Note--All last week I ran a case study series discussing how Shari and I were using Web 2.0 tools to help her manage her job search. I asked Shari to write a guest post on the experience from her perspective as someone who's new to the tools.
Yes, it's me...I'm the test case (wow, that is VERY close to
"basket case") <grin> who has been lucky to be working with
Michele on her Web 2.0 project. First of all, I must exclaim: THIS IS SO COOL!!!
I have received so much value in the last two weeks, I can hardly believe it. Let me tell you a bit of my story.
As Michele previously shared, I'm a "mid-career" (that sort of
stings) training professional who has experienced two layoffs within
the last seven months. A girl could get a complex! This time around I'm
staying much more calm than during the first situation last summer, due
to my work with both Michele and my career coach, Sean. In previous
postings Michele wrote about the importance of personal branding, and
that is what Sean is helping me create. I have crafted my "Unique Value
Proposition" and have developed stories that support the brand promise.
Now, what to do with it? That is where my work with Michele comes into
play - more details in a bit.
Michele is guiding me through the process of creating my web
portal and online portfolio. I knew just enough to be dangerous - had
awareness of some tools, but didn't really have a grasp on how to pull
them together and make them work for me. The first thing we did that I
found helpful was to set up my "job search dashboard" using iGoogle. By
simply clicking checkboxes, it allows me to bring various tools, some
that are new to me and others I already use, together in one place. I
added things like:
- CareerBuilder, Indeed, and Monster job search agents
- About.com and CareerJournal.com job search article links
- Google Map Search
- Google Calendar (this is another valuable tool that Michele helped me set up!)
With my dashboard designated as my new internet home page, it is
where I keep track of my activities. I'm sure I'll continue tweaking it
as I discover more tools to add. That's the beauty of it - I tailor it
to my needs.
Next up was a discussion of a web portal and how I could use it in
my job search. Michele made the connection between my branding work
with Sean and the portal, and helped me to see it is the perfect
vehicle for my branding messages. Then she sweetened the deal when she
brought up the online portfolio, which is a hassle-free way to showcase
training materials and job aids I have created. I was sold and ready to
get started, so Michele instructed me on how to set up a wikispace (it
took several discussions for me to realize the potential of the wiki as
my "electronic filing cabinet" for my work samples). She then
introduced me to SlideShare, which I used to upload several PowerPoint
presentations I want to include in my online portfolio. These things
were easy to set up and they are free!
The next valuable piece of guidance came when Michele discussed
the benefits of purchasing a domain name. When I decided to go in that
direction, she provided several resources for me to investigate. For
$10 per year, I am the proud owner of www.shari-ward.com
for my portal. In my next posting, I'll talk about what we did to create that portal.
To be honest, I haven't struggled with any of Michele's
suggestions and found them all to be relevant to my career goals.
Michele has been ultra-patient and has eased me back on track when my
enthusiasm becomes slightly misdirected. I'm loving it, especially
after using the information in a recent job interview! May I share my
story? I'm so glad you asked...
After a successful telephone interview for a job I had applied
for, I was invited for an onsite interview. As part of the process, I
was to deliver a 5-minute 'training' on a subject of my choice. Since I
was interviewing for a systems training position, I definitely wanted
my 'training' to be focused on technology. I developed a presentation
called "Technology: The Missing Piece of the Job Search Puzzle." In the
presentation, I shared the very things that I've been learning from
Michele and how they can be used in a job search; in fact, how I AM using them in my job search.
It was the perfect opportunity to showcase my web portal and pique the
interest of the folks interviewing me. Before leaving the conference
room, I invited them to visit my portal at their leisure.
The next day, I was in another
interview where I was asked to train the interviewer on something on
the computer. I gladly spoke to her about the power of using technology
in a job search and instructed her how to access my portal, where I
described the various components and how they can be used.
In both of these examples, I not only seized the opportunity to
direct potential employers to my portal, but feel I created an
impression of a training professional on the leading edge of the
technology movement. In my humble opinion, this gave me a competitive
advantage I did not have just a few short weeks ago. I repeat: THIS IS SO COOL!!!