Are Your References “Professional”?

What do your professional references say about you? Ever think about it? You should because no matter how good your interview went, if your references don’t say good things about you….you’re not getting that new job you want. Seems kinda harsh doesn’t it? But it’s true, a bad reference can single handedly sink an otherwise great opportunity.Ironically, most people pay little to no attention to their references. I hear things like “I haven’t talked to him in ages.”, “I didn’t really work that closely with her.”, “I’m just his friend” but my favorite is the “one word answers” – yep, no, yes, maybe, absolutely. Joking aside, if you aren’t taking the time to really cultivate and inform your professional references you are putting yourself at a disadvantage in any job search. Someone who takes their job search seriously has educated, informed, prepared and PREDICTABLE references. I recall a candidate interaction a long time ago where the recruiter asked a reference “Would you hire so and so again?”. Simple stuff, nothing major, should be a straight forward response and it was just that….”I wouldn’t hire that guy to stock shelves”. End of interview, no hire, thanks for playing. If your references say they wouldn’t hire you again, it’s pretty bad but when they go out of their way to torpedo your application it’s apocalyptic.Without further adieu, a few quick tips on how to give the best professional references:1) Give people who you know, trust and who will absolutely, positively say nice things about you – I know, right, who WOULDN’T do that? You’d be surprised. I’m not even going to talk about this anymore, do your homework, call your references so when they talk to potential a employer they don’t throw you under the bus.2) Give a former manager – Again, I know, not rocket science. I’m always happy to hear how great a guy someone is, or how they play a mean guitar or how they can finish Halo without dying……….but, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. I want to talk to someone who can tell me what kind of an employee you’ll be once you are hired. Former managers are critical to making sure any potential employer can get the info they need to hire you without reservation. If you don’t have a former manager who’ll say nice things, try someone else in a leadership role. You need someone besides your lunch buddies to say nice things about you, especially in a competitive job market like we have now.3) Make sure your references are available and expecting the call – This one drives recruiters crazy. Nothing more frustrating than leaving voice mail after voice mail for a reference only to follow up with an email that bounces back “On vacation until September 2013″. Good times! It’s common courtesy for everyone involved and will help also make sure our references say nice things about you.4) Have a few people recommend you on LinkedIn – Simple stuff, and frankly it doesn’t matter if this is a former manager or not. With the rise of social networking, more and more companies are searching the web for potential hires. No better way to reinforce that you are a quality hire than to have a well groomed LinkedIn profile that has several people singing your praises.5) Keep in touch with your references to make sure you have a big stable of people to use -This is the final tip, and probably the most important. You want to keep in touch with people who can serve as great professional references. Seriously, think about it. How many former managers can you give that would say nice things about you? The more you have, the better off you’ll be long term. You don’t need to talk to them every day, week or even every month however, you should be just touching base once every quarter or two, JUST in case you need them or, get this…..maybe they need you. That’s right, your former boss may be looking for a job and need a “former direct report” to say nice things…next think you know you guys are colleagues again. So, trust me on this one, figure out who will give you a stellar reference and then maintain and build on that relationship.That’s it, nothing crazy, nothing complicated. Follow these simple tips and I can guarantee you’ll have much more success converting those interviews into offers.

