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Join Me for Speed Mentoring Tonight on Brazen Careerist

Happy Thursday!

Brazen CareeristTonight, I’ll be one of the featured coaches attending Brazen Careerist’s Speed Mentoring Event on Network Roulette. Come meet with me and 13 other career and life coaches and get some quick advice in a virtual chat room tonight (Thursday, January 20, 2011) from 8PM to 9PM ET.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brazen Careerist, you should be. It’s one of the best online communities for people who are trying to be the best they can professionally and personally. On Brazen Careerist, I have exchanged ideas and made mutually beneficial connections, including a key business partner. Brazen Careerist was one of the top sites I mentioned in my career management workshop with Teach for America second year corps members in New York City. The site is great for people of all ages, but the connections and discussions are critical for entry-level professionals.

How does Network Roulette work? During a Network Roulette, you’ll be randomly matched with someone for three minutes where you can chat and determine if you can mutually help each other on a topic. I’ve participated in many Network Roulette events and met fellow entrepreneurs, client leads, and other awesome professionals. During the Speed Mentoring event tonight, you’ll be randomly matched with one of the coaches (hopefully, me!) and you can ask any question you want. You’ll also receive our contact information after you meet us so you can follow-up after the event. Three minutes seems quick, but I’ve learned you can get a lot done in a quick interaction. (However, it’s always a good idea to prepare your career questions before you start.)

Finally, as part of this great event, I am also giving one hour of free coaching to a lucky attendee. So come join us! To register, RSVP directly with Brazen Careerist.

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Announcements: NYC Career Events, Press, and Holiday Shopping

It’s been a crazy week- lots of blog posts in the queue that didn’t quite make it. Just means more content to share later!

I have a few assorted announcements to make, so I’ll end the week with those.

New Event: Twitter Workshop and #nycjobsearch Tweetup

We have an exciting special event on Wednesday, December 8 at 6PM. Keith Petri of eBranding.me and I will be co-facilitating the last seminar in The Art of Pull Series: How to Achieve Career Success with Twitter. At the workshop, we’ll be doing an overview of how to best use Twitter with a special emphasis on using it for your job search. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how to use Twitter for any reason, this is a great event.

The most exciting part of the event is that immediately after the workshop, we’ll be co-hosting a Tweetup of NYC-based people who regularly participate in Twitter chats about job search and career related issues, including #jobhuntchat and #hfchat, among others. These Twitter chats are usually comprised of 50% recruiters and career experts and 50% jobseekers so it’s a great mix of people to add to your network. If you can’t make it, use the #nycjobsearch hashtag to follow the event on Twitter between 6PM and 8PM on December 8th.

Both parts of the event are free. You can RSVP here, or if you want to make sure you receive a regular list of our events, join our Meetup.

Confused by all the terms? That’s okay, you’ll be an expert after our event. Promise.

The Opportunities Project in the Press

With the excitement of the holidays, I forgot to post our recent press appearances. If you didn’t see them in your Facebook or Twitter feed, here are two stories that I was recently interviewed for and that feature my advice on online applications and setting career goals for the new year.

When applying for jobs online, be a standout in The Star Ledger (November 21, 2010)

5 New Year’s Career Resolutions for 2011 on Monster and HotJobs (November 22, 1010)

Barnes and Noble Store Updates and Holiday Specials

Tis the season to shop for your loved ones, and maybe a little bit for yourself. This past week, I updated my Barnes & Noble store. If you were looking for great book recommendations (career related or a beach read), I have multiple lists. And on Monday, December 13, I will have a special coupon for my readers that can be used on any Barnes & Noble purchase.

I am also eager to announce the details of my two holiday specials next week.

– Pay What You Can Coaching Day on Monday, December 20, 2010

– Referral Program- get 10% commission through Amazon.com on all referrals for any of our coaching programs through December 31, 2010. You can also offer discounts to your referrals with a minimum purchase.

Stay tuned for more information starting Monday, December 6th!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

LinkedIn Raves and Rants

LinkedInTonight is my second workshop on LinkedIn since I started The Opportunities Project this summer. Is LinkedIn really that important that it deserves two workshops so close together? Yes, it absolutely does. LinkedIn is the future of how people build careers, especially for those of us who are not born into huge networks or attend schools that naturally facilitate those. In 2011, LinkedIn is updating their platform so that more people can directly connect with their network around work and jobs. Now is the time to build your network so it’s strong for when that happens.

So I have both a rant and rave about LinkedIn coverage online.

