Careers column reporter for online Wall Street Journal asks, Should Over-50 Job Hunters Join Facebook? Friday, May 29 2009 

Read the whole story > here < and join in the conversation with your comment at the site, or leave a comment here for your colleagues.

online_mom-300x199I wonder how many people reading this of any age have a Facebook page that they use for professional networking (including job hunting.)  I have an account, but I have not completed any of the information yet.

man_mobile_phoneI plan on doing it soon, and to get the most out of it, I need to tie it in to the other accounts I have, i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn, and these two blogs. So far the blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn keep me pretty busy.

Share your questions, successful practices, comments, etc., here!

Images from via the Web


Tip of the Week from Claire Keeling | Sort It Out, Inc.® Monday, Apr 13 2009 




Many thanks to Claire Keeling, organizational expert, for putting together these tips for the readers here each week. Claire is president of Sort it Out, a St. Louis-based company specializing in time and e-mail management, project management, paper flow, procrastination, and related things that can overwhelm us. Claire has a profile on > LinkedIn <, and you can sign in to your own LinkedIn profile to see hers, ask her a specific question about your situation, request to connect to her, etc.

clairebiopicture5Claire says,

Managing interviews, contacts and appointments during a job search can get overwhelming to even the most organized people. Utilizing a system like the > Levenger® Circa <  notebook system, is a great way to keep everything in one place. If you’re not familiar with Levenger, it’s an amazing company with some great product offerings to help get and keep you organized.

This particular notebook is unique because the paper is designed to go into the book and pull right out of the book, so it’s an inexhaustible book. Many individuals use a notebook to store their information, but get frustrated when the book fills up and then they find themselves going back and forth between the new book and the older one. This notebook solves that problem.

It’s also effective as a tool to manage multiple tasks/projects because of the tab option (packages come with 5 tabbed sections). It’s easy to purchase additional tabs so that you can separate each section and use the notebook as a total project management tool. You could have tabs for To-Do’s, Projects, Contacts, etc. It’s just a great way to keep all of your papers all together. I would also recommend purchasing the hole-punch so that you can even print out your Outlook calendar and stick it in there if you so wish.

These products are a bit of an investment, but well worth the money. If you use a label maker to make tabs for each of the sections, you can use and reuse forever. The only upkeep is just adding additional paper when you need it.

Circa Starter Kit

Circa Starter Kit

Editor’s note: The > Circa Starter Kit <  is available for $14.

I have been a Levenger lover for years. I first got their paper catalog a decade ago, at least. The company’s tag line, “Tools for serious readers,” had me as an immediate fan.

The Circa system looks nice. You can start with the basic notebook and then add pieces and accessories to design exactly what you need and want. There’s a > video demonstration < on the Web site of Circa in action to show you some of the options.

The Levenger Web page says,

The flexibility of electronic organization meets the satisfaction of fine paper. Experience the pleasure of working with paper again. With Circa, pages can be added and rearranged, quickly and easily, again and again. The system evolves with you and changes with your needs, providing the flexibility of an electronic organizer with the added benefit of instant hard copy. Circa paper is rewardingly strong, enticingly bright and exceedingly smooth, so you can let your ink—and your ideas—flow freely.

There definitely is something generative about the combination of fine paper and a good pen.

Silk paper-making in China, Middle Ages

Paper-making in China, Middle Ages


Image from > Invention of Paper <

Social Media Strategies Sunday, Apr 5 2009 

rocketship-bubblesandballoonsAre you riding the social media rocket-ship yet?

My dad (rest his soul) was a techno-geek, and following in his footsteps, I have found technology in general, and social media technology, specifically, to be absolutely fascinating. I have three blogs (two that I claim), and I have my LinkedIn profile. I put most of my time on-line into these three things to keep them updated, which is one of the keys to using social media successfully for whatever is your purpose.

twitter-logoI also have a Twitter account that I opened a year ago, and only recently have I begun to have people ask to follow me. Funny, how it took the general population months to discover it, and now the terms “Twitter,” and “tweet” are everywhere. I haven’t incorporated Twitter into my active social media strategy yet, but I will do that in the next month or so and pass along what I learn to you. As always, I’m glad to hear what you know about it and your experience with it, too. I don’t want this blog to be just what I know (heaven help us!), but feel welcome to add what you know, as well.

