Monthly Archives: March 2009

Using social media to advance your career

Earlier this month, I had hosted a panel discussion on how to use social media to get ahead in your professional career.

Here is the summary of that discussion.

Corporations and social media?

Facebook, twitter, blogs, utterli’, wikis, youtube; most employees in your company already participate in at least one of these social media platforms in their own time.

Two questions arise from a corporate standpoint:

  1. whether or not to ignore this trend
  2. if not, then how best to engage with social media.

Threats and opportunities:

When companies are faced with a new form of media, they face issues that range from managing a corporate image, security and brand-control to name but a few.

  • So should a company go-ahead and start a blog?
  • What about having a Twitter account?
  • Who should speak for the company?
  • Will individuals be allowed to have their own social media presence and be officially sanctioned by the company?
  • Will employees spend more time socializing online than actually working?
  • What is the ROI for social media?

To start with, social media may be looked-upon as a vehicle to express a more informal image corporate image, leaving official communication to the company’s website and press releases. This way, clients and other stakeholders can experience a more direct, more personal, relationship with the company. Social media can also help discern and deal with potential problems before they spiral out of control. These may be related to a product malfunction or lack service (see case study below). Properly managed, social media can save money and energy by dealing with the problem at its root.

Productivity and mood can also benefit when employees know that they are encouraged to communicate and that social media tools are made at their disposal. Which tools and what rules will be implemented depend on size, industry and culture, the company is operating in.

The right frame of mind.

Ultimately, a company shouldn’t participate in social media just because its competitors and others are doing so. It should know from the start why it is doing it, what is it trying to achieve, how best to support its existing communication channels with new ones. Establishing sound protocols and rules of engagement will go a long way to create competitive advantage through social media.

Twitter, a customer-care case study:

Mike Arrington of TechCrunch had complained on Twitter about a problem with Comcast. His comment found its way to the company’s upper echelons and sent a serviceman to Chapman’s house. Less than 24 hours later, problem solved.
Source: Market Place, NPR

Find me on twitter.

Finding a job through social media.

I will be hosting a panel discussion at The Speech Improvement Company, Inc., on how to use social media to find a job. This is aimed not only at job-seekers, but all those who would like to get to the next step in the career.

Link to press release:

Description: An increasing number of anecdotes are surfacing about people landing jobs using social networks, such as twitter (See “How Twitter can help at work by the New York Times

What are the opportunities, threats and strategies job-seekers should be aware of when using social media?

There will be three short presentations from hiring and social media specialists to spur the conversation on. The discussion will be moderated by Wahyd Vannoni, director of new media at The Speech Improvement Company, Inc..

Please join us at our offices in Brookline, MA on Thursday, March 12th, from 10 AM to 12 PM.

Seating is limited.


Wahyd Vannoni
Director of New Media / Coach

The Speech Improvement Company, Inc.

1614 Beacon Street

Wahyd Vannoni
Director of New Media / Coach

The Speech Improvement Company, Inc.

1614 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA  02446

Phone:  +1 617-739-3330
Fax: +1  617-232-9430

The inevitability of video-résumés

I have argued for a while now that video-résumés or video c.v.’s are going to be the killer application of the recruitement industry.

Before I articulate the argument, I will highlight the following news from MassHighTech:

Corporate annual reports move to online video

“But the nature of that communication is changing. What was once reams of paper impersonally reflecting numbers, activities and attitudes is moving to a more personal and cheaper medium — online video.”

This is of course is also applicable to job applications and personal branding.

Video killed the text star

I do not believe that all of the sudden video will supplant the text version of a cover letter and résumé. However, I do believe that it will set-apart those applicants who will supplement their application with a video.

Depending on the job they are looking for, the will calibrate their video to project their personality. This is something that text-based documents cannot do.

In fact, this is already being done, and had been done in the world of music. In the end, musicians have to be heard and ideally seen performing.

The Berklee School of Music in Boston features many of its students on its home page. See bassist Ignacio Long.

As you can see, it is much more effective for you to form an opinion of somebody’s character by seeing him than by trying to reverse engineer from text.

In any event, all application always end-up with face-to-face interviews. This is time-consuming and recruiters may have missed a few potential hires because their application did not meet their criteria 100%.

So this is how it might work. Text-based documents will still be used as a first filter by using key words (CSS, Phd etc…) and other criteria such as work-permits. Once this is done, recruiters will look at the videos. This is more effective because within a few seconds, recruiters will know whether a candidate has the right personality for the job they are trying to fill.

There are of course legal considerations to be made. Yet, nothing prevents current applicants to include in their application a link to a website which may feature pictures and videos. Technology puts us in front of a fait-accompli and sooner or later, those who do not include a video of themselves will be at a disadvantage.