Showing posts with label resumes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resumes. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Find And Follow Your Passion With New York Creative Interns

This post was originally posted on Work It Brooklyn:


On November 10th, join creative college students and young professionals for a full-day of discussions and workshops designed to give you the tools needed to create you dream career. Meet creatives from the most exciting companies in New York City, get an edge in your career, and make amazing connections.

Our friends at New York Creative Interns are hosting another spectacular event and Work It Brooklyn is so stoked to announce our involvement as media partners for this amazing event. Speakers include creative professionals from Travel Channel, New York Magazine, USA Network, Behance, MoMA PS1, and many more. The event also includes a 50+ company career fair.


Start your Saturday morning keynote is Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka @swissmiss), attend the internship and career fair and choose amongst several cool sessions to attend over the course of the day.


For our Work It Brooklyn peeps, might we suggest:Seeking Success Within: Reveal What You Want & How To Achieve It with Rhonda Schaller, Director // Center for Career & Professional Development Pratt InstituteFrom Creation to Compensation: Overcome the Starving Artist Stigma with Rebecca Taylor, Communications Director // MoMA PS1; Tim Smith, Manager // Marvel Comics; Opus Moreschi, Colbert Report; Sarah Cooper, UX Designer // GoogleCreative Alchemy: Convert Opportunities into Career Gold with Monico Lo, Senior Art Director and Megan Nuttall, Senior Writer // both of kbs+The Art of Negotiation: How to Earn What You're Worth with (friend of Work It Brooklyn) Jim Hopkinson, President // Hopkinson Creative Media


But, hey, if that particular line-up is not your thing, check out the schedule and choose the sessions you’d like to attend.


Details:Find & Follow Your Passion: A Full Day ConferenceBy NY Creative Interns in partnership with the Center for Career & Professional Development at Pratt Institute.Date: Saturday, November 10, 9am - 5:30pmLocation: Pratt Institute. 200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205Register: conf.nycreativeinterns.com

Tickets: Students: $50 // Recent Grads: $75 // Young Professionals: $150Work It Brooklyn members, use the code WorkItLove for 20% off any non-Pratt ticket.Register and learn more: conf.nycreativeinterns.com




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

You: The Brand | Part Five - Cover Letters

Gentle readers, no one likes to write a cover letter. No one.

And here's why: It's hard. It's hard to get all that awesome about you squished into a couple of short paragraphs, all the while also saying how amazing the company you're reaching out to is.

As part of this series on branding yourself (you can read the first post here), your MatchGirl wants to take you back to basics. Sure it's great to have yourself up-to-date on every social network and it's amazing if you work in a creative industry and can make a website or resume that gets you some press or attention. But all that means little if you can't do the work and if you don't cover the basics.

Just like when you are re-building your resume (though, really, you should have done that by now), you need to be very specific in your cover letter. A one size fits all approach does not work here.

Some tips to get you going:


  1. Pull the key words out of the job description. These key words will become the basis for your letter.
  2. What are the main areas of expertise the job posting lists? How do these fit with what you've accomplished. Use the top ones to form the meat of your letter.
  3. What is the company up to? If the company name is on the posting, do a little legwork and find out what's great about the company - what you are interested in and think about how that applies to the job for which you're applying. 
  4. Keep it short. You're not writing a novel , or even an essay, here. Three or four short paragraphs will do it. You need to whet their appetite for finding out more about you.


Writing a killer cover takes time. And the time is worth it. The more you write, the more you tweak them to fit each different application, the easier they will come. And, as always, like anything in your job hunt, there is no shame in asking a pal in the industry to take a look at it for you. That's what friends are for!

What are some of your best cover letter tips?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You: The Brand | Part Three - Now What?

All right, gentle readers, if you've been following along the past couple of posts, you are prepared for the next step: Taking the pieces of what you've put together and doing something with them.

What?
Come now. You didn't think that people would just come to you, now that you've got this beautiful resume and those coordinated social media profiles, did you?
If you are your own brand (hint: you are), you need to get out there and sell yourself!

And yes, gentle readers, your MatchGirl is well aware that this might be the hardest part of all.

