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11 Questions to Ask Yourself When Writing Your Resume

I wanted to share this great article with you from Lily Whiteman — a public affairs officer at the National Science Foundation and author of “How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job.”

This is some powerful advice on resume writing…

I was recently consulted by the communications director of one of the most powerful members of the Senate because his job search wasn’t producing pay dirt. A quick scan of his résumé identified the likely cause: Reading it was about as impressive as reading a stranger’s ho-hum “to do” list. If I hadn’t already known what a skilled, productive and creative power-broker he is, I never would have known it from his résumé.

Here are questions to ask yourself, to help you define your achievements in compelling terms:

  • Why is my work important?
  • How have I improved my organization’s reputation to internal and external stakeholders?
  • How have I saved time or money, or streamlined processes?
  • Which of my achievements am I most proud of, worked mightily to accomplish or earned recognition for, such as awards to me or my organization, promotions, bonuses or praise?
  • How do I do my work better or differently from peers or more junior professionals? What do I offer that no one else does?
  • How would my organization’s services, resources or morale suffer if I had never worked there?
  • How have I shown initiative and gone the extra mile?
  • How have I wisely used my judgment, discretion or creativity?
  • What am I an expert in?
  • When have I contributed to high-pressure, high-profile, high-dollar or high-priority projects?
  • Which of my accomplishments warrant superlatives like the first, the only, the best, the fastest, the highest rated, the most or the strongest?

You don’t have to be the first climber up Mount Everest to have an important superlative under your belt. Automating a process, creating a new Web site, developing new training, creating a document or completing a project in record time warrant superlatives.

When writing assessments or resumes, remember to focus on RESULTS more than roles, responsibilities and processes!

What questions would you add to this list?


The end of journalism as we know it?

A blog from described how the Air Force recently refuted reports that its GPS technology is failing. What was interesting is that it did so by going straight to the public… via Twitter.

The author, Mitch Wagner, concludes his blog by saying:

Social media allows government to take its message directly to the people, bypassing journalists. Much of journalism has always consisted of “he said she said” reporting. The journalist goes to a government official to get a statement, dutifully transcribes it, runs to an opponent to get an opposing statement, and then brings both those statements to the readers. Social media helps put he-said-she-said journalists out of a job, because the government official — and his opponent — can get their message directly to the people themselves. That means journalists need to concentrate on going beyond the public record and provide analysis and investigation.

Is he right? Do you see Twitter — or other social media tools — eventually changing the face of journalism (and, hence, media relations) as we now know it?

How do you split up your work, personal social networks?

I just saw an interesting article that talked about how people should respond when coworkers find them on Facebook and request to become friends. About a woman the article uses as a case study, the author asks, “Does a virtual stranger really care what [her] favorite movies are?”

The subject of the story eventually created two Facebook pages — one for friends and family and another for work contacts.

I’ve actually done the same, creating my “Chris Ryno Hemrick” Facebook page to keep in touch with people I know through my client work — whether Booz Allen coworkers or the network I’ve built through my client work. This way we can stay in contact and share social media best practices. I linked the page to my Twitter account so my tweets automatically become my status update on the page. I don’t think this group needs to see photos of me with spit-up down my shirt while holding my five-month-old daughter (just to clarify — it’s her spit-up).

The way I see it, there are three types of people: 1) People whose work and social networks are completely separate; 2) people whose work and social networks are partially intertwined; and 3) people whose work and social networks are basically the same. Group 3 tends to be the 20-somethings who go to all the happy hours on weeknights in DC 🙂

Which type are you? How does this affect the overlapping of your work and personal social networking onine?

Question: How do we genuinely care about marketing audiences?

A recent blog by Jason Falls entitled, “Marketing without faking it – A case study” describes a visit Jason made to Austin, TX. One of his followers on Twitter — a restaurant marketer — offered him a free lunch at his restaurant when he heard Jason was in town.

Jason writes:

“I anticipated I would have a really nice case study to write about relative to targeted outreach. For a restaurant to target 20-30 influential bloggers, filmmakers or musicians in Austin for SXSW and invite them in to try the food, is pretty smart. Even if only five or six take them up on the offer, they’re going to post Twitter messages, invite some fellow attendees who will do the same and so on. If the restaurant were able to land someone with a vast network, they could literally have lines wrapped around the building to get in just to eat with a cewebrity.”

But it turns out this wasn’t a marketing gimmick. The marketer was buying Jason lunch because she genuinely wanted to.

“She said she thought to herself, ‘I know that I guy. I follow his tweets every day.” So she invited me. That’s it. There was no real strategy behind. She was just being nice to someone whose blog she reads and Tweets she follows.'”

