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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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's your digital dirt?

by Laurinda Shaver

William Arruda, founder of Reach Personal Branding, has a great Personal Branding prediction list for 2010.

Item #9: Digital Dirt Elimination caught my attention. I spend alot of time talking with clients about how videoBIO can help increase their visibility on Google, but spend no time thinking about how to remove "dirt" from the Google Search results.

You know what I'm talking about. That ugly picture from a party or that association that you no longer want to be associated with. Pretty much anything that will tarnish your online reputation.

So, who can help you eliminate your Digital Dirt?

William talks about 3 companies:
1. ReputationDefender
2. Defend My Name
3. Internet Reputation Management

Lets review their offerings:
1. ReputationDefender
They are a global online reputation management and privacy company. They focus on 3 goals. To SEARCH your online information, to provide DESTROY assistance, and to deliver CONTROL on how others are able to perceive you online. This is done through their 4 products:
1. MyReputation
2. MyChild
3. MyPrivacy
4. MyEdge
Essentially you pay a monthly fee for reports and additional fees if you want to "DESTROY" online information. The Privacy option allows you to remove your personal information from search databases. They go a step further and will promote you at your chosen online locations to increase your search results rank. A very comprehensive offering.

2. Defend My Name
I had to dig around a bit to figure out what services they offer. I believe that at their core, they are a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company. They build content to promote you using SEO techniques to drive up your ranking. There is no listed price, so you will have to get a quote.

3. Internet Reputation Management
This company is solely focused on identifying and evaluating all your negative search results. From there, they create a plan on how to move the negative notices and to replace them with positive ones. The site is simple and straightforward. There are no prices listed, but there is a Contact Us form to fill out if you want more information.

Have you used any of these or other similar companies? I would love to hear about your experiences.

At the end of the day, being careful and monitoring your online presence is extremely important. Therefore if you do stumble across some digital dirt, you can catch it quick and deal with the issue before it explodes.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

The most overlooked marketing tool.... your e-mail signature

by Laurinda Shaver

How many e-mails do you send out in a day? 10, 20, 150? Each and every e-mail is an opportunity to market yourself through your e-mail signature.

What is an e-mail signature?

It is the standard lines of text that your e-mail program can automatically add at the end of every e-mail so that your recipient knows how to reach you and to find out more about you.

Here is my e-mail signature. It can state:

  • your name
  • your title/company
  • your address
  • your contact number
  • your website
  • all your social media touchpoints.
If each and every time someone is reading your e-mail, imagine the opportunity for them to learn more about you.

So, how do I set up my e-mail signature?

For MS Outlook:
1. Click on TOOLS on the top line navigation within Outlook
2. Select options
3. Go to mail format tab
4. Click on SIGNATURE button
5. Add link to your email signature and save (make sure you have added it as a hyperlink (blue) and not a text link so it will be linkable directly from your email signature)

For iMail on Macs:
1. Click on MAIL on the top menu.
2. Select PREFERENCES from the drop down menu.
3. Select SIGNATURES from the top tabs.
4. Click on the + button to add a signature.

For other e-mail programs, search for "E-mail signature" in the help function.

Don't miss out on a simple, but very effective way in marketing yourself smarter.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Ok, I'm on facebook, linkedin, twitter, foursquare, youtube...

by Laurinda Shaver

What is your social media strategy? Quantity or Quality?

So many people are in a rush to get there name out there. Have you done this? Sign up for every new service that appears. Play with it for a bit. Maybe even figure out how it could be useful for your purpose or business. You want your name, your business, and your services to be in as many places as possible. Quantity is key. To be seen. Everywhere.

But then you find that you have signed up for 20 things. And each one demands time, attention and maybe even a strategy as to how you want to present yourself. You find that you don't have the time. So, you abandon one. Then another and before you know it, there are over 15 places online where your presence is incomplete. Now these places are not current and certainly not a good representation of you.

What is more important? To be seen everywhere OR to be seen in less places, but have quality content.

So lets weigh the options. If online branding is about building relationships, what is more valuable?
1) You meet someone. Find something of value. Exchange info. Then never follow up.
2) You meet someone. Find something of value. Exchange info. Then return again and again to nurture the relationship and actually get the value.

Who do you want to be?