As many of you know, I co-host networking events for creative freelancers and entrepreneurs in Brooklyn. I attend as many events as I can, that are geared to tech and social media especially. If I have an opportunity to network, I will do my best to get myself out there. When I was working for an agency, I did it on behalf of the agency - smiling, shaking hands, speaking in a positive way about all the cool things we were doing or had in the pipeline - and I'd do it for myself, as well. Here's the thing, dear readers, it's 100 times easier to sell something or someone else than it is to sell the idea of yourself.

A few things you're going to need to get started:

Business cards. Even in this digital age, many people still like to collect paper business cards to add to their collection. Don't use price as an excuse. You can get beautiful, custom cards a few bucks. Services like Moo Cards (where I actually got mine for free, using a Klout perk) and VistaPrint offer great products at very affordable prices.

A charged phone. Others may not be as on top of things as you are. Make sure your mobile is charged so you can take the phone number and email address of anyone you meet who you'd like to get in touch with in the future.

Chutzpah. Going to events and putting yourself out there requires a lot of gumption. You're going to need to go up to people you don't know and introduce yourself - representing the brand of you. You're going to need confidence to do this - confidence in what you're selling.


Next post? How to talk about yourself without coming across as a braggart or a bore.

Photo 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

You: The Brand | Part Two - Social Networks

Earlier in the week, gentle readers, we wrote about beginning the rebranding of you - starting with your resume.

Today, your MatchGirl wants to talk to you about branding yourself across your social networks. You might think that this is the least of your worries, but in this day and age, where employers are Googling your name, where some interviewers are asking for social logins, and where unemployment is still over 8% across the country, you need to pay careful attention to how you come across. Everywhere.

Let's talk about that. Take a peek at my Google profile picture here on Blogger. Then head on over to my Twitter account. Check out my about.me page and you'll see the same image. Pinterest? Yep. Instagram (viewed here with Webstagram)? Check. And if you were to meet me in person and see my business card, you'd see the same image. Why? Because your image on social platforms is a branding opportunity. And on social platforms, consistency matters.

I make an exception on LinkedIn, where a straight up, pro-looking headshot is more appropriate. You'll notice, though, the same color combos - navy and white (and me). There is no doubt that these networks are related. Are you on LinkedIn? Take a second and check that your photo is one a potential employer would be drawn to - no babies, no pets, no plastic beer cups. Refer to Tuesday's post and make sure your resume fits the brand of you that you're building now - not the person you were ten years ago.

Is your Facebook profile private? Or is it one that any one can see? That search engines can index? If you want to use Facebook as a place to espouse political views, to share pictures of you doing keg stands or anything else that a potential employer might find ... unseemly, make your profile private. My personal Facebook profile is private, while I have a page for Unemployed Brooklyn. And I use LinkedIn for connecting with professional organizations and people.

What about Twitter? What are you talking about and sharing? Does it reflect how you want to be perceived by others?

What other social platforms do you live on? If they are public, are you cognizant of what you are putting out there? Right now, you need to be all about selling the brand of you and if you're not paying attention to what that brand is saying, you may get overlooked for someone who is better at it.

I'll finish, gentle readers, with one big question to ask yourself when you're living online:

Is this something I'd be embarrassed by if my mother saw it?
If the answer is yes, you probably don't want a potential boss to see it either.


Photo

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You: The Brand | Part One - Your Resume

You. You are a brand. Whether you like it or not. Whether you want to be or not. You are a brand and you need to sell yourself as such. Whether you are a freelancer, a person on the hunt for a full-time job or anything in-between. The brand of you is something that is more important in the digital age than it has ever been before.

Gentle readers, this is something that your MatchGirl has touched on before, but let's look at it a little more specifically - you're one person, on a job hunt, creating the brand for the product you are trying to sell - YOU.

First things first.

