Monday, April 05, 2010

So... tell me about yourself

by Laurinda Shaver

Don't you love that question at an interview, networking events or even parties?

"So.. tell me about yourself?"

What is your answer? Do you have an answer?

Many people call it the elevator speech. That 30 - 60 statement that is suppose to perfectly position you in someone's mind. Its vitally important to get it right, but yet so many people get it wrong. Here are some tips to think about:

1. Its actually not about you.
Well sorta. Its about how YOU can help the other person. Do you give the other person a clear idea of WHAT you can do to help them?

2. Listen.
You can learn a lot be simply letting the other person talk. How do you know if you can help them if you don't know what they need?

2. Don't give me 3 million details.
People generally don't remember details given verbally. (unless it is a really AWESOME detail) The point is to leave an idea or impression on a person's mind. When they walk away from you, how do they position you?
  • "That's the guy who can help me with my website."
  • "That's the girl who builds communities online."
  • "That's the guy who actually knows what SEO means and how it can increase my sales."

3. Paint a picture.
There is nothing like storytelling. If you describe a scenario, give an example, talk to a situation people follow along quite well.

4. Smile.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Meeting new people is just like a date. I check you out, you check me out and lets see if there is something in common. No person is above the other.

5. Be nice.
Obvious? Maybe. But think about the times when you have met someone and they were checking out the rest of the room instead of listening to you. Or they didn't have basic manners to say "goodbye, it was nice to meet you." Be courteous.

Do you have anything to add? Got a story about a good and/or bad initial meeting? Please share!

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bringing 'HUMAN' back in a lonely, social online world

Starving to connect with like minded people in like communities is without a doubt the reason for the success of social media platforms today. But how meaningful are those connections really? How many times have you been left wanting to see the real person behind the elusive twitter profile and hear what they have to say?

The more time deprived we are, the more hastened and short form our messages become. Heck, we conform to 140 characters or less, don’t we? With sms and online communication formats we are losing the human touch and the honesty and connection that comes with it. That’s where video is taking on a whole new meaning in the social media world. Taking your posts to video and sharing your thinking and ideas in video format brings personality back in a way that can’ t be achieved with text, pictures and links.

But the case for video goes beyond the human connection. The advancements in technology make it easy for us to share and view video and the numbers speak for themselves.
According to “The Global Web Index,” from Trendstream, with research conducted by Lightspeed Research, early this year 72% of US Internet users watched video clips monthly—making video bigger than blogging or social networking. And, by 2013 over 670 million people will be using mobile social media.
Despite what some may think, this video use is not reserved for the young savvy internet user. According to Lightspeed Research study conducted in May 2009, the distribution of video use is fairly even across the generations.

Imagine video used for recruiting? Talk about a game changing tool! If you are a job seeker, you should consider that executive recruiters are using social media to find you which means you need to manage the content online that represents you.

· 43% of job recruiters eliminate candidates due to negative content found online.

· 77% of executive recruiters use search engines to research job applicants.

· 83% of job recruiters use search engines to research candidates.


I think it is fair to say that video makes sense for any professional networking use. Just think, when you Google yourself or your company, do you really want to leave it up to Google to define you? What if Google gets it wrong or out of order? What if Google says something about your brand that isn’t consistent with what you want people to see (or at least see first!).

For those of you who take their online reputation seriously, you need to think about video as a way to manage your online reputation by taking the time to package your message in a professional video that lives in your profile online. You don’t want to take chances with your brand.
It doesn’t need to be costly or time consuming and it doesn’t need to be picture perfect but it does need to be authentic to you and your voice. There is a business case for video. What is yours?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why do I need video in my online profile?

by Laurinda Shaver

Why do you need an online profile at all? Let alone adding video to it.

Basically, if you want to control and take advantage of the online space as a way to promote yourself, your business, and/or your cause. You need to have an online profile.
1. By uploading information yourself, you are controlling what the online space says about you instead of having others do it for you.
2. By monitoring what is said about you, you are able to jump in and address issues head on before they escalate.
3. Your competitors are there. If you want to compete, you need to be there too.

So, your sold. You have decided use specific online tools. You have uploaded, monitored and watching your competitors. What next?

Well... video.

There is a fundamental difference between reading about you and watching you.
Text and pictures are limited in their ability to communicate because they are not the full communication package. Its missing one major thing. Body language.

Video is the next best thing to meeting someone in person. The experience of watching someone talk directly to you gives you the opportunity to judge their message appropriately.
Are they authentic?
Are they someone I'm interesting in knowing?
Do I buy what they are saying?

If you have something important to say, to promote, to advocate about. Why miss an opportunity to really draw attention.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Get your videoBIO on LinkedIn

LinkedIn now has the capability to embed your videoBIO right into your profile.

Andy at Sirona Says has a blog post that explains exactly how to do this.

An example of this is by Paul Copcutt at Square Peg Solutions in his LinkedIn profile.

I would love to see yours! Let us know if you posted any video in the comments.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Meet me. Trust me. Hire me.

Remember the last time you did something crazy to get in the door? We’ve all heard the stories--- some highly creative like designing a jigsaw puzzle from scratch with the one ‘missing piece’ being you. While mildly amusing and sometimes eye catching, these gimmicks rarely work. Employers are time deprived and desperately looking for the ideal candidate. If you run down the list of attributes employers are looking for in their new hires today, many of them stem back to some of the basics in ‘fit 101’. Will this person fit into our culture? Will this person work well in a team environment? Does this person have the initiative, energy and enthusiasm to add value in the role? Is this person a good communicator? A creative thinker?

How many of these items can be communicated effectively in a resume? VERY FEW.

People hire people, not resumes. Where the rubber hits the road from the employers view is, do I trust this person? Do I feel they understand what we are looking for and have taken the initiative to communicate this to us? Is this a stand-out candidate? What if you could bring this advantage out earlier in the hiring process—before the interview? What if you could give yourself that leading chance to get in front of that hiring manager? Would you do it?

Believing in yourself and conveying that authentically and relevantly goes a long way with potential employers. It is tough to fake enthusiasm and video tells a full story and goes a long way in creating trust much earlier in the hiring cycle. Innovative and committed job seekers are investing in videoBIO’s to improve their chances of getting noticed and standing out of the crowd at the earliest stages of resume review. Your personal brand is something that is uniquely yours and by some statistics can represent over 75% of the ultimate hiring decision. In this market climate where employers are paralyzed by perfection, the skills and experience outlined in the resume are expected, so do something unexpected that helps to create trust and familiarity early on.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

How dumb is your resume?

by Laurinda Shaver

Here is the challenge.

You are a job seeker looking for work in various disciplines. You have an extensive education and background in creative design, but finding that your "creative" resume puts you in the overqualified category for retail, food or general work. So you dumb down your resume.
Its easy. Take out some of your education, work experience and create various versions.
1) creative
2) retail
3) food
4) general
And..then send the correct resume for the correct job posting.

But, how do you reflect this online? If someone Googles you, how do you get them to see only specific information about you? You can't. What lives online can't be filtered for a specific user. What is online is there for the viewing. You can't control who sees what.

What can you control?
And this might seem obvious, but what you put online.

What is most important of the 4 versions? The creative one. The others help pay the bills until your Creative Work does. So, you focus on that. Make your online presence support your creative endeavours and showcase your talents. Make sure your presence is clean and focused.

So, your Food/Retail/General resume gets you in the door. Manager X Googles you and sees your creative side. Doesn't find any digital dirt about you. There are no flags. You get the interview.

Simple as that.

Do you agree? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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