Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Resume Advice | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

“Video Killed the Radio Star” led the charts in 1979 as the debut album for The Buggles and was the first music video shown on MTV at 12:01a.m. on August 1st, 1981. Video has now turned it’s destructive nature on unsuspecting job search candidates looking to amp up their brand with hot technology in hopes of grabbing the next lucrative position available in today’s intensely competitive job market.
Staying true to your brand
Two of the biggest brands in the world can attest to the danger of straying away from a great brand in hopes of becoming hotter, sexier and trendier. In 1985, one of the most memorable brand failures of all time occurred when Coca-Cola launched New Coke to replace its flagship soft drink, Coca-Cola (a.k.a. Coke). The result: marketing failure and public distaste, literally. Within a short time, the original coke was back on the market and so were their sales numbers.

Last October, after remaining true to the iconic American brand customers had grown to love, respect and appreciate, The Gap launched a new logo. The new look also unleashed a newfound fury inside their customers that had become as attached to The Gap’s logo as it had their merchandise. Following customer-driven social media outbursts, led mostly by Facebook fans, Gap switched back to the original logo after less than a week.

3 Reasons Video Resumes Will Die Young

Reason #1: Hiring Managers Time is Limited. 85% of hiring managers read only the top half of page one of a resume (WSJ) and according to a recent survey by Career Builder, 38% of hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds reading a resume. Net result: job seekers have a half page to capture the 60-second attention span of a hiring manager.

Reason #2: Message Quality. Given that the time is limited to 60 seconds, it now has to be a video that’s compelling, engaging and entertaining. Unless you’re looking for a career in the arts, the message has to combine your experience, education, accomplishments and expertise with a catchy yet not kitschy skit to captivate the viewer. If you can compete with David Letterman’s Top 10 or Jay Leno’s “jay walking” segments to land a Finance Director interview, maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

Reason #3: Cost. As a professional career coach, I’m an advocate for investing in yourself and your job search strategy. Hiring a professional resume writer? Great idea. Hiring a video resume producer? ABANDON SHIP. If you have money to spare, donate it to the Red Cross to support any one of the recent natural disasters.

Considering that traditional resumes sent via email already get caught by spam filters for simply being sent as Word documents (hint: get yours through by sending it as a PDF). If you want to guarantee yours never lands on the hiring managers desk, just attempt to send a video file. Can you say corporate IT red flag? Give yourself every chance possible to land the job (and, in this case, save some money doing it). Stick to a good old-fashioned resume, just polish it up and put your best foot forward.


Occupy Your Brand: Capture The Right Attention

Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What started in New York as a demonstration against Wall Street has become an international protest movement primarily directed against social and economic inequality. I’ve had the honor of getting up close and personal with protesters in New York, Chicago and Denver – all of whom I found to be non-violent and simply attempting to visibly voice their frustrations with the economic conditions.

Whether you’re a protester, passerby or passively aware of the Occupy Movement from seeing it covered by the media, there’s a way you can get involved on a personal level – without having to hold a picket sign or walk to park.

Occupy your brand
Taking a stand for what you believe and occupying it wholly is an empowering feeling and state of being. The Occupy protesters stand strong saying “We are the 99%” referring to the difference in wealth between the Top 1% and the remaining citizens in the U.S. It’s a definition, a statement and a way to empower each other in the group and Occupy movements across the country. The same philosophy applies to your personal brand. Define it, make a clear statement and allow yourself the permission to feel empowered. Let it occupy your professional life.

Capturing attention
If the Occupy Movement intended to get attention, it gets an A+. Take this lesson and learn from their successes. From ABC and CNN to CNBC, BBC, top media outlets worldwide have covered the movement. To capture attention your message has to be relevant, personal, clear and concise. Occupy Wall Street was the primary movement until they branded themselves with “we are the 99%”. Viola! Their brand was now clear, concise and given that their cause, jobs and the economic disparity, was already relevant and personal, the attention came quick. To capture attention with your personal brand, make it relevant to your audience (e.g. hiring managers), personal to you and keep it under 15 words to ensure it’s concise and clear.

Make it personal
How does a movement that started in New York spread to 95 cities in 82 countries and get response from 5 Presidents and Prime Ministers? They make it highly personal to their needs. From Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, Mongolia and the U.K. to cities across the U.S., each one has personalized their Occupy Movement to their needs. Seek out ways to make your brand personal. What adjectives can you include that describe your personality? What short phrase describes you and your brand without sounding canned?

Connecting with your audience
Can you imagine getting 5 job offers in the next 30 days? Crafting a personal brand, that’s clear, which you embody and connects with your audience will have the type of results the Occupy Movement has experienced. These can’t be planned or foreseen; they happen as a result of being relevant. Today’s hiring managers are in dire need of highly qualified, professionals and executives and spend hours interviewing and sourcing for the top talent. When you deliver a relevant, personally branded statement to them, you will capture your audience – and possibly a new job.


Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway Because of Personal Branding

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Season 9 of Project Runway may be the first time anyone, including the famous Tim Gunn himself, has seen his infamous words “make it work” taken so seriously. The stylist, from Trinidad, that scored the most shocking win in Project Runway history, Anya Ayoung-Chee, had no garments constructed when Gunn visited her hometown studio a mere 3 weeks before the finale.

Preview disaster
Days before the Mercedes-Benz fashion week show where the Project Runway finalists show their own fashion line, Ayoung-Chee, along with the other finalists, did a preview show with 3 looks from their lines. It was a total disaster. Her garments showed the fact that she had only been sewing for 4 months when she’d auditioned for the show. The idea that she would lose the show was all but a forgone conclusion. In fact, she knew it in her gut and basically said her goodbyes at the preview to iconic judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia.

Last minute miracle
In true Project Runway style, Tim Gunn entered with a last-minute change-up. Each designer was allowed an additional $500 dollars, 30 minutes at Mood fabrics and the ability to add 3 looks to their line. Ayoung-Chee seized the moment and saw it as a miracle to revamp her line sweeping through Mood like it was a last-minute holiday sale and everything was 90% off. All new fabrics, colors and designs for her line would head back to the workroom.

Branded new line
Her branded new line would walk the runway and win her the show. Giving way to her Trinidad background, she let loose and cut her way to a winning fashion line. Her line was inspired by her own style and became branded signature the minute it walked the runway.

Surprising win
Fellow finalist Viktor Luna was the favored winner for his designs and impeccable tailoring skills. His line included a custom-designed fabric (that was beautiful by the way), pants, coats, skirts, dresses and more. Ayoung-Chee’s line included nearly all dresses, most of which had the same plunging, sexy neckline. Hello brand! It was iconic of what she wore, where she came from and it all made beautiful, branded sense. It was a collection even if none of the fabrics matched each other. A brand was born and the judges sensed it immediately.

Sewing to small business owner
6 months ago Ayoung-Chee was learning how to sew. Now it’s time for her to learn how to be a small business owner as she’s won the highly coveted $100,000 to launch her own line. She connected with her Caribbean self and with women everywhere winning the judge’s eyes, the show, the $100,000 and a bonus $10,000 from being voted fan favorite. Best of luck to her and her future fashion line.


67% of Employers to Increase Hiring in Next 12 Months

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

It’s about time that job seekers, and economists alike, heard some good news about hiring particularly in light of this month’s unemployment figures with an unemployment rate of 9.2% and a mere 18K new jobs, 92K less than expected.

According to Jobvite, the leading recruiting platform for the social web, 67% of companies will increase hiring in the next 12 months, a 12% increase from 2010. This figure, along with the basis of those in this blog, was just released today as part of Jobvite’s annual survey result and the timing couldn’t be better.

Where the hiring happens: Social Networks

“55% of survey respondents plan to increase their investment in social recruiting in the next year, up from 46% last year,” said Anne Murguia, Vice President of Marketing for Jobvite. She went on to say that multiple social networks are where the action is at, “Linked In is the strongest and is used by 87% of the people. 64% use two or more utilities which I found fascinating.”

With 80% of today’s hiring done via networking, it makes sense that social networking has such a place in today’s hiring practices. Jobvite’s Survey showed that Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and leading the social recruiting pack with Linked at the front. 87% of respondents use it for recruiting (95% yielded hires from it) followed by Facebook used 55% for recruiting, yielding 24% of hires. If you’re job seeking and not on Linked In, it’s time to build a high quality profile.

Competition heats up

As these social recruiting practices emerge more, so does the competition from both the employer and job seeker perspective. The survey found that 78% expect hiring competition will increase in the next 12 months. I know that sounds scary; I spend 10 hours/day coaching candidates currently looking for new careers and it’s already competitive. This simply means your job search approach needs to be more strategic, focused and clear.

Who said tenure pays?
Many clients these days come to me after successful careers with the same company for over 10, 15, 20, and 25 years. This is the way ‘we’ were taught to approach a career. Today’s new generation looks at a ‘JOB’ as an opportunity to get the most and move on. Apparently so do employers now. Jobvite found that 31% expect employee’s tenure to be less than 2 years or less, and 14% expect a new employee will stay more than 5 years. As a career coach, that’s great news (read: recurring clients) but as a business owner that’s bothersome on a variety of levels.

Number one way to get hired
Referrals are the best source. 70% of respondents said referrals are a better fit with the company culture and values than candidates from any other channel and 67% said recruiter referrals are faster making referrals the highest rated source for candidate quality.

How do you ignite a referral through your social network? Employees (your friends, family, alumni) come with built-in social networks and they spread the word through those social networks about job openings. As Anne Murguiasaid, “It’s a powerful way for companies to get in front of potentially talented prospects.”