You need to tell your story.
Not sure what that is? Let's start with your resume.
Here's a great exercise:

  1. Grab a notebook and pen (yes - go analogue, it will be easier to edit and get your thoughts together).
  2. Write down all the key words that your dream job requires - whether you're looking for a job right now, or if you just have one in mind for down the road. Pull these words from job postings, from the LinkedIn profiles of people who have your dream job and from what you think your dream job requires. 
  3. Then write down all the qualifications that you have, for any job. I like to do this exercise using columns, but you can use different sheets of paper, too.
  4. Where do they meet up? If you've been working towards a goal, there will be loads of overlap.
  5. Pull up your old resume - I like a printed copy so I can mark on it, but feel free to use your favorite text editor.
  6. Take a hard look at your resume, at what it says. Are the key words for your sought after job in there? Can they be? Pen in hand, go through the bullets of your resume and insert the skills you've got, that match your key words, into your resume.
  7. Have stuff on there not related to your dream job? Spent a year slinging burgers but looking for a journalism job? Can that year. Unless you're looking for your first job, you've got relevant work experience, volunteer experience or even college experiences that will add weight to your targeted resume much more than that year when you were just working your bum off to make rent.
  8. Know someone who's working in your dream area? It's best if they're senior and have been in a hiring position before. Ask them to review your resume. Your MatchGirl has done this and it was one of the smartest things I did. Don't be proud - your friends and your close network want you to succeed. 
  9. Make the changes suggested. Seriously. 
  10. Upload to all job boards where your old resume was, LinkedIn and any resume section of your website or blog.
This is a really good start. Congratulations!

Next post, branding yourself across networks.

Photo  VivaScriva

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Something For Everyone

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl knows it's hard out there.
She knows the job market is still touchy. She knows that you're all struggling a bit.
But she's here to remind you of something important.

Gentle readers, you can't be everything to all people. And your resume cannot fit all jobs. And... at the end of the day, why would you even want it to be?

When you're out of work and you don't have as much money coming in as you once did, it's easy to just go for any job that you're qualified for. It's easy to say, "Hey, I could do that." But, gentle readers, I need you to take a step back and ask yourself this question: Do I want to do that?


Especially as we get older, and here your MatchGirl knows of what she speaks, it's even more important that we don't settle for something that might be kind of OK. We need to strive for the great fit. For the work that excites us. For the kinds of companies that we want to work for.

Tailor your resume to the job you want to have. You can't be something for everyone. And, honestly, you shouldn't even try to be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Unemployed: Now What?

As your MatchGirl promised in Monday's post, a few helpful hints about what you should do when you're newly laid off and looking for a new position.

Of course, gentle readers, this is not a definitive step by step to finding a new job. Your MatchGirl doesn't have that sussed yet herself. A week and a half of unemployment is still pretty new ... but here are some tips that will certainly set you on the right track.

Make sure your social media profiles are up to date. More and more HR pros are turning to LinkedIn to research candidates, so make sure that your profile is 100% filled in - with tags on your strengths and your most recent accomplishments listed.

Do the same to the resume you'll send as an attachment.

Start connecting. LinkedIn, email, Facebook ... wherever you know people professionally, start reaching out. Don't be embarrassed about losing your job - unless you really really messed up. We've all been in your shoes and people, in your MatchGirl's experience, are almost always willing to lend a hand. You've just got to ask for it. So, whether that means a recommendation from your former boss, asking someone in your industry to keep an ear to the ground for you, or reaching out to a former mentor and seeing if they have some time to talk with you, you need to do it.

Take meetings that have no promise of an open position or a job at all. It doesn't hurt to get out and see what else is out there. If there is a place you'd love to work and someone there has some time to chat with you, jump on that. If a job at that company doesn't come out of it right away, at least you've made a new connection, at that company and in your industry.

Don't mope. Sure, use this extra time to catch up on Mad Men before the series 5 premier, to run errands in the middle of the day, but don't sit around and do nothing. Reach out to former colleagues. Sign up for meetups and networking events. Put yourself out there and keep doing it.

In the economy, especially, it's a town of warm leads. A recommendation from someone who can vouch for you is worth a lot more than the right words on your resume.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Work For Free

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, is from a generation where few people had internships. They were the exception, not the rule. Something that the very ambitious or very connected did. Not really the provenance of the common student. But now ... not it seems, especially in NYC, to get ahead at all, one must have not one but several internships while at university.

