Twitter For Beginners: Step 2

I realize it probably surprised some people that step two came a little later than expected, and I promise it was for a good reason. Yesterday the fabulous ladies over at The SITS Girls featured City Gopher.

In the words of Charlie Sheen, “WINNING!”

But as a result, I thought it would be best to allow anyone new to the blog to read step 1 thoroughly and get a chance to ask some questions if they had any before step two went live. It turned out to be a pretty good idea.

Some of your questions from step one as follows:

1. Can I use two hashtags instead of one?

2. Is the addressing for tweeting case-sensitive?

So to best answer your questions, I’d like to give you a tutorial on hashtags and ‘@’ mentions to show you exactly how they work and how they are different:

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Women and Sharks

I’ve wanted to address this issue for a long, long time. No doubt anyone who watches the ABC show ‘Shark Tank‘ has become familiar with the usual suspects: Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John of FUBU, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, and Lori Greinier of QVC. However, having gone through that listing, something seems a bit off…doesn’t the ‘tank’ only house 5 chairs?

Let’s count ’em…Mark, Daymond, Kevin, Barbara, Robert…where’s Lori? Image courtesy of The New York Times

For some reason, there have always been the same four men sitting in each of the chairs season after season (with the exception of Kevin Harrington in season 1, and Jeff Foxworthy in season 2). Despite the fact that both women are featured as part of the current season’s cast, the two women are never seen together on a single episode. Is this perhaps meant to be a reflection of the disparity of women on corporate boards? Though I have been all-to-ready to hop onto the couch and tune in to watch hopeful Americans see their dreams fulfilled or squashed, the gender inequality represented by the ‘lone woman shark’ had never struck me so much as it has in the current season. In this season of Shark Tank, Lori and Barbara are swapped in and out like accessory handbags while the panel of men is left unaltered: Mark is always beside Daymond, who is always beside Mr. Wonderful, who is beside Barbara/Lori, leaving Robert off in the far corner. This lineup indicates that the only apparent spot for women on Shark Tank is between Robert and Mr. Wonderful, or nowhere at all.

Panel-of-shark-tank

Image courtesy of TVEquals

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Steps After Sandy: Race 2 Recover

As you might’ve noticed, I had some difficulty getting to my blog for a bit. Apologies, I’ll try and keep it up a bit better this week.

Because everyone has been effected by Hurricane / Superstorm / Frankenstorm Sandy in one way or another (whether that be mild annoyance at flickering lights or the devastation of a loss of home, power, or loved ones). It didn’t feel right to post about something trivial, so this week I’m just highlighting different relief efforts you can help to restore those affected by Sandy to normality.

Today, I’m highlighting a special cause called ‘Race 2 Recover‘. This initiative hopes to rehome displaced New Yorkers by encouraging marathon runners who were unable to attend the NYC Marathon to donate their rooms or donate money to displaced and distraught New York residents.

If you know anyone who was planning to run in the marathon that no longer needs their hotel room, please visit their website.

Similarly, if you know anyone who needs a home as a result of Sandy, also visit their website.

And most importantly, if you want to give money to displaced NY residents, …visit their website.

How To Make Me Hate Your Company

Social media has been hailed by many as the beacon of hope in dark times to bring customers to companies through engaging content and web presence among ‘the usual suspects’. Tweeting as a company, posting on Facebook, and even scheduling content to help wave the pom-poms for your company are all great starts at creating an iconic and successful brand. But like all good things, when done too often, too forcefully, or incorrectly, social media can quickly turn into a untameable monster that will drag your company to the pits of hell. Run-amok twitter handles, overly sales-y content, and bullhorned / overpromoted / overzealous status updates on products are just a few things that will make me hate your company. Here is a full list of great ways for me to hate your company:

  1. Tweet about thyself hourly.
  2. Make thy Facebook plugins massively spammy.
  3. Shove thy sales emails down my throat.
  4. Post on thy Facebook more than 5 times a day.
  5. Promote all of thy tweets all the time.
  6. Post nothing but bland sales copy on thy social media.
  7. Beg me hourly to use thy hashtag.
  8. Robotically address they customer service queries.
  9. Indifferently respond to thy fans.
  10. Hustle influencers.
  11. Conduct thyself like a human airhorn, spewing your uninteresting materials across the web and in general making a huge mess.

