7 Tips to Tweet Your Way to a Great New Job – Seriously!



Surprise! If you play it smart, you can take advantage of the 500-million Twitter account-holders to get a new job or career. Sure, it’s a daunting task, but the potential for success is terrific.

You can tweet to link up with the right people — just as well, if not better, than LinkedIn. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t use LinkedIn and other social media. You have to make an investment in your time and energy – some research and careful thought.

For the sake of explanation, let’s consider a job search in “advertising,” but you can apply the following principles to your situation. These strategies will work in most professions. Coordinate your footwork with a blog, but more on that later.

Here’s how to tweet your way to a new job in seven ways:

1. Social analytics with Topsy

Geared for marketers and journalists, Topsy can also help professionals develop information to benefit their careers. Topsy Pro Analytics provides data of billions upon billions of tweets and other social posts.

Also, it will help users obtain multi-year posts as well as real-time tweet activity.

You can take productive action in your job search – examining hashtags, images, links, subjects, terms, trends and videos.

Access to trends is especially beneficial, especially because the information is current and topical. On a daily basis, Topsy indexes geographic locales, influence, language and social sentiment. This means users can target top influencers and learn the pros and cons about topics, and their impacts.

2. A good job search is all about relevance with relevant people

Firstly, you have to find them after you know what subject matter is relevant for your career goal. For example, advertising professionals should search topics related to advertising and marketing, and then click on “people” in the module on the left side.

In this way, you’ll discover a lot of people who are in your profession. If you know which companies for which you want to work, you can search for them, too. You’ll come across the companies’ decision-makers. Follow them and retweet their posts.

3. The value of hashtags

Businesses often use hashtags to categorize their tweets by keywords, e.g. “advertising job” or “job available.” You can, too. (See Twitter’s hashtag explanation.)

4. Twitter lists

To stay organized in your job search, create Twitter lists. So people know you’re not just a spammer, create a list in the hypothetical example, “advertising professional.” Then, tweet in this list the tweets of advertising or marketing professionals. In this way, you’re likely to attract followers.

5. Using Twitter chats

In real-time, you can tweet about your preferred topics. Use this as an opportunity to start a dialogue by asking questions. To save time and effort by not having to constantly refresh your page, you can solve this by entering the hashtag into TweetChat. You’ll get an automatic refresh.

6. Naturally, only tweet pertinent topics

OK, by now you’ve got access to the right people. So only tweet links for your particular profession. If you have enough space, include your opinion to enhance your reputation.

7. Launch an appropriate blog

On your blog, insert links to your tweets. So when prospective bosses search for your name, you’ll create a favorable impression by demonstrating relevant insights that will be appealing.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these related tips:

Best 11 Tips for a Super Elevator Pitch — Whatever you’re trying to sell – one skill you definitely need is a super elevator pitch. You need to prepare for any opportunities. Don’t be caught off guard.

Stand Out: Get a Job Interview with a Great Resume –More and more job seekers complain they don’t get acknowledgment when they apply for positions with prospective employers. It’s disappointing, especially if you’ve done your best to stand out in a crowd when jobs are scarce. Yes, it takes energy and resources for a company to respond to applicants.

Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Here are proven tips to be hired for your dream job.

Discouraged in Job Hunting? Powerful Tips for the Best Job — Whether unemployed or under-employed, a person needs two things: A sense of hope and the right tools to negotiate a job. Here are both.

Need a Career Change? 10 Steps for a Career Makeover — So you think you want to change careers. Or perhaps you need a career makeover. You’re not alone. Professionals of all stripes have found they need to retool their careers or re-engineer themselves. There’s a myriad of reasons. It’s usually related to technology and a changing marketplace.

5 Tips to Shine in Your Online Job Application — To sail through the human resources filtering system, here are five online-application tips: 1. Put social media to work for you. Make certain your social media – Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – are current, professional and show maturity. Be careful what you publish – always keep in mind your career goals.

“Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.”

-Marcia Wieder


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Washington: A Balanced Budget Is No Longer Enough

Updated Jan. 11, 2012

A Seattle Times headline is perplexing. True, the headline –“Lawmakers open session, try to close $1B gap” – is a fairly accurate assessment of Washington state’s budget. Not to be laboriously repetitive, but the headline is worrisome. Once again the Legislature faces a budget crisis.

“The economy is the focal point of this year’s legislature as state lawmakers attempt to close a $1.5 billion shortfall in a $34 billion budget at the state capitol in Olympia,” blogged Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business (AWB).

Mr. Brunell is known for his pragmatic reasoning.

“As they deliberate, they must be mindful that Washington is in the midst of an anemic economic recovery which is very fragile,” the AWB president added. “New costs to employers, especially those along Main Street, have a dampening effect on our ability to increase consumer confidence and bring people back to work.”

That’s my sense, too. But the Legislature routinely fails to prioritize first things first. The short-term priority is to balance the 2011-2013 budget. But as a priority, it’s secondary to a bigger quandary – government and budgeting reform, which are needed immediately, as well.

Instead, all budget discussions are about the short-term and relatively insignificant issues grab a disproportionate amount of attention.

Gov. Gregoire wants to focus on a new $3.6 billion transportation package, gay marriage, shorten the school year, abolish social services, release some prisoners before the sentences expire, and increase the state’s sales tax. House Speaker Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, also says same-sex marriage is a top priority.

A significant number of citizens wants to legalize marijuana. Some lawmakers want a statewide ban on plastic grocery bags.

Most of us in business agree education is a priority. But increasing taxes even for education isn’t productive as long as government/budgeting reform is ignored as a priority.

In addition to Mr. Brunell, another thoughtful pragmatist is Jason Mercier. Mr. Mercier is director of the Center for Government Reform of the Washington Policy Center.

Worth consideration is Mr. Mercier’s list of recommended reforms:

  • Enact a constitutional tax and spending limit (with two-thirds requirement to raise taxes) modeled after the original 1993 I-601 formula.
  • Remove as many of the restrictions on lawmakers’ ability to set spending priorities as possible (collective bargaining restrictions on compensation, federal mandates, assumption of auto-pilot budgeting on programs).
  • Reform competitive contracting. Allow agencies to make performance-based contracting more proactive (create a Competitive Contracting Council).
  • Provide the governor discretionary authority to cut spending.
  • Repeal unaffordable programs instead of suspending them.
  • Require at least a 5 percent reserve when adopting the next biennial budget.
  • Require updated four-year budget outlooks to be published after each state revenue forecast or budget adoption.
  • Require completed fiscal notes before bills can be acted on.
  • Phase in a defined-contribution retirement plan that gives state workers benefits that can never be taken away.

Amen. Yes, the Legislature should soberly balance the budget. However, unless the Legislature concomitantly reforms government and the budgeting process, uncertainty will never be alleviated for the state’s businesses and consumers.

From the Coach’s Corner, you might want to consider other public policy columns.

“There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual, the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.”

-Abraham Lincoln

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Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?

Why Accounting, Finance Can be Ideal Careers for Women



Women who are frustrated in their careers and who are looking to make a change might be well-served if they consider accounting or finance.

Why?

Such a career affords a better balance between a career and personal life. That’s one of the conclusions from a Mergis study. The recruiting firm conducted the study in 2011.

Disgusted WomanThe survey offers inspiration for disenchanted women.

“It is encouraging to the profession to note that both men and women are highly likely to recommend the profession to others,” says Patricia Dinunzio, the Mergis regional managing director. “But, that said, one of the greatest take-aways from this survey is that there is a clear need for accounting and finance mentorship programs.”

About 66 percent of surveyed men and women think success in accounting and finance is achieved by getting a mentor.

But only 31 percent of men and 28 percent of women have ever had a mentor.

