How to blend technology into your professional goals or lifestyle. Use it for quick tips and reference material.

How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job

Job searching sucks and social networking sites occupy lots of your time. So why not occupy your time with advancing your professional career? Here are some rough guidelines for how Generation Y can use technology to find a job.

Complete Your Profile

Spiff up your profile without going overboard. Try to obtain a few recommendations from past or current supervisors to add some credibility. Take LinkedIn’s advice and complete as much of your profile as needed, including ‘Skills & Expertise’, ‘Summary’ and ‘Specialties’. These sections not only fill in the blanks of your profile, they provide companies a means of finding you based off your self-tagged attributes. I also highly recommend adding a ‘Personal Website’ that links to your own personal resume website.

Find the Companies You Want to Work For

This is obviously easier said than done. Hopefully you have an idea of where you’d like to work, and can narrow it down to a few companies. Even if you don’t, you can utilize the Search functionality and target specific people, companies or groups. Since most groups allow you to peruse their public profiles, it’s an easy way to start searching generically and then zoom in on particular groups that may interest you. From there you can get an idea of other groups they belong to, their company, their connections, etc.

Penetrate Their Network

No, not Hugh Jackman in Swordfish style. You need to make connections with people in or around the company you’re targeting. I suggest getting yourself invited into some groups, and look for ways to make meaningful contributions to the right people. There’s a business relationship already. Additionally, you can directly contact someone from the company. However, this doesn’t mean going after the VP of Sales or the Director of Human Resources. Find someone near the level you’d come in at. Tell them you’re interested in the type of work they do, and ask them if they’d be willing to discuss it.

Be Passionately Persistent

Derek Sivers explains how to get hired using the same general principle of targeting one (or a few) companies and then opening up channels of communication, regardless of whether or not they are hiring. With LinkedIn most of the hard work (searching and perusing) is neatly organized for you. You simply need to expand your professional online presence in a methodical way, and eventually you’ll find the open door you were looking for. Heck, you don’t even need to get off the couch to do it.


How to Search Google Efficiently

Search Google EfficientlyOver the past decade, many companies have become household names. Many have even left a sizable impression on modern culture as a whole; see Coke, McDonald’s, Nike. Few companies, however, achieve the status of becoming a verb.

For many, Google is a way of life. It’s become THE portal for the world’s information. You don’t Bing something, or Yahoo something (though with a certain amount of creativity…), you only can Google something. Here’s a few tips, in a new series of Google tips, for understanding how to search Google efficiently :

Search Google Efficiently: filtype

Say for example you’re looking for a template, but Microsoft Word/Excel/PPT doesn’t quite have what you’re looking for. Google it

“budget template” filetype:xls

This will search for the exact phrase “budget template”, and only return items that are of the .xls format. XLS=Excel Spreadsheet

Perhaps you’re in school, and want to find an essay to compare notes with while struggling to finish a term paper. Google it

inflation and micronesia filetype:doc

Google will return Word Documents it knows of that have BOTH the keywords inflation and micronesia.

Search Google Efficiently: Specific URL

Not too long ago, I was reminded by something of an article I saw on Lifehacker. Though, I couldn’t remember the article’s title. I knew a few keywords that were associated with it and the Lifehacker domain it was on. I journeyed to Google.

“rear deltoid workout”

Search Google Efficiently: Related URLs

This can be exceptionally valuable for those of us concerned with SEO. This can often give you a good understanding of how Google sees your site. You can then adjust accordingly depending on your goal.

 Using the rPhoneBook operator within Google

This can be especially useful when looking for a specific person, or even networking while on the job hunt. Google wil return it’s index of people with that name and location.

rphonebook:erik schneider los angeles

rphonebook:harry dunn rhode island

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in Google…

Get a Blog and Get Hired: How To Create Your Own Website Resume

Besides ‘get a job’, the main purpose of a resume is to have it represent the best of you.

What’s the best way to showcase that?

Resume: sure…in 1995

Cover Letter: sure…in 1965 

Facebook: ehhh, little worried about the underage drinking photos and that mysterious water pipe you tagged as ‘The Little Giant

LinkedIn: moving in the right direction, just as long as the companies you’re pursuing have a LinkedIn presence

What can combine these 4 options, and do so in a creative, unique and memorable way?

Your own website resume.

All you need is $50 and a few hours before you’ve got something to be proud of. Here’s a step by step.

Pick a web hosting provider

Someone needs to support the website you will eventually build from an infrastructure perspective, and you don’t want that person to be you. Search for deals, you’ll likely find something under $6 per month, especially if you’re willing to purchase a plan for more than 1 year.

Recommendations: I use JustHost and InMotion

Pick your domain.

This is your

Advice: Choose something simple, perhaps just your name or a small variation on it. Think long term, something your kids or grandkids will refer to if they want to understand your life. Stay away from the 1990’s AIM screen names or anything that will be stupid over time

Recommendations: I use GoDaddy

Point your domain to your web host

Most domain management companies (ie: GoDaddy) will prompt you for your server information before you complete your order and checkout. Some companies provide all in one hosting and domain management. Or you can choose to have separate companies for hosting and domain management.

Install WordPress

Find a theme. You can search and try out thousands of free themes.

I used zeeBizCard for my website resume. It’s got a myriad of social icons that can direct traffic to your various online presences.

Setup Google Analytics

Hopefully you have a gmail address. If not, get one and then sign up for Google Analytics. It’s relatively intuitive, so once you get your site added they’ll spit you a Google Analytics ID. Take that and paste it into one of the critical quickstart WP plugins and then you’ll have some data to play around with once people start visiting your site.

Beef up your SEO

Using your same Google login, you can also create a Google Adwords account. Adwords let’s you pay for your site’s advertisements to pop up all over relevant Google searches. You can specify locations you want to target, budget per day to spend on your ads, or even congressional districts to pinpoint.

 You shouldn’t engage in proactive ads until you’ve really filled out your site and already have a reasonable flow of visitors. Otherwise Google will ‘devalue’ you if you’re trying to throw ads up before people have started visiting your website resume.

Link to your site through social media, particularly LinkedIn where you’ll stand out more by having a Personal Website. Keep yourself in the news feeds by making small updates here and there, and as always keep expanding that network.


Mind-Mapping Tool : Creativity in the 21st Century

An example of mind-mapping toolI’ve always been one that has had a hard time transferring thoughts to paper. It seems as though everything I have upstairs follows it’s very own indexing algorithm that my conscious knows nothing about. None the less, it’s been a battle to wrestle ideas onto paper that seem so plausible in my head, only to have them look so-so in a notebook. A possible answer to this problem is mind-mapping tools.

As Law Librarian Diane Murley defines it, mind mapping

[…] is one of several similar techniques developed by learning researchers in the 1960s. Mind maps are a nonlinear visual outline of complex information that can aid creativity, organization, productivity, and memory. Mind maps graphically show ideas in a relational context, with the main topic at the center of the map, major subtopics on branches radiating from the main topic, and sub-subtopics around each subtopic, etc.

Old School Mind-Mapping Tools

Take out a sheet of paper. Probably best to use the landscape orientation. Write down your main idea in the middle, and put a circle, square, rectangle, or whatever shape tickles your fancy. From there, branch out sub-topics. These sub-topics can be the three main points in an essay…or the five most important features a new product design must include. Anything. This is the kind of mind-mapping tool that is entirely subjective. So from there, it’s literally up to you. Be creative. Let your mind wander. This isn’t a final draft, so don’t be afraid to suck the marrow out of that sponge sitting in your dome. Use different colored pens, stencils, shapes, lines, or whatever else sounds tasty at the time. At the very least, if your idea behind the map turns into a turd, make sure it’s something you see as art. The end of using a mind-mapping tool should be rewarding, regardless of what comes out on paper.

Here’s a few to tantalize:

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New School Mind-Mapping Tool

If you’re like me, the whole pen-and-paper deal isn’t going to cut it. I need technology. Where are my web apps at!?

mind-mapping tool MindMeister

MindMeister touts four main features to their web app: ability to share and collaborate, history playback, access anywhere, and it’s easy-safe-secure.

Go mobile with this mind-mapping tool!

Access your mind-maps anywhere with mobile MindMeister!

I’ve looked at MindMeister as being sort of a personal mind mapping tool as opposed to an enterprise planning one. Though I’m sure their opportunity to monetize lay in ‘corporate brainstorming’, they’ve managed to keep an image about themselves that makes this an intimate experience. One of the coolest parts about that is this share and collaborate stuff. Lloyd and I are constantly trying to brainstorm topics for this blog, and with the help of MindMeister’s collaboration, we can do it a lot easier. We don’t need to be in our man cave every time we have brainstorming sessions.   Also, the history playback function comes in handy when you need to re-energize your creativity during some grueling mind mapping. Look back and regain the spark that brought you to the next point; only this time, go in a different direction.

Click here for some examples on MindMeister’s site. After that, get your mind-map on.

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