And here is where we get to the sticky part.

Unpaid internships, while common, are controversial. To say the least.

A recent article from NPR refers to a class action suit against Fox Searchlight for using unpaid interns as entry-level employees. That, dear ones, is illegal. In fact,"the Supreme Court ruled over 50 years ago that only work done for training purposes could go unpaid. The Labor Department says companies began skirting the rule. Last year, it moved to issue six-point test that for-profit internships must pass to comply with labor laws."

In this rough job market, though, people are looking for any foot they can get in the door. Your MatchGirl certainly relates to this. It's something she pondered during the long, hard stretch of unemployment she faced not so long ago. And, at the end, it was not something that was possible for me.

But I have known people who were looking to change careers who took unpaid internships - to get some experience under their belts, to make some connections in a new environment, to get a foot in the door. For some of them, it worked out well. They have new careers and make more than they were before. The internships were a way to meet the right people and kickstart a job change. For others, it worked out not at all, leaving them still unemployed, out of money and back at square one when the internship ended

I recently moderated a panel on breaking into the tech world in NYC and the folks on the panel, all in their early to mid-twenties, were very positive about internships. They all used them to get interviews, if not their current jobs. Even interning at a prestigious place helped them to get a foothold into a world they were trying to break into - even if they mostly were fetching coffee and running errands. A high end name on your resume, as opposed to a bunch of boutique mom'n'pop places gets you further than you may imagine. When I asked these panelists what they thought of these internships, they were all very positive - very excited. They recommended that anyone looking for a job in our field take any internship that they could get. And that if, in the end, it wasn't what they were looking for, they could just leave it.

I'm not of the same generation. And I have mixed thoughts, personally, on this.

At the end of the day, a lot of companies are on really tight budgets right now. But I think there is a need for transparency. If there is no possibility that intern will ever be hired... they need to know. If there is now way that they will be doing meaningful, resume/portfolio building work... they need to know. I've been lucky to work with some very smart, capable, and talented interns over the years. But I always strived to make it a learning experience for them as well. To offer your experience to someone coming up behind you, and to help them grow into a career/life that is going to be great for them, that is worth so much more than someone bringing you a cup of coffee or doing your filing.

I promise.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cover Letters: A Checklist

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, finds herself, as she's written here before, from time to time in the postion to review cover letters and resumes. And while she knows how stressful job hunting is, and while she knows how tedious it is to write specific cover letter after specific cover letter...  it needs to be done.

Gentle readers, the cover letter is the first thing a hiring manager (or the person vetting the resumes) sees.

Here's a checklist to help you avoid some common mistakes:


  • Did you address the letter to the right person?
  • Did you spell their name right?
  • Did you make sure to mention the right company?
  • Did you specify the job title/posting your going for?
  • Did you reference passions, skills and career goals pertinent to the job at hand?
Sure, these seem pretty simple, but you'd be amazed at how many people don't take a moment to pat attention to the detail that their cover letter really needs.

Cover letter posts are always good here at Unemployed Brooklyn. What are some tips you'd like to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Storytelling

Gentle readers, when your MatchGirl was unemployed and looking for a new job. Looking to turn her life into a new direction, she had to learn to tell her own story.

And when you are building your personal brand, you need to figure out the best way to tell you story.

Your MatchGirl lectures you here all the time about the best way for you to tell your story. She talks about the two-minute job interview. She talks about how you can sell yourself with a soundbite. And she shares the stories that others are telling - to inspire you to action.

If you're looking for a new job, if you're a freelancer - you need to be able to tell your story and tell it well. You need to practice sharing it. You need to be able to let others know the key points about you.

People are short on time. They are short on attention. So you need to hold on to it.

And, hey ... everyone likes a good story.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pitch Yourself With a Soundbite

It's all about the headline, isn't it, gentle readers? As our connected society spends more and more time online, it's all about conveying your message, complicated as it may be, in the least amount of characters.

If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense.
And, no, your MatchGirl's not just talking about Twitter.

