Quantity vs. Quality: How to Approach Dating & Interviewing

When it comes to which is better – quantity or quality, your answer might be – it depends. It depends on what exactly we’re talking about, and in what context too. For example, would you rather have gone on 50 average dates, or 1 date that was far better than any other date you’ve ever been on before?

If you believe in love at first sight, know yourself well and what you want…you might just go with the one. However, if you don’t know yourself or what you’re truly looking for in that special someone…then you might decide on 50 dates.  Lets be honest…going on 50 dates can be damaging to the  bank account. I recently watched a news story about a woman whose goal was to go on 52 dates in 52 weeks.  What happens if she meets her prince charming on date 1? What she forgo the remaining 51 dates? Would she even know what her prince charming would look like or act like? Chances are she is more interested in quantity vs. quality, and might not exactly know what she wants or is looking for. The moral of the story is that knowing who you are and what you’re looking for is the key variable to achieving your goals.

Quality is Most Important:

And that totally makes sense. Lets take this blog for example. We only want to read things that are worth our time and are useful, moving, noteworthy, unique, relevant, well thought out, etc. – especially when it’s the kind of information that’s supposed to help us improve some aspect of our personal or professional lives. The same is not only true when it comes to dating, but is also true when it comes to interviewing for employment opportunities. Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes.”  Here are a few tips/suggestions to help you develop a higher quality experience…both when it comes to dating and interviewing:

1. Know Yourself: Assessing one’s values, strengths, weaknesses, passions, attributes and skills will develop greater self-awareness and help clarify your goals.  Accept who you are rather than who you think others want  you to be. Having self-confidence is one of the most important aspects to any situation. For instance, most people are reluctant to support an initiative/proposal that is being pitched by someone who is scared, fumbling or over apologetic. However, these same people will be more persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits if they do not know something.

2. Know What Your Want: Assess what values and characteristics in a company/person are most important to you; which ones are you okay with overlooking if not on your list? What personal or professional goals do you have for yourself and how will the company/person help you achieve them? The process of setting goals is a powerful process that gives you long term vision and short-term motivation. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where and how to focus your efforts. When it comes to dating, both people usually try to get a sense of why the other person is there. Do they want to hook-up, meet a new friend, or have a long-term relationship? As for the interview, employers are wondering the same thing…well, more so why you are applying for the position. Are you looking for a short-term/part-time position, or are you looking for something more long-term? Either way, make sure that you approach both situations honestly and with clarity – this will help reassure them that you are there for the right reasons!

3. Do You Compliment Each Other? While knowing yourself and what you want is one thing, it is also important to know them. When it comes to dating, this is what we call the Q and A session. Start off with the question “tell me a little about yourself.” Assess what information they share about themselves; is it consistent with their online profile, or does it compliment what you are looking for? If they start spouting off everything on their Facebook profile…they are probably a stalker and might make you cringe. However, they may instead speak to their values and lifestyle requirements; using creative ways to truly show their inner-self. When it comes to the interview – it is expected that you research the company extensively. This doesn’t mean memorizing their “about us” page (you don’t want to be the creepy Facebook person), but instead research news articles from credible sources or network with professionals who have a more direct connection to the company -this will provide you with a deeper understanding of the company. For most interviews you will be asked a question related to “why us.” I recommend identifying at least 3 attributes about the company that specifically attract you to them. The more the attributes have depth, the better the response.

4. Are You Applying Elsewhere (Dating Other People)? Picture yourself on a date with someone that you come to find out has been on 50 dates prior to the one you are currently on. What perception does that create? Are you just another number? Why haven’t they had any success and can they explain why? Unless you are on the Bachelor, dating multiple people might not be the best approach. Remember, there are many out there who would be interested in dating only you! As for the interview – you can almost be guaranteed to be asked this question. While some may same to be honest, I suggest that only mentioning (if applicable) interviews which are with companies of a competitive nature. The employer wants someone who is focused on their career aspirations and knows what they want and when they find it. By going on an interview, you have indicated that you strongly feel you are an ideal fit within their organization…and know why. Approaching an interview with the idea that you just need a job is not the best approach. Like in dating, there are many others out there who would love the opportunity to be in your situation solely because of how much they would love to work with that company. Thus, be selective on who you go on date 2 with (or interview with).

By knowing yourself, knowing what you want, where there are bridges between you and them, and knowing who they are will result in an overall quality dating and interviewing experience. Let’s be real, dating and interviewing have a lot in common – especially when it comes to determining if you are a right fit for each other. Good luck!

 

 

 

What does your logo say about your brand?

According to Wikipedia, the adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the idea that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. Logos (or ‘brand images’) sometimes apply this philosophy to enhance their brand recognition and the messages they want associated with their brand.
I have included below a few examples – can you find the hidden messages?

If you look at the center of this logo, you can see two people enjoying a Tostito chip with a bowl of salsa. This logo conveys an idea of people connecting with each other.

 

At first, this logo might not make much sense. But if you look closely, you’ll see the number 1 in the negative space between the F and the red stripes. I also love how this logo communicates a feeling of speed.

The Milwaukee Brewers is a professional baseball team from Milwaukee , Wisconsin (well, duh.). Their logo is actually made up of the letters M (on top) and B (below the m). These two letters also form a baseball glove.

This simple looking logo actually carries a lot of information. First of all you can see the letters N and W, the first two letters of the brand name. But what most people don’t see is the compass that points to the Northwest, another reference to the brand name. Unfortunately, this brand recognition has now become that of Delta Airlines…personally it just doesn’t have the same impact!

This logo doesn’t seem to hide much at first sight, but it gives you a little insight in the philosophy behind the brand. First of all, the yellow swoosh looks like a smile: Amazonwants to have the best customer satisfaction. The swoosh also connects the letters a and z, meaning that this store has everything from a to z.

 

Toblerone is a chocolate-company from Bern , Switzerland .   Bern is sometimes called ‘The City Of Bears ‘.  They have incorporated this idea in the Toblerone logo, because if you look closely, you’ll see the silhouette of a bear.

 

The old logo of Baskin Robbins had the number 31 with an arc above it.  The new logo took this idea to the next level.  The pink parts of the BR still form the number 31, a reference to the 31 flavors. I don’t know about you, but this logo makes me crave ice cream.

 

Sony Vaio is a well known brand of laptops.  But did you know that the name Vaio logo also had a hidden meaning?  Well, the first two letters represent the basic analogue signal.  The last two letters look like a 1 and 0, representing the digital signal.

 

Do you see any arrows on FedEx’s logo? I saw it a few times at other site saying that there’s an arrow hidden in the FedEx arrow, but I couldn’t find it. I now know where it is, it’s your turn to find. The clue is that the arrow is located in between the alphabet E and X, and the arrow is white, acting as a background.

If your brand were a logo…what would it look like? What message would it send?

What Does It Mean to be BEST FRIENDS?

So what does it truly mean to be “best friends?”

I was watching a competition-based reality television show the other night and was taken-back by how much the term ‘best friend’ was thrown around as if it were the newest and latest catch phrase. Were these contestants truly best friends or was it more of a media ploy to convince the viewing audience of the high level of compassion and commitment they have with one another? Either way, I came to the realization that individuals are starting to misrepresent what it truly means to be  best friends.

For most of us we either have a large number of friends with very few close friends, or we have fewer friends of which most are close. Yet, there is always that one friend that we consider our best friend, best bud, bestie, or closest girlfriend; one for whom we share the strongest possible kind of friendship. We know this individual as someone who walk into our world when the rest of the world walks out – leaving footprints on our heart. They are like a four-leave clover – hard to find and lucky to have. When it hurts to look back and you are scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and this person will always be there. Most importantly they enjoy quality time with you, share ideas with you, respect your differences, and stick up for you when no one else will.

According to the dictionary, each term has its own unique definition. The word “Best” means to be superlative to good; the highest degree of good or excellence – one that exceeds all others. Furthermore, the term “friend” means to have a relationship or association with someone else; a companionship. A “friend” is someone who has demonstrated the following values on a consistent basis:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each others company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
  • It is very important to have honesty, trust, sympathy, respect and helpfulness in friendship.

However, when these two terms are combined to form the word “best friend”, the meaning turns into one of the most powerful gifts anyone could ever receive. I hope you receive such a gift- someone you appreciate for who he/she is and for whom you don’t to be perfect. Most importantly – PLEASE DO NOT EVER COMPARE THAT FRIEND WITH ANY OTHER (even if you are a contestant on a reality show).

Take a moment and think of this special person in your life and appreciate them for what they represent in you…because chances are you are this type of friend to someone else!

9 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Attractive to Hiring Managers

When a hiring manager views your LinkedIn profile, you have about 30 seconds to convince him or her that you’re what their company needs. Follow these nine tips to boost your profile’s appeal and ensure it isn’t one a hiring manager will pass over:

  • Build instant credibility with a professional-looking profile photo.
  • Make sure your profile headline clearly communicates what you’re all about (and not just your job title).
  • Provide even more detail about who you are with a professional summary that can be read aloud within 30 seconds.
  • Get your profile to show up on free searches by completing it.
  • Update your status at least once per week to seem more passionate.
  • Share the industry-related books you’re reading with the Reading List by Amazon application.
  • Join and participate in at least three industry-relevant groups.
  • Get to 150 connections in order to increase your chances of having first-degree connections in places you want to work.
  • Get ten or more recommendations to ensure you look like a top recommendation.

Other helpful tips:

  • Highlight your skills and competencies in your “Specialties” section. Include topic areas you have knowledge and/or experience in. Use the SKILLS AND EXPERTISE tool under the “More” toolbar on LinkedIn for additional skills and areas of expertise to add to your profile.
  • Usability – don’t be passive when using LinkedIn. Continuously reach out to your connections, build and expand your network, and maintain a presence on LinkedIn.
  • Create a blog site where you can promote your blog on your profile and share your perspectives and knowledge on topics to your network.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to edit your “public profile” link. Add this edited link to your resume.

How To Keep Your Social Media Prescence Career-Friendly

 SmartPulse — a weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues. Last week’s poll question: How do you keep your social media presence professional?
  • I keep separate accounts for personal and professional networking: 68.46%
  • I use filters, such as Circles on Google+, to make sure posts are seen by the right people: 9.13%
  • I do not use social networks for professional purposes — only personal matters: 8.71%
  • I only post things that are related to my job, no matter what network I’m on: 8.30%
  • I don’t use social networks at all: 5.39%

Last week, Tricia Smith interviewed Donna Farrugia, the executive director of The Creative Group, about how social media can be used to make connections in your career.  She cautioned that “it’s important to always be careful about what you post and with whom you’re sharing the information,” which is something that many of our readers seem to be aware of. More than 85% of readers who responded said they post only business-related content or use filters or separate accounts to make sure personal matters don’t become office gossip.

It seems that the vast majority of readers are leading double lives when it comes to social networking. Having one profile dedicated to professional life and another for their life outside the 9-to-5 was the chosen method of almost 70% of respondents. Chances are, this adds up to profiles on two different sites — one on a professional site and one on a social site. Farrugia pointed out that while “Facebook and LinkedIn are big networking sites … there are also sites tailored to specific industries,” so the idea of having profiles on two different sites may be worth the upkeep. This approach makes sense, since most professional sites focus only on your career and don’t offer all the bells and whistles such as public messaging, photo albums and  interactive games that can often lead to the kind of oversharing that gets professionals in trouble.

That’s not to suggest that social sites can’t have merit in the professional world. Roughly 8% of readers who responded have a play-it-safe strategy and only post things that are relevant to their job.  But keeping your profile professional doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Farrugia suggested that professionals post about their hobbies so colleagues can “get a sense of your personality.”

By Tricia Smith on August 31, 2011 | Smartblogs.com 

5 Ways Your Brand and Branding Define You

There is a big difference between your “brand” and your “branding.”

