I’d like to use one of my lifelines

Student texting during class

Student texting during class (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I remember back in the day…” and “You kids have it so easy nowadays” are words we’ve heard adults say when we were kids, and we find ourselves saying as we grow, well I speak for myself.  I was born in the late 70’s so I lived my childhood in the 80’s (man what a wonderful decade, I had an amazing childhood)…. back in those days when kids actually played outside, got dirty, rode bikes and skateboards (without helmets).  Back when technology allowed us to physically interact with other kids (remember the arcade at the mall??… wow can still listen to the sound all those games made).

I love technology, and have all the gadgets at home (even my 3 yr old has her own iPad). But is all this technology and “social media” making us less social? even lazy?.  When I’m out and about.. I see all these teens (and some adults too), sitting next to each other but not talking, they are all glued to their phones texting, are they texting each other?

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

It was one of my cousin’s FB status update that inspired me to write this post.  She wrote down an algebra/calculus equation and asked people to solve it for her; I’m sure it was her homework.  I’m not in school anymore, but I do wonder how teachers grade highschool and college students nowadays? How can they be sure they in fact did the homework and is not a simple copy/paste or someone solved it via FB or Yahoo Answers?   —Back in my high school and college years (mid-late 90s) we still went to the school library to search info, and of course internet too, but no social media—  Of course I always found a way to make my homework easier, but at least I deserved an A for effort for going to the library, making copies and re-typing the paper.

Back then I had cell phones too… but they were not smart phones, I don’t even think we texted… we used our mobile phones to TALK with our friends.  Now, we all have smart phones, do teachers take the student’s phones away while they are taking a test?  Or just to make sure they are not distracted during class   —many of my younger cousins are always posting while in class —-  I remember our “distractions” during class was to pass hand notes around, or by looking outside the window or reading BigBop / Seventeen magazines (lol).

I am thinking in going back to school and pursue an advanced degree and have the opportunity to ask the audience (fb) or phone a friend.


Paying It Forward

Am starting this year pursuing/launching a new career, something totally different from what I’ve done the past 10 years.  You see, I was a recruiter (corporate and agency)… and a good one! (lol)… I had a successful career in every niche that I recruited for.  Now, I would like to share some “insider” tips with you and every person that is in the job market.  What I will tell you is nothing new, I’m sure you’ve read similar information at various job seeking websites, blogs, etc… the difference is, that I am sharing this info as a friend, as if we were having a cup of coffee having a very casual (yet helpful) chat.

First of all, I am going to skip all the basics that am sure you are aware of and putting into practice such as tailoring your resume, learning more about the company you are interviewing with, being punctual, sending thank you notes, etc, etc, etc… what I’m sharing with you are pointers that will help you get noticed from other candidates, how to be a “most marketable candidate” (for agency recruiters) and build relationships with hiring decision makers (a.k.a. hiring managers).

The key to your professional success is NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK, “is not what you know but who you know” such a cliche but it is true in the professional arena.  Even if you are a “passive candidate” and not in the job market (at the moment) it is possible that you get a call from a headhunter, please don’t blow them off, take it as a compliment your credentials must be impressive that they are considering you for an opportunity with their clients; Politely tell them you are not in the job market but if the situation changes you’ll be in touch (or something along those lines), accept their linkedin invitation, you never know when you might need him/her.

Now, focusing on Active Seekers… NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK and then network some more.

*Looking for a job is a full time job, so treat it as such. Define a plan of action and carry it out – Don’t just dedicate two hours a day sending resumes.  Plan out your day (sending resumes, joining niche groups, making phone calls, attending industry events, etc etc).

*Start by contacting former colleagues, supervisors, peers, customers, vendors, family etc. Let them know you are seeking opportunities (remember, they know people who know people).

*Avoid posting you resume on job boards (i.e. monster, careerbuilder, the ladders, etc). Submit your resume directly on your target company website.

*Remember that I mention that Networking will be key for you employment search? well, now I will focus on “social media networking”…. Create a LinkedIn account  www.linkedin.com

*Make sure that you have your resume handy while creating your LinkedIn account. Follow these few pointers that will help your profile get noticed:

– Write a targeted headline, is the first thing people will read, make sure to make it relevant to your goals.

– Write down your career/employment history, make sure the dates match the ones on your resume.  Do not copy/paste each single detail for each job, I recommend you post a summary of key responsibilities held and achievements attained.

– Complete the Summary Section, with a brief description of your professional experience.  This is the section you will use to sell yourself!

-Make sure to add your education (avoid dates on this section)

-Make your profile public.  And also, make sure your email address is visible (you may add it on your headline or on the summary section)

– Start building relationships, join groups that are relevant to your goals and experience make sure you participate in their discussions.  Another good way to get notices is by participating in the “answers” section.  Start connecting with people you know (former colleagues, alumni family and friends, then don’t be shy and start sending connection request to other people (make sure to add a personal note on each request).

* Consider working with external recruiters (Staffing Agencies).

* Are you a social media butterfly? then start following your target companies via twitter.  I personally, don’t like to use facebook for recruiting purposes (nor as job a seeker).  But, some recruiters will look you up on facebook… many people use fb more for personal purposes, to post family pictures, etc; If you have data (i.e. status updates or photos) that you don’t want potential employers to see, make sure to change your FB profile as private. Make sure that every photo album and status update is set as “viewable to friends only”.

* And last, but not least… make sure to connect with me via LinkedIn.  Even though I am not in the recruiting industry any more, I am very well connected and will be happy to introduce you to your next potential employer. http://www.linkedin.com/in/gomez.monica

Wishing you the best on your job search!


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