Think about newspapers, tabloids and those trashy magazines you just can't help but pick up when you're waiting in the checkout line. Why do you pick those up? Why are you drawn to flip through them. It's the headline, of course.

The same goes for our digital world. The Tweets that are most clicked on draw the reader in - they make them want to click the link. Your MatchGirl experiments with this all the time. She will send out the same link several times a day, with a different "teaser" or headline to draw you in. And while I'm still figuring out that formula, it's a great experiment to see what tweets are opened versus how much time is spent on those posts. (If I find a perfect formula, I'll be sure to let you know.)

Now, let's get to the soundbite.
Think about what you know about the Republican presidential candidates.
Think about what you know about the demands of Occupy Wall Street or even the Tea Party Movement.
Or, to be frank, anything that's happening in the news right now.
For the most part, unless you've done some research and due diligence, what you know about this stuff has come to you in soundbites - quick and pithy, 30 seconds or less.

People are the same way.
What you know now about your friends, it's all on Facebook, or Twitter, or LinkedIn. It's the soundbites they are choosing for themselves - it's the face they put out to the world. It's the few moments of the best of them that makes you want to read further into their lives.

And the same is true in your job search. We've talked here about the 2-minute interview and we'll keep talking about it. Practicing your pitch - whether your trying to sell yourself or your product - is the best way to get your story out there. People's attention spans are short, and no it's not due to social networks or Mtv, it's because people are, most of the time, really busy trying to figure out what will be best for them. Not you. It's because they have their own agenda. It's because while they're talking to you, in the back of their minds, they are making a grocery list, or going through their agenda for the next day... even if they are paying attention (OK. Not always, but a lot of the time).

So, practice your soundbite. Think about the 30 seconds of your elevator pitch that you want people to remember most. This is your moment to shine. And most of the time, you don't get much more than that. Just a moment.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Higher Education Reform?


Your MatchGirl is worried, gentle readers. If the economy doesn't improve, unemployeds will have to take jobs that are well below their education levels, well below what they were making in the past. And those just graduating from university will have no chance of getting a foot in the door. We need more training. We need more education. We need to reform education.

We need to let people know that it's OK - maybe even awesome - to go to technical schools and community colleges and get themselves on the right path for the future. We need to let people know that university is not only for expanding ones mind, but it's a place to learn to cooperate, to get along with other people (maybe some not so similar to you)... but that it doesn't guarantee a job right out of college.

This is the hardest the job market has been in a long time and we need to be realistic in what we tell kids entering the higher education system. Your MatchGirl went to a fancy university and got good grades. She partied hard and worked harder. She did the extra-curricular activities. She graduated with awards and honors. But none of this helped her focus on what she would do with it in the future - for her future. I could do "anything" and because of this, it took me a long time to figure out what that was. And I lived hand-to-mouth in the process.

A college education is necessary. It's the only way to get ahead. To get promotions. To get in front of the crowd. But there are a lot of options today - many that were not there when I was in school - that can help put today's young people on the right path. Maybe it's time we let them see all the options available, and give them the tools to decide the direction that will be the best fit for them.

After all, the days of going to school, playing it up a lá Animal House and starting a great job the day after commencement are long over...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Use Social Media To Your Job Search Advantage

Gentle readers, if your MatchGirl knew half of what she knows now when she was unemployed ... or ... if she was unemployed just a teensy bit later (seriously, so many Hire Me Martha copycats out there right now!), she might not have been unemployed for so very long.

Of course, without spending time amongst the long term unemployed, your MatchGirl might not have become so committed to this little tome.

Putting yourself out there on social networks is all the rage these days (goodness knows your MatchGirl practically lives on them!), so why not make it work for you?

Be an expert. You can do it. You're focused. You know a lot about your chosen field. So prove it. Get yourself on Quora, search LinkedIn discussion groups and answer the questions. On Twitter, search for key words in your area of expertise and start replying to people asking questions about them.

Be a star. Get yourself a Tumblr, a Wordpress site, a Blogger account, a YouTube channel - and start talking. Make video blogs offering advice or how-tos within your field. Your MatchGirl doesn't care if your a pet groomer, a barista or a lawyer. Turn on that webcam ans start talking. Wrangle your roommate into taking video with your digital camera. It doesn't need to be perfectly shot. You just need to say the right stuff.