Eighty-six percent of men and 80 percent of women say they’d advise relatives to pursue such a career.

Moreover, for young women, 88 percent of men and 86 percent of women say the career would be advantageous.

More Mergis results:

Best Practices for Encouraging Young Women to Enter the Field

— More than half of women (61 percent) and men (55 percent) believe there is a need for greater promotion of accounting and finance as a career choice for women.

— Half of the women and men surveyed claim greater mentoring programs would help.

— Thirty-five percent of women and 26 percent of men feel greater education programs about the field are necessary to pique interest.

— Greater availability of scholarship grants would also be an incentive to further promote the career, say 34 percent of women, while only 13 percent of men polled feel that to be the case.

Most Important Factors Leading to Personal Career Success in Finance and Accounting

— About half of both men (48 percent) and women (51 percent) rate accounting and finance skills and expertise as the top factor to success.

— Relationship building and personal networking came in second according to 41 percent of women and 39 percent of men.

— Forty-one percent of men believe that developing management skills is a priority as compared to only 22 percent of women who do.

— Approximately one-third of men (37 percent) and women (34 percent) claim gaining accounting and finance experience is critical to personal success.

Less Than Half (48 Percent) Of Women in Accounting & Finance Satisfied With Their Careers

— Women are less satisfied with the progression of their accounting and finance careers than men. Specifically, 59 percent of male workers in accounting and finance consider themselves to be satisfied, as opposed to 48 percent of women.

— Women in accounting and finance ranked being challenged (35 percent), compensation (27 percent) and flexibility (12 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career.

— On the other hand, men in accounting and finance ranked compensation (35 percent), being challenged (29 percent) and flexibility (12 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career.

As a result of the economy, it’s true that many accounting firms are working overtime to make their numbers. But the survey caught my eye because I’ve long believed detail-minded professionals who are good with numbers and undecided about their careers should consider a career in accounting or finance. There will always be a demand for such skills in the public and private sectors.

From the Coach’s Corner, more career advice:

Need a Career Change? 10 Steps for a Career Makeover — So you think you want to change careers. Or perhaps you need a career makeover. You’re not alone. Professionals of all stripes have found they need to retool their careers or re-engineer themselves.

Job Hunting? Tips to Land Your Dream Job with Style, Substance — Yes, the competition for jobs is ferocious. Unless you’re in accounting, healthcare, mechanical-repair or proficient in sales, good jobs are hard to find.

Career Advice — An Alternative to Applying for Jobs Online — As a job-hunter you know that a significant number of companies, nonprofits and public-sector agencies use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants. It cuts down on their paper work and saves them time.

With a Mentor, You Won’t be Alone in Making Career Decisions — You don’t have to be alone in making career decisions. No matter what you do for a living, there’s one investment on which you can count to improve your career. Plus, it won’t cost you any money.

Going to College to Improve Your Job Prospects? Make the Right Choices — Whether you’re fresh out of high school or you’ve launched a career, a college degree will improve your job prospects. Yes, it’s true employers increasingly want to hire applicants with college degrees and in many cases with advanced degrees. If you’re considering more education, however, you need to ask yourself key questions.

Only accountants can save the world! – through peace, goodwill and reconciliations.

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 


What Do Small Business Owners Need from Washington State Policymakers?



Updated Feb. 1, 2012


Washington state legislators are getting an earful from small-business owners. But will lawmakers listen in the 2012 legislative session?

Washington state’s small-business owners have voiced their concerns over six major public-policy issues, as a result of a Seattle-area conference held by respected think-tank Washington Policy Center (WPC). Their economic-related issues range from workers’ compensation to mandatory paid sick leave.

A detailed analysis was presented in a report to the Legislature.

“Nearly half of Washington’s work force is employed by small businesses,” said WPC President Daniel Mead Smith.

“These are the businesses struggling for survival right now, and they came to us with practical recommendations for how policymakers can make it easier for them to not only survive but grow and create jobs,” added Mr. Smith.

