Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taking Your Job Hunt to the Next Level

In my day job, I cover the business aviation/private jet industry. Even people with no interest in the topic have seen the beating the industry has taken in the media. That, coupled with the global economic meltdown, tight credit markets and companies scared to buy jets, has caused a large amount of people being laid off in the business aviation industry.

I became "friends" with Clint White, an unemployed corporate aviation pilot who took his job hunt to Twitter (@tdwnds1) and via his blog,
Aviators' Thoughts. I would offer links to his blog via one of my company's blog. I also had the chance to meet him at a major industry trade show this fall, where he wore his uniform and networked like crazy, telling me "you never know who you might meet."

After more that a year of relentless optimism and searching, White finally got not one, but two offers during the traditionally slow Christmas holidays. And he credits hard-core networking and a social media campaign for getting him those two offers, one of which he ended up accepting.

I have recently been critiquing resumes for young people either trying to get into the market or looking to move up to the next level. Yes, the market is especially tough, but there's no reason why you can't craft your own job search campaign. And I'm happy to say that the advice I've given young people on their resumes matches well with the Web sites I'll be leading you to that offer tips on how to do this.

First, the list is long, but the Interview Angel offers up
101 Ways To Find A Job. Angel offers an exhaustive, but informative list of tips that can ramp up your job search. My favorite tips include:
  • Proofread your resume - during my critiques, I was amazed how many journalists had typos, grammar errors and sloppy editing.
  • Customize your resume - don't use one resume for 12 different jobs. Craft it for the job you want.
  • Use your blog as a platform - Clint White can attest to the power of this one.
  • Create an elevator pitch - My blog post on this tip is here.
I'm a big fan of the Mashable blog, my sherpa for all things social media. Last month, writer David Spinks did a great post: HOW TO: Boost Your Resume Over the Winter Break. Among his best tips are find a mentor, take your blog to the next level and volunteer.

Yahoo! News has a great article:
Smart Networking For Job Searchers. I am not only a true believer in the power of networking, I can attest to its power when looking for a job. How? The last time I actually applied for a job was in 1992, when I was hired for my first job in aviation. Ever since then, I have either had jobs created for me or been recommended for jobs after making inquiries. You can also get some great networking tips from this Mashable post: 4 Steps for Effective Online Networking.

The SquawkFox blog tells you
6 Words That Make Your Resume Suck. When reviewing resumes, I am no longer amazed when I see writers using these six words -- and plenty of them do. I advise using strong action verbs with descriptions and the numbers (if relevant) to back it up.

I always recommend that job seekers include their social media activity -- but only if it is professional. I have managed to create a personal and professional profile on Facebook and my personal Twitter account is locked. The Digital Inspiration blog posts on
Why Job Seekers Should Worry About Their Online Reputation.

If you have any other tips or tricks, I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Life Without Print Newspapers?

I spent the holidays on the West Coast with my family. As I've written in the past, I enjoy debating my father -- an avid newspaper reader -- over the delivery of news. When I'm visiting family, I will pick up the newspaper, because it's there.

So I read this post from the Comms Corner blog with interest. The deal is that blogger Adam Vincenzini is swearing off reading a print newspaper for the next year. He notes the importance of doing this, since he's a PR professional that needs to feed his news habit. Under this experiment, he will:
  • rely even more heavily on digital channels.
  • spend more time on the websites of the papers I'd normally read.
  • experiment with more apps, gadgets and widgets to deliver content from those outlets to me.
  • My Factiva alerts and the like take on greater significance.
  • probably read e-editions where possible (like the version of The Metro delivered to my inbox each day at 6am).
I stopped my delivery of the Baltimore Sun more than a year ago, so I have been there, done that as far as Vincenzini's experiment is concerned. The news, for me, now comes via NPR and the News Feed Elite app on my iPod Touch. For a mere $1.99, I have access to almost 200 media publications and blogs, including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and my Sun.

It will be interesting to follow Vicenzeni this year, and it will be even more interesting to see if he goes back to reading print publications in 2011. Watch this space!