Category: jobs


Yesterday, I attended the Liberteks Smalbany 5th Annual Small Business day at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.  I was invited to be a Guest VIP Blogger and take some pictures for the event.  I didn’t get to take many pictures, but I did get to sit in on some pretty good seminars about how social media can help grow your business.

I was going to sit down and write a long, drawn out blog series about what was said, by whom in each seminar.  I decided against that, because almost everyone said the exact same thing:

Your business needs to be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

As someone who has been using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for a few years, this was not news to me.  For those looking to drive more traffic to their company, this was an excellent place to spend the day learning how the web can work for you.  It was nice to see that these methods have been effective for many other businesses and continue to drive business to their sites.

I wanted to highlight some of the key parts of the seminars that I thought would be of importance to my readers and keep this from being a novel that no one wants to finish.  So, here are some of the best parts, in my opinion, of course.

The first speaker I heard from was Lisbeth Calandrino.  She was full of spunk and looked nothing like her claimed age of 70.  Lisbeth told us that being partners with your customers is a must.  She also mentioned that Sam’s club asked their small business customers what they need to stay in business, and they replied “money”.

Lydia Kulbida led a panel of bloggers and also offered a very important piece of advice for using online media to sell your product – Read it out loud to yourself.  Would you want to buy it?  Great advice.  Plus, she like LOST, so she’s OK in my book!

Mary Darcy from All Over Albany backed this theory up by saying “would you tell this to someone else?”  I really enjoyed Mary’s feedback on how she gets information to post on the AOA blog.  I wish she had more time to talk, as it was not only informative, but very interesting.

Mike Huber led a panel called Local Social Media and Your Customers.  He asked about blogging and tweeting – why would you want to do it, and why would people care?  Sonya Stark said to create lists.  People love lists.  Lisa D’Aquanni and Vic Christopher shared some great  information about blogging and what it can do for your business.

My favorite panelist was Rev. Al Rudnick.  I am not huge on religion, but he explained how people are using Twitter and Facebook during church and how they encourage it.  They even project it on a large screen so people can see it and participate.  I think I will try this on Sunday.  I bet the people in our church wont be as accepting…

Rhea Drysdale from Outspoken Media put on a great presentation about the Mobile revolution.  She detailed how Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare play a huge part in the mobile arena.  Rhea mentioned that you should protect your brand.  Make sure you get your company name on every outlet you can.

Alexis Grant (@AlexisGrant) held a great seminar about Using Social Media For Your Job Hunt.  She recommended three ways to make the web work for you;

Facebook – They are more likely to help you because you are already friends.

Twitter – Network outside of your friends.  Prove yourself as an expert.  Make connections with companies and employers.  Connect with people through Twitter that you might have been too intimidated to talk to at a job fair.

I think this event was a huge success.  It offered many great ways to promote your small business with social media.  Thanks to Tim Cronin and Larry Zimbler for letting me be a part of this event.  I hope to participate again next year.

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When I started blogging back in January, I had two ideas in mind.  First, I wanted a blog that was about photography.  I wanted to share my love for photography with my readers, and offer help should they want it.  Second, I wanted to start doing product reviews.

From time to time, companies will send products to bloggers to let them test it out and write about them.  The logic behind this being that the blogger can get the word out about their product to many, many people with a real world opinion about the product.  It helps the company gain potential customers and gets the bloggers more traffic.

A few months ago, I started a second blog solely dedicated to product reviews.  I also post the reviews on this blog when I do them, but that blog will only have product reviews on it.  When I review a product, it goes on both sites.

I have only found a few companies so far to review products for, and would really like to find a few more.  So far, LowePro has been great about sending me camera bags to test and review.  I am trying to keep the focus of the blog to photography products, but will add motorcycle products as well.  Both genres play a huge part in my life, and I think I can bring a great deal of info to both markets.

Not only do I have my reader base, but I have Twitter and Facebook.  Along with them, I have 2,700 people that are members of The Product Review Place to share the information with.  So, the products would get a ton of exposure.  My reviews are posted on that site as well.

So, if you are a company that has a product that you need reviewed, please leave me a comment and I will get in touch with you about what we may be able to do for each other.  See ