YOUR Digital Footprint

REMEMBER Memorial DayThe Careerpilot’s high TECH-HIGH TOUCH philosophy comes into play with the explosive growth of business professionals using social networks to build relationships, meet new contacts, and market themselves.  While the Internet provides many choices, diving into the virtual meet-and-greet can represent a real challenge.  Which one is worthy of your start-up investment: learning curve time and actual ROI of your efforts…  Where to begin?

Bob is back and will be facilitating This Week‘s Session, Thursday, May 31st…                     A LinkedIn Primer: Task #2 and #3, a discussion of how to extend the reach of your contact network…extending your digital footprint

Pilot OnboardThe Careerpilot encourages a choice that reasonably assures one’s confidentiality, has a multitude of useful applications, and can serve as your focal point of networking decisions.

A terrific launching site for such an effort is LinkedIn. Developed specifically for business, the site doesn’t run the risk of blurring your professional life with your private one; and, it serves virtually every industry and profession.

Joining a network like LinkedIn is simple, but turning it into a powerful networking tool takes a bit of savvy. Here’s how to build a network, leveraging your available time… and put it all to work — without HIGH TECH, social-networking anxiety.

TASK #2  Build Your Network

Goal: Stay focused.  Only connect with others who share your professional interests or are related to those interests in a complementary way… and can help you meet your goals.  After you’ve created your profile, it’s time to begin to connect to others.

LinkedIn will allow you to search for people you know to see if they’re already members. But once you connect to someone, you can also look at the profiles of anyone they know, and in turn anyone those people know. Because of these three degrees of separation, your network can grow rapidly.

Before you begin connecting, decide who you want to connect to. LinkedIn suggests in its FAQ, “Only invite those you know and trust.” 

The 411 on “How Not to Be Connected”

If someone contacts you and you don’t want to form a connection with them, you don’t need to flatly reject them and worry about the attendant awkwardness. When looking at the invitation to connect, simply hit “Archive.” The other person does not receive a message saying their invitation has been rejected, and you don’t have to worry about unwanted invitations clogging up your inbox.

Likewise, if you find that an existing contact is blasting you with too much information or making overly aggressive requests for introductions and recommendations, LinkedIn will let you remove that person easily — and without the contact knowing they’re out of your network.

If only it were that easy in real life.

What’s Next?

  1. Check in on “Network Updates.” Found on your LinkedIn homepage, Network Updates are kind of like your Facebook news feed. Check these periodically for a quick snapshot of what your connections are up to and sharing. And, it’s a 2-way street: Your updates, including white papers you may choose to “publish,” go out to your network.
  2. Be identifiable. Find out who’s checking out your profile by allowing others to see who you are if you view theirs. When you click the information under “Who’s Viewed My Profile” on your profile page, you’ll be able to view users who have looked at your profile, stats on your profile’s number of views, and its appearances in search recently. To change this, go into your settings and click “See what others see when you’ve viewed their profile.”
  3. Export connections. Transfer your LinkedIn connections to another contact management system? LinkedIn enables you to easily export your connections. Just click on “Contacts,” “My Connections,” and then scroll down and click “Export Connections.” You have the option of either exporting as a .CSV or .VCF file.
  4. Leverage the power of LinkedIn Groups. Did you know that if you’re a member of the same group as another user, you can bypass the need to be a first degree connection in order to message them? In addition, group members are also able to view the profiles of other members of the same group without being connected. Join more groups to enable more messaging and profile viewership capabilities.
  5. Link your Twitter acct to LinkedIn. Share your LinkedIn status updates on Twitter, and vice versa. Learn how to connect your Twitter account in your “settings” area.

Special Presenter This Week, Thursday, May 24th: Jeff Morris, Founder and Webmaster of CareerDFW

Giving you the tools you need to land your next great opportunity.

Such is the goal of CareerDFW.  Jeff has played a tremendous role in the leadership of community based job search support groups in the Dallas area…and he has his own Group that meets in North Plano every Friday morning.