Know anyone who is doing it right? I would love to hear about it. Please share it in the comments.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Work and Love in the videoBIO Studio

Motivatorman gets motivated to do two, back-to-back videoBIO’s
Can you imagine coming into a videoBIO studio prepared to shoot not one video but two! Well, this was the case for the motivated Emmanuel Lopez, expert Motivational Specialist, otherwise known as his work and online dating alias.... ‘Motivatorman’.

Emmanuel was our first ever LavaLife-Professional ‘back-to-back’ client and was he ever terrific. We were so impressed with Emmanuel that we asked him to share his experience with us about what it was like to go from pitching the ideal client to the ideal soul mate!

1. How would you describe your videoBIO experience?

My videoBIO experience was both fun and eye-opening for me in how to tell a clear, compelling story. The whole process from writing the script and getting "coached" by Laurinda (my videoBIO producer) before and during the shoot was very enjoyable. I loved how I was always reminded that "I was always in control" of the process. I never felt rushed.

2. What did it bring up for you? What did you learn about yourself?

The process helped me define what I really wanted to say to the world both in my personal and professional worlds. When it came down to doing the video shoot I learned that there was definitely a difference when I spoke from my heart rather than my head. Laurinda helped guide me to speak authentically from my heart in both videos.

3. As our first client shooting a personal and professional videoBIO back to back, what was it like to shift gears and move from one to the other?

At first it was a challenge to keep my thoughts separate although working on the two scripts helped in a big way. Then I just needed to focus on being myself and staying relaxed for each shoot. Wearing a different set of clothes for each video definitely helped me to focus.

4. What common points did you find came together in your work and life story?

Common points that came together in my work and life story were how important expressing my passions were. Helping professionals find passion in their career or business is my purpose in life so I naturally have to be a living example of this at all times. The videoBIO experience helped me learn how to maintain a "heartfelt" energy in front of a camera.

To learn more about Motivatorman and his motivational services visit or watch his videoBIO

To meet Emmanuel, find him on or watch his videoBIO here
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Do you wear your personal brand?

If your personal brand at the office was defined by fashion, what would you wear?

Do you ever think twice about what you will wear to work. Have you ever found yourself wanting to put on something more expressive but decided against it for fear of coming across of as unprofessional or for being judged? Do the new laws for personal branding in the workplace extend to fashion?

In the corporate world, dress down Friday’s was the closest that we got to bending the rules, but we are now moving back into skirt suits and ties to round out our week. If we were all to express ourselves through our personal fashion, what would the workplace look like?

How would expressing yourself through fashion help or hurt you? Would you dawn a Mohawk, a temporary tattoo or put on a colour to break up the black for the first time? Would you appear more interesting, generally boring or a little too out there? Where do our professional boundaries live today? How can employees express themselves in the workplace and in social and professional media in a way that is appropriate and authentic, all at the same time?

I have often said that a professional networking event would be so much more seamless if we were able to wear a nametag which said our name, what we did and gave a hint on what we wanted to talk about. We all need a little help in cutting through the social niceties. Fashion Friday’s would be a type of professional lubrication so to speak.

So, let's hear it for Fashion Friday's! The latest personal brand expression.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Is your online brand distinct?

Have you ever given any thought to what colour your brand is? I know, it may sound silly but it's amazing how little attention we put into ourselves.... our most important asset. New aggregator tools like are having us look at our brands and online profile in a different light. Quantity of tweets, followers and the size of your linked in network are all great and important but what is the overall brand impression you are leaving people with and what are you getting out of the connections? Is your brand and online profile distinct and relevant? Is it consistent across professional networking platforms? Does it have personality and convey the right message? What is it that you want people to remember about you?

videoBIO brings these questions to the forefront as you ask yourself "What do I want to convey in three minutes or less on video?". Is your tone and manner fun and light or buttoned down and professional? What is your colour? Everyone has a message and an opportunity to build their brand. Take advantage of new tools that will allow you to express that the way it should be expressed. Don't leave it up for interpretation.

Our personal branding partner Reach delves into the attributes of your personal brand. For more on the colour of your brand watch William Arruda, CEO of Reach's video on 'is green the colour of your brand'...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

That twitter follower hurt my feelings. :(

Posted by Laurinda Shaver

My name is Laurinda and I'm a twitter-oholic. Yes, many people don't understand the point of twitter but I have found to be a wealth of timely information about what I care about. There are great people who post really useful links. It saves time when I just click on their link as opposed to go hunting for information on my own. Two of my personal branding favs are @williamarruda and @kirstendixson.

