Archives for April 2013

2 key social media activities that increase your visibility and hireability exponentially!

If you want employers to know how valuable you are, be valuable to others.

Two job seekers volunteering in the 2009 Helping Hands Job Fair - Shari Shaw Leibert and Linda Penrod

Two job seekers volunteering in the 2009 Helping Hands Job Fair – Rita Woodward and Linda Penrod

The Jobvite 2012 Social Recruiting Report rated recruiter reaction to certain activities. Of the activities evaluated, professional organizational membership and charity/volunteering activities left the most positive impression on recruiters. Why would that be?

Two reasons:

  1. Involvement in professional organizations demonstrates a personal investment in your career and can serve as evidence of your passion.
  2. There is no greater evidence you can provide to prove that you enjoy making a contribution than to take your personal time and money to assist in an important cause. There is an assumption that you will spend your time similarly within your own organization if you are on board with their mission.

The level of your involvement is commensurate with the positive impression that you make. Social media makes it very easy for an employer/recruiter to see how involved you are:

  • If you are an inactive observer vs. an active participant in online group discussions.
  • Furthermore, if what you post/comment reflects naïveté vs. expertise.
  • If you hold a membership vs. attend events (which can be evidenced by an expanding network and “check ins.”)
  • If you are using your status updates to ask for personal favors vs. assist others in your network, raise awareness or funds for your cause, or share relevant, valuable industry news.

Additionally, the more active you are in your career and in your community, the more valuable you are -> more in demand you become -> the more confidence you have -> the more choosy you can be -> the greater the compensation you can negotiate!

So, there is ROI for the investments of time and, potentially, money that you make in professional organizations and volunteering activities. Of course, the spirit with which you do it should not be focused on what you get out of it. That will most certainly backfire and have the opposite effect.


Can women still be considered a minority?


While looking into business grants recently, I was asked, “Why are women a minority?” My answer was that it is “obviously” not based on demographic disadvantage, but attitudinal. Since the feminist movement, women have made great strides in professional equality. Their salaries are becoming more comparable. Their management opportunities are becoming more comparable.  Their educational levels are more comparable.

Regardless, speaking as the youngest daughter with two much older big brothers, I was not taught that the world is my oyster. The main message that I took from Catholic grade school was to be meek and humble. I took this to heart when people teased me. My brothers were encouraging me to fight back, but that seemed like something boys do; a good little girl should just absorb it, it seemed, or ignore it, which a sensitive girl just can’t seem to do. It seems that a major component of my professional and personal growth through the years actually depends on UNLEARNING to be meek and humble, and yet still accept myself as a “good girl.”

As a teenager I really related to the No Doubt song “Just A Girl.” My brothers were given many more freedoms. They easily found jobs at 14. With work permit in hand, I applied to practically every food vendor in the mall. I finally was given a job (through my network, even though I would’ve told you that I didn’t have one) at Orange Julius at just shy of 16. Sure, I’d done babysitting, but only while my uncle was home. To be honest, I really didn’t know how to entertain kids; it wasn’t my talent, but it was the only work available to me. Even neighborhood raking and shoveling went to the strapping teenage boys.

Gabby Reese is out there promoting/defending her book, My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less than Perfect Life, in which she admits that, though she is a strong female, the best way to make her household and marriage run smoothly is to assume the submissive role. Meanwhile, Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, points out in her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, that these gender role stereotypes and adopted self-images are what keep women out of the board room and C-level positions.

15-20% of companies have women in C-level positions.

This is the major reason that women remain a minority business owner. Now, the best we can do for each other is to help one another reach for BIG goals, rather than settling for what we can squeeze out of our career with all of our other responsibilities. If you have ideas on how we can do this, please share a comment. In the meantime, I will be following more women on how to have it all and, as usual, I will keep you apprised of what I learn.