Resume Micro-Site

September 25, 2009

Prior to creating my YouTube Resume with Navigation, I had done an experiment with creating a cover letter type introduction as a WordPress blog. This  introduction micro-site strategy has these advantages:

1. It is different from other traditional cover letters and allows showing my creative side.
2. It establishes that I’m skilled at blogging tools.
3. It shows an extra effort was made for this particular company and/or job
4. In my cases, it demonstrates skills applicable to the position I am applying for.
5. ANALYTICS ! I can look at my blog statistics and actually get an idea if my resume and cover letter are being circulated and viewed. I can even see number of views per day. If I have links to other sites or materials, I can see if these links are clicked.

In WordPress, there is an import and export tool. This can make it a little bit quicker to set up a site. Also, WordPress.com sites are free. I can set up a site for a particular company or for a particular job I’m interested in. I did not need to register a domain name. Blogger and Typepad are other popular blogging platforms you could also use.  Ning.com would let you set up a more complicated site structure. The idea is to do one quickly, perhaps in just a little more time than it would take you to construct a very focused and well thought out cover letter.

Although this site did not get me an interview with Cisco, here is an example of a Vblog Introduction micro-site I set up when applying for a Cisco Flip Product Marketing position:
http://introhuboifmm.wordpress.com/

Since this concept is experimental, I can explore different formats … perhaps create one with a single elevator pitch video intro and create a more text-based blog posts pertaining to my strengths in different areas specific to the job position. In the above example, since the job related to marketing a video-related product, I did the entire introduction in a video blog (vblog) format. In future resume micro-sites I create, I will use more text. Text is easier to scan.

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A ‘Landing Page’ for your Personal Brand

September 21, 2009

Before you begin marketing yourself with Social Media, you must first have something tangible to market. A good way to start is by creating a blog.  A blog can serve as your landing page. A blog is a great way to establish some authority and influence in a specific area of expertise or focus. A blog can be used to establish your personal brand. In fact, in a future post I will talk about micro-site landing pages … pages designed specifically to match your landing page view to a very specific job, much as you would craft a cover letter. But before we go there, lets start first with your ‘Personal Brand’.

If you search on the exact phrase “Personal Brand” in Google, Bing, or other search tools, there are over 500,000 web pages with this exact phrase. I’m going to direct you to a friend of mine’s blog.  Jeffrey Blake offers a very long list of tips and considerations for building a Personal Branding Landing Page. I’m going to comment on his 1st point which is:

“It should deliver a simple message and not try to do everything.  This is the difference between being a jack of all trades and a branded specialist.”

Simple Message

If you’ve been to a resume writing or networking workshop (or read equivalent books), there is a lot of focus on your “3o second pitch”. Now, I’m not suggesting that your landing page be that 30 second pitch exactly, but your landing page should have a  simple focus that contains some words or phrases in your 30 second pitch and links to other blog topics, blog categories or other secondary focus topic pages that further explain them.  You want to keep it simple and not overwhelm the reader with 1500 words or more of all your job experience, skills, and life story. You want them to be curious enough to click on another link or two. So if you look at Jeffrey’s landing page http://jeffreyblake.com/, there is simplicity and focus here that establishes a view of his personal brand. Like a 30 second pitch, you quickly get a sense of who he is and his area’s of expertise. It reflects some of the key words and phrases he used when he introduced himself to me at a technology meetup event last December. And there are enticing links to investigate. Why is there a hammer on the landing page and what exactly  is this “Brand Hammer” link over to the left?

There is no specific format for a landing page that will work for everyone. Many readers here who are not inclined to create a blog might simply use their LinkedIn profile as their landing page for their personal brand. There are several possible approaches should you want to use a blog platform for your landing page. If your landing page is your blog, you can create a “static post” that always appears at the top (keep it short), or you could create an “About <your name here>” bio page.  In my case, I wanted to showcase the unique YouTube video resume with navigation I created that is probably more ‘buzz worthy’ for the technique used than the actual resume content in  my YouTube video. Since I wanted a place where someone could download my resume, I created this wordpress.com blog. I did not follow the very rules I’m suggesting here. Maybe I should change my own landing page?My landing page is as experimental as my YouTube Video resume. If it does not deliver the desired result, I will go back and change it.

Jack of all Trades?

Maybe you have many skills and experiences and do consider your self a “jack of all trades”. If there is no specific job target that is cohesive and benefits from every one of these skills and experiences, I would not blog about all of them. If you are truly qualified for more than one  job position and these positions are not  ‘joined at the hip’ in purpose, you might consider creating two or more separate focused blogs  instead of one single blog that lacks focus. I’d recommend starting with one.

As an example, I might blog about topics related to both Product Marketing and Product Management. They are closely related. In both roles, I spent considerable time focus  refining the key messages about product benefits with my product team peers.  In both roles, I presented numerous times to customers in the Executive Briefing Center. In both roles, I listened to customers, tried to understand the problems that most vexed them, and either explained how my product could help alleviate or solve those problems, or took notes for new potential product features back for consideration for future product releases. I would probably not blog about my past experiences as Manager of a Technical Assistance Center or Manager of an Applications Services Team. I’m not actively targeting my job search to those two operations service manager roles.