The conference held breakout sessions at Bellevue College.

“The result is a list of priority solutions, selected by small business owners, for solving the major problems with the state’s business climate and moving towards economic recovery,” wrote WPC Communication Director John Barnes.

Here’s the list of small-business owners’ issues:

Workers’ Compensation

  1. Revisit voluntary settlement agreement, as passed in the state Senate in 2011
  2. Do not raise rates for 2012 since L&I funds are in the black
  3. Increase the fraud prevention and investigation efforts

Unemployment Insurance

  1. Reform the displaced worker retraining program
  2. Implement a web-based portal to allow employers to access current claims data, including current contact information for unemployed workers (similar to the system used by the Department of Labor and Industries)
  3. Educate small business owners about the “shared work program”

Regulatory Reform                                          

  1. Review environmental regulations to ensure that Washington rules don’t exceed federal regulations
  2. Legislature should not grant general rule making authority to agencies, but rather be specific about rules to be put in place
  3. Legislature should listen to and follow up on State Auditor Office reports on regulatory reform (tie)
  4. Sunset provisions for regulations (tie)

Health Care

  1. Tort reform
  2. Limit the number of state-required health mandates
  3. Repeal federal health care law

Transportation

  1. Do no harm — don’t reduce lane capacity
  2. Protect highway tolls and taxes for highway purposes
  3. Make congestion relief a policy goal (tie)
  4. Performance-based spending on transportation (tie)

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

  1. Legislature should not follow Seattle and should not enact statewide paid sick leave
  2. State should pre-empt local government regulations on labor laws
  3. Business impact statements on laws like mandatory paid sick leave should be required

“The conference was co-sponsored by Verizon, Regence, Wells Fargo, Walmart, the Puget Sound Business Journal, Berntson Porter and Co., Columbia Bank, the Washington Health Foundation, NCM, Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington, Baldwin Resource Group, and Noteworld Servicing Center,” Mr. Barnes indicated.

”More than 30 chambers of commerce and trade associations from around the state co-presented the conference,” he added.

This was WPC’s fifth conference hosted since 2003. Rarely has the majority of the legislators listened to small business. Let’s hope they start now for economic development and the creation of jobs.

From the Coach’s Corner, in the past I’ve written about the results of the WPC conferences. I’ve also voiced similar concerns in this portal’s Public Policy section.

“People try to live within their income so they can afford to pay taxes to a government that can’t live within its income.”

-Robert Half

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

How Washington Fails in Filmmaking for Economic Development

Updated Feb. 4, 2012

Film-production workers, actors, and movie fans are suffering the same fate as many businesspeople in Washington state. They are sleepless in Seattle now that the Legislature has canceled its successful program of incentives for production studios in filmmaking.

In 2009, this space congratulated the state for offering a 30-percent tax incentive. During this year’s legislative session, I received almost daily updates from Washington Filmworks regarding its lobbying activities. I never dreamed the Legislature would kill the incentives. It was a stellar approach to economic development. This stunned me.

After all, the state has a troubled economy. Filmmaking creates jobs while enhancing the state’s image. Movies entertain and inspire moviegoers. And the incentives didn’t hurt the state’s treasury – canceling them would.

But effective in 2011, the Legislature killed the incentive program. You can almost envision planeloads of filmmakers flying over the state to make movies in Canada. Enlightened Vancouver still offers advantageous tax breaks to attract film projects. So does Oregon.

For economic development, it doesn’t take a study for me to realize the benefits of filmmaking to the state. Ostensibly, lawmakers see it differently. They think the state will benefit more from by providing incentives for startups in other industries.

Lawmakers fail to understand that the state would not lose anything by continuing the incentives and everything to gain. Published reports of Washington Filmworks’ data indicate some $5.4 million in incentives produced 23 projects last year and $18 million in spending. So consider the multiplier effects.