Although, I am finding more and more businesses on twitter that completely miss the point. Today, I got a business (that shall remain nameless) that followed me at @videoBIO. I do my best to send a quick note everytime just to say hi, thanxs and humanize the connection. This was their response:
"Your direct message was received but we do NOT read DMs for this account. If you do want to contact us via Twitter, use @$%^&*"

So, I went out of my way to make and effort and reach out to you in a tool that you are in and you tell me that my message doesn't count. Humph. You hurt my feelings. If you are going to participate, participate fully.

As you are managing your online presence, think about the way people reach out to you and what kind of message you are sending. Do you have any examples like this? I'd love to hear them.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't lie online.

Posted by Laurinda Shaver

How genuine are you online? Have you ever changed facts slightly to meet your needs or embellished slightly? Its easy really. I mean, who would ever notice?

If I was placing bets, I would say someone would. Your personal brand online is an extension of you. And if you are attempting to build credibility and create and strengthen relationships, then I say honesty is the name of the game.

Microsoft learned that lesson this week. They "altered a photo on its website to change the race of one of the people shown in the picture." How does that make you feel towards microsoft?

And more importantly, if you lie, how would others feel about you?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NY Times has caught the video bug.

Posted by Laurinda Shaver

I'm always on the look out for news about video on in the online space. The real challenge with video is that you need a great amount of bandwidth in order to receive and play video without any buffering and waiting times. But, as the technology improves, so does the ability to distribute and view video online.

The New York times has caught onto the proliferation of video. Yesterday they published "Your Career: Video Resumes Getting More Popular". Why? Because its an extra tool in your job searching kit that will allow you to stand out.

The key thing here, that they point out, is "Production quality is also important. A well-produced video can send the message that the applicant is both professional and on top of new technology, while something that looks like a home video can send the opposite message."

The consistent messaging here is that no matter what tool you use in your personal branding, if you want to stand out and be taken seriously, you and your tools, need to be professional.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

A personal brand. You don't need to be famous to have one.

A personal brand is often thought of as something reserved for people with a name that is recognizable. Not so. Personal brands transcend companies or entities. The tough part is defining what your personal brand is. Your personal brand is a culmination of your personal views on what you are passionate about, what you do well and what you want to communicate + how others describe you.

So, you could be a lawyer by day but have a blog and community of thousands following you on your nightime musings on Interior Design and The Punka Fan: Inspiring Southern Dining Rooms before the ceiling fan. How do you define yourself? By your daytime vocation or your true passion? Is our success and career defined by our education, credentials and skills or our everything else that we love to do outside of 9-5? Or, your fan base?

I have long struggled with the concept of wearing many hats, operating many entities and not knowing how to bring them all together. Executive Producer of an award winning web t.v. show about women and aging, creator of, President of and an all round spokesperson for all things 'women in business', helping women to find their voice and power.

You probably don't know my name. And, my passions are many and varied. Do I have a personal brand?

What I've known for a long time now is that careers and businesses no longer fit into a box with an easy, one sentence description, or even website. Brands and ideas transcend business entities and are moving towards virtual properties.

Brands follow passion. Throw out the business school definition of brand building that we all learned. In today's digital world, brands are organic and ultimately defined by what we stand for. Our brands are defined by the people who we choose to marry and the bright people we surround ourselves with each and every day. So, let's ask them. Don't resist it. Sit with it and figure out what your personal brand looks like for you.

For a great place to start visit one of the world's top personal brand destinations to find a personal brand strategist near you.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Its all about YOU!

Don't you love those e-mails from companies who are trying to sell you something and have NO IDEA who you are. Chris Brogan recently blogged about his love of Macs (even showed a pic of his latest love). But, an e-mail from Apple greatly disappointed him. It told him about "the joys of owning a Mac, the same joys that I’ve experienced for eight or nine years and counting.." Apple wanted to sell a Mac to Chris who already had one. The e-mail was impersonal, badly targeted and frustrating. Chris' message to Apple: "I want you to really care about me. I want you to remember me. That second one matters a lot. I want you to remember me, such that when I contact you at your touchpoints, you know how much I’ve done with you."