Friends-of-Friends on MySpace

Friends-of-Friends on MySpace

I also have a FaceBook account, but I haven’t developed that yet. I have had a MySpaceaccount for a couple of years, which I have let languish. I actually cut my teeth, in terms of social media, on MySpace, but I had some issues with it, including the messy, confusing layout, and the fact that anyone who connected to me automatically brought their “friends” with them, some of whom who were not helpful to the image I was trying to build. I have transferred the content I had on Myspace to a blog (> St. Louis Chinese Corner <), and I think I will just use the MySpace account to refer people to my blogs. I’m still thinking through the best uses for myself of MySpace and FaceBook.



I subscribe to several blogs and on-line newsletters on the subject of social media. It’s easy to subscribe to blogs. How do you do that? If you see a “chiclet,” which is a little graphic that says FeedBlitz or FeedBurner or something similar on it on a blog, click on it. It will likely bring up a page that allows you to put in your e-mail address and get updates to the blog as new content is added. Isn’t that sweet? If you are not a subscriber to my blog, look for the FeedBlitz chiclet in my sidebar and subscribe. You can always unsubscribe easily by following the simple instructions at the bottom of any e-mail update you receive. You can unsubscribe, but I aim to keep my content fresh and interesting, so I don’t lose subscribers.

meat-roy-lichtensteinOne of the blogs to which I subscribe is called “Social Media Explorer,” written by Jason Finch. His posts are lengthy with lots of good meat, and I enjoy them. There’s so much being written and posted to the Web by so many experts on social media, however, that it can be hard to sort through it and easy to get overwhelmed. If you want to read Jason’s posts first-hand, I will put a link at the end of this for you to sign-up, directly; however, I’m glad to digest and condense some of what he has written and add some of my own thoughts to it for you.

The most recent e-mail I got from “Social Media Explorer” beats the drum for persistence as the essential rhythm for success in any social media strategy. I agree. One of the things that will bring me back to a Web site or blog (or guarantee I won’t return) is whether or not the content is regularly updated. It doesn’t matter if the regular schedule for updates is daily, weekly, or even monthly, but the important thing is that there is a predictability to the schedule of information put forth, and that there is someone seeing that the material is updated approximately as scheduled.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the preponderance of social media options, but my recommendation would be to pick one site, learn about it, maximize your content and keep it up to date. I recommend anyone doing businesss (any kind of business) to start with LinkedIn, because it’s free, it’s geared to adult users looking to make career contacts and develop clients vs. teens talking about who likes whom. LinkedIn is easy to use and has lots of nice features to flesh out your profile and on-line presence. You can list books you’ve read recently, add a PowerPoint presentation, and there’s even a feature that allows you to tell everyone on LinkedIn “what you are doing,” in about 150 characters, like on Twitter. You can really learn a lot about social media just on LinkedIn.

frankensteinHumanize your profile with a photo of yourself. I see profiles with no photo of the person, or, almost as bad, with an illustration of him/herself, and that’s a huge missed opportunity. People like to know to whom they are relating online, and a photo, even a nice, casual one, is better than no photo. Don’t wait until you have the perfect “studio” shot of yourself to put your face on your profile. If you have a nice, casual photo—and that’s all you have—crop it to a head-and-shoulders shot and put it on your profile. It makes a huge difference. You can always update it later.

clooney-erI always recommend that you have someone whose opinion you trust help you objectively evaluate your profile, so it’s actually communicating what you hope it communicates. I have a friend who has 30 years in healthcare, has completed law school and is making a transition into legal work, while studying for his bar exam.

john_cleese_as_a_barristerI looked at his LinkedIn profile, and I would have no idea of this transition. He has emphasized his healthcare work (understandable, with 30 years doing it), and buried his legal credentials in his work history. I gave him some specific ideas for positioning himself in a stronger way for the legal community (and its recruiters) to recognize him as a colleague. His profile made sense to him, but anyone glancing at it (and often all you get is a quick glance) would not understand that he’s on LinkedIn to transition into legal work. He didn’t have a photo, either. He does now!

