Posts tagged: social media

Swearing and Spelling

wonderful story, curious spelling

I find it surprising and disturbing that recruiters are still holding two things against job seekers in their social media posts:

Swearing and spelling.


In the infographic, “Watch What You Post on Social Media,”  when recruiters were asked, “what are the biggest red flags in job applicants’ social profiles?, the answer is, well, old fashioned … and perhaps not helpful to the potential employer.

In this survey, swearing and spelling have nearly the same negative impact as illegal drugs and sexual posts.


Look, I completely understand that we need standards and differentiators. But eliminating a candidate because they use an ‘F’ bomb vs. using drugs? This makes no sense. I am 100% for everyone paying attention to what they post. I am a well-known ‘hater’ of Face Book for many reasons (mainly they have continually shown open contempt for privacy), but I understand that it is an important part of many people’s daily lives. So just eliminating a candidate for a spelling error doesn’t make sense. In a tight job market, I can see why recruiters use any tool to distinguish between applicants. But spelling errors? We teach the whole language approach to reading and writing in school (vs. phonetics). When you look at the picture… at this kid’s notebook… you see “samwichis” and “lemminad” are early attempts to wrangle language.  When you realize kids today probably are not even learning cursive… perhaps it’s time to think of the ‘context.’

I realize hiring is complex and keeping up with trends in social media is difficult. But especially in the coming, ‘war for talent’ – it will be helpful to think broadly about the changing mores in social media and expression.

Photo Credit: Extra Credit  Woodleywonderworks

10 Blogs I Love…Learning and Laughing


One big difference between adults and kids is their attitude towards learning. Kids just go with the flow. They seek out new ideas and adventures. As adults, most of us are pretty complacent. This is normal, but not good. One way to keep learning while keeping up with all our daily responsibilities is to read blogs. People tell me they don’t have time… to read, think, learn, etc. Really? Do you have time to be a role model for your children? Here are the ones I like…

1) bite sized news of the digital world & relevant biz stuff.

2) Occam’s Razor web stuff including analytics, measures, etc. clear, lucid and insightful

3) Escape Into Life  awesome art of all kinds

4) In Over Your Head  Julien Smith’s occasional writing on hitting life — head on

5) Laughing Squid various music, stuff and nonsense

6) art, science, humor, philosophy designed to open your mind

7) The Atlantic Monthly blog short and long thought -provoking articles, photos

8) The Inspiration Room “a global effort designed to influence, affect and involve creative communities in the development of a world standard for inspiration”

9) The Cynical Girl “Hard core punk rock pixie of the apocalypse. Blogging about work, money, power and politics. And cats.”

10) Outside Innovation Patty Seybold’s blog on enabling customers to lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models.

Photo credit:  Hand Over Mouth Mel B.

Tweet That Job: Recruiters Love Twitter, Do You?

If you are a job hunter and you are not using twitter, perhaps you want to think again. Why? Check out this article, Top 5 Twitter Apps for Recruiters.  If you’re one of those people who still thinks twitter is stupid, then skip this post. If your mind is open, keep reading.

If recruiters need automated tools to help them post their jobs to twitter… then it must be worth checking out.

Let’s run through a few of the reasons WHY recruiters use twitter:

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s easy
  3. It has broad reach
  4. It separates out the ‘dinosaurs’ from the people who get it

I hear this from some job seekers.. ‘but I have all this experience… they should want to hire me for that, not for whether it tweet or not.”

This is true… you do have excellent experience… but so do lots of other people. And those people have updated their skills, are engaged with the world and want to be connected and learn new things. Argue with me all you want. It doesn’t change the facts.

My friend Charlene Kingston has an fantastic eBook to help you get started. Twitter for Beginners. She also has awesome tools, eBooks and online sessions for small business people. Check it out. She rocks.

The Facebook Nightmare – Lost Job Opportunities…

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a very healthy skepticism of Facebook. I am not alone. We have 3 grandchildren under the age of 5; 2 are “on” Facebook, 1 is not. I support a parent’s right either way.

But I also know how much joy and connection Facebook brings to so many people and I respect and appreciate that.

