Tag Archives: social media

The Importance of the Details: 7 Critical Ones for the Employee-To-Be

1 Dec

I’ve had the flu, or something of the like, for the past two days.  Neither my wit, nor my mental acuity are operating at peak levels right now, but I’ll try my best to offer something of value here. Nonetheless, the gratitude-subscribing coach within me realizes, “Hey, at least I wasn’t sick for Thanksgiving!”  Glass half full my friends, glass half full.

Speaking of both gratitude and optimism, I found my pants.  The laundromat, trying to be helpful, removed them from the rest of the pile after they realized they were still damp, and tossed them into the dryer for an extra cycle.  Unfortunately, they forgot to take them out, and they ended up in some other Brooklynite apartment, someone who was nice enough to return them to whence they came.  So thank you, whomever took the time to do that.  It’s the smaller gestures that can truly brighten someone else’s day, or your own.

Little things are important indeed.  Little ways in which you communicate, in which you present yourself, in which you brand yourself – they’re little, yet they can make all the difference.  For example, I hate when candidates have “Objective” statements on their resumes.  I tell everyone to remove them and replace them with a 4-6 line “Summary” statement.  Why?  Because an objective statement communicates what YOU want out of a company, as if they’re bringing you into their office to interview you so that they can fulfill a favor for you.  A summary statement communicates your strengths and core competencies, and instead presents the idea of “Here’s what I can do for YOU…Mr. Hiring Manager at Company X”.  It seems trivial, but sometimes a trivial detail is what separates you from the  new hire.

Here’s another one. When you’re thinking about communication, especially in the professional sense, remember this: Only 7% of your message comes through via what you actually SAY.  The other 38% is intonation and the remaining 55% is body language.  So you might have most well-crafted answers to every interview question in the history of man, but if you’re going to look down at your interviewer’s shoes, or around the room, speak incoherently  and lace all your sentences with “like” and “um”, you might as well throw in the towel right there.  Same deal if you walk in smelling like smoke or heavy perfume.

Because sometimes a trivial detail is what separates you from the new hire.  Details are important, and unfortunately ten years of fantastic experience and accolades won’t necessarily overshadow 1 hour of careless, hasty  judgment.

Here are a couple of details to keep in mind whether you’re starting or already knee-deep into your job search:

  • Invest in at least one interview-appropriate outfit, and make sure it fits in with whatever the standards of dress are for your industry.
  • Do a quality-control check on your resume Summary (or Objective) statement – what message are you communicating?  Is it about YOU, or about THEM? (Hint: It should be about how You can HELP them.)
  • Do not use BCC or CC fields when emailing your resume. You should be sending it to one person, if possible, and tailoring it to fit the company and role to which you are applying.  Yes, it’s more time and effort-intensive, but far more likely to yield a positive return.  No decent recruiter or hiring manager will ever reply to an application that is generically blasted to multiple people at once- it shows lack of initiative.
  • In addition to attaching your resume and cover letter as documents, include them in the body of your email.  I realize computers never fail and the chance that the file might not open correctly is slim… but you never know.
  • Creativity is great, just not when it comes to fonts and formatting on your resume. Likewise, unless you’re Stan Lee, keep Comic Sans out of your professional email signature.  Ariel, Courier, Times, Verdana or Calibri are all safe bets.
  • Set your Facebook profile to private, for God’s sake.
  • And then Google yourself. Be fully aware of what information about you is available to the greater public and what messages are being communicated.  This effects your personal brand as much as your LinkedIN profile does, so keep it professional.

April Tele-Seminar: Maximizing LinkedIn

5 Mar

Get ready to empower yourself and positively infuse your job search!  The first in a series of free tele-seminars, in April Dana Leavy of Aspyre Solutions will be presenting a free tele-seminar on how to effectively utilize LinkedIn as a productive job searching and networking tool, and take your online presence to the next level.  Even if you’re not actively in the market for a new position, or are just starting out, you will have the opportunity to learn a few creative tricks and key tactics to build and maximize your network of contacts, so when it’s time to get serious, you will already be one foot out the door in front of your competition.  This is an excellent opportunity for soon-to-be grads and entry-level job seekers to get introduced to LinkedIn’s capabilities, and start building a network now!

LinkedIn offers a wide variety of benefits, many of which users easily neglect outside of making general connections and searching job postings.  The way you communicate and reach out to contacts to market yourself and keep yourself on the front lines of the candidate pool can give you a crucial advantage over your peers, and possibly get you in the door for that interview.  Check back for details later this month!

Subscribe to the Aspyre Solutions blog to make sure you receive regular updates on our tele-seminars and other events.

30 Email Etiquette Tips

5 Feb

No matter what career path or position you’re in, chances are you use some form of email communication to reach out to your customers, colleagues, prospects or associates.  A colleague of mine forwarded me some tips on email etiquette that are really great to keep in mind (and equally easy to overlook).  Especially if you’re a job seeker or reaching out to a party whom you don’t have a prior connection to, adhere to the rules to gain that much more of an edge over your competition.  Behold:

1.    Be concise. ‘Nuff said.

2.    Get to the point. Place your main point, request, or question in the very first sentence of your message.

3.    Spell check. Proofread. Make sense.

4.    Use proper layout.

5.    Use a readable font in a size that is easy to see.

6.    Avoid stationery that takes a large amount of megabytes

7.    Use the person’s name, either in the greeting, or in the body of the message.

8.    Keep language gender neutral.

9.    Avoid text lingo (oops, I mean language.)

10.   Use only abbreviations that are well known.

11.   Avoid emoticons and smiley faces.

12.   Avoid long sentences.

13.   Use active vs. passive voice.

14.   Answer all questions, and anticipate future questions.

15.   Include the important points of the message thread.

16.   Clean up forwarded emails. Either delete unnecessary verbiage or highlight the important points.

17.   Use detailed subject lines to help your recipient quickly understand the focus of your message.

18.   For very short messages, use the subject line as the message, ending in EOM (End Of Message) to let them know not to open the message.

19.   Avoid writing in ALL CAPS. It is viewed as “shouting.”

20.   Use the high priority option only when it is truly high priority.

21.   Use the words “URGENT” and “IMPORTANT” sparingly, and only when it is true.

22.   Use ‘Reply all’ only when every person in the distribution really needs to receive the message.

23.   Avoid sending email messages when you are emotional. Regardless of how you try to mask it, people will “feel it.”

24.   Never forward messages that are off color, offensive, racist, or obscene.

25.   Don’t forward chain emails, or emails threatening you if you “don’t forward in 24 hours.”

26.   Copy ONLY the persons who really need to receive the email.

27.   Avoid using email to provide “constructive criticism.” It is never taken positively. Those conversations should be done in person.

28.   Avoid using BCC to rat out your co-workers. It turns YOU into the rat.

29.   Avoid using email to “discuss” issues among several people – the threads become diffused, and the content is difficult to follow. Call a meeting instead.

30.   Avoid sending urgent emails. If you need a response in under 3 hours, visit or call.

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