Airline Travel Tips – Tips for Family Flying

Flying can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, especially if you are heading out on a family vacation. Here are some airline travel tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.Getting a good seat is important, especially if you are going to be traveling on a long flight. When booking your ticket, you can often get a copy of the seating plan for your particular aircraft. Take a look at it before deciding on your seats. You’ll need to make your decision on whether you’d like an aisle seat, a window seat, or perhaps you’d like to sit on the exit row which has more leg room but may have non-reclining seats on some planes. Keep in mind that children will not be allowed to sit on the exit rows, so don’t select these seats if you have young children flying with you. If you don’t get lucky on the seating when you book your flight, you can ask for better seats when you check in. This doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try. As a last resort, if the flight is not full, the flight attendants will often allow you to switch seats if you ask them once you board the flight.How can you avoid flight delays? Well, most of the time there is nothing much you can do about this as you are at the whim of the weather, traffic, and other uncontrollable reasons for delay. However, booking a non-stop flight can lessen the likelihood that you will be delayed since there will be no airports to stop at in between which is the usual cause of going off schedule.Watch for thieves in the airports. Happy-go-lucky vacation-going people are easy prey for thieves in the airport because they often, in the excitement of a trip. don’t pay attention as well as they should. Keep a careful eye on your purse or carry-on.Check to see how early you need to arrive and make sure you allow time for traffic in order to get there on time. Due to all the security, lines can be very long so better to arrive early and have extra time than be rushing to the gate.Make sure you have all the paperwork you will need such as boarding ticket, passport if you need one, birth certificate if that may be needed, and photo ID.Get a list of what can and cannot be brought on board in your carry-ons. These rules change periodically so get an up-to-date list from your airline.Since airlines routinely overbook, assuming some people will not show up, you will want to reduce the possibility of getting bumped by either checking in online before you leave home, or arriving early to check in. This ensures the best chance of keeping your seat. The good news is if do happen to be bumped off your flight, the airline is required to pay you compensation. This could be tickets, seat upgrades, or frequent flyer miles, and other bonuses.Use these airline travel tips on your next flight, and you will reduce the possibility of having anything go wrong on your vacation.

A Plethora of Internet Marketing Tips

The keys to the successful internet marketing business

As different organizations look at the internet marketing model for redemption, there are certain elements that need to be under control and under the constant supervision of the major stake holders. These are the elements that will ensure that the organization in question has a very good chance of influencing the industry positively. The list is by no means exhaustive but it provides a good starting point for people that wish to explore this area further:

  1. Site wide links are no longer in fashion because the internet marketing model is all about the products. The links to the home page might not give the clients the products that they need. In any case the larger websites require the clients to click on more than one page before they land on the product from the home page. That is just unacceptable in the competitive world. The direct link to the product page is the way to go.
  2. Meta tags should be used to avoid significant amendments to the websites. When product lines change then the client should look to the Meta tags to ensure that they can redirect the product lines to the appropriate landing pages without having to change the entire website. Characters must be limited to the key words and the essential content. A repeat of over 25% of the title can be fatal in terms of page authority. Important key words have to be given the priority when undertaking the internet marketing strategy.
  3. The use of copied content is not advisable from the perspective of a comprehensive internet marketing strategy. This type of content tends to reduce the value of the website in the eyes of both the human traffic and the mechanical crawlers. It is not ethical because it can lead to copyright theft. The search engines have significantly increased the efficiency of their duplicate content detectors and it will be only a matter of time before the offending website is duly penalized.
  4. The individual that is deeply involved in the internet marketing world has to ensure that they have created a list of tips that go with the work that they have achieved. This is learning that can be applied to the different people that join the organization. It can also form the basis of a marketable product in terms of training for others.
  5. Domain classification has precedence for age. The older domains are given credence in the internet marketing world as compared to the new domain names. That means that it is not necessarily a good idea to rush out and buy a new domain name for a very expensive price. It might not deliver the kinds of results that the client is expecting from the model.
  6. The internet marketing model is all about networks. That means that the merchant is strongly advised to build a network of related but different websites. This is the first step in creating a niche that can prove to be a very powerful marketing tool. In the end that is what makes all the difference between a haphazard strategy and one that is founded on a clear understanding of the internet marketing tips. At the same time it is important that the websites are differentiated in order not to attract the wrath of the major search engines that might suspect foul play.
  7. The image search functionality on the engines is ripe for internet marketing. This is an area that has not been well explored by the merchants because they are not aware of the true marketing potential for images. Images and videos should be prepared and optimized in order to diversity the revenue stream. If one element fails then a loss leader strategy can be effectively applied to rescue the company in question.
  8. Affiliate programs are an excellent internet marketing tip. They are based on a model that pays when there are clear results from the representative. From this perspective the affiliates are the idea opportunity for the publishers to get traffic without the added complications of managing the system or the elements that deal with the day to day sales.
  9. Technology must always be included in the internet marketing strategy in order to keep pace with the developments within the industry. A fear of technology can effectively remove the possibility for improving the outcomes for the industry as well as the people that organize it. Merchants are advised t take courses in order to improve their general awareness.