« October 2008 | Main | December 2008 »

Article: Growing your Career: Do at GUT Check

This is a great article sent to SI Careers from an alumnus. Click on the link to also view the comments from readers. If you have an article to share, send it to si.careers@umich.edu

Growing your Career: Do at GUT Check
November 15th, 2008

This blog is focused on web professionals, and to be that, I’d like for you all to have jobs. Given the state of the economy there are three tips I want you to start on immediately, regardless of your rank, industry, or location.

There are actually great opportunities for those during a recession for professionals, restrained resources and competition will force you to become excellent in whatever you do. You’ll be forced to learn new skills and be more efficient than you’ve ever before. Some layoffs will leave opportunities for vertical growth and leadership opportunities.

You’re going to need a leg up in the market whether it be in your company, outside of your company, or to win new clients. You should start this process now, a simple three letter acronym that you should repeat during your day to yourself. Ready?

Growing your Career: Do at GUT Check:

G: Grow Your Network Before You Need Them
Nothing is more sad that seeing someone getting layed off and groveling to their non-qualified friends and family the need for a job. After this, they’ll go to their professional network to help and network with others, but the look of desperation is evident –no one wants to be hired out of pity. Be prepared.

Therefore you should always be building your professional network, espicially when your job feels secured. There’s really no excuse as many real world networking events are free, but if you’re in Juno, err Juneau Alaska, you can heavily lean on the digital tools, they’re also free. You should start by building your online profile in social network sites, finding the communities most tied to your industry, then reading, then answering some of the questions in forums. The trick here is to add value, not just ask for help, demonstrate your expertise by answering questions in an intelligent way and helping others. If you’re a web professional, start with my Facebook group, or if you’re a social media professional, I created this one for you. I’m not scalable –but networks are– so you’ll have to connect with others around us to grow.

U: Uncomfortness Leads to Growth
When you look at a candidates resume, and you see (esp in web industry) they’ve not grown in the last 3-5 years with their skillsets (not skillets), you ought to be worried. In a tough market, employers and clients want self-starters, those that go beyond the regular call of just doing the minimum requirements. Being Uncomfortable means trying something new, and eventually growing.

When I was an intern right out of college, I made a promise to myself to bug everyone in the IT department to teach me a new skill or task. You’d be surprised how thankful they were that someone so young wanted to learn from them. Each day, you should do the same, find someone and ask them to show you something or teach you something new in your career. What am I doing? I spend two hours each morning reading and blogging before I look at email, and I just started Guy’s latest book, Reality Check.

T: Tout Your Successes
Getting found online is part of the game, recruiters are going to do web searches before they purchase time on my job board, so you want to easily make yourself found. By this time if you’re a web professional and you don’t have your own personal domain I’m concerned for you, what are you waiting for, it’s only 10 dollars to register and 5 a month to host at some places.

If you’re worried about looking like you’re trying to find a new job, you can use your initials and just list the industry that you’re working in to protect your identity. If you’re still concerned, rather than post your resume on your own website, keep your LinkedIn profile updated with the higlights.

At industry parties and events I always ask folks: “What do you do? it’s surprising how folks are unable to articulate what they do, they beat around the bush, are self-deprecating, or try to avoid the topic all together. Instead, develop a single sentence describing what you do, practice your delivery, and learn how to ask an open ended question to trigger a conversation.

One caveat, this does not give you the right to be a raging egomaniac on your blog or website (sorta how I fear I come off sometimes) but is the chance for you to list what you’re capable of doing, what you’ve done, and what you can do for others.

Everyday I want you to do a GUT check, practice these skills, build your arsenal, don’t hesitate but do it now. Are you an HR professional, career development expert, or just learned a helpful tip along the way?? Now’s your time to leave a comment here with some other tips to demonstrate your own tips. Leave a comment or suggestion to help others.

Posted by kkowatch on November 25, 2008 at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

IAESTE offers Internships Abroad

SI students have utilized the services provided by IAESTE in order to get internships abroad -- and they are paid! In fact, SI currently has one student working in China right now at Lenovo.