Power of Your Network

Let’s start with a rave. Here is a real-life example of how the power of LinkedIn can get you results. When I was starting out this spring, I met a great partner in Brooke Allen. Brooke runs an organization called No Shortage of Work– a group I recommend on my Resources page. As an experiment, he asked people he knew from No Shortage of Work and his other networks to connect via LinkedIn to three people he selected who had various career goals. Within 24 hours, each had over 500 new professional contacts and within ten days one was working in a new job. He has now been sending summaries of what other people have to offer and what people need and letting them connect on their own. This success wouldn’t have manifested without a platform like LinkedIn.

Power of a Complete Profile

So my rant. I am getting exhausted by LinkedIn articles that keep getting promoted on sites like SmartBrief that give incomplete advice. I am cranky because I have become obsessed with finding these articles and commenting on them – here and here – to add needed information and it takes time I could spend on other things. Not everyone knows a Brooke Allen meaning you really need to make sure your profile is maximized to get the connections you need. Despite all the bells and whistles, LinkedIn is essentially a database and you need to create a profile that is easily found. If you read an article that doesn’t say the number one thing you should do is to make sure that your profile is complete- yes, that means posting a photo- it is not worth your time and you should move along. LinkedIn officially states that complete profiles are found 40% more often in search results than incomplete profiles, but that doesn’t even take into consideration where you rank. For example, I am listed as one of the first ten career coaches in NYC when you search for that phrase because I’ve optimized my profile. Not bad for a brand new coach. Where do you come up?

Discussing whether you should make your job duties bullet vs. paragraphs is great, but if you can’t be found, who cares?

If you’re in NYC, come to our event tonight at 7PM at SLC Conference Centers (352 7th Avenue, 16th floor- cross street is 30th Street) to learn how you can take the next step with LinkedIn. Friends of The Opportunities Project can pay $10 at the door.

Success Online- Blogging and Social Media

It’s here! Tonight is our event on Achieving Career Success through Blogging at 7PM at SLC Conference Centers (352 Seventh Avenue, 30th Street). If you still haven’t registered, use the discount code “Blogging 101” to get the $10 ticket price.

If you’re not convinced that spending time on online activities like blogging and social media can help you with your career or business, here are two quick stories before I go back to the finishing touches for tonight.

Just an example of how blogging can help… Last week, I wrote a guest blog post for my colleague Keith Petri’s eBranding.me blog about my thoughts on the Marie Claire blogging controversy- a writer wrote a blog post on obese people on TV and the public was outraged by the author’s take. Keith featured my content on Networked Blogs and on Friday, I got an email from someone I didn’t recognize. It was someone who had read my post because she was interested in the Marie Claire issue, but then got clicking around my business website and read that I do recruitment and leadership consulting, specializing in Gen Y, and her company needs that expertise. I now have a call scheduled to talk business. Sweet!

And just another example of how Twitter can help… Every Monday, I participate in a Tweet Chat called #jobhuntchat. Last week, someone in the chat posted that they were looking for a Community Manager position and based in Maryland. Some of my former colleagues started a MD based company and were looking for a Community Manager so I told her about the job. Last night, that person said she had an interview based on my lead. Even more sweet!

My lessons: Do new things. Learn and write about interesting things. Ask for help. Expand your networks. What are yours?

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

Bring Your Social Media Questions to Red Sky Bar Tonight

I am almost done with the Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook and have social media on the brain. Bring your questions about using social media in your job search to our monthly job-seeker happy hour tonight at Red Sky Bar. See you there!

Cocktails and Careers Happy Hour

Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 6:30 PM at Red Sky Bar

47 East 29th St (between Park and Madison Aves), New York, NY 10016

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

LinkedIn Follow-Up and mediabistro.com Article

A few weeks ago, we had an amazing workshop on LinkedIn at the Center for Arts Education. Hurricane Nicole was whipping the city with crazy weather, but some dedicated jobseekers showed up to learn how they can use this powerful tool to get to the next step. Participants who paid for the workshop received some special handouts and step-by-step instructions on how to make their profile stand out and expand their network. For those who couldn’t come, here is a link to the public Prezi.

Using LinkedIn to Launch Your Career on Prezi

Also, I was quoted in a story published by mediabistro.com this week as an expert on LinkedIn. You need to be a member of mediabistro.com, but am looking to get a copy of the article that I can publish on my website (fingers crossed). In the meantime, the author, Kristen Fischer, has a great blog called Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes about the after-college life. Check it out!

If you’d like more information on upcoming workshops, join my Meetup- it’s free!

Posted via email from The Opportunities Project Blog

LinkedIn and Cupcakes by NineCakes September 30

We’re less than 24 hours to our first workshop on LinkedIn and the second on the Cupcakes and Careers Tour. I am pleased to announce that our cupcakes for the second stop on our tour are from cake studio NineCakes. Their desserts have been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and on the Today Show. The NineCakes shop is a few blocks from our home office base in the Columbia Waterfront District of Brooklyn and I am always excited when I get to support a local vendor!