Don't let others tell you you're crazy. It's a tough world out there. Competition is huge for any job you apply for. Just getting your resume and cover letter seen is like climbing Everest. Why not take advantage of all you've learned farting around social networks and websites and make them work for you?

Good luck, dear readers. Your MacthGirl knows you can do it!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making The Most of Long Term Unemployment

Recently, gentle readers, your MatchGirl posted about the cycle of long term unemployment. She also posted about how more and more employers are saying that unemployed need not apply to their job listings.

This is a trend that troubles your MatchGirl. Unemployeds are the ones who need the jobs being posted. Of course, there are plenty out there who are under-employed, and could use a leg up, a better income or a job more fitting with their education and training. But, at the end of the day, right this second, the people who really need that job you've just posted are the unemployed.

Here's an idea for the long term unemployed, looking to make themselves more appealing to hiring managers. Volunteer.

LinkedIn, the social network for professional people, has recently updated their formatting to let you add volunteer experience to your online resume. And this is great.

Part of the reason that businesses are not keen to hire the long term unemployed is because they feel that they must be lazy people. They feel they are the kinds of people who take the east way out or mooch off the system or are not going to be able to play well with others. A significant gap - and unexplained one - on your resume, is never going to look good. So add the work you've been doing that you're not getting paid for.

This is something that your MatchGirl did, when she had been unemployed for a while. She added a related experiences section - to the top of her resume - to highlight the activities she was participating in during her unemployment. I'm certain it helped my resume get a little higher in those piles on the HR guy's desk.

You not only need a job, you want one. You're not lazy. You know it. Now - prove it to them. Get yourself out there and do some good work. And don't forget to tell the world.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Turn Turn Turn: The Cycle of Long Term Unemployment

In a recent item on The Huffington Post, Alan Krueger's study results announced that the long term unemployed looked for jobs less and slept more.

Gentle readers. Your MatchGirl is no scientist. But she was among the long-term unemployed.
Krueger and Mueller offered three likely explanations for the decline in job-search durations. First, workers could have run through most of the decent jobs to apply for. Second, they could have gotten better at searching and needed less time to scan and respond to ads. And third, they could have gotten discouraged and quit looking.
And as someone who was unemployed for 18 months, your MatchGirl knows a thing about the cycle of unemployment. Someone who is among the "long term unemployed" is someone who has been without a job for six months or more. And, as many of you know, gentle readers, from your own unemployment (as that's how so many of you came across this little blog), in this economy that time is often longer.

I remember the days of unemployment existing in cycles. Some weeks would be all about the hustle, writing emails, sending resumes, working on cover letters and scouring the job boards. But other weeks would be slow and depressing. Because there would be no worthwhile, or, you know, paying, jobs to apply for and there would no one to send anything to. In those times, your MatchGirl worked on her own creative projects and her own blogs and took classes, but not everyone does that. Not everyone wants to. Not everyone can.

Job searching is a job in itself. And rarely a rewarding one. Some mornings there are loads of jobs to apply to and a ton of business cards in your pocket to reach out to. Other mornings... not so much - just the same six jobs that had been taunting you for the past three days. What are you supposed to do? Then you take a day or two (or more) off from truly looking because, though you've followed up with everyone you can, you can't even get a response to an email, let alone an offer of an interview. And who wants to be so bummed out? So you surf the web and play Words With Friends and you watch some daytime television and fall asleep early. Then you wake up one morning excited to look again and you send out some emails and ... And so the cycle goes.

Someone who has never been one of the club cannot truly and fully appreciate the nuances and difficulties of this cycle. But we can, gentle ones. We've been there. We know how the story ends.

So, forget this study. Sleep if you're tired (though not if you're depressed, that's just no good). Look for jobs. Apply for things that are worth your while. And make your own magic happen.

Good luck, dear readers. I believe in you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Work It Brooklyn Is Back!