IAESTE United States has lots of exciting programs and activities planned for the 2008-2009 academic year. We hope that you will share this information with students and other faculty and staff on your campus. More information about these programs can be found below.
• Internship Program - opportunities for students to intern in more than 40 countries
• Short-term Programs - credit-bearing academic courses with international component
• IAESTE United States membership - available to students across the U.S
• National Conference - February 5-8, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland
• Host an international intern - recruit a researcher through our international network, expanding reciprocal opportunities for students at your institution
• Work Permit Service - assists students in obtaining work permits in 50 + countries

Internship Program


The IAESTE Internship program places university students into paid technical internship opportunities in over 40 countries within the IAESTE international network. Internships are usually 8 to 12 weeks in length during the summer, but programs can be extended for up to 1 year.

Applications for the 2009 cycle are now being accepted. To be eligible to apply for an IAESTE internship, students must be enrolled in a technical field of study (engineering, science, technology, mathematics, architecture, etc.) at a U.S. university, be between the ages of 19 and 30, have at least sophomore level standing, and be a member of IAESTE United States. Language skills are not required, but are preferred. Graduate students and non-US citizens are also encouraged to apply. The application deadline is January 10, 2009.

Short Term Experiential Program

IAESTE United States, in conjunction with its partnering universities, will offer four short-term experiential programs (online and in-person) during the spring and summer of 2009. Through these programs, students participate in a credit-bearing course that incorporates a corresponding international travel component ranging from 10 days to 2 months in length. The courses being offered are:

• Land Revitalization in the Global Economy (Hong Kong and Southern China, Spring 2009) - Deadline to register is November 21, 2008
• Earthquake Engineering: Istanbul at the Threshold (Turkey, Spring 2009) - Deadline to register is December 5, 2008
• EMPOWER: Engineering for a Sustainable Future (Brazil, Summer 2009) - Deadline to register is February 13, 2009
• IMPACT: Advancing Women in Engineering (Ireland, Summer 2009) - Deadline to register is February 13, 2009

IAESTE United States Student Membership

Student membership in IAESTE United is available for any student studying in a technical field at a U.S. university. IAESTE United States members receive a number of benefits, including:
• Access to IAESTE's internship placement program
• Invitations to our U.S. and international leadership conferences
• Networking opportunities with potential employers

For the 2008-2009 academic year, the cost of an IAESTE United States student membership is $25 and can be purchased online.
IAESTE United States National Conference

The IAESTE United States National Conference, February 5-8, 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland, brings together students from the country's top science, engineering and technology universities, as well as professional members from many technical disciplines.

The 11th annual IAESTE United States National Conference's theme, "The IAESTE Footprint: Engineering Your Impact" explores the ways that IAESTE members can choose careers that benefit the planet through sustainability and benefit the world through social consciousness and stability. Attendees take part in educational sessions and workshops designed to promote leadership, cross cultural understanding and technical career development. Topics for workshops include leadership in a global context, international opportunities for students and professionals, volunteerism, and much more.

Host an International Intern


The IAESTE placement service matches highly-qualified international students with technical placements in the United States. Through a network of over 80 countries, IAESTE recruits, screens and work-authorizes students to join US research groups. Hosting professors enjoy the benefits of expanding connections with top international universities while evaluating potential recruits for advanced degrees. As a reciprocal program, IAESTE's ability to provide international opportunities for students at US universities is contingent on the number of domestic placements for international students. Click here to apply for the 2009 program by January 1st.


Work Permit Service


If your students have located an internship overseas but need assistance obtaining the work permits for the country, IAESTE United States is here to help! Through the international network of IAESTE organizations, IAESTE United States can help students secure work permits for their international internships. More information about this service can be found here.


Sincerely,
Mike Jackson
University Relations Manager
IAESTE United States/AIPT
443-539-0533
mjackson@aipt.org

Posted by kkowatch on November 20, 2008 at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

Interested in Records Management?

I've been getting a handful of requests from students about how to find internships in Records Management. Here's the response that I provided to a student who recently requested advice. If you would like more specific advice, make an appointment to see me... Kelly
*********************************

A good resource for getting a start on this would be to look at the past internship listings at http://si.umich.edu/careers/internships.htm The students, off the top of my head, that did RM internships are David Zande and Jon Ponder. You could either contact those (former) students or the organizations where they did their internships to inquire if they would be interested in another RM student intern next term.

You can also use iTrack to search for RM contacts...
Once you login, go to Employers and do a key word search for "records" (or other relevant keywords). You'll get a list of organizations that have either contacts or functions related to records management.

You can also look at past RM internships that have been posted to iTrack under the Jobs-->iTrack Jobs-->Archived Employer Contacts and Jobs/Internship Tab.

You should also consider attending the ARMA Meeting on December 17th (invitation below). Past SI students have had good luck with attending this to network with people in the area to find internships.

Lastly, you can always cold-call UM departments and/or local firms to ask if they are interested in having a RM intern. The UM departments that are good to start with are Human Resources, Audits, Legal, Accounting -- and likewise, local organizations that are involved in RM are most likely going to be in the following industries: accounting, HR, legal, energy, and government. You can also contact the Bentley Historical library to inquire about university records related internships.

From: Henderson, Brenton
Date: Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 10:46 AM
Subject: December 17th ARMA Detroit Meeting Notice!

Good morning. On behalf of the ARMA Detroit Chapter Programs Committee, I would like to invite you to the December 17th Chapter Meeting.

Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Time: 7:30 am - 9:30am

Location: Detroit Zoo, Wildlife Interpretive Gallery 8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067

Speaker: Patrick Cunningham
Topic Description: "Taking a Leadership Role When IT and RM Intersect"

Many records managers are faced with the challenge of assuming a greater leadership role in their organization. As technological issues increasingly determine how information is managed, records managers must often develop expertise outside their areas of training in order to participate in management level discussions. Speaking authoritatively about the technological needs of RIM staff is a prerequisite for participating in larger discussions about which direction an organization should take to best meet its mission-critical objectives. Successful collaboration with IT requires records managers to understand the fundamentals of computer terminology and to express RIM objectives in a language understood by IT staff. Mastering these skills will lead to better collaboration with IT and will help records managers gain the institutional respect that they deserve.

About the Speaker: PATRICK J. CUNNINGHAM, CRM is Director, Information Management, Collection & Preservation with Motorola, Inc. in Schaumburg, IL. Pat leads Motorola's Information Management, Collection and Preservation team whose responsibilities include global records management, IT data privacy, and litigation and investigation support. The team includes two Certified Records Managers, a Certified Information Privacy Professional, and two Certified Information Systems Security Professionals Pat's 20+ years in records and information management have presented him with many diverse experiences. Previously, he was Records Management trategist for Hewitt Associates. He has worked as a Web-enabled Information Technologies consultant with Whittman-Hart in Chicago and as Records Manager for Household International. He has also worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Illinois State Archives as a records manager. Pat is a frequent speaker on topics in Information and Records Management. His more than 100 presentations over the past 15 years have covered a variety of topics on the Internet, Records Management, and technology. He has spoken numerous times at the ARMA International Conference, at local and regional seminars, and has participated as a panelist for several legal forums.

Cost includes: Breakfast Buffet: $35 ARMA Members; $49 Non-ARMA Members; $17.50 Designated Retirees/Students, Walk-ins will be charged an additional $5 fee.

For additional details and to register, log on to http://www.armadetroit.org/.
Please register by December 10th, 2008 to help us provide our caterer an accurate headcount.

We hope to see you there!

Brenton Henderson
Programs Vice President
ARMA Detroit Chapter
248-486-2150 Office
248-417-4832 Cell
248-486-2168 Fax
bdhenderson@bcbsm.com

Posted by kkowatch on November 20, 2008 at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

Twitter... As the Next Facebook?

More and more, I'm hearing more about Twitter. Personally, I'm not familiar with the application, but I wanted to share the below article with you about the resource and invite readers to share their own experiences.

Why Twitter Matters
Can the fledgling microblogging service become a social media powerhouse to rival giants like Facebook—or will it be gobbled up?

by Stephen Baker

It's easy to laugh at nonsense on Twitter, the microblogging rage. "My nose is leaking," writes someone called Zapples, "so imma go to sleep now.…" But I've heard lots of similar drivel (and even produced some myself) on the phone—an important technology if there ever was one.


The key question today isn't what's dumb on Twitter, but instead how a service with bite-size messages topping out at 140 characters can be smart, useful, maybe even necessary. Here's why I'm looking. In the last few months, the traffic on Twitter has exploded, growing far beyond its circles of bleeding-edge tech enthusiasts and hard-core social networkers.

Businesses such as H&R Block (HRB) and Zappos are now using Twitter to respond to customer queries. Market researchers look to it to scope out minute-by-minute trends. Media groups are focusing on Twitterers as first-to-the-scene reporters. (They were on top of the May 12 China earthquake within minutes.) Loads of new applications and services are growing around the Twitter platform, leading some to suggest that the microblogging service could become a powerhouse in social media.
Popularity Brings Outages and Funding

Twitter has come a long way since its grand debut at the South by Southwest tech conference (BusinessWeek, 4/02/07) only 14 months ago. It quickly landed $5.4 million in venture funding. New crowds learned to communicate in haiku-length blog posts, even throwing in Web links with abbreviated addresses. They developed new vocabulary, with new verbs, including the all-important "to tweet."

But with Twitter's soaring popularity comes one big problem: All-too-frequent outages in a service that seems to be outgrowing its own technology. In the last month, the company has replaced key members of its tech staff, including lead architect, Blaine Cook..

To ramp up, San Francisco-based Twitter appears to be positioning itself for another round. A Cnet (CNET) report in April said the company is raising $15 million to $20 million. Twitter won't comment on funding, but Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, an investor in the first round, doesn't deny the rumors. "Where there's smoke, there's fire," he says.
What the Future Holds

So, I set out to delve into Twitter. And on May 8-9, I looked to Twitter's own community for help, asking the following questions:

• Is Twitter a fad, a feature, or a growing giant?

• How are businesses using Twitter?

• What is Twitter worth?

• A fourth question, implicit in the whole exercise: Should we all be Twittering?

Responses poured in, more than 250 of them, some pure opinion, others furnishing facts and links to blog posts and articles. You can read many of them on Twitter search engine Summize by looking for #bwstory.
Social Habit

Much of the Twittering crowd argues that Twitter will continue to grow in importance, perhaps rivaling other social media powers such as Facebook. "I have hundreds of friends on FB, but have done 10x the networking, connecting & communicating on Twitter," tweets Christian Anderson.

Biz Stone, a Twitter co-founder, tells me on the phone that the plan is for Twitter to grow by a factor of 10, or even 100. "It can become a communication utility," he says, "something people use every day."

How could tiny Twitter ever become such a titan? It's not the core technology, which is simple, but instead the community. Twitterers find and follow the people they care about on the service. Late in April, following one of Twitter's outages, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington wrote: "I realized that in the last two months a subtle shift occurred: I now need Twitter more than Twitter needs me." Arrington, who has nearly 17,000 people following his Twitterstream, continued: "It is now an important part of my work and social life, as I carry on bite-sized conversations with thousands of people around the world throughout the day. It's a huge marketing tool, and information tool. But it is also a social habit that's hard to kick."