When I read, Facebook’s Generation Y Nightmare,  the article put into words what I sometimes feel is the dilemma of sharing your ‘present’ on Facebook and illustrating it with photos.  The author of the article imagines a young lady, Tina, at 18 in 2012. The items she posts now will effect not only her future career opportunities but also her alternatives for health care.

Yes, it’s imagined and yes, this assumes that ‘nothing changes”, but it’s not hard to imagine judgements/decisions being made based on incomplete or ‘what’s readily available’ data.

So, I encourage you to review your Facebook ‘timeline’ – assuming that privacy settings didn’t work… (which I think is the reasonable thing to do these days)  — what would your future employer or insurer learn about you might prefer that the whole world NOT know.

I know a young man who lost his job as a student teacher because of his ‘drinking a beers with his buddies’ photos on his Facebook page. He was over 21 and the pictures were harmless and yet the school district’s policy on ‘public comportment’ took away his future career. You may think this is unfair but the truth is… this is happening. The nightmare hasn’t even begun yet.. for those who can’t tell their parents… please don’t put me on Facebook!


Photo credit: Jack Skellington-O-Lantern  randysonofrobert

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants – The War is Over

At work, the war between the kids (20 somethings) and the old people (50 somethings) is over. The kids have won.

For those of you who think this isn’t true, let’s consider the facts.

— The workplace is officially  BYOD – Bring Your Own Device… in a short 5 years the IT department has gone from “we don’t support that” to “we’ll help you get your job done on whatever device you need.”

— Bye bye Blackberry– 5 years ago, in “Corporate America” — the Blackberry was  the go-to device. Their market share has fallen from 41% to 10%.  A person no longer needs a big corporation’s network and device to be mobile & productive.

— Letting technology do what it does best is a win/win. When we can use technology to remove distance barriers between people…e.g.  online learning, online petitionsFacebook and collaborative tools like Google docs, dropbox and flickr— we substantially improve productivity and outcomes.

However, we need to keep pushing on the very important HUMAN side of the equation. The things machines can’t do (and likely never will) are the keys to making this new digital, “cyberspacy” world work for all of us.

These include:

– Empathy, Passion, Listening, Respect, Courage.

Listen to Marc Presnsky (who first talked about digital natives and immigrants in 2003) talk about the responsibility of educators in using technology. We can all learn from this.

Photo credit: familymwr -eye of the holder

Blogs, Frogs and Dogs

How many blogs do you read?

Do you know what an RSS feed is?

If not, think of it as an inbox. A virtual inbox where you send information that you want to read later on. Google reader is a good tool (RSS)  for managing electronic information.

I send the posts from about 40 different blogs to my reader and at night when I’m watching TV — I scan through my inbox. Would I rather be reading something else? Yes, often I would, but this is what I need to do to stay in business.

If you’re a job seeker… how are you adding value to your network? Are you synthesizing information? Are you a producer of content not just a consumer?

Not sure which blogs to read?  How many civil engineering blogs do you think there are? well, here’s the top 50!  and here are the top 10 dog blogs…  and top 10 science blogs. Read as many as you can, be interested and interesting.

My point is… get used to getting your information from a real time resource like blogs, twitter, ning groups, etc.

If we are going to be effective at work, model appropriate change behavior for our children and proactively manage our personal growth– we need to change and fast.  Like taking vitamins for our health, we better learn to absorb new information everyday.

Photo credit:

Stop Using Facebook

I’m a capitalist and an entrepreneur and respect people who start businesses.

What I don’t like are businesses that take advantage of customers. In the world of Free (think Facebook (FB), Google, Twitter, etc.) are services really free?

I have been teaching social media for about 3 years and have heard 100’s of FB stories. Some heart warming (“I keep in touch with my grandchildren”), others disturbing:  lost job opportunities, stalking, loss of privacy and being fired. If only people had thought a little about what they were sharing, many of these terrible circumstances could have been prevented.

In reading the post, “The Facebook Hiatus”, the author deactivated his account because he spent more time reading “status updates than books.” Beyond the issue of time, are you aware of how, how often and with whom FB shares your data?

