Who Are Your References?

Who do you work with today? Is there someone at your current employer that you could trust to be a reference? What about ex-colleagues, peers at other organizations, or mentors?

You should be able to come up with at least one person you worked with, preferably a manager, one person you are currently working with, and one peer who can all vouch for you.

Why? Because references still matter.

You want people who know you, know your skills, your abilities, and your potential, and who can convey that to a future employer. And you should have that list always at the ready.

Ask them before you have a job. Especially those in the specialty that you want to work in. Make sure they are thinking about you as a potential peer, so they will be eager to represent you in a positive light to a future employer.

If you’re really lucky, they’ll even help you find that future employer.

Thanks for reading this far,

What to Wear to an Interview?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, which means the initial job interview attire still does actually matter in 2017. This still means a suit – for men and women – even if the organization’s work culture is business casual.

Yet wearing that suit has many complications.

The most basic, which suit, comes down to taste and what makes you look good. The more challenging is how to wear the suit without your current employer finding out.

If you’re going to an interview from work, its all about changing in your car or a public restroom, then hoping no one you know sees you in the suit till after you take it off post-interview.

Even if you’re gainfully unemployed (ahem!), getting access to a suit when an interview is eminent is a challenge in itself. More so if you’re living on friends’ couches and you don’t usually travel with a suit.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a video interview and only need a nice shirt and a tie. Just don’t step away from the camera!

Can you relate? Tell me your story – I’d love to hear it!

Thanks for reading this far,

Never Show You’re Desperate

Let’s say you don’t have a job. You’re nervous about getting one, and you’re close to taking any job, because you’re seeing the clock tick, the bank account drop, and you don’t want either to run out.

Never let a potential employer know you’re desperate.

The more you stress, the more you are outwardly nervous, the more you seem desperate, the less an employer will feel that you want to work for them, vs. anyone with a paycheck.

While the latter might be true at this moment, they know that if that’s your real motivation, you’ll also leave them once you feel secure.

Always Act Confident, Even If You’re Not

Take your time to respond – a few hours at least vs. seconds after they email. Don’t be overzealous – only ask once vs. the 241 times you wonder about their progress on your application. Overall, act like you’re interested, but not too interested.

Yes, this is way harder to do than to say.

I’m living this experience right now, myself. I’m waiting for an opportunity to pan out, a dream job with an awesome employer, after my last job didn’t work out, leaving me unemployed.

I’m trying to play it cool. To seem nonchalant, while inside I’m a ball of stress and nerves. I take deep breaths and remind myself it will all work out – about 72 times a day.

I’m sure you can relate.

Thanks for reading this far,

I Just Quit My Job. Now What?

Do you remember that dream job I got working in the Philippines? Well it didn’t turn out so dreamy, I resigned recently, and now I’m living out one of professional nightmares.

I’m moving back to the USA without a job.

This should show you that every missive I write up here is direct from my personal experience. You’re learning from my mistakes, as I make them.

Start with Who You Know

First, I’m reaching out to my network to let them know I’m available on May 1. That’s direct emails, phone calls, and posts like this to pique interest in my skills and generate leads.

Next, I’m taking short term consulting gigs to further my networking, keep my skills fresh, and start to bring in money.

Don’t Forget the Big Picture

I’m also thinking about what I want to do next. I loved my work here, doing direct ICTforAg implementation, and I’d like to keep in the ag space.

Oh, that reminds me, have you registered for ICTforAg?

Yet we moved to the Philippines because my wife and I wanted a change. So we’re moving to Durham, NC instead of back to Washington, DC, and I’m looking forward to meeting innovators Research Triangle.

Is that you? Then email me!

Thanks for reading this far,

What Does Your Social Media Profile Say About You?

By now, you’ve already added a professional photo to your LinkedIn profile (right?!), but what about Twitter, Facebook, and all your other online personas?

What does someone see when they Google you?

Egosurf yourself to find out – but be sure to use a public computer, like a display model at an electronics store, so your results are not muddled by your previous searches.

Do You Like What You See?

Are the many links and images of you mainly showcasing your professional accomplishments and just some of your personal life? Or is your non-LinkedIn entries full of too-crazy moments?

Guess what, too much online fun my be hurting your job prospects. Yes, hiring staff Google you, and then make assumptions about you based on what they see. It doesn’t matter if that’s legal or not, its certainly done.

This isn’t to say you should start deleting your past, or start to hide your present, only that you should be thoughtful of what you project to the world.

You do want potential co-workers to see you are a normal, happy person, but you may not want them to know all about your personal life before you get a first interview.

My Approach

If you Google me, you’ll get 32,000 results, which may be too much. Yet, because I am so prolific with professional posts and sites, the vast majority of my online presence merely reinforces my thought-leader persona.

Yes, you can find my Facebook and Flickr, which have many personal posts, but even they often are ICT4D in theme. Most recruiters would click away satisfied before they could dig deep enough to find any dirt – not that I post anything too crazy online.

I’ve always considered anything online to essentially be public, because I don’t trust anyone’s privacy settings and nether should you.

Good luck!