This got me thinking about our personal online networks. How well do you keep track of the people you meet? Prior to social media, we all used our address books. Taking notes about who we met at what conference and what they were about. With the introduction of social media, this is all trackable online. Meet someone? Just connect to their LinkedIn account, get their twitter addy and maybe even friend them on facebook.

But will these tools, its easy to just add them and forget. Its important to think about how you are going to use the tools to actually nurture your relationships. Are you actively communicating with your online community or are you simply collecting connections.

Failing which, you might fall into Apple's trap of having a connection, but not taking full advantage of it.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Posted by: Laurinda Shaver

With the social media meltdown yesterday, I was lost.

It started with my Tweetie account being completely empty. No text. I asked around the videoBIO office if anyone was having Twitter issues. Check.
Then I went to Facebook. And (being a mac gal) I watched the loading circle button go around and around. "Facebook down too?" Check.

I was ok. I could deal with not being plugged into the world for a little bit. My need for personal expression could be tempered with other work at hand.
By mid day, I think I had the withdrawal shakes. What was happening to me?

I was missing that strong human need: feeling connected. We sometimes focus so much on the social networks themselves, we forget what the point is. Their purpose is to help build and maintain relationships with like-minded people. Belong to a tribe, a community. The big deal is not the social communities themselves, but the service that they provide. Like Josh Mernoff and Charlene Li said in their book "Groundswell", concentrate on the relationships, not the technology.

Are you using the technology to serve your need to build relationships? Do you have specific networking goals and are you working towards them? Or are you just playing with the technology (when its working)?

For example, sign up for LinkedIn and actively use the platform to increase your connections. It says alot when someone searches for you and your connections are 0 - 5. You would be better off not signing up at all if you are not committed to using the tool. You will be not be taken seriously.

Instead of you going to the info, have relevant and timely information come to you. Sign up for the Market Yourself Smarter's e-newsletter for online marketing tips. There is nothing to maintain and you are using a great tool to increase your knowledge.

Anyway, the outage is still ongoing so I picked up the phone. "Did you know twitter is down?... oh.. its back up?? Gotta go! Talk soon. Bye."

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Congrats on your new job! Now what?

Posted by Laurinda Shaver

Hypothetically lets say you’ve got a new job and you want to tell the world and update your online profile status. Where do you start? For the sake of argument, lets take me for example in my new role as Director of New Media and Production at an amazing company called videoBIO. How do you maximize this opportunity to raise your profile in the industry? Naturally I would start with LinkedIn as my professional online status lives there. But what are the other professional tools online that you can lever to build a consistent, professional image online?

1) Take a look at all the communities and networks you are registered with. How do you describe yourself? Are you professional, targeted and focused in one and personal, irreverent, and off-tone in another? What is the take away you want people to have on you? What do you want them to think about when they think of you? Remember, people usually only retain one or two things so you better make sure this first impression is the right one.

2) The most effective way to build that brand image is to be consistent. Use the same picture and an identical bio. That way, anyone reading it would get a clear idea of who you are no matter where they see you online.

3) Don’t hold back! If you don’t promote yourself and tell people what you are up to, who will? Use your communities’ status updates, walls, and other announcement tools to let people know about your change. If you don’t tell your community, how are they going to know? This will spark conversation, as people will respond in kind.

4) Use your twitter account to connect with people in your industry. Twitter can be frustrating at first (yes, I did swear at it more than once) but once you get the hang of it, it’s a real resource for timely information. Graeme Newell has a great post about How to Make Your Twitter Feed Worth a Damn.

5) Very importantly, get a videoBIO. I did. The feedback has been amazing. I am getting queries from people I have not heard from in a long time to professional associates who are very curious on how they can use this remarkable tool. It’s a great way to stand out in the cluttered online space and most importantly, get your unique perspective across in a dynamic, personal way.

What did I miss? How would you use this opportunity to raise your online profile?

As a side note, I’m thrilled to join the VideoBIO team. There is nothing like working on a remarkable product and working with you to create them! I thrive on your input. Contact me at and on twitter @VideoBIO. Let’s talk.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Canada's high tech strategy...anyone? Up for grabs.

