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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Q: I had two interviews on Monday and have already been invited to further interview this Thursday (in two days). My interviews on Monday were with the recruiter and hiring leader. Should I send a thank you letter even though I am interviewing within three days? Seems as though the letter will cross in the mail.
A: Great question! Send an e-mail thank you tailored to each of the individuals that you met on Monday; the recruiter and hiring leader. Make sure each e-mail thank you is targeted towards highlights that you discussed in the interviews along with a touch of your personality. Since the recruiter is your in-house point person, be sure to e-mail your recruiter after your interview(s) on Thursday in an effort to keep the communication open. Also be sure to send a thank you e-mail to your Thursday interviewer(s). Be sure to always send thank you e-mails independent of your interviewers so that they are customized. Avoid cookie cutter thank you letters by altering your e-mails. CC: yourself on your e-mail thank you letters as well so that you track your progress. If the company is informal, no need to send the thank you letter as a WORD .doc. You can simply type the thank you in the body of the e-mail.
For a fun and unique thank you, consider sending a video thank you of yourself. Simply attach it to your email. This works well with organizations seeking trend setting executives and professionals who are willing to make good use of technology. You will also be in the forefront of the hiring leaders minds!
Check back next week for more rock solid advice from me! E-mail, call or send me a video of your questions! If you would like your name to be added to my weekly Q & A, please indicate YES when you reach out to ask your question!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Q: What is a QR code and do I need one?
A: QR codes are becoming increasingly popular in businesses, hospitals and even in today’s job search. QR means quick response. The unique image resembling a postage stamp is popping up everywhere these days! If you have a smart phone, you simply scan the QR code and the embedded link information will transport you to a web based window. For more information check out this article written by Pamela Babcock and posted by SHRM (Society of HR Management).
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Q: Does online social media really make a difference? I am on linkedin.com and have 45 contacts. As an executive, I have always been advised to ‘stay away’ from posting too much information about myself. I am a baby boomer, aged 57. What is your social media recommendation for an out of work senior executive trying to regain employment?
A: Linkedin.com is the #1 online social media source used by headhunters and recruiters to identify talent. (NOTE: I realize we touched on this subject just a few weeks ago. However, due to the volume of inquiries, I decided to post this particular question with an extended answers.) First and foremost, LINKEDIN.com is FREE! FREE! FREE! In this day, there are few things that are FREE. When I hear that people are struggling to gain employment, the first question I ask is, “are you on linkedin.com” followed by “are you actively using it to network, build an online presence and establish your personal branding?”
My professional advice to you is, post a picture if you have not already done so. Join the maximum number of groups allowed so that you have a broad pool of individuals at your fingertips. Start reading posts from other users and respond. You will gain perspective from other online executives and professionals which will help you determine where you fit in. The active online users market their thoughts and ideas openly. These are not individuals writing for the media. These are not individuals putting a spin towards increasing television or news program ratings. These are real people with real thoughts. Your peers.
Study trends and get involved with discussions. If you have an opinion on a topic, you can start your own discussion/or group.
Challenge yourself to add 5 new contacts per day or 35 per week. I am an advocate of becoming a LION. LION is an acronym for LinkedIn Open Networker. I am a LION. Sure, some folks say, “but linkedin.com cautions you to only connect with people that you know.” This is guideline, not a requirement. Becoming a LION offers you a broader pool of resources and information. If also offers you more visibility. If you went to a networking function, would you only talk to people that you know? Of course not! You would work the entire room. Linkedin.com is the same principle. Work the millions of connections and then hone in on what is right for you, your strategy and your placement of your personal brand.
“While I am a proponent of ‘less is more’ in most cases, when it comes to online networking, more is better on Linkedin.com. The trick is managing and using your profile to maximize your ROI. In this case your investment is time.”
Every 6 months or so, go through your contacts and clean house. If you have individuals who are not also growing their networks, getting involved in conversations, or other activity, likely, they are not active on LI. If they are passive users, you can always disconnect. May sound a bit harsh. But, it is not your responsibility to carry dead weight associated with your brand.
At the end of the day, Linkedin.com is your online advertisement. It is your label detailing who you are and your skilled offerings.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Q: What is your professional opinion on divulging salary during the interview process? Should I divulge my earnings, bonus, stock, etc. during the initial conversation OR withhold until I am thoroughly interviewed?
A: Divulge up front. Period! You can always negotiate once you are interviewed. The notion of withholding your salary on the front end is a losing proposition. Disclosing your salary requirements is a starting point. Would you buy a home if you did not know the cost? Anyone touting a message to “withhold salary requirements” is offering poor advice. This is an ideal thinker who has most likely never recruited, screened, interviewed or hired. Withholding is perceived as ‘not being serious’ about selling your skills/leadership.
Headhunters, hiring leaders, recruiters do not have time to waste on individuals withholding salary information. Keep in mind, when you state your salary requirements, you are stating them based on your current or recent position. You have wiggle room to move within a range depending on your current market value, the unique skills and/or leadership you are bringing forward and an opportunity to provide a business case upon learning more about the position.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Q: Last night, a new show aired on BRAVO called THE HEADHUNTRESS. The Headhuntress did an exercise in the elevator. I have heard of the elevator pitch. But, thought it was outdated. What advice do you have regarding the elevator pitch?
A: No, the elevator pitch is NOT outdated. The elevator pitch was beautifully demonstrated on BRAVO last night by Wendy Doulton, THE HEADHUNTRESS. While you may not have access nor the stomach to ride up and down an elevator to refine YOUR pitch, you can grab a sheet of paper, a pencil and your timing device. Having a succinct elevator pitch is the #1 method of ‘making the connection’ with individuals pertaining to YOU as a brand. You can develop your pitch by simply listing your top attributes. Start with five. Write, rehearse, record and let the words roll off of your tongue. The first 15 seconds of your words can make or break you as a brand.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Q: I have always been told that using color on a resume is not acceptable. I notice that you use color and have box shaped icons on your resumes. Won’t my resume be rejected from being scanned? What will the employers think if I use color?
A: #1 You will receive several final copies of your resume. One copy is for scanning purposes. This copy is converted into a .txt document. All of the ‘bells and whistles’ are removed. This will ensure that your resume is scanned properly. Your color copy (if you choose color) is to be used when emailing your resume to the recruiter, headhunter or hiring leader. This copy is also the copy that you may take with you to distribute during your interview if you choose to take additional copies with you. A savvy company will not require you to bring copies so save your paper and ink. The primary purpose of using color and boxes is to capture the attention, differentiate your brand and separate yourself from others posting for employment. Color may be frowned upon by individuals who are stuck in the late 1980′s and 1990′s. Color is now acceptable. Personal Branding offers insight to what colors mean and how you can best integrate them into your resume and your personal brand. Boxes are used on resumes to display organization and style. Simply put, your resume is your advertisement. Your ad needs to speak for you long before you show up and long after you leave. You can gain an advantage from a classic, contemporary or couture resume with our without color. Just don’t rule it out before you become educated on the advantages. Great question!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Q: What can I do to maximize my social networking presence. With so many web sites on the internet, it becomes overwhelming.
A: The primary sites that I recommend you using (effective November 1, 2011) are: Linkedin.com, About.me and Twitter.com. The first two are absolutely necessary if you want to expand your online presence. Up and coming is Google+. These are all free social media avenues that can help you gain traction on you as a brand. Free is always good!