Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Resume Advice | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Video (Resumes) Killed the Job Seeker’s Chance

“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.


Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway Because of Personal Branding

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway Because of Personal Branding

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: , , , , , | Comments Off on 67% of Employers to Increase Hiring in Next 12 Months

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.”


Unemployment Worries Raise as Layoffs Loom

Posted: September 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Unemployment News | Comments Off on Unemployment Worries Raise as Layoffs Loom

It’s no surprise that worries about being unemployed are elevated. Just last month Bank of America announced plans to layoff 30,000 and the United States Post Office asked Congress to cut 120,000 jobs. With the most recent hires likely to be the ones that lose their jobs first (a strategy known as last in the door, first out the door) many fear that their already depleted unemployment benefits will be gone when they need to apply yet again.

Lack of Loyalty
With unemployment trending at 9 percent, give or take a few points, it’s likely we will see additional layoffs. This is the reality rather than a prediction and in August, I had an influx of calls from professionals that were surprised to hear their positions at companies they had been loyal to for 10, 15 and in some cases, 20 years say goodbye to them with less than a day’s notice. Loyalty in today’s economy is to shareholders, the bottom-line and keeping the doors open. If you want to keep your family fed and a roof over your head, you need to give up the idea of loyalty to a single company just as they gave up the idea of loyalty to employees. (I say this as someone whose mother has worked for the same company for 28 yrs.)

A New Approach
It’s time for a new approach: being loyal to you and your family. Put your needs first while avoiding being selfish. Do what takes care of your needs and that can mean taking care of your company and it’s clients as well.  Stay true to who you are and your work ethic while branding your skills, accomplishments and expertise in a way that presents itself best to a company with a healthy financial situation.  When is the last time you thought about the best way to take care of your needs rather than your client, or company’s, needs? This is the new way to approach your career.

Worry Later, Work Now
When I was young I was a stress puppy; one of those people who thrived on worry and stress. Then, at 23, while an executive at a Fortune 500 company, I got shingles. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a very painful nerve-based disease that’s caused by stress and is usually found in the geriatric population – yes, geriatric. I had stressed my system out so much that I had a geriatric disease, at 23. During my 3 week stress-induced vacation I read a statistic that said 92% of what you worry about never happens. For all I know, I read it in a newsletter written by a faux professor – but I believed it and it’s been my motto from that day on.

If you want to worry about layoffs and unemployment, do so. I recommend you focus on working – either in your current position or on a targeted job search strategy that will get you into a job and career to utilize the skills you’ve spent years acquiring and perfecting.