Developer-Friendly

It may seem to Arrington that everyone he cares about is Twittering. But despite impressive growth, Twitter's universe is small. Estimates for the Twittering masses range between half a million and one million active users. Even if this undercounts the number of those who post their tweets through cell phones or other sites, Twitter is still pint-size compared to Facebook, with its 70 million users. And even on Twitter, plenty of people predict that the crowd will abandon the service en masse when something more alluring turns up. "Too flakey, both technology wise and audience—too fickle," tweets one.

Still, there are a few reasons why Twitter might endure. First, it's simple and easy to use. What's more, Twitter is weaving itself into larger networks. Most recently a link with News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace will enable users to shuttle data between those sites, eBay (EBAY), and Yahoo! (YHOO).

Also, like Facebook, Twitter has a large and vigorous developer community. "It's already a platform, a classic textbook definition," tweets Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research. David Troy, for example, founder of Roundhouse Technologies in Baltimore, recently launched a geography application called Twittervision, where you can click on a country—say China—and see the tweets as they appear. "We have more local stuff coming," he says. Another application, called Twistori, shows a stream of Twitters showing what people are wishing, feeling, thinking.
Promotional Tweets?

Businesses, of course, are more interested in what Twitterers are buying. Dataminers like Seattle's Visible Technologies are helping companies such as Hormel Foods (HRL) and Panasonic pore through millions of tweets, finding customers talking about their products. Dell (DELL), a Visible customer, scouts out the tweets and dispatches its Twittering workers to jump into the conversations. At a conference last week, the company claimed to have boosted sales through these efforts by $500,000 in recent months.

Lots of other companies are starting to use Twitter for quick customer service. To see whether they were really on the line, we held a race. We sent a tweet. Seven had responded within an hour, led by H&R Block.
The Search for Viability

One of the last questions we asked: If you could invest in Twitter, would you? It's a key question. To get the funding it needs for its tech upgrade, and perhaps an eventual stock offering, Twitter needs to make a viable business case. If it falls short, Twitter is more likely to wind up as an application in a larger Web company, such as Google (GOOG). The company has launched an advertising program on its site in Japan, but it's "largely experimental," Stone says.

Twitterers, of course, have all sorts of ideas about how to monetize the system. Some suggest subscriptions, or perhaps using promotional tweets every once in a while tied to the words in tweets. Stone avoids details. The goal now, he says, is to raise money, nail down the technology, and grow Twitter until it's enormous. Money comes later. But he and the others know that if they wait too long, Twitter risks disappearing into the belly of a competitor or succumbing to copycats. And that's provided that those of us who Twitter so prolifically now are still hooked on 140-character communications.

Check out the BusinessWeek.com slide show to learn more about the Twitter story.

Baker is a senior writer for BusinessWeek in New York.

Posted by kkowatch on November 17, 2008 at 04:21 PM | Comments (1)

Upcoming Local Job Fairs

Hot Shots: Career Connections at Melange, Ann Arbor, 5-7pm, Free

Bring your resume, and come and mingle with growing, innovative companies in a fun and relaxed environment! This event is only for talent seeking opportunities for themselves. Recruiters and staffing companies should use other venues to meet with these company representatives.

Location: Melange, 314 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
To register and view attending companies:
http://www.annarborusaevents.org/detail.asp?eid=1448

CAREER FAIR Hosted by Ann Arbor Radio at the Four Points Sheraton, Ann Arbor, 12-7pm
Ann Arbor Radio expects 1000 - 1500 candidates at this event with 50 booths to visit. Stay tuned as this event gains momentum! For more info, go to Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce's Website. Or, check out Ann Arbor Radio's 107one.

Posted by kkowatch on November 14, 2008 at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

LLAMA Mentoring Program Seeking Mentors and Mentees

LLAMA Mentoring Program

Do you want to share your experience and expertise by encouraging and nurturing a future Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) leader?

Do you want to develop your leadership and management skills by learning from a current LLAMA leader?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are just the right person to participate in an exciting 10 month formal mentoring program.