In today's Globe and Mail, an article on Canada's high tech strategy. Who's advising? Who's contributing? Why is Stephen Harper absent? And, where's the trickle down effect of funding for high tech firms who are in the trenches, investing in Canada's innovation equity today... and contributing to employment.

Try as we might to keep all equity in Canada, high tech firms are forced to go south of the border to access capital for great ideas, innovation and seed capital for start ups. Why? In my mind there are two key contributing factors that keep Canada stagnant in its efforts to jumpstart its international profile back to where Canada used to stand on the Canadian stage as a leader and high tech innovator.

First, the funding model is geared towards rewarding companies who are cash flow positive. Yet it is the ones in the red who are in dire need of the capital to get their companies to the place where they can viably compete and have the chance to succeed. It is at this very first stage that small businesses need the capital but, banks don't have the risk tolerance and there is no small capital structure for venture capital co's who won't get out of bed for less than $10 million and 80% of your company. But what if you only need $1 M? Or less? While there have been recent efforts by some VC's to change this model like Marc Anderseen's recently launched VC fund and introduce funding as little as $50 K to get co's off the ground, they are still more talk then currently actionable funding options and few and far between.

Second, Canada's overall apathy and lack of opportunism and competitive spirit when it comes to embracing new ideas and leadership. Conservative, risk averse protectionism is what stifles Canada's ability to grow and claim these success stories as their own.

For someone who spends a lot of time south of the border and in other countries, it is a clear, disappointing truth that while many great things come from Canada, it is no thanks to our political or financial systems for supporting this success.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tweeting to professional success?

Where does Twitter live for you in the professional networking world? What role does it serve? Quick personal daily updates, provocative thoughts, stream of consciousness, developing a fan club, sharing interesting items, self promotion? Is Twitter about putting ideas out there with the goal of creating interaction and dialogue and positoining yourself in the world of the web, or is it about voyerism and narcisism? Which leads me to wonder, in what professional network is it deemed truly acceptable to promote yourself in a direct, shameless way. Is there a channel for this? Where will this ultimately aggregate?

Yes, people have made connections through Twitter that have led them to find a job. Yes, people have developed contacts through Twitter that have helped them build their business. But it all feels a little random still in terms of where this channel lives in the networking ecosystem online. If Facebook is for personal use and LinkedIN is for professional networking and updates then Twitter is still a relative novelty in its model alone I think. People are addicted to the public, 'levelled' access to all Twitter enthusiasts-- celebrity and anybody. You can find them all there.

We need to give some concentrated thought to our online profile in its aggregate and the overall message we are sending out to the world about who we are, how we think and what we do. And, in some instances... why they should care. If we leave it up to the collective digital thumbprint we may find out that people are getting the wrong impression. We need to do the work to stage, protect and control (to a certain extent) our professional profile and then manage it diligently.

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Women entrepreneurs, market yourself with the Profit W100

OK smart women entrepreneur followers, it's time to yell from the hilltops about how successful you are! Yes, I said yell!! Shameless self promotion and a W100 application is what it takes to get that much deserved attention for all of your hard work. In fact, why not add a to your application?

The 11th annual ranking of the PROFIT W100: Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs is now open for applicatins and nominations.

This year, changes to the ranking criteria this year open up the program to smaller firms and companies across a wider range of industries.

And, they're launching a new ranking of up-and-coming women entrepreneurs who deserve recognition for their early successes.

What won’t change are the benefits of ranking, including coverage in the November issue of PROFIT, which can attract new staff, customers, business partners and the interest of other local and national media. You can also count on business-building marketing and PR support from PROFIT. Perhaps best of all, you’ll be invited to the PROFIT W100 Idea Exchange, an exclusive conference geared to helping you strengthen your company and management skills in collaboration with other female entrepreneurs.

You can request a nomination package by calling 1-800-713-GROW or completing the online ballot at

Application deadline is July 17, 2009.

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Industry specific career matchmaking

Industry specific career matchmaking just got better for employees in Canada who post their resume at Workopolis. Here is an excerpt from their recent release:

Workopolis releases stats from study that uncovers challenges with industry specific. New Workopolis functionality helps employers connect with hard-to-reach specialized candidates.

June 4, 2009, Toronto – In this ever-changing labour market, employers are looking for more efficient ways of connecting with hard-to-fill specialized workers. And according to new poll results from Workopolis, nearly six-in-ten (57 per cent) working Canadians fit the bill with self-described sector-specific skills and experiences.