“Unlike other big corporations, (FB) doesn’t have an inventory of gadgets or cars; its product is personal data — yours and mine, ” says Lori Andrews in, Facebook is Using You.

As FB goes public, we’ll see even more exploitation due to sagging ad revenue. Ads will now be inserted into your news feed and on log out pages.

I know you love FB. All your friends are there. I don’t really expect you to stop using Facebook, I just want you to think before you post.

Photo credit:

Then: Get Thee to a Classroom — Now: the Teacher is Waiting…Online

Ok, I’m an old dog and everyday, I have to learn new tricks. I don’t like it but…  I like to eat so…

Here are I a few things that work for me.

— I read Mashable everyday. A daily news brief that talks about tech in business.

–I use Tweetdeck/Seesmic (Twitter application) to search for an article that I think would be of interest to my network. Then I post the link with a comment to Linked In. I do this 3 times a week.

–I talk to Millenials (20’s somethings). I am a digital immigrant (a Baby Boomer) and I can’t think like a digital native no matter how hard I try. They give me perspective and ideas and are most gracious about helping an old dog.

— Video. I use it everyday.

  1. Want help with your job search? Or social media training in general? Check out
  2. Over 50? The Encore Career Institute offers retraining & certifications.
  3. The world’s leading universities have put hundreds of courses (+ audiobooks, movies, etc.) online FOR FREE! Check  out
  4. Workforce training and continuing education:   The e-Learning
  5. Don’t forget to look on  YouTube   or Vimeo for a tutorial of whatever you’re interested in learning. It’s probably out there!

Now go have some fun!

Photo credits: IELTS in 30 days 

What The World Needs Now… Connection

“We systematically overestimate the value of access to information and underestimate the value of access to each other.” C. Shirky

I admire Clay Shirky. Not because he’s smart or because he’s at MIT but because he has common, human sense.

When I speak to groups about Social Media,  I work hard to make sure that they understand the difference between the power of social (connectedness) and the web 2.0 toolkit (Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc.) The real revolution is not in the toolkit, it’s in the way we can care for and about each other.

Social media changes everything but ONLY for those who understand it.  I like this because it means that selfish people think that social media is a stupid waste of time. They’ll never realize the benefits and that’s as it should be.

In a recent article in Fast Company titled, For Brands, Being Human Is The New Black the author points out that, “more and more, brands are gaining traction by embracing qualities like honesty, kindness, and simply having a sense of humor about themselves.” Hmmm… it makes me sad to think that these qualities are ‘in fashion’ now which implies that they will ‘go out of fashion.’

But I have faith because I see the younger generation of leaders and entrepreneurs using their ‘digital native’ abilities to make the world a better place. The rest of us can learn a thing or two.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The saddest and trickiest part about discrimination is that many people (myself included) are not aware when we’re engaging in it. This distinguishes us from the people who are simply bigots and don’t care.  In both cases, however, if you are the ‘discriminee’ it doesn’t really matter.

In this ad for Nivea skin products, the company created an ad campaign for African Americans called, “Recivilize Yourself.” Hmmm.  Bad move. Implying that people are civilized or uncivilized based on their race is well… infuriating. And yet, Nivea paid, I would guess, millions of dollars to put it’s prejudice into full color!  Note the ‘head’ (presumably the model’s uncivilized self). WOW. How could something like this get approved in 2011? By the way, Nivea did apologize (on Facebook!)

“It was never our intention to offend anyone, and for this we are deeply sorry. This ad will never be used again. Diversity and equal opportunity are crucial values of our company.”

Don’t know about you but I’m not feeling it…. 

I think the bottom line for all of us is that we need to be diligent in examining our beliefs and stereotypes. Discrimination is rampant these days is against 20 somethings. I implore you to think again about this generation. As digital natives, they have skills we desperately need to learn and understand.

As a woman in business, I have experienced discrimination many times; sometimes overt, sometimes subtle.  Like all those before me who have felt this sting, I have a couple of choices.  I can either be upset and let it affect the way I conduct myself or I can look the person in the eye, speak my peace when appropriate and move on. There’s too much good in the world to let ignorance or someone else’s opinion of me change how I live my life.

photo credit: