Resume Shmesume

Much to my surprise, a decent amount of visitors actually read my last post. However, I have not received any new Linkedin connection requests from any of my friends yet. Bummer. Guess I’ll have to try to convince them again in the future.  And because online resume building/networking isn’t catching on fast in my social circle yet, hopefully at least everyone has a nice, clean, well written and updated resume on hand to use, send or print if they ever need it. You never know when you might come across a job that you are interested in applying for.  It is much easier to have a strong resume prepared and ready instead of having to write and compile a new one hours before the job listing is set to close.

I have submitted a number of resumes in my short, post-college career that have earned me interviews.  In my current position, I have also read dozens of applications as I was a part of the process of hiring new employees. It was interesting being on the hiring side of the fence this time, because I realized firsthand how terrible a poor resume can affect your chances of getting a call back.  I know that a lot of people may stress about their resume because they do not have much relevant work experience. That’s ok. You can still have a solid resume filled with coursework, school projects, volunteer work or anything that can make you and your personal brand look stronger.

I’ll stress this again; I am not even close to being an expert on this subject.  But because I have experience reading and writing both strong, and poor resumes, I feel that I could at least help people get on the right track or assist them in constructing a solid resume. So, feel free to send me yours and I can take a look and provide amateur (but free!) critique.

Whether you are a high school student looking for a summer job or a soon to be college grad worried about starting your career, you have no excuse to have no resume prepared besides laziness.

Linkedin: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

This post is not for everyone. One very important thing in the blogosphere is creating unique content, and this is not very unique. The topic has been touched on thousands of times. But I know for a fact that the following information is unique and will perhaps even be useful to the people I hope will read it: my friends.

Connections are more important than ever these days. I consider myself blessed to have a lot of friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, as much as I love them and as much entertainment, support and friendship they provide, a lot of my connections are useless to me in the professional world (no offense). But this can change. I have somewhere between 300-400 friends on  my Facebook account. That total was significantly cut down recently and probably could be done so even further. Recently I went through this list and searched for a large amount of the names on my Linkedin account. I found almost none of the names on the site. Considering everyone that I searched is either a college grad, an unemployed college grad, a college grad working a job they don’t see being their career, or a soon to be college grad, the fact that hardly anyone could be found on the site is not encouraging.

What is Linkedin? Linkedin is a website that allows you to upload a profile, tell the world about yourself, your work experience, your goals, your professional interests and allows you to connect with people that can help you in a variety of different ways. Say you’re a construction management major who is about to graduate. Create a profile, list what you’re getting your degree in, list your goals, put your resume and relevant coursework and school accomplishments up there. Next, start looking for people you know on the site. Have a professor in your major that you really like? Connect with them. If you know them, ask for a recommendation (Recommendations look great on Linkedin). And keep doing this. Keep finding people who could be influential in your job search. Find a company that you want to work for and research their employees. Search through the groups, maybe there’s a group of construction management college students who would share advice, tips and job postings.

Construction management was the first thing that popped into my head, but you can go through the same process for yourself no matter where you work now, or want to work in the future. Work at a restaurant? You are still a professional and Linkedin still has a place for you. Find co-workers, get recommendations and reviews, and who knows, one day someone from corporate may reach out to you.  If you have a job, or someday want a job, you should have a Linkedin account.

The bottom line is: job searching sucks. Linkedin and having a network can make it a lot easier.

Some random stuff:

-One of the main and most important things about Linkedin is that it connects you to people even if you yourself aren’t connected to them in the first degree. Say you want to work for Komo News but don’t know anyone in the company. As it turns out, I am connected to a few employees of Komo (not really, just hypothetically). Now, when you connect to me, my Komo connections will now have the ability to see your profile and connect with you, the hopeful Komo employee. This can be confusing until you start getting involved on the site. Think six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

-Thinking about grad school after you get your diplomuh? Linkedin allows you to network and connect with employees of schools your interested in, as well as individuals who are currently in or have completed the programs in the past and they can share advice, tips or answer any questions you may have.

-It also pays to be connected to friends who are currently employed. For example. Say you work for an accounting firm. Your boss tells you they are hiring and asks for any recommendations. If your friend who just graduated with his accounting degree has an impressive profile on Linkedin, how easy is it to just direct him straight to your friend’s profile? Very.
– Today, some recruiters and headhunters are using Linkedin as their primary recruiting tool (See the previous linked Fortune article).

