Tag Archives: Networking

Conversation Killers : What Do You Do ? Where Do You Come From ?


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Picture: Huffington Post : Want To Kill A Conversation? Ask Someone What They Do

Imagine , you are at a networking event and you are new in town or never met anybody in the group before, you have butterflies in your stomach, when someone comes to you and ask :

What do you do ?  Like most people you might feel embarrassed to answer such a direct question, especially when you don’t have a “job”.

Is what someone does the most important information you need to engage a conversation anyway ?

Same apply to  ‘Where do you come from? ” If you want to avoid being stereotyped, what would you answer?

Tips: Try to answer and give information about you that encourage the other person to share their personal interests .

So here what works for me:

What Do You Do? I love living abroad, meet people from different backgrounds, explore new food, discover natural wonders, learning new stuff like languages. How about you ? What do you love to do when you are not at work?

Where Do You Come From? I am not sure if where I am from defines me anymore as I spent most of my adult life living abroad, I get inspired by my French mom for cooking dishes with a Provencal flavor like “ratatouille” but would die for having authentic “zaru soba”. I really like cosmopolitan urban style of living like I had in New York, or Tokyo and now in Moscow. How about you? What are your favorite places for vacation?

If you are like most people,  you probably have fears and anxiety to engage a conversation with people you don’t know, so:

How do you feel when you get those questions ?

In addition if you are an expat “trailing” spouse like me and freshly arrived in a  city or country you may be even more uncomfortable to answer as nobody is really interested by what you are really doing : unpacking cartons, helping children adjust to their new school or being lost in translation at the supermarket. On top, you might experience the emotional struggles of the “culture Shock”.

What are your typical answers ?

What are the most embarrassing questions you ever got at a networking event ?

Related articles:

Yes, It’s Possible To “Network” Without Being A Jerk


See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders

Your network, as they say, is your net worth. Connections, as we know, create value

Anne Egros‘s insight:

Great tips about networking in this article published in FastCompany

Working hard and smart won’t help you develop your career without connections.

It is in fact not that hard to build and maintain a valuable network of professional and personal connections. Just follow two fundamental rules:

  1. Be Genuine.
  2. Stay in touch.

Related articles : 

See on www.fastcompany.com

How To Make Your Résumé For Applicant-Tracking Systems


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“Many job seekers have long suspected their online employment applications disappear into a black hole, never to be seen again. Their fears may not be far off the mark, as more companies rely on technology to winnow out less-qualified candidates.”  This quote is from the WSJ article: “Your Résumé vs. Oblivion”  where the author explains how recruiters and hiring managers deal with your resume when you send it via email or upload it on a job board, company’s career websites or Linkedin. In the age of electronics and downsized organizations, companies are overwhelmed by the number of resumes they receive from job applicants so they will first scan your document into a database and a software will screen the resume for specific key words.

Guidelines for making electronic resumes:

Scanned resumes are first translated in ASCII format, a very simplified way of looking at alphanumeric characters without formatting such as bolding, italics and underlines. If you’re submitting a paper resume to a company and you think the resume is going to be scanned into an electronic resume, then you need to make sure the scanning process understands what you’ve written. Remember, the database is going to convert the resume into a simple ASCII format.

Tips for writing your electronic resume:

Make sure your name is the only thing that appears on the first line of the document.

  • Remove any graphics or artwork on your resume including shading, vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Bulleted items can confuse scanners, so convert them to simple hyphens or asterisks.
  • Move all text to the left margin. Tabs, tables and centered text can sometimes confuse the scanning software.
  • Restrict your use of fonts to Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica.
  • Use only one font size, preferably between 10 and 14 points.
  • Remove all underlining, bolding and italics.
  • Use 8.5″ x 11″ paper that is white with black ink and print your resume only on one side of the paper. This will improve the contrast of your  text and help the scanner to read your resume.
  • If possible, do not fold or staple your resume. That means mailing the resume in 9″x 12″ envelope.

Please note that the above recommendations are for US standards. In many other countries, the format is metric and paper size is A4 . If you don’t know where your resume will be scanned, ask the recruiter who posted the job.