To serve this need, employers posting a job on can now access specialized workers through the Workopolis NicheNetwork, Canada’s largest specialized association and publication job board network. Starting today, a new Cross-Post feature will enable employers to quickly and easily access candidates from industries ranging from accounting to telecom.

“What employers need to help them navigate this downturn is great employees, and being able to quickly connect with hard-to-fill candidates is mission critical,” said Gabriel Bouchard, President of Workopolis. “Employers can forget the wild goose chase for specialized workers because the Cross-Post feature makes it all possible to target industry professionals in just one simple click.”

Do employers and employees see this as a value add among online job search engines?

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Marketing yourself on the web. Women's Post Event. Courage to Lead

Where are you in your own marketing campaign? I spoke at the Women's Post, Courage to Lead event on Tuesday night hosted at the Sony Style store and shared some of my thoughts on the personal marketing campaign. I enjoyed sharing the stage with Brent Wilson, Dragons Den and Tsufit, Author, Step Into the Spotlight! A great event.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Standing out... where Personal Branding meets Marketing

For those starting to become more familiar with the whole idea of taking charge of your reputation and managing your profile online, you will undoubtedly have heard the terms 'personal branding' and 'market yourself'. Both key ingredients to career success. But, personal branding and marketing yourself are two very distinct concepts-- both equally important in the overall career strategy.

First, personal branding is about understanding who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you stand for and what you wish to be. Take William Arruda, CEO of Reach and a partner of Market Yourself Smarter/videoBIO in helping individuals to know themselves before sitting down in front of a camera for a videoBIO or thinking about a more concerted effort in building profile and marketing yourself. Reach has been in the personal branding business for years and is arguably the leader in the field for all things personal branding.

Next, there is the marketing step. This is the part where all of the groundwork comes together and is put to the acid test as you navigate through your career and create connections, make impressions and build success. Take videoBIO as a career marketing tool, for example. In order to get the best out of the videoBIO opportunity you need to know what you are putting into it. What are your key messages? What is your raison d'etre? What makes you unique and how do you convey this with energy and conviction?

So be sure to remember the one, two' step process when you are ready to launch your personal brand out into the market. Take care with your brand.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Career search 2.0

Robert Lesser, President, Direct Impact Marketing and blogger for MarketingProfs posted a great how-to on how Career Search 2.0 meets Demand Generation-- includes some great, practical tips for optimizing your job search online.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Social currency. How full is your bank?

The art of conversation. High value networking. Quality interactions. Meaningful relationships. Great buzz words but really not well executed in day to day business relations. We need to take care in managing each and every impression and connection that we make with colleagues. Great impressions + authentic interactions = social currency. At the end of the day our reputation and our network and human relationships is what will make you or break us in business. Take a moment to think about whether you are building or losing currency. How full is your bank?

Check out to learn more about your professional style and character.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Are you really who you say you are? And, do you know what to say?

There's something about video that brings it all home in a very personal way. Integrating video into your online profile or job search is the new hot tool, but with video there is no hiding behind an airbrushed photo or well crafted resume. It is you. You are out there for everyone to see! It is a very intimate experience between you and the video camera -- and an honest one that needs to be carefully thought through.

There are times in your life when you need to slow down and reflect on who you are and what you stand for. We usually don't take the time out to think about these things as they relate to work, or life. When you find yourself out of work or are looking to shift your career path you really need to take a good hard look at what you want, what you believe, and what you bring to the table.

These are all good questions in general but necessary ones in the process of understanding what your overall message is and how you are going to set yourself apart and connect with potential employers or clients. With the emergence of new online tools and lower-touch communications we have lost the art of relationship building and storytelling. Video is bringing us back to the basics and is forcing us to take more care with our presentation and personal brand messages. And, this is a good thing. Investing time and resources in managing your reputation and brand impressions will pay off.