Just a reminder, tomorrow’s event is at the Center for Arts and Education at 225 West 34th Street on the 11th Floor. In addition to indulging in some amazing cupcakes, we’re going to discuss how you can use LinkedIn to promote yourself, research, and engage with others. I heard on Twitter that LinkedIn is doing a promotion next week on 60 college campuses to get their students to complete profiles so we’re very timely. See you there!

Soft Skills Workshop Recap and Resumes Part 3

Where did the week go? It’s nice to be busy with lots of things. At the same time I am running The Opportunities Project and meeting with clients, I am participating in a program called FastTrac NewVenture, which is an initiative of Mayor Bloomberg’s sponsored by the New York City Business Solutions Center, the SUNY Levin Institute, and the Kauffman Foundation. Twenty-nine fellow entrepreneurs and I meet twice a week to fine-tune and revise our business models and plans. It’s a great program and among other things, has me thinking about how some of my rates will change when my first price guarantee comes to an end on October 1. Please keep that in mind if you are considering buying coaching sessions from me!

Also, this week, we hosted our first workshop (woo hoo!) on Building Soft Skills for career and interview success. We started the event with some pre-workshop music from Glee (anyone else excited about Britney vs Brittany?), New Edition, and Eddie Money (?), and then transitioned into discussion and real-life interview practice and coaching. The surveys came back great and I even got an unsolicited testimonial. The Prezi is online for everyone to check out, and we may even have some video coming soon, courtesy of Eve Hyman. I plan on repeating the event in October with a new and exciting partner so more of you can experience it. Thanks to my summer interns who taught me the wonder of Prezi.

More Resume Tips and Wrapping up the First Cocktails and Careers Tour

What a great week! I attended six events where I got the opportunity to meet and help almost 100 job seekers. It was rewarding and refreshing to talk to people who are optimistic in a difficult environment. One of the best events was the Syracuse University Success in the City event (pictured). Every recent graduate I met was well spoken and prepared- kudos to them and the career center. I also had the pleasure of giving a free coaching package to Dave Bell, a 2010 grad with entrepreneurship in his future. I look forward to helping him with those goals.

At almost every event, resumes were a hot topic. So as promised, here is my second tip on resume development. You may think of your resume as just a list of bullet points and accomplishments, but it really should tell a story about you and your career. If it’s just a multi-page document with a lot of buzzwords, you are not going to get very far in your job search process.

We have become overloaded with blog posts and articles about online application systems that search your resume for keywords and throw out the ones that don’t have enough. First, that is an exaggeration. Second, only a small percentage of people ever get hired through a job posting like that so that is NOT where you should focus your efforts. Instead, commit to creating a clear and concise product that you are proud to email to a personal contact you met at a networking event. Third and finally, if your resume does get through an initial automatic review, an interview is not going to be scheduled without a human evaluation for quality, anyway.

If you’re not sure if your resume tells a story, ask a friend or colleague to look at the most current version and ask what stories they would tell about your career based solely what is on paper. Do they sense that you stood out from other people at your level or in your title? Do they get a sense of the career decisions you made up to this point? If not, what could you do to make your resume tell a better story?

Now that our first Cocktail and Careers tour is complete, we are focusing on our Cupcakes and Careers workshop series. Our first one is tonight at the SLC Conference Centers at 352 Seventh Avenue at 7:00PM. We will be talking about how you can build the soft skills that make people successful in the interview and job search process. Hope to see you there!

Alumna in the House

Very excited about two events today!

The other 2/3 of The Opportunities Project team- Maddie and Eve- will be at the Idealist Grad School Fair today at the Puck Building in Soho. We will be having a Public Service Edition of the Cocktails and Careers Tour at Puck Bar across the street at 7:30 PM for people who want to learn more about getting into public service careers, with or without a master’s degree. The Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, where I got my MPA in public finance, is hosting the fair. I had a great education at Wagner so check our their stuff at the fair and then come talk to Maddie and Eve about what we can do for you in taking your next step in public service.

Check out the details for the Puck Bar event.

I am not attending this special stop on the Cocktails and Careers Tour because I am hosting a table at the Syracuse University SUccess in the City event tonight in midtown. One big reason I started my business for college students and recent graduates is that my experience as an undergrad at Syracuse was incredibly transformational for me. I am excited to help students and even more excited that Syracuse is giving me an opportunity to give away a coaching package to a recent college graduate at the event tonight. Even though I had a great experience at NYU, I will always primarily be an Orangewoman at heart. One look at Otto and my heart melts.