The LLAMA mentoring program is designed to encourage and nurture current and future leaders and to develop and promote outstanding leadership and management practices. Mentees in the program benefit from mentor experience in areas such as career planning, job assistance, shaping careers, and succession planning. Mentors provide training and guidance for mentees, sharing leadership and management skills and practices.

Mentees and mentors are supported as part of a formal and structured program which is designed with an eye on sustainability, legacy, realism, structure, expectations, and an emphasis on professional development. Data collection and evaluative instruments have been developed and are used to ensure that feedback from participants contributes to and improves the program.

Mentee participants must be current or potential LLAMA members. Candidates may self nominate or may be nominated by others. Mentees are required to attend the Annual Conference in Chicago to participate in the program’s formal orientation and to meet their mentor.

Mentor participants must be active members within LLAMA. Mentors are required to attend the Annual Conference in Chicago to participate in the program’s formal orientation and to meet their mentee.

Both mentors and mentees submit biographical and career information to assist in the matching process. Matched duos meet at a reception and orientation during the annual conference and continue their mentoring relationship throughout the 10 month period following the conference.

The program is limited to 25 mentee/mentor duos per year, so early application is encouraged.

Applications for mentee and mentor candidates are being accepted through December 1st, 2008 and can be accessed online or via this link: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/llama/lamacommittees/divisioncomms/LAMA_Mentoring_Committee/LAMA_Mentoring_for_Leadership_Program.cfm

For additional information, please contact Neely Tang, Chair of the Mentoring Committee at nt243@cornell.edu.

Posted by kkowatch on November 13, 2008 at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

5 Tips to Help Your Resume Stand Out Among the Rest

With many states declaring a fell-fledged economic recession and others soon to follow, competition in the job market is becoming increasingly fiercer as the days go by. With so many people vying for the same position, you must do everything in your power to get the edge on your competition.

Your resume, along with a well-stated cover letter, is the first thing a prospective employer sees when considering you for a position. Most of the time, a very brief amount of time is spent reading resumes, so you must stand out in your prospective employer’s mind right away or you won’t even make it to the interviewing stage. Read the following list of tips carefully and do your best to make your resume stand out among the rest.

Use a unique design and style.

Are you using Microsoft Word to create your resume? Most of your competition is probably using it as well. Templates can be helpful tool that get you started or give you a format to work with, but don’t rely on them completely. It is very likely that if you decide to use a template, your resume will look like many others and get lost in the shuffle. Make yours stand out, get creative with fonts and sizing of letters, but don’t go over board. Make a layout that enhances your image.

Prioritize your information.
Chronological resumes are preferable, but not always applicable to everyone’s unique situation. Consider listing the most relevant information related to the job you seek first. Remember, the more time the employer spends looking through your resume to see if you are actually qualified, the more rapidly he or she loses interest.

Learn the buzz words for the job and use them.
This shows that you have done your homework and that you are savvy in matters related to the job you seek. Make sure to infuse your resume with industry-standard lingo and buzz words—but make sure you are using them correctly. This applies to the way you decide to spin your work history as well. Use descriptive titles that reveal what kind of work you did rather than dulled-down titles, for example: instead of Sales Manager, Manager of Sales and New Business Acquisition. You get the point.

Share Your Accomplishments.
Without bragging, you must inform your potential employer of any and all pertinent successes you have had in your education or career. Success in the past will more than likely be repeated, and if your resume is one success story after another, you will certainly stand out from the crowd.

Eliminate Unnecessary Information.

Remember, you have a very brief amount of time to communicate your abilities to your potential employer, so don’t waste their time with extraneous information. Eliminating information that doesn’t relate to the position you seek will give your resume a streamlined feel and ultimately make it easier to read and skim through. Emphasizing your strengths early will be what helps you stand out, not your ability to be long winded.

-----------------------
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of photography jobs. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com. Kelly Kilpatrick writes regulary for the Career Overview Website. The website provides career professionals, job seekers and students with resources to make more informed career choices by providing them with relevant, reliable and up-to-date career and job information.

Posted by kkowatch on November 05, 2008 at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)