What can you do to make me love you?

  1. Be human.
  2. Actually respond to me when I tweet at you / comment on your social media.
  3. Actually respond to me questions and customer complaints.
  4. Show me your office, your life, ….affirm that you’re a person not a bullhorn…just don’t go too crazy.
  5. Shout me out once in a while  (show that you care that I like you).
  6. Show me special offers only sometimes.
  7. Relate to my demographic (I like music, what kind of music do you like? etc).
  8. Just be yourself. Even if yourself is a nerdy CEO of a soap company that likes Batman and PopTarts…Rock it.

Words of Encouragement

Apologies (again) for my lateness (again). As a llama in a silly hat once said: “I’m in the wrong here, I suck”

(in case you don’t get the reference, watch the video below)

Anyways moving on, this week I want to hand out a bit of advice on keeping the faith. And by ‘faith’ I don’t mean any religious sort of faith (unless that’s your thing). I mean faith in economy, the job market, and your life in general. Here are three things to tell yourself when life gets a little too real:

  1. It’s going to be ok. No matter what is happening in your life, try to remain calm and remember that it can always be worse: if you are reading this on a computer screen, remember that there are people out there that don’t have computers or cars or food and are having a worse life than you. If you have a roof over your head, food in you stomach, and the drive to get back into the swing of things, you can and will do it. It’s going to be  ok.
  2. Karma does exist. Good things come to those who wait, and if you hang in there just a little longer, things will look up. Often when things don’t go as smoothly as we’d like them to, our first reaction is to lash out and be angry (I’m guilty of this too). Instead, just keep putting the time and energy in…and wait. You might be surprised what happens with a little time and hope.
  3. There is no harm in being charming. This might seem a bit odd in this list, but never underestimate the power of flattery. Whether its taking the time to learn what makes your boss tick, studying up the company you’ve always dreamed of working for, or even just holding the door for a flustered businessman, be prepared to have your kindness pay off. Sometimes knowing that your boss loves orchids, or that your favorite company roots for the New York Red Bulls, or even that you just held the door for a former Google executive can come in handy.

I promise the next two posts will go up in timely fashion this week!! I think 3 per week seems rather reasonable, no?

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.

What To Expect At A Job Fair (Part 2)

As mentioned previously, you can expect a lot from companies at job fairs. But what about other job-seekers? Essentially job fairs draw in all kinds of people: some that you would expect and some that you wouldn’t. Here are five (albeit exaggerated) types you might see prowling a startup job fair:

  1. The Ivy-Leager / Tailored Suit. These will jump out very fast at job fairs, and be prepared for them as they will seem massively intimidating. Whether its their immaculately tailored suit, their monogrammed attaché case, their engraved business card holder, or the fact that their university’s shield is stamped or even affixed to their leather file folder with a brass plate, these are some intimidating folks. In most situations, their experience at their top-tier schools have awarded them with a few advantages, one being having their university on their folder (which is always, always leather in my experience) and often having incredible speaking abilities. The one advantage over a tailored-suit is often the ego of the tailored-suit: if they are humble and mind-numbingly smart, you’re just going to have to try your darndest to impress the pants off the recruiter after they meet with one of these. However if a tailored suit with a big ego comes up and annoys the recruiter, you will have a chance to put your name on the map by being the most humble charming person they have met all day. Not sure what a tailored suit looks like? Think of Obama. That fancy and impressive, just unemployed.
  2. The Casual Friday. The casual friday is an easy spot at  startup job fairs: t-shirt and jeans, girly top and leggings, or even shorts and a polo shirt are all favorites of casual Fridays. Though they may look uncompetitive in their alarming laid-back get-up, one thing to consider as you wait behind them to talk to a recruiter is that they may have extensive startup experience already. Sometimes what you dress your resume in outweighs the clothes you toss on in the morning, and in the case of many casual Fridays, their resumes are about as spick-and-span professionally terrifying as they come: whether its top-of-the-class GPAs, extensive experience at a Google/Yahoo/Spotify etc, or the ability to code in every language thinkable, beware the ironic t-shirt. Not sure what I mean by a ‘casual friday’? Think any cast member of Big Bang Theory.
  3. The Well-Seasoned. The well-seasoned or ‘more mature’ applicant pool adopt qualities of the other groupings sometimes: there are well-seasoned casual Friday, well-seasoned tailored-suiters, and even stand alone seasoned veterans of the job fair. These individuals are often in the same suit they’ve had for years and can be the most well-spoken of the attendees mainly because they’ve been through hell and high water searching for jobs. Whether it’s a former finance guy looking to switch careers, a female business analyst looking to take her talents to a young startup, or just some cooky-but-awesome coder looking to learn new programming languages these are by not mean ‘old birds’ and should not be dismissed so easily.
  4. The Dad’s Suit / Mom’s Pumps. There is nothing wrong with wearing you dad’s suit or your mother’s pumps to a networking event. In some cases, it can come off as charming. However at job fairs what you will see from these individuals are poorly-fitted jackets, too-big father’s shoes, ‘been through hell’ pumps, and well-abused business attaché cases. It’s not so much that wearing your father’s suit or your mother’s seasoned shoes is such a bad thing, but keep in mind this will make you stick out in a crowd of tailored suits and business goblins.
  5. The Business Goblin. Now I use this term affectionately, as I have heard people proudly call themselves ‘business goblins’, and what this term refers to is the game-faced well suited individual that has managed to perfect the art of looking thoroughly professional while remaining approachable. Goblins dress in just enough suit to blend in with the professionals, and just enough sass to jump out at recruiters. For women, this might mean a tastefully placed professional watch or accent piece that isn’t super girly (but exudes feminine qualities). I envision Barbara Corcoran as the epitome of femmefab business goblin, and likewise the classic Don Draper as the male counterpart.