Gentle readers, as you know, something that your MatchGirl loves - something that she is excited to talk about and to put her time and energy behind - is connecting people. And out of that, collaborating with two amazing women who share the same passion, Work It Brooklyn was born.

And though we've had a shaky path, organizing events around our increasingly busy schedules as well as our day jobs, we try to bring you a few events every year. Where you can meet other people like you. Where creative people can come together and have a drink and exchange info via our signature speed-networking. Where people can get hired. Where people can exchange services. Where people can just find the moral support they feel they are missing when the office life turns into the unpredictable path of a freelancer.

Your MatchGirl, dear ones, is excited to announce that there will be a fantastic Work It Brooklyn event right before summer ends.

Graciously hosted by Brooklyn Winery, in their lovely courtyard, the next Work It Brooklyn event offers  intimate conversations and a chance to really connect with other creatives and creative freelancers living and working in Brooklyn.

Work It Brooklyn is back!

We invite you to come to a fabulous end of summer mixer in the courtyard of Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg on Wendesday, August 31st from 7 to 10PM.

Bring a stack of business cards and your best three minute description of who you are and what you do!

And, of course, come prepared to work it!

Plan on Tweeting the event? Awesome! Use the hastag #workit and don't forget to follow us @workitbrooklyn and join our Facebook group to keep the discussion going.
We can't wait to see you!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011
7 – 10pm
Brooklyn Winery
213 North 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211


The event will take place on Wednesday, August 31st, and registration is free, but please remember to register by Monday, August 29th. We need to know who is coming!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All The Help We Can Get

Gentle readers, your MatchGirl has benefited a lot from the kindness of strangers (many of whom have become friends) and acquaintances - especially when she was unemployed. I try, as often as possible, to return those favors. Part of why I'm excited to continue with Work It Brooklyn, as sporadic as those events may be, is that it helps to connect people who want to and need to meet new people.

This weekend I received an email from a woman named Phyllis, looking for someone to help her with her resume.

I thought I would share that here and I hope that one of you is able to help her out.


Dear MatchGirl,

I have worked in the service industry for twenty some odd years. I have never needed a resume. I have always been hired by merits and recommendation . It also helped being young and cute. I have tried many ways to put together a resume, but there is too much to tell. They come out awful.

I have moved back to Brooklyn after many years to care for an elderly parent. I know very few people here.

If you might know someone in Brooklyn that might help me put one together I would appreciate it. I can manage a small fee.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,
Phyllis C.
Brooklyndreams13 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Now, I don't know Phyllis and I don't anything about her skills. But I know that one of you can assist her with a resume.

Can't you?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Unemployed Need Not Apply

There is a disturbing trend, gentle readers. One that quite upsets your MatchGirl. There is a trend that employers, people who are hiring, are saying that the long-term unemployed, those who need the jobs the most, need not apply.

Your MatchGirl, who, herself, was among the long-term unemployed, before landing her current spot, has some thoughts on this. Bear with me.

The employers want people who still are up-to-date and current on all that applies to their posted position. They want people who have been in the working world and have networks and contacts to rely on. They want people they won't have to spend money to train - ones that can slip easily into the position.

The long-term unemployed are eager, no desperate, to work. They are at the end of their financial rope. They will take jobs they are over-qualified for. Once 9 to 5 office workers will happily sweep floors. Scientists will become cheesemongers. These people have no income to speak of and they need this job. The economy needs for them to have it.

Your MatchGirl, gentle readers, see the problem as this: The employers are not educated about the state of the unemployed person today. The average unemployed, much as I did when I was unemployed, is putting themselves out there as much as possible. They are educating themselves, in classes or online or through friends, on anything they think will be able to help them get a job. They want to get hired and they want to be ready when that finally happens.

And, the biggest misconception, of course, is that unemployed people are lazy. Gentle readers, we know this is simply untrue. But perhaps the onus is on us to educate these employers...

Make sure to add anything you have been doing to your resume. Volunteered two days a week at a shelter? Add it! Take classes at a community college? Add it! Babysit on a regular/semi-regular basis? You're a nanny. Add it! Prove to the employers that unemployeds are not lazy. And that they deserve, at least, a chance a that posted job.

