The “Greater-Than-Yourself” Project

Do you know your greatest strengths and weaknesses? Have you written these down so you can really think about what you have to offer the people around you? If you have, you may be ready to participate in a special project.

The “Greater than Yourself” project, founded by Steve Farber, is a way we can each contribute to the greater good by selecting people that we can mentor.

Here are a few suggestions to get started in your mentoring efforts:
• Choose wisely; start with someone you know and trust, someone with drive & energy
• Mutually decide on what you’ll tackle to help the person grow and reach their goals
• Show them the ropes, introduce them to others, sing their praises
• Use tough love and encourage them
If each of us brought along just one person, think of all the leaders we would prepare.

The challenges ahead for our businesses and our country can seem overwhelming. One way to prepare for the future is to create leaders who are ready to take charge when their time comes.
By the way, while your mentee needs your help and guidance, let them be who they are. They are not “mini-me’s.”

I have mentored several people over the years and I especially like to work with young people. They are hungry for guidance and information and, generally, I learn a lot from them. I have mentored both men and women; people of many ages and races. The rewards are the same from each relationship; I gain a sense of purpose and the world gets a shining star. Each of them taught me to listen better and that is one of the best gifts I could have received.

Lastly, think about the richness of inter-generational collaboration. This isn’t just about the young teaching the older people technology or older people talking about “walking 5 miles in the snow with no boots.” It’s about building our future, capitalizing on the energy and open-mindedness of youth along with the wisdom of experience. Exciting things are bound to happen when we work together for the good of all!

To read more about Steve’s ideas, click here.

“What Was I Thinking When I Put That on My Resume?”

My friend asked me to review her online presence. She is new to the job market so I started by looking at her resume. She was using an AOL email address. In my world, even 5+ years ago, AOL was for people who had technophobia. In 2009, a dated or inappropriate email address is a big problem for a person looking for a new position.

If you have an outmoded email address, I suggest you go to Google and sign up for a Gmail account. Here’s why:
• It’s good to have 2 email addresses, including at least one that you can always access from wherever you are (not just from your home computer).
• Gmail doesn’t identify your geography. My road runner account does. Big deal? Maybe not, but do you want to be eliminated at the email address from a hiring manager looking at your credentials?
• It’s the email address that many professionals have.
There are other services beside Gmail, pick one and go for it. I have a twitter, Linked In and regular email account. What do you think this says about me?

Next I looked at her Linked In profile. No photo. Hmmm. Her profile did not look as professional as those with photos. If I’m the hiring manager I’m wondering, “Is she hiding something?” Is she older? Post your photo or not, it’s up to you. But realize the ramifications if you don’t post a picture may be negative. I hear excellent Linked In advice to fill out your profile completely. I haven’t done that yet. I’m at 80+% I need to finish it by getting recommendations. Making sure it’s complete will help you get ‘found’ when companies are looking to hire.

The link below is written by an HR person took a pile of 850 resumes and whittled it down to 15. Here are some of the criteria that she used.
• Any resume (about 20%) that had misspellings was tossed out.
• Any unprofessional Linked In or Facebook entry was tossed out.
Take a minute and read her informative story.

I just read a story about a woman who reported to her first day of work to her new supervisor’s office and on his desk was the thank you note she had written to him. He told her that she was the only person who had hand written a note and it really impressed him. A handwritten thank you note may not get you the job, but it may be one of the differentiators between you and your competition.,0,5975459.column

Surprise? Find Yourself Online

I consider myself moderately savvy when it comes to social media. Several months ago, I went to check my name online to see what potential employers would find. I put my name into Google and guess what I found, one of my daughter’s pages. She had named it after me thinking that no one would ever look for me online. Surprise, surprise.

To look for your potential surprises, go to Google and type in your name. Try a couple of different iterations, full first and full last, first initial and full last. Click through the entries (all the pages). You want to see everything that is found. No surprises, thank you.

If you have a common name, that can be a good or a bad thing. A potential employer may not be able to find you (good or bad?) If you WANT the employer to find you, you are going to need to make it easy for them. Include all your contact links on your resume and in the signature line of your emails.

In addition, I think it is good to think carefully about what information you want to show. Not only can employers find you but so can spammers and sales people of all sorts. Protect yourself. My next blog will talk more about security.

My contact links:

Other place to look for yourself.
• Facebook
• Zoominfo
• Spoke
• Pipl

If you know other places to research your online presence, please comment.

Fun and Interesting Free/Inexpensive Things to Do In Rochester
I love public art. Remember “Horses on Parade”? Rochester was alive with public art. If you like graffiti, sculpture, stained glass and more. Look at this site. Some of our own local talent, many of whom have world wide reputations, are represented. See Wendell Castle, Albert Paley, Paul Knoblauch and many others.