Nor do lawmakers understand a salient, intangible return on the investments.

Consider: The misery index in Washington is high. The morale among residents in many quarters of the state is low. However, the presence of a film crew on location inspires interest. Movie star sightings are invigorating for movie fans and TV watchers. It’s a mini-fantasy, a vacation from financial woes.

During a downturn in the late 1970s from my office window on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles, I witnessed a most-astonishing site: Waves of excited people – thousands of office workers – flooded the street to watch Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers act in front of cameras for an episode of the hit TV show, “Hart to Hart.”

Incalculable image value

It was 35 years ago this month as a radio news director, I covered an event that drew scores of reporters from all over the world to Rancho Mirage, Calif. Frank Sinatra was marrying Barbara Marx. All those reporters waited outside in scorching 118-degree weather for hours just to witness the wedding party of stars and dignitaries leave the ceremony. National media, including the NBC/NIS radio network, eagerly welcomed my freelance reports.

So for me today, any thought of revoking film tax incentives prompts me to react this way: “What a revolting development this is.”

You might recall it was the signature phrase of the character, Chester A. Riley in “The Life of Riley” in a radio show from 1944-1951 and TV show from 1949-1950 and 1953-1958. William Bendix acted as Chester Riley, whom I happily met and to whom I once served food as a teenage bus boy in Palm Springs.

My sense is that all states should keep the tax incentives in place. (Admittedly, I’m predisposed to understand the benefits. In addition to my journalism background, I’ve produced and voiced hundreds of TV commercials.)

For the first time in California’s history, state lawmakers approved a $500 million incentive plan starting in 2009. It included tax credits ranging from 20 to 25 percent. But even that was a bit paltry compared to other states. But California lawmakers knew they had to compete.

As a kid growing up in Palm Springs, it was common to see movie stars such as Mr. Bendix, Lucille Ball and Dean Martin. Although I come from a middle class family, Bob Hope and James Stewart maintained homes less than a block away. It was quite an experience watching Mr. Hope wash his Chrysler. Once, I nearly hyperventilated when he spoke to my brother and me when we were playing in the street after a rainstorm – sailing Popsicle sticks in a puddle.

Later, as an 11-year-old newspaper boy delivering The Desert Sun newspaper, my customers included impresario Billy Rose, comedian Jack Benny, and movie mogul Darryl Zanuck. Each month, it was fun standing outside waiting to be paid by Mr. Zanuck – he threw frequent pool parties with a bevy of starlets.

Serious business

Aside from the fun and glamour of filmmaking, it’s a serious business.

The Washington Filmworks’ program worked this way:

  • Washington Filmworks is a private non-profit that offered cash back in a 30 day-incentive.
  • Washington state businesspeople received business and occupation tax deductions and a source for passive income from their investments.
  • Productions were required to spend $500,000 for feature films, $300,000 for TV shows per episode, and $150,000 for commercials.
  • Filmmakers had to apply with a script, line item budget, proof of funding, a finance plan, and a producer’s letter of intent.
  • Washington Filmworks’ board would either approve or reject the project.

In addition, the Seattle Office of Film + Music offered $25 a day permits when using city owned property. The filmmakers were exempt from sales and use taxes on rental of production equipment, and sales tax on the purchase of production services, unless the production equipment was purchased.

But now, we are sleepless in Seattle for dubious reasons.

We are telling filmmakers we no longer welcome their business. It reminds me of a line in “Rocky IV” during Rocky Balboa’s patented comeback against a superior opponent. Sportscaster Barry Tompkins asserted: “It’s a question of who wants it most.”

In real life, Mr. Tompkins still works as a sportscaster. His line is apropos today. Washington state lawmakers are throwing in the towel. Let’s hope Washington Filmworks is more successful telling their story at the next legislative session.

From the Coach’s Corner, for more information on filmmaking see these helpful Web sites:

“A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.”
Groucho Marx

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Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.