2012 in review

I thought it would be fun to issue a little recap on how this blog fared in 2012.

2012 personally was one of the most amazing, crazy, and trying times for me: I graduated college, I started living in New York, and most of all I attempted to become an employed 20-something in a challenging job market. I started this blog initially because I wanted to keep a blog of my adventures, misadventures, and wisdom I’d picked up along the way. I started typing because when I graduated, like many college friends, everyone I knew was scattered around the place and starting new chapters in their lives and facing ‘the great unknown’ where your work was no longer given letter-grades, and you had to decide how to live your life without a syllabus. I figured, if I was starting a new chapter, why not start a book …or a blog?

Since its inception, this little blog has helped me expand my ideas, tackle tough topics, and even offer up tech advice on social media practices (I don’t remember that ever being on a syllabus in college). I’m having a blast, and I hope you are too. Without further ado, a nifty tidbit about this blog from 2012 (courtesy of the fabulous people at WordPress):

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

 

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3 LinkedIn No-No’s

Hey guys! So for the weekend, I am going to share some helpful things you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn. I’ll keep it short and sweet:

  1. Don’t ask for a job. Seriously. If you are planning on connecting with an alum in a powerful position, they probably get emailed a lot about jobs, job offers, job opportunities, etc. Just don’t do it. Instead, ask them if they could give you some career advice, or maybe as if you could grab a coffee and gain some insight into life after college. Better yet, ask them about their career or their major.
  2. Don’t make your status unofficial. If you are a student, your status should be ‘student’. Not ‘philosophical goat-herder’, ‘bohemian’, and especially not ‘funemployed’. LinkedIn is for professionals, so keep it professional.
  3. Don’t post statuses you wouldn’t want you mom to see. This means no ‘Sh-ts’, ‘f-cks’, or ‘sh-tf-cks’; no exceptions. Post articles you like, articles you’ve written, or things you care about. Keep it classy.

Hope this helps! Happy job hunting!

Steps After Sandy: Tech Community Shoutout

Sandy did a lot of damage, and especially to small businesses and startups. If you have ever tried to go a day without internet and found yourself frustrated, imagine how an entire small business might feel without power.

Another great way to help those struggling after Sandy is to lend tech support to afflicted small businesses and startup companies still reeling from the damage.

To put your tech skills to work, click here

Whether its help getting servers back up, assessing electrical damage, troubleshooting WiFi, or just helping a company set up shop elsewhere, you help is needed. No tech task is too small!

Sorry For The Delay! I Blame Sandy.

So as you may have been hearing for the past few weeks, savvy New Yorkers, NJ residents, and anyone unlucky to be in Sandy’s path of malevolent tropical wrath have been preparing to hunker down for what is affectionately being referred to as ‘frankenstorm’. Having witnessed crazy lines at Food Emporium, Whole Foods, and Joe’s I can say that most of the upper west side of Manhattan seems to have prepared for the rest of the year in hurricane supplies: even our corner store is devoid of all its candles and peanut butter. So what do you actually need now that Sandy has landed? If you still have power and water, go ahead and do these things before you get too comfy:

  1. Fill your bathtub with water. Even if you are in the most lux apartment on the island, be sure to at least fill your bathtub just in case you lose the ability to flush your toilet. Trust me, the one thing you do not want to run out of is running water. If you do lose running water, at least now you have some water to use.
  2. Find some candles and matches, and keep them nearby. While you still have daylight, be sure to keep some candles and matches nearby in case you lose power at night. That way when you have to find things or fix things because of the heavy winds or any flooding you can actually see where you are going.
  3. If your power goes out and kills your fridge, have a feast. If your fridge stops working, go ahead and treat yourself to an early dinner / late lunch and eat anything that will go bad quickly. No reason to waste food.

I would say go get non-perishables, stock up on wine, or even get canned things but at this point you’ve missed the window on that one. If you have some bread and jam you’re probably going to be just fine. Don’t eat it all at once though, in case you actually do find yourself in some weather trouble.

 

Stay safe! If all this talk about Sandy is getting you down check out some of the hilarious parody twitter handles lightening the mood with tweets like:

“I MOVE MAH BODY LIKE A CYCLONEEEEEE.” and “IF UR HAVING WEATHER PROBLEMS I FEEL BAD FOR YOU SON I GOT 99MPH WINDS AND IMA GIVE YOU SOME.”

Three Songs That Will Fix Your Day

The other day I mentioned how you should keep your head up, hang in there, and stay positive about your outlook on life. Well in case that is proving to be rather difficult, I have some good news for you. Part of how I was able to get through rough patches in my day and life in general was by listening to music. Everyone has their anthem that gets them through the day, and here are three of my personal anthems for when life gets rough.

Get ready to plug into some good music for your day. Image courtesy of Life123.com

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3 Statements You Shouldn’t Make, Ever

So yesterday I chatted about startups, and previous to that I yapped about interviews and job fairs and employment…yada yada yada. If you haven’t read any of the previous articles yet, take a minute to give this one a solid once-over. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
 

There are few things you should ‘never ever’ say in any situation: in front of your boss, a potential boss, a superior, your intern, your mom, and most of all to yourself. Here are just 3.

