How Jott Blew Learning Wide Open for Bud Deihl
Create On-the-Fly Micro Job Aides to Support Staff

Web 2.0 for Job Search from Shari's Perspective

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!)
Sharis_job_search_dashboard_3With 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!!!

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