For examples of well crafted brand messages and video bios, visit us at

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Marketing yourself (part 2). Your approach to market

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This is a follow on to an earlier post Marketing Yourself, the A, B, Cs that focused on what I described as Part One of the A, B, C's of marketing yourself. Today I want to chime in on Part Two which is YOUR APPROACH TO MARKET. Individuals looking for their next position or looking to bolster their profile and build their networks can draw from the fundamentals followed by companies launching new products or brands into the market. You need to understand what your brand is and then you need to manage that brand impression in every media-- when meeting someone for the first time at a cocktail party, when in a meeting or on a conference call, when promoting yourself on your bio, resume or speaking at a conference, when managing your professional profile online. It all matters and it requires a plan and ongoing management and maintenance. Every interaction is an opportunity to make a great or an average impression (let's hope not a bad impression!).

To start you need to think about your goals. Are you in launch mode, build mode or sustain mode? Typically if you are at the early stage of your career you are in launch or build mode. If you are at a mid career stage but are shifting careers you will drop back to launch mode.

For online you will want to ask yourself how much of your profile do you want to be publicly available online? This will dictate your online, professional networking strategy with sites like and . Do you want a video to add a level of personalization to your brand? Are you an entrepreneur who is constantly promoting something and seeking new networking connections? You may want to look at for sharing daily updates on what you are up. Think carefully about how you use as a professional networking tool as it is most commonly used for social / personal networking and it is important to keep your personal and professinal brands separate.

Stay tuned for more marketing yourself a, b, c's.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Career and life reflected by one great CEO

Five years ago I had the pleasure to come to know Howard Breen, Chairman of MacLaren McCann Canada-- a man who needs no introduction on the North American advertising stage. Howard shared with me a few months ago that he was in the final stages of writing his book "A Page from a CEO's Diary" and I couldn't wait for the opportunity to help him promote it.

Well, it is now available for all of us to enjoy!

In addition to Howard's obvious career success he is an extraordinarily thoughtful and reflective man who cares very much about looking at the whole person, walking the talk, course correcting and holding himself to a higher standard.

The net proceeds for this book are being donated to Camp Oochigeas ( a wonderful camp for kids with cancer) and PrevNet (an organization addressing bullying). You can order “A page from a CEO’s Diary” at

Here is what Howard has to say about it:
"This book reveals the most important lessons I have learned about business, career and relationships. I intend to challenge you to re-evaluate your thinking, values and practices with observations, anecdotes and questions. My goal is to help you gain a more honest picture of who you are and what you truly believe so that you can achieve greater success in your career…and happiness in life. " -- Howard Breen

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Using video as a distinct advantage in your job search

A video bio is an important tool in your career marketing toolkit. Your on-camera ‘pitch’ is a way to present important soft skills like communication style, overall presence, attitude and energy, relate ability and professionalism whether you are in the job market, looking to promote your business or trying to build your profile. At the end of the day, people connect with people and video is a great way to express your whole self online.

Tips for using video online in your job search

1. Be sure to highlight your interests. Just out of school and looking for your first job you won’t have a lot of experience to rely on. Employers are looking to see leadership potential, ability to perform well in a team environment, energy and commitment. Sitting on college committees, volunteer work in the community, sports and other recreational interests all demonstrate a well rounded individual who makes time to develop all her skills.

2. Emphasize your achievements in high school and college. Did you graduate at the top of your class? Have you won any awards? Were you nominated for something by your peers? Did you take on an interesting project that had a great outcome?

3. Make it relevant. The employer doesn’t want to see the same video resume that every other employer is seeing. They want it tailored for them so be sure to translate your strengths into meaningful employment benefits. For example, highlight a specific skill that you have that can be immediately applied.

4. Share your ideas. Bring something specific to the table that shows that you have done your homework and you really want to work there. It demonstrates initiative and confidence.

5. Be confident on camera even if you are not. The key benefit of a video resume is that you can edit which means you have a few ‘takes’ or chances to get it right. Employers are looking for self assured, bright individuals with great communication skills so brush up on your key messages and prepare before your shoot. Make it conversational and not too scripted but make sure your best you comes across.

What are the don'ts of video bios ?

1. A videoBIO is not a video resume. It is a tool that will augment a resume and get your soft skills and communication style across. Keep it punchy and not more than 3 minutes in length.

2. Don’t submit a home grown, handycam version of your video resume to a potential employer. Employers are leery of the source of videos and the way they are submitted. Invest in a professionally shot videoBIO that comes from a credible source and is hosted on a webpage that can be easily viewed without downloading.

In this market climate it is more important than ever before to take control of and manage your online reputation.

check out my profile at

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