Keywords in Electronic Resumes 

If you want to make it through the screening and ranking process, then you need to make sure you have the right keywords or key phrases in the body of your electronic resume. Resume keywords are simply the nouns and adjectives that are relevant to the position to which you’re applying. That means the choosing of keywords for your resume requires a thoughtful process.

Mailing Resumes: 

When submitting a resume by email or through mail it’s advisable to send two copies.  One copy can be the simple format the human resources department can efficiently and accurately scan into the electronic resume database. The second can be the elegantly designed resume that uses bolding and italics to highlight the job titles and keywords the writer wants to emphasize.

 Conclusion: While it is important to adapt your resume format to applicant-tracking software, the single best method of getting a job remains a referral from a company employee.

Related articles:  

 

References :

  • Guidelines for Preparing Electronic Resumes by UCLA 
  • Electronic Resumes by Money-Zine

 

Dear Leaders, Personal Branding Is Not About YOU, It Is About People You Serve


I have preached for a long time what is written in this article from Forbes: Personal Branding Is A Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign. Developing your personal brand is essential for the advancement of your career and development as a leader.

Personal branding is more than just promoting the brand calls YOU. It is important for leaders to clearly communicate about their values to attract talent, engage current employees and other stakeholders inside and outside the company.

By cultivating your professional image via the content you post on various social media platforms, you can help other people as much as they can help you by sharing ideas or getting feedback from customers.

The relationships you develop online should be  based on a 2 way communication style without promoting yourself.

The choice of the social media depends greatly on your target audience, don’t waste too much time to be everywhere to increase your SEO.

Which leaders do you know that have successful personal brand ?

How To Network Like A Pro!


What is the Definition of Networking ?

net·work·ing, noun”:

Definition:

  1. The exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
  2. The establishment or use of a computer network

If you are mastering the art of networking the classical way, involving in person meetings, business cards  and phone calls,  then you know how to turn contacts into connections that will help you get your next job or win your next business deal. Right ?

WRONG !  

If you are a great connector and know how to make the most of your connections through traditional in person conversations, it is not enough anymore. If you don’t know how to use social media to engage people on a personal level by being part of online communities such as Linkedin, then you are simply out of the networking game. Since 2004, when the term social media was first used, people want to do business with people they trust and share similar interests beyond work but without necessarily being in some kind of physical contact via phone, video-conference or in person.

In the digital age, aka, the internet world, you cannot be a networking pro if you don’t know how to leverage your online presence to attract the right people who will help you reach your professional and business goals as well as your personal projects.

I think today, even the most stubborn executives admit they need some kind of presence online, they might no become social media artists,  but they know that personal branding is not a buzz word and actually it is a pretty old concept that first appeared in 1997 in an article published in Fast Company Magazine, from  management guru and author Tom Peters:

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” -Tom Peters

If you want to become a more confident and engaging person to establish effective relationships both online and off-line, start following those 3 steps:

Step #1: Create A Brand Called “ME”

What makes you unique ? In a global economy in crisis, every job seekers and businesses must differentiate themselves to stand out of the crowd. The only constant today is change and very fast change in our highly connected global world. To win the global war of talent you need to know who knows you and how you are perceived. What is your reputation online? Are you in control of what people find when they Google “your name” ? What is your unique value proposition ?  Do you know what your competitors have to offer ? What gives you a competitive edge ?

In a previous post “Me Inc, Brand Yourself and Find your Ideal Job”I have listed the five steps to help you build your personal brand .

The materials to build your brand can be identified through the same process of strategic planning used to market products or services. Make a “SWOT” analysis starting by various assessments of your core personal  values, the principles that guide your life, your life purpose or mission, your vision, what are your strengths, weaknesses ? In which environment do you thrive ? What is the type of boss or ideal client you want to work with ?

It is important to be really YOU, authenticity is key, don’t try to be someone you are not but discover who you really are using tools that uncover hidden talent and what intrinsically motivates you.

For more in-depth understanding of personal branding  I recommend you to connect with Dan Schawbel recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times and author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.or how to build a powerful brand to achieve career success. Check his Personal Branding Blog too.

Step #2: Identify Who Is Your Audience

It is tempting to be everything for anybody and everybody but this doesn’t work. As the leader of your own brand you must inspire the people you want to attract. What is it about you that is appealing to people who want to buy from you or hire you ? You need to change shoes and imagine being in those of your potential customers/employers. This is very important because the way you package your experience in your resume or select social media platforms depends on how your audience is listening and communicating about their professional and personal  interests.