-Have a unique hobby or passion? Fill out a profile and note in there that your dream is to one day work for WWE. All it takes is for a WWE employee or hiring manager to search for the keyword WWE on Linkedin, and boom, up comes your professional profile.

- A lot of people have been deleting their Facebook profiles for whatever reason. Not me. I like Facebook and it allows me to share stuff on there with my friends that I wouldn’t want professionals to see. Linkedin on the other hand, still allows you to be connected with your friends but provides more useful benefits than photos from a party you went to last weekend.
To me, the possibilities and opportunities of Linkedin are too great to ignore and I still am learning something new about the site and what I can do with it every day. Just this week I came across someone’s profile, contacted them about being interested in their company, and now I have a meeting with him later this week. It’s that easy. Anyone who I’m connected with on Facebook knows I am constantly posting status updates, pictures, whatever. I also have recently become a big Twitter fan. But if I had to ditch these profiles in favor of Linkedin, I’d do it in a heartbeat. So please, do yourself a favor set up a profile and start networking. You can learn more about it as you go on, but you have to start somewhere.

-Please share any questions and comments

Just the Tip

Long Diplomuh blog coming soon on this.

But for now. I’ll simply just give you the diplomuh tip:  register a twitter account.

So far, some people reading Diplomuh will think this is the most elementary, stupid and obvious “advice.”

Some will think all this is pointless, ignore the suggestions and never return.

And some will hopefully want to learn and maybe even put some of the recommendations into action.

Even if you don’t touch it for a few days after signing up, or ever again for that matter, please go sign up for twitter and register an account. Even if you think its pointless and don’t get it, what harm can it cause? Like the email accounts, sign up using your real name and we’ll talk a lot more about twitter soon.

“If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin…

…you’re nowhere.”

A quote from an article in the latest issue of Fortune Magazine. How Linkedin Will Fire Up Your Career.

Hopefully this article will influence you to join if you haven’t already. My blog on Linkedin is still coming soon.

Happy Birthday Gmail

Today is the 6th birthday of Gmail. Which reminded me of another tip that you might not think is worth wasting time writing about, but it is another simple and obvious thing that many people should, and need to do.

Setup a personal email account.   

All throughout college I used my student email account for everything. After graduation I no longer had any need for the account, nor did I want to deal with the 5000 junk mails in it. I also didn’t really want to send professional messages or job inquiries with my T-Unit@yahoo account that I registered when I was 12.

I recommend two things. First, use Gmail to set up your account. It is free, has a ton of storage space, has a simple and easy to use chat feature and you can mess around with Google Buzz (I won’t even begin to start talking about that right now because I still honestly have no idea what the hell it is)

Second, when registering, simply use your own name as your username. You want people to know and remember the words your parents had a hospital write on your birth certificate. You don’t want them to know you as DirtyDawg05.

Again, this is another obvious and simple step in improving your online and professional personal brand so make sure you do it ASAP if you haven’t already.

Check out this article on 6 ways Gmail revolutionized email if you’re interested

Diplomuh Quick Tip #2 – Cover Your Privates

Set your Facebook to private and make sure all of the security and sharing settings are keeping your information safe.

Click my profile as an example of covered privates:  Thomas Evans Facebook

Reciting your favorite Gucci Mane lyrics (hopefully you don’t have favorite Gucci Mane lyrics) and setting your profile picture to you making your liver weep should be a thing of the past.  If you want to continue to do these things, the absolute first thing that you must do is configure your Facebook (or Myspace if you somehow still have a profile) security settings.

Facebook should be for your personal relationships only. Recruiters, employers and professionals should not have access to it; it’s for your best interest. Facebook is the one profile I keep private to the public in case I want to post something like:

“your cutlass motor knockin, because it is a lemon
my rifle georgia peaches, but you look more like a lemon”

…What?

Yup, those are Gucci Mane lyrics.

Gucci Mane says make sure your profile is private. ASAP.

Diplomuh Quick Tip #1 – your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system..

An , obvious, but necessary tip. 

Make sure your voicemail is professional sounding. No songs, no “Hello……Got ya, I’m not hear right now,this is my voicemail” messages, no inside jokes, just make it professional and straight forward.

I recommend including your name in your message somehow, so that if someone calls, they know for sure that they reached your number.

I know this seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people have voicemails setup that would turn a recruiter or employer off the minute they heard it.