Thursday, September 15, 2011

4 Easy Ways to Find Great Content

Everybody loves to find great content.  The problem is that finding the good stuff is hard because there is so much stuff out there.

Here are 4 easy ways for you to find great content: 

#1: Use and follow Twitter lists:  I am finding that people aren't sharing as much content on Twitter as they used to but my biggest recommendation for finding great content on Twitter is to use lists.  Curate your own lists but more importantly, follow the lists curated by others and create a column for the list in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.  If you're in marketing/advertising, a great example of Bob Knorpp, host of The Beancast,  curates a list of show guests.

#2: Read great blogs and watch for curated link posts:  There are some amazing bloggers out there who put up weekly posts of that lists amazing content.  I'm sure that there are blogs about the topics you are interested in that take the time to curate posts with great content.  Here's a selection of blogs and bloggers that I know do this: 

Mitch Joel:  Shares great content form his network in a post weekly of links worthy of your attention
John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing): Shares great stuff every Saturday.
Mediastyle: Does the same each week on their blog with their weekly Style Guide.

I would also like to point out that blog projects often provide great sources of content because you will often get viewpoints from many different sources you might have otherwise heard about.  My friend Jackson Wightman has a great example over at his 52 week blog project on local food in Montreal called Ici et Here.

#3: Visit curated content websites: There are also websites that curate, aggregate and share great content.  Here's a few that I pay attention to: 

Say100: A collection of online voices that help shape conversation by curating and sharing content.
PSFK:  The place to go for inspiration and design ideas on just about everything.
Brain Pickings: Maria Popova has written for many influential magazines and knows what's cool and what is happening.  

#4: Follow people in RSS: If you aren't already into RSS, then I would suggest you check it out immediately using a RSS reader like Google Reader.  One of the best features in Google Reader is that you can easily share items in your feed with people who choose to follow you.  More importantly, you can follow others.  One of the people I follow is Christopher S. Penn, who always shares great content. 

What are some of the ways that you find great content?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why You Should Be Using Video During Your Job Search

Almost two years ago, I wrote about using social media as part of your job search.  Today, I'd like to take some time to discuss the use of video as part of your job search.

If you are not using video as part of job search or how you market your skills, you're missing out an a huge opportunity, and here's why:

Employers and recruiters want video: Let's face it, potential employers and recruiters are even busier than we are, and video helps them see who you are really quickly.

Nobody is doing it: If there has ever been a way to separate yourself from other applicants, it is video because nobody is doing it.  I keep asking one recruiter if anyone has sent him a video and he keeps saying "no", so there aren't many people using video for their job search. 

It's not rocket science: This doesn't mean it is easy, but doing a video takes nothing more than a camera (you could use your laptop cam) and some decent sound and a clear, well-written script that you can deliver with confidence.  You don't need to create an Oscar-winning film. 

You can paint outside the lines:  With resumes, you are mostly constrained to a few different formats and the standard conventions that will help you get noticed (no mistakes, focus on achievements and highlight specific skills relevant to the job).  With video, you have the opportunity to show some of your personality and what makes you unique. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to show how your would present yourself in an interview. 

BONUS: Here are tips for creating good videos:

  1. Prepare: spend lots of time writing a script, practicing and figuring out where and how you are going to film your video.
  2. Test: spent the time to do some tests of your video.  Record and then play back and refine.  Trust me, you will learn a lot by doing this.  
  3. Sound: I believe that you record something that looks good with your laptop camera and some good lighting but you need to be sure that you can heard clearly.  
  4. Keep it short: The shorter your video, the more likely people are to watch the whole thing.  
  5. Hire a professional:  If you don't think you have the chops to pull a video off by yourself, considering hiring a professional.  It might not be as expensive as you think and really, isn't getting an awesome job worth it?
2nd BONUS: Video ideals - because there are lots of different approaches you can take.  Why not do more than one of these?

  1. Video resume: Provide an overview of who you are, what you've done and where you want to go.  Considering picking a story or something that isn't in your resume/cover letter and talking about it.  
  2. Book review: Read a book and do a quick review of it and why it's relevant to what you want to do.   
  3. Hire me/Recommendation video: I have to give props to DJ Waldow we created the best video of this type I have ever seen.   
  4. Interview: Connect with somebody interesting or influential in your field and ask them 3 questions.  

Have you ever used to video to find a job?  What did you learn?