Archives for the month of: August, 2013

Heidi:

I’m curious about this new trend in infographic résumés.  Google gave me two popular ones to check out.

First, I went on Kinzaa.  It’s a free infographic resume service.  You type in your information including your education, work experience, and skills and then your information is plugged into a visually appealing graphic setup.  The second one I explored was visualize.me.  You type in your information quite the same way as in Kinzaa.  What comes out in both cases is a very clean looking, visual representation of your information.

What I liked about the infographic résumés is their ability to visually represent overlapping items, such as education or work experience.  On a regular résumé, these items are harder to visualize (for me at least).

I didn’t like how you had to rate yourself on a scale from average to expert on your skills. How was I rate myself on skills like creative writing and oral communication?  I found that challenging not only when rating myself, but also when deciding how many years that I had been doing them because of the ambiguous nature of the development of those skills.  When done well, written résumés are extremely effective in communicating your skill level without assigning a number of years to it. That can be said for a lot of segments of a written résumé.  With that in mind, I do not think that infographic résumés will replace the written résumé, but I do think it’s a great extra tool to use as a job seeker.  They can be used as a useful “leave-behind.”  Also, sometimes a visual of your experience will stick in someone’s head in a different way than written words will.

I think infographic résumés could go beyond just representing people’s information in an attractive way.   How could they better represent the impact that people will have when hired at a company?  And even further, how could they more directly identify the “needs indicators” in the person’s résumé and project that information out to recruiters?  Perhaps the future infographic résumés will be a tool that can directly match a company’s needs with a person’s experience and skills.  What a wonderful world that would be.

Heidi: 

It’s the big thing.  Everybody with a business is voraciously trying to get subscribers, likes, and followers. Upon starting my internship with Epic Careering, I joined some Linkedin groups to do just that.

As I clicked through the LinkedIn groups, there were many discussions that were dedicated to people posting their twitter handles, facebook pages, or youtube channels for a “follow me, I’ll follow back” type scenario.

Ignoring my initial hesitation, blindly, I started copy and pasting people’s twitter handles from the LinkedIn discussion to the Epic Careering twitter and following them, hoping they would follow back.  I ended up following almost 300 people and only got about 40 followers to follow back.

I understand the point of these discussions, but it’s a hack.  This isn’t how social media is supposed to work.  You’re supposed to have great, original content and if people like you, they’ll “like” you.   I do recognize and appreciate LinkedIn’s platforms for this kind of social marketing, so I’ve come up with a compromise to facilitate a more organic subscriber/liker/follower growth for people and their businesses on LinkedIn discussions.

Here it is: LindedIn discussions that ask you to give a brief description of your business or yourself and what kind of content you put out on your social media, with links to your preferred social media accounts. With this approach, people can connect with other people after knowing a bit about who they are and what they do instead of just gathering an unknowing audience of followers.

Let’s get to know each other.  Who are you? What do you do? How can we solve this problem together?

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(picture by Aidan  Jones http://bit.ly/191BLp1)

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Heidi:

I spent last summer reading the epic poems of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey. What strikes me most about the books is the outright vulnerability of all of the characters, including the Gods. The heroes of the stories are portrayed as ordinary beings that are plagued by the same stresses and subject to the same flaws as people today.

What sets these heroes apart from their ordinary counterparts is their consistent choice to accept opportunities and to be proactive even in the face of challenges, most notably, imminent death. If someone steals their daughter, they sail across the sea to demand her back. If they are stuck away from home in an unfamiliar land without a ship, they inspire their crew to get back at any cost, even if it takes ten years.

Upon starting Book 16 of the Iliad, my professor announced, “This is the beginning of the end.” The class laughed, but it became increasingly astounding to me that, as we read on, the characters in the poem knew it to be true as well. Knowing well their fate to die inside the walls of Troy, they choose to fight. They continued on their journey despite vast and unknown forces.

Page after page, all of the heroes in these stories make the choice to be extraordinary despite their capacity for human vulnerability. Their legend is called epic. Knowing well my weaknesses as I go about my life, this leaves a thrilling comparison in my mind: How will I deal with the vast and unknown forces—will I stay safe in the safe harbor of my comfort zone or will I set sail on my very own odyssey?
…What will you do?

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