  1. “I Don’t Know”. The biggest reason you shouldn’t say that you don’t know something,is because most things can be learned when a person put their mind to it. If an employer asks you if you don’t know a fact or figure, you can ALWAYS look it up. Instead of ‘I don’t know’ you can say ‘I can look that up for you‘. In certain situations, like if you are asked if you speak a foreign language, you obviously can’t say “why yes I can” if you do not know it. Even if you shove your face into a Rosetta Stone book on Chinese for 24 hours, you can’t exactly bounce into the office spewing business-level conversational Chinese the next morning. In those situations, be honest and say you can’t.
  2. “I Don’t Care”. If your mom tells you about her day, your boss tells you about the weather, or anyone tells you anything do not outright say that you don’t care about it. Even if the topic is abysmally boring, at least try to act interested. Especially if a potential employer tells you about something, write it down: you never know when it might come in handy. Doubting me? If your boss tells you they are an avid movie-goer, why not ask him if he’s seen Looper? Showing a little interest in what people around you care about is a good way to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, engaging, and that they should care about you.
  3. “That’s Stupid”. Nothing in life is mindlessly stupid (yes that includes Honey Boo Boo Child, T&T, Jersey Shore, and even its recent spin-off K-Town). Even if what something someone says at work, at home, or anywhere do not ever EVER shut them down and say ‘that’s stupid’. This immediately shuts down the line of communication, and alienates people. Think about what makes it stupid, why you are so disengaged from it, and how you can more intellectually react to ‘stupid’ material. Example? Instead of simply writing off Jersey Shore as ‘stupid’ and telling someone ‘that’s stupid’, try to instead say, “I don’t really like that show because ____”. This shows you are capable of engaging, and makes you more approachable: no on likes jerks, so don’t be a jerk.

Hopefully these littler tips are helping! I will give you some more helpful advice tommorrow!

Resume Revisions

Hello again! Again, apologies for delayed postings (they will be back to normal soon I PROMISE!). So having spent most of my days analyzing my resume I’ve discovered three things that absolutely do NOT belong. As you may remember, I wrote previously about the necessary interview kit. A resume is a very crucial piece of this kit, and is often the only lasting impression a company will have. This is why your resume should be concise, clean, and expertly crafted…and shouldn’t have these three things:

  1. Interests/Hobbies. If you have a passion for music, art, design, etc. leave this for the interview. Often expression the things you are passionate about are best left for face-to-face interactions and much of the context of these interests is lost on a resume. It’s perfectly fine that you love EDM, rap, or classical piano…but its not going to compel anyone to hire you on paper.
  2. High School. Essentially, unless you have 0 work experience, are applying to college, or haven’t got much else going on  don’t include your high school. Most people aren’t going to care all that much that you went to a prep school, or that you were an AP student. Besides, your recruiter (if they are clever and genuinely interested) can find that on your LinkedIn.
  3. Your GPA. Now I say this gingerly, as this can become more useful in certain contexts. Now, if you have a 3.5 or higher, are applying to a heavily math/science based job, or are top of your class, listing your GPA might be in your favor. However, if your GPA is any lower than that, you are applying for an entry-level job, or you are applying to a field in which more heavily favors hands-on experience your GPA will be little more than decoration. If someone is still interested in your GPA, by all means tell them about it. Typically, however, your GPA is only necessary for college applications and graduate programs.

You may have noticed ‘your picture’ was not listed as a thing that should not be on your resume. The reason for this is, certain countries do require pictures on resumes are standard practice. In incidences where you are applying to jobs overseas, research whether or not your picture is needed. However, on American job listings, leave your picture for your LinkedIn profile, and keep it professional.

The Essential Interview Kit

When you’re hunting for that elusive job, you will need to pack quite the toolkit. Whether you’re toting a plastic folder, a flashy attaché case, or a hybrid of the two, you will need a ‘kit’ to navigate job fairs, interviews, and the occasional run-in with a recruiter on the street. Sure, you may know some of the things to bring in your kit, but do you have the full she-bang to knock ’em dead? Check this handy list I compiled based on what I have heard from friends/family/colleagues/bosses/etc.

Example leather folder/attaché. Image courtesy of High Veld Promotions

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What’s A Tweetdeck? Hootsuite?

No, Tweetdeck is not a new weapon the Bad Piggies are using against Angry Birds. Similarly, Hootsuite is not a nightclub for owls. Both are fabulous ways to organize your twitter.

It should be noted that I’m a proud Android phone owner, but a mac computer user so my experience with apps tend to be more skewed to what works on my android.

If you are new to social media (or seasoned, and want a refresher) here are two tools you should have in your kit to effectively manage media:

  1. Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck is an excellent tool to manage streams of tweets and keep up with trends. You can create tabs which monitor every tweet containing specific hashtags, and even scan for mentions of you and your branding. The real advantage? If people misspell you brand name, your handle, or your name you can seek them out and reply to anyone and everyone that has mentioned you. You can also schedule tweets for peak viewing hours, (and for days when you take vacation so you can put your phone away) and track the effectiveness of your tweeting (Click-through-rate, # of clicks, relevancy, etc). Its very effective for tablets and light computers, especially for ‘bullpen’ scenarios where you are dealing with a steady flow of material. Can get a little wonky on android devices.
  2. Hootsuite. Basically everything that Tweetdeck is, but you use it via your internet browser, not as a separate app (except when you use a mobile device). The other major difference is that Tweetdeck is now owned by Twitter, which for me colored my opinion about it It doesn’t make streams update automatically (well, auto but not as blazingly fast).This is handy if you get easily overwhelmed or dizzy from watching twitter conversations fly by in light speed. The setup is (in my opinion) more user-friendly, and feel less like a stock ticker than Tweetdeck. If you want efficient, free, and a good starting point, opt for Hootsuite.

Harnessing LinkedIn

Hello Again!

Did you miss my actually helpful posts? Well good, because I’ve done away with Viral Monday and the lot, and I’m just going to stick to NYC updates and social media helps and how-tos. ENJOY!

So as I’ve been navigating today’s job market, I’ve started to pick up on some valuable networking strategies that should absolutely be at your disposal as you navigate the tricky prospect of getting hired in 2012. Previously I’d mentioned specific job sites (or job boards), learning social media, etc; what I want to really hammer home today, is how to effectively utilize one major tool for employment, LinkedIn.

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