THIS WEEK’s Session, Thursday, May 24th:  Exploring the CareerDFW website with its Founder and Webmaster, Jeff Morris

roadsign-banner2If you are a job seeker in the DFW Metroplex, you are blessed to be living in the best place in America to be unemployed: good industry mix, excellent community-based (free) resources, and an economy that just keeps on growing.  The best way to take advantage is to ’embrace the OTHER Job Market…’ by understanding the key words in the CareerDFW’s GOAL…

chalk1Professional individuals should consistently be aware of and in the market for their next great opportunity. This is an efficient and productive career strategy that will serve anyone well for the rest of their working life.

DFWCareerpilot, quite similar in name, shares in and totally supports this common goal, helping professional people navigate the challenging waters of career transition.

Accountable to WHO??

accountability-partnerA good accountability partner can make a major difference in one’s job search. I have seen many job seekers flounder because they launch their search efforts before they are totally prepared for the unique adventure ahead.  The power of partnering comes in to play when two well prepared job seekers come together to hold each other accountable for the activities and time management involved in productive search efforts.

You can call this coincidence if you want, I did for a while until I saw it happening over and over, and the people using the accountability partner were giving them the credit for their success. Or you could call it peer pressure … but whatever you call the ‘fuel.’ The resultant energy cannot be denied… it works.

Don’t miss TODAY’s Session at The Egg and I Restaurant in Addison, Thursday, May 10…

Developing YOUR Personal Marketing Plan

chalk1Too many times, we fall victim to distractions from the job search. The trap of sleeping late, watching TV, and playing on the Web can ensnare us. With no one but ourselves to hold us accountable for our job-search goals and plans, time can just slip away. It’s so easy to lose balance between personal needs and wants and our job search.

The other end of the spectrum is becoming a “job search-aholic.” For many of us, our identity is tied up tightly in our career, while others need a job right away just to make ends meet. No matter how great the need or desire for a new position, conducting a job search 24/7 non-stop can actually be a detriment to a successful campaign.

Once burnout sets in and enthusiasm begins to wane, how can you be at your best when you interview or even network?  The buddy system is an ideal way to protect against burnout while keeping on track!

PRODUCTIVE Job Search Strategy

AjustDaSailsWhile involved in ‘the challenging waters’ of career transition, the same chaotic, jobless, trying times are very productive times. Don’t waste them by floundering with lack of focus and direction, falling into the dark, depressive attitude of distractions and, worst of all, inaction…

When we are employed, we tend to function under the guidance of our employer’s business plan, or, more specifically, our job description. Our ‘routine’ is defined by:

• Personal accountability to a labyrinth of responsibilities, some structured— some not structured at all—but all contributing to productive work activities…

• We create productivity and efficiency with our sense of time management…

• And as ‘top talent’ professionals, we often take initiative, make process improvements, and contribute to the Company’s growth.

THIS Week’s Session, Thursday, May 10th… Preparing to execute YOUR Personal Marketing Plan

PLEASE NOTE:  Scheduling changes listed in “Plan Ahead” Tab.

chalk1So, why not recreate all that with OUR OWN PLAN, a Personal Marketing Plan, to move toward job satisfaction, commitment, and appropriate compensation, for the rest of our careers… including any current, short term job search?

If an individual is under-employed, seeking a change, or actually unemployed, they must be visible to potential employers who are seeking their services. Creating this visibility is strategic, personal market planning and execution—in can be marketability without rejection!

And, employed or not, Modify and improve your Personal Market Plan’s implementation model as needed… As you move through your career transition or ‘job search campaign,’ make adjustments as you would a business model.

Personal Marketing is a contact sport.

Following the first three steps, it may feel like you’re ready to take on the job market… but, THE Careerpilot encourages you to be totally prepared before you do.

“Coaching” Your Chosen REFERENCES…

It is essential that you make certain that persons you use as a reference will respond in a positive manner. A good rule of thumb is to select four to six references, including supervisors, indirect supervisors, customers, peers, and possibly someone of stature in your profession.

Contact every person you are using for a reference, get their permission, discuss what type of position you are targeting, and send them a copy of your ‘market-ready’ resume draft. There are times when you can actually negotiate what you want them to say.

Your reference sheet is an addendum to your resume and is taken to the interview, not sent with the resume. One way of looking at contacting your references at this point is that it marks the beginning of your focused networking, the first stage of your more active career transition efforts.

Practice your networking skills while you validate your resume DRAFT, tweaking as appropriate based on feedback from those that know and respect you.