and lengths.

A.J.’s Summer reading list:

A Hungry Heart: A Memoir (Gordon Parks)

Campaign Craft” The Strategies, Tactics, and Art of Political Campaign Management

Confederacy of Dunces

Dangerous Liaisons

Ender’s Game

Fight Club

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets


Sperm Wars

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

The Back of the Napkin

The Great Gatsby

The Peloponnesian War

The Power of One

The Learning Tree

The World is Flat

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

The Wealth of Nations

Less Than Zero

Laughter in the Dark

Nietzsche’s Will to Power and Beyond Good and Evil

On the Road

Plato’s The Republic


4 Rules for Discussing Sports (When you know very little).

A Dutch indoor sports field... All kinds of sports on the same floor ...

A Dutch indoor sports field... All kinds of sports on the same floor ...

This post is meant for the causal viewer of sports.  Those who wish to to remain relevant in a sports conversation (say among a group of colleagues/partners/higher-ups/etc.).

You desire to be included and engaged in the office or lunch time sports discussion.  You watch the big games but generally sports viewing is not a dominate factor in your life.

To help me, and you, I brought in an expert, Mr. There’s Always Next Year (TANY) himself, and after much discussion we came up with the following four rules:

  1. Be first;
  2. Stay current;
  3. No bold pronouncements; and
  4. Know when to exit.

Be first

Stay ahead of the conversation.

Instead of the waiting for the conversation to include you, make a brief opening statement.  For instance TANY  suggests asking a generalized question like “what do you think of the playoffs (currently referencing the NBA)?”  However, you should know SOME detail (see Rule 2, Staying Current).  TANY states, “You should at the very least know what sports are in season at a particular moment.”

In another example involving  golf , you could ask if Tiger Woods is having a good season (make sure he’s playing).  Or ask if he is playing this week?  This shows some knowledge of current events in the sport while not forcing you to get into specific detail.

Whatever answer you receive, you’ll have a springboard for your next comment, which usually can be inferred based on their answer.

Stay current

For the the novice, TANY suggests checking the standings of the sport “every once in awhile to see who is at the top, teams or individual players.”

Know who the biggest stars are and who they play for, and you should be able to BS your way around a sports conversation.

The bottom line here is in today’s world information, on ANYTHING, is at your fingertips in numerous ways.  Instead of browsing Facebook, Perez, or Bossip.com first thing in the morning, scan ESPN (or turn it on while eating breakfast), do a quick scan of stories from the previous night.  Get an RSS feed for a top sports blog or a follow a sports news group on twitter.  It takes all of five minutes to digest talking points that could be used later that morning among your colleagues.

No bold pronouncements

TANY feels bold pronouncements like “that guys sucks” or “that team is going all the way” is a no no since usually you will be asked to support your position.

You want to to avoid any in-depth discussion which will most certainly reveal your ignorance.  You want to skim the surface, or optimally, float above it.

Know when to retreat

The conversation went well.  You successfully managed to remain relevant and have your presence acknowledged.  Now it is time to leave.  Always have an exit in mind.  Look for natural breaks in the conversation to leave.  You want to leave on your terms and not because the group has moved on without you.

The take away

The goal of these four rules is engagement in the most generalized way you can get away with.  Keep in mind there will be times when you cannot get away with merely skimming the surface.  In those situations it never hurts to admit your ignorance about particular subject.  However this can be done in a way that minimizes damage to your inclusion in the conversation.

Saying things like you missed that game, or you’ve been caught up on a project, family, etc., are all viable options over saying “I don’t know.”

Special thanks to TANY.