If you want to learn about your target audience, start LISTENING first : search  key words used by people interested by your expertise and thought leaders.  Invite those people to connect on LinkedIn and see what they talk about and how they interact in specific groups (you can be part of 50 groups on Linkedin). Use Q&A, start a Twitter account and read other people’s  Tweets.

The same way an HR person or a hiring manager will get information about you via Google, you can learn a lot about companies by connecting with the employees online. If you want to learn about a specific country before accepting an international assignment, contact expatriates and locals who live there. Once the contact is made online, try to follow-up by a phone call or Skype or meet in person to share about your needs and how you can also return the favor by helping those who helped you. Do not hesitate to contact people you don’t know. People online are much more open to connect and talk to you even if you are a perfect stranger. Read more about How to Connect With People You Don’t Know 

Step #3 Engage your Connections Through Meaningful Conversations

Once you have an idea of what your prospects’ interests are,  then you can start defining your goals and make a content marketing  strategy to help you connect with the right web audiences. You can use any kind of platforms such as blogs, videos on YouTube, Google + or images on “Pinterest to create and distribute relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, Use online content curation tools such as Scoop.it to gather and disseminate knowledge in the topics your audience is interested.

You need to choose carefully your content strategy based on the specific goals you want to achieve. For example, If your goal is to increase you ranking in search engines like Google, then maybe it is a good idea to start a professional blog and comment in other experts’ blogs. Do you want to identify and invite new contacts ? then start a debate in a Linkedin group discussion. Maybe you want to demonstrate your capability to engage consumers online as a marketer ? then build a Facebook fan page and try to attract active followers on Twitter.

Whatever you need to do, be consistent about the image you want to project. For example do not use your personal Facebook  profile to broadcast your personal life. You may use your personal Facebook page to show a more casual image  of yourself but avoid venting your frustrations, be negative in general, don’t share your political or religious opinions and keep private things that are too personal.

Always assume that anybody can potentially see everything you post online and once out there it stays FOREVER !

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How To Increase Your Likability By Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Infographic


Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is Guy’s tenth book. In it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment:  LikabilityTrustworthiness, Great Cause.

Enchantment - Increase Likability
If you want to change the world — or even part of the world, this book is for you. To interact with the Enchantment community, go to the Enchantment Facebook page

Source: http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

The Twitter Trap


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Image via Wikipedia

The Twitter Trap By  Published: May 18, 2011 : What thinking in 140 characters does to our brains.

This article is providing good perspectives on how Twitter and other social media may have an impact on the way you learn or how you make connections with people.

The predominant criticism for Twitter is making us having shorter and shorter attention span like calculator did with our ability to memorize math facts. However blaming technology won’t help bad parenting or bad teachers not able to captivate the students’ attention and inspire them.

If children are obese because they eat junk food and drink sodas, it is the parents’ responsibility to educate and be a role model, set boundaries and say no. If you eat while watching TV you are basically saying to your kids that it is OK to multi-task and not focus on either the food or the news!

My point is this : technology has evolved since the first Homo sapiens used a stone as a tool to break a coconut. Nowadays you cannot stop the wave of new electronic technologies but you can learn to surf on it. Twitter and Facebook do bring great features helping making real connections and bring people together from all over the world for good causes. For example we saw the great role of social media to support the Japan earthquake victims or allow free speech in non-democratic countries.

Is Twitter addictive ? Absolutely yes, for some of us, like tobacco or alcohol. Drinking good wines does not make you automatically an alcoholic!

Does Twitter make your children stupid? certainly NOT !  Kids learn different things that will help them thrive in their increasingly fast-paced, global world. Generation gap always existed with or without Facebook. By the way the fastest growing segment for Facebook is baby-boomers who are retiring.

So don’t blame Facebook if your kids don’t communicate with you but ask yourself questions: Are you a role model ? Do you set clear rules and consequences ? Do you truly listen and focus on what they say, not checking emails or watching TV at the same time ?

Read the original article:  The Twitter Trap

Related Video:  Twitter at School

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