Your brand is you: who you are , what you do, what you stand for, your DNA personality. You are a tangible artifact, which you create into a brand–an image that lives in the minds of the people you interact with and who come to know you. Are you…

  • A watercolor nature artist?
  • An NBA athlete?
  • A criminal trial attorney?
  • An eighth-grade science teacher?
  • A cupcake baker?
  • A cardiologist?
  • A business consultant?
  • A French chef?
  • A career counselor?

Your branding is what you do: every way you put your brand in action to create  associations with you, including your…

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Email marketing
  • Community involvement
  • Social media platforms
  • Collaborations
  • Partnerships
  • Sponsorships
  • Experiences and other Professional Involvements
  • Articles, Reviews, Publications
  • Images

I recently discovered a brand website called Ranking the Brands, which lists and profiles some of the most trusted, popular, core power brands out there today–Coca-Cola, Google, BMW, Microsoft, Walmart, Hershey’s, Apple, Harley-Davidson and UPS, to name just a few.

What do these standout brands have in common?

  • First, they are laser focused on what they do, who they are and whom they serve.
  • Second, they differentiate themselves from their competition.
  • Third, they evolve how they serve through their brand story.

These brands have built legacies and leadership by paying back and paying forward. They have built schools, donated food, supported the Olympics and encouraged educational and philanthropic activities, which is why we want to support them and what we remember them for.

Here are five ways your brand and branding define you:

1) It’s your calling card, piece of real estate, your stake in the space.

2) It’s the only way to make a footprint and imprint.

3) It tells a story about you and what you do.

4) It’s the way people remember, recall and recommend you.

5) It is the single most important way to establish your credibility, authority and niche.

Sam Walton wanted Walmart to be remembered for saving people money so they could live better.  Milton Hershey wanted to open new doors for children in need.  Patch Adams wanted to treat patients by first getting to know the patient, and second by implementing humor.

What does your brand say about you and your business?

23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media

No one wants to invest time in something only to be mediocre at it. We want to be great. But before you can be great you have to understand what being great looks like. What are you trying to achieve and what are you aiming for? What do people who are great at X look like? Because before you can be better than them, you at least have to be equal. And that takes some understanding on your part.

Do you want to be great at social media? Well, below are 23 things that great businesses do in social media. Maybe you can help me and add to my list in the comments.

Ready?

Great social media brands…

  1. Bring sexy back to word of mouth marketing.
  2. Dedicate time to answering questions from customers, potential customers and people first learning about the brand.
  3. Constantly poll their community for opinions, feedback, and criticism.
  4. Make it a habit to highlight other brands that are doing cool things, even if they’re doing it outside of their particular industry.
  5. Start conversations that others are scared to have.
  6. Give their employees a unique voice and the permission to connect to others.
  7. Regularly save the day.
  8. Push back the curtain to give their audience a better understanding of how things work, why they work that way, and what the company believes.
  9. Bleed company culture.
  10. Use tools to monitor their social media activity and makes adjustments when things aren’t working.
  11. Don’t take social media too seriously, but are too smart to view it as a joke.
  12. Understand the importance donuts and share them regularly.
  13. Don’t forget to tie offline events into what they’re doing online so there’s cohesion between strategies.
  14. Track their brand name in social media and knows when to respond, how to respond and how to engage brand advocates.
  15. Give us “the why” to go along with their social media calls to action.
  16. Plan for social media as to not leave channels voiceless for long periods of time just because they’re busy.
  17. Never, ever automate human interaction.
  18. Understand social media doesn’t belong to just the marketing department, but the company as a whole.
  19. Enter the waters with a social media plan to help guide their interaction and make sure they’re getting something for their investment.
  20. Use their social media plan to avoid falling victim to Shiny Object Syndrome.
  21. Understand that social media is the medium, not the message.
  22. Pass on insights gleaned from social media throughout the entire organization so that the right people are hearing the right conversations.
  23. Have clear social media guidelines so that employees know how to engage on behalf of the brand and connect with customers.