What to Expect at a Startup Job fair

So I was recently at the NYC Startup Job fair, and had many interested interactions with several companies I shall not name. For the sake of keeping you engaged, I will share three things you can expect at a job fair. I will also share three excellent ways to stand out and get noticed at said job fair.

A startup job fair is essentially no different from any other job fair: you have small companies, big companies, companies with great set ups…some with not so great set ups…pushy people, shy people, and everyone in between. What’s important to remember is that both you and these companies are here for essentially the same reason. You want to get noticed, and so do they. Some things you might encounter at these job fairs are egos, expectations, and entertainment (no seriously, some companies give out candy). But amidst all that chaos, you can expect essentially three things from companies in attendance:
  1. Level of Formality. Depending on what type of company and how big they are, some companies vary in formality. That isn’t to say that some are “better” than others, but at a startup job fair you will definitely see a range of characters. Some recruiters will sport the tried-and-true business suit, while some will appeal to the ‘younger’ or perhaps ‘lax’ crowd with branded t-shirts and jeans. Regardless of what the recruiter is wearing, realize that they expect utmost professionalism from you: sometimes the t-shirt clad individuals can be more intimidating than those in suits.
  2. Wide Variety. At a startup job fair, more so than other job fairs, you will see a very wide variety of companies: sometimes a financial-based company will be placed directly next to a lingerie company (yes I’ve witnessed this). No matter what company you think you should apply for, be sure to check out as many as you can. Why? Because sometimes the dream job you’ve always wanted isn’t found in expected places.
  3. Egos. When you come into contact with companies at job fairs you will notice that some have a tendency to puff-up for the throngs of job-seekers more than others. Whether it’s overly elaborate displays or bold claims, some will come off as highly intimidating. The key is to stay calm, focused, and charming: charming the pants of a recruiter can be more powerful than trying to hold your ground and arguing. Remember that.

Anyways, stay tuned: Tommorrow will be what to expect from other job-seekers at job fairs!

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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Girls Who Code: A Revisit

So I’ve previously mentioned how essential it is to learn how to code, how it impacts opportunities, etc etc etc…

Essentially I threw around awesome groups like  Girls Who CodeGirl Develop It, and Skillcrush, talked about super awesome companies like Plum Alley andWomen Innovate Mobile

Courtesy of the fab-tacular Mashable

But this may come as a total shock to people reading this, but I only know very very basic HTML… I can embed an image and change the color of text. And that’s about it.

I felt that because of this, I should turn over the hard facts to the professionals. And so without further ado, I present a super professional infographic further explaining why dunderheads like me really should learn code from the fabulous people over at Online College:

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