From this experience, Jason said,

“The learning we can take from this is that when a business communicates like human being, connects with a customer and treats them like they would treat a friend, even the smallest gestures can reap the biggest rewards. Deborah’s outreach wasn’t a carefully planned strategic effort orchestrated to drive buzz. There was no market research involved. Deborah took off her marketing hat for a minute and provided a social gesture of thanks to someone whose blog she read and Twitter stream she followed. Even though the gesture ended in someone trying her product, she did it out of basic generosity.”

So my question is this… How can we genuinely reach out to people on a human level without them feeling like they’re one of our “targeted stakeholders?” It’s time to bring back face-to-face (F2F) communication where possible. What are some ways we can do this without making people into metrics for our clients?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Are you kidding me?

So there’s a new website out there that unravels the long spaghetti strands of cc’s and attachments between groups of people emailing one another.


According to

Whether you use Gmail, Outlook, or some program in between, email threads can become long and unwieldy, especially when there are multiple people involved and attachments flying back and forth. CcBetty, launching today at DEMO, looks to untangle messy email threads into an easy to follow webpage, that can by created simply by adding to any email you send.

After you’ve cc’d Betty, everyone on the email thread is sent the link to what’s called the mailspace on the CcBetty site. In the mailspace, you’ll see the email thread itself, with tabs that break it down into its different parts. For example, there’s an “images” tab showing any pictures that have been attached, ‘places’ that plots any addresses on a Google Map, and “links” that break out any URLs that have been shared.

Huh? This is a perfect example of improving current processes when instead we should be changing to smarter processes by using Web 2.0 tools

Any groups that use this website need to spend an hour learning about how they can move away from email and use a wiki for collaboration instead!

I’m a social media penguin. Are you?

I’m a social media penguin. Are you?

Are the words “mashup,” “tweetup,” “feeds” and “tagclouds” meaningless to you? When it comes to social media, there’s a growing throng that stays on top of the latest and greatest technology and websites. That’s not me.

In a roomful of social media experts, you’ll hear a lot of “geekspeak” and “technotalk.” If you’re not part of that group, it’s like a foreign language. During the Intellipedia Unconference last May, social media expert Chris Rasmussen even brought a sign with this photo to raise up high when he needed to remind people to stay away from such talk. That way we “regular people” in the room could be a part of the discussion too.

I think of myself as a “social media penguin.” Let me explain…

In Runner’s World magazine, 90% of it is dedicated to being the best you can be, winning races, cutting a minute off your mile pace, etc. Then there’s a monthly article by an author named John “the Penguin” Bingham. He’s proud of the fact that he “waddles” through races. He’s not out to win — he just truly enjoys running and takes advantage of the benefits running brings to enhance his life.

I’m like John when it comes to social media. As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t jump on board with tools until I see how they will benefit me or my clients personally. I take my time and make sure there’s truly going to be value. Otherwise, something new and neat could just end up being a timesuck.

So for those of you “regular people” who feel lost around all the technical geniuses, I’m there with you. Precisely because I don’t have a technical background, I feel that helps me speak in plain English to folks about Web 2.0 tools. When I see something good that can specifically help you do your job, we’ll talk about it. If not, we won’t.

To quote John, “Waddle on, friends.”

I’m finally a believer with social bookmarks

It took me a long time to jump on the bandwagon, but now I’m there.

When it comes to social media, I don’t go chasing every new tool that comes out. Rather, I only spend my time using the tools that are recommended by friends and benefit me personally. Wikis are great for collaboration. Blogs are great for easy publishing and getting feedback. Putting photos online is a million times easier than emailing them to friends and family a few jpgs at a time and hoping they don’t bounce back. But I’ve never actually used social bookmarks for myself until about a month ago because I never had a reason to.

On behalf of my clients, I would tout how great social bookmarks (e.g, Delicious, Intelink’s Tag|Connect) are for groups to share links by subscribing to each other’s tags. That elimiates the constant “Hey, check this link out” emails.

I would also tell their stakeholders about how social bookmarks are helpful if you need to access your favorite URLs from different computers/worksites.

Finally, I would talk about how you can identify experts in certain topics on Intelink by seeing what other folks were bookmarking and then contacting those people to form relationships and collaborate on similar issues.

However, because I was working in one location and rarely sharing links with others, I didn’t personally see the need to practice what I preached.

Now I’m on a new project where I travel back and forth between work locations (with different shared computers). And because I’m on a team where we often share links with one another, my teammate recommended our team all get social bookmarking accounts and subscribe to one another’s links tagged as “Web2.0.” This has really made life much easier.

A couple months ago, I would email myself 1-2 links a day from a shared computer, then go on my laptop at home to open the email, click on the URL and then save it to my computer’s bookmarks. What a pain — I can’t believe I didn’t jump on this bandwagon sooner.

Yes, I know I’m late to this — but I’m here and enjoying the ride. If you’re like me — and I know I am — you’ll be much happier if you come aboard.

P.S. You can check out my Delicious bookmarks here

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