You can build your profile content slowly; you don’t have to have the entire idea fleshed out to get an account set up, but do get it started. Then develop a discipline about posting something to build your profile and update information.

Look at the groups on LinkedIn, find several that match your career interests, ask to join. Then answer a question from one of your groups, or, if you’re really getting brave, post a question. Every time I do either of these two things, I get private replies asking for more information and/or requests to connect. That’s how you build your contacts.

If you have a LinkedIn account and been using it, let us know if it’s working for you, and if so, what you’ve done to make it work.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, want one and need some help getting stated, let us know.

“One for all, and all for one.”

Editor’s note: Link to >Social Media Explorer<

Image of rocket-ship courtesy via the Web. Visit bubblesandballoons for “fun prints for kids.”
Imagine of Goths from Wikimedia via the Web.
Image of “Meat” by Roy Lichtenstein, 1962,

How to Get a Job When No One’s Hiring Wednesday, Apr 1 2009 

20070102_nothiring_dshort_flickr_18This is the title of an interesting article on Yahoo! ® Finance today.

Here’s a teaser paragraph for you,

What’s the “hidden job market”?

When companies say, ‘We have a hiring freeze,’ that doesn’t mean they’re not hiring. It just means they’re not adding headcount. Every year there’s 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves.

Those companies are still hiring but they don’t want to tell you.

Here’s the > LINK < to the whole article.

Editor’s note: There are some wild ideas in the article about how to get noticed and how to your foot in the door, none of which I would do (and none of which would impress me, if I was doing the hiring for a position.) There are, however, some great tips on using social media sites LinkedIn and ZoomInfo to get on the radar with recruiters.

I’ve done a post here on LinkedIn. Tomorrow I will do one on ZoomInfo.

Graphic from Marketplace post on ( … .)

Are you LinkedIn? Monday, Mar 2 2009 


Are you? I hope so.

If not, the first thing you need to know is that you can get LinkedIn for FREE. So, if you’re not LinkedIn, finish reading this post (and leave a comment), then use the link at the end of this post to go register at LinkedIn.

Set up a basic profile for yourself. I’ve seen people procrastinate on this, because they don’t have all their career information, need to write a paragraph about their responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. You don’t have to fill in every single detail to get started. Just do it.

LinkedIn has a meter that tells you how much of your profile is completed (measured in percent), but mine’s not 100% complete, and it works just fine for me. Check it out, if you want to some ideas to kick start your own profile.

> <

All you need is a your name, most current job info, and a business photo is a nice touch, especially in the design community (visual people.)

istock_000007356865xsmall_gold-starSo, what is LinkedIn, anyway?

It’s a social networking sight that helps you connect, and reconnect, with colleagues, power your career by discovering inside connections (especially important when you’re job hunting), and get answers from experts in your field (or share your own expertise to position yourself as an expert and a shining star in your own right.)


If you are already LinkedIn, is your profile just sitting there, or are you making it work for you?

A great way to make it work for you is to join some of the LinkedIn groups and forums. Search the list of groups and sign up for a half dozen that interest you, and ask for daily updates on new posts. Read the questions that others in the group post, and “lurk” until you feel like you want to post an answer or two. You know you  have something to share. You know you want to shine. If you have a question of your own, post it, and see who else answers.

You can showcase your knowledge and expertise this way, and the big thing to know is that headhunters and other money_treerecruiters read these posts watching for talent to match to jobs they are trying to fill. Jobs that are higher level and not advertised.

The next thing to know is that when you make yourself visible and informed and let your light shine, you will make connections. Every time I post a question or an answer, I get a half dozen e-mails from other members and new invitations to Link.

A colleague and I are planning to give a Lunch and Learn on using LinkedIn for our colleagues at Lawrence Group as a business development tool. We both have have found work for the company, and I have been approached by recruiters.

More on LinkedIn from me in a later post.

If you have any tips on social networking sites or strategies or tactics for them, please post your information.

Here is the > link < to the registration page for