If you have a moment, listen to this interview on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show:




Monday, August 8, 2011

Private Eyes: Protecting Yourself From Social Media's Prying Eyes

On Friday, gentle readers, your MatchGirl came across and interesting snippet on MediaBistro. The FTC has given approval for a new company that specializes in social media background checks.

As many of you navigate the current world of unemployment and under employment, job hunting and freelancing, you might have wondered how you should handle your online existence. It's part of the reason that, when your MatchGirl started this blog in 2009, I kept Unemployed Brooklyn anonymous. I was job hunting and I was worried that something I wrote could hamper my hunt. As time went on and I gained a bit of a following, and the economy remained in the crapper, it seemed silly not to allow my story to be covered and shared. So I happily shed the blanket of anonymity and put myself out there full force. Along the way, all I've been is me.

But that's not for everyone.

And, even though I am nothing but honest when I write online, I do still make sure to conduct myself with a certain amount of decorum. It's still a public forum, anonymous or no.

Tips for those worried about what others may find when they run a Google search:

That MySpace or Friendster account you created in your younger days - where you thought the bong in the background or the picture of you doing an (underage) keg stand were hilarious and harmless? Delete 'em. The pictures or the profiles, it doesn't matter. Even if you haven't logged on to those sites in years, the internet never forgets.

Set your security level to private. Worried that you may offend someone with strong political or religious beliefs. Worried that your personal lifestyle may not look too good to the CEO? Don't share them in a public forum. Put Facebook's security settings on their most private and limit your network to only those you know, who know the real you.

Keep Twitter toned down. I'm a big believer in Twitter accounts being open and public (though I understand that some people use them as they use Facebook, just to connect rapidly with people they already know), but if you are going to be open to the public know that, know matter how crafty your pseudonym, someone will figure out it's you.

Basically, dear readers, while living your life online, use common sense. If there's nothing bad to find, no social media background check is going to find it. It's that simple.

Any tips that you use to make sure your social media presence is squeaky clean? Leave them in the comments.

Awesome infographic about Social Media and the job hunt, via Mashable.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Interview 101

With Boyfriend on the lookout for a new gig, I thought I'd share some tips on the face-to-face of a job interview.

While it's been a while, thankfully, since your MatchGirl has had to think of these things for herself, prepping with Boyfriend for what's to come, has brought back some memories from those 18 months that I was unemployed!

Five tips, in no particular order, to help you get ready:

Tip #1: Go in thinking you've got it. This doesn't mean go in cocky and be a dick. But it means go in showing confidence, like you know that you can do it. And that you'd be a great addition to the team.

Tip #2: Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves, even when they are interviewing you. Ask questions about the position specifically and the company generally.

Tip #3: Be prepared. Memorize that website. But, going back to don't be cocky, if the interviewer starts to tell you something you already know from your research, be cool. Don't interrupt. When they finish, feel free to mention that you read it on the website and add your two cents.

Tip #4: Keep it brief. In February of 2010, I posted about the three minute interview. It's all still valid today (and for you entrepreneurs out there, works well as elevator pitch guidelines). Be concise. Be on point.

Tip #5: Breathe.

The interview that I had for the job I finally got hired to do, was an 8-something AM interview, held in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. I'd been on so many similar interviews. I'm not going to say I wasn't nervous, but my unemployment, and all its extensions, were about to run out and I had figured out a pretty palpable game plan for how I was going to make ends meet for the short term. I went into that interview thinking that I was supremely qualified, but that there was no way I was going to get it. Perhaps, at least inwardly, a little defeated. And to that end, I was so much calmer and more relaxed than I had been in prior interviews. My life didn't depend on it. I'd figured out something, at least short term, and I had come to terms with the fact that it would be a long time before the economy was out of the crapper. So I remembered to breathe.

I'm certainly not saying that being calm was the only thing that got me the job, but it definitely helped me be myself and not second guess myself while I was in the interview. Which can only ever lead to good things.

Do you have any tips for Boyfriend as he preps for job interviews? Any ideas to help him out?

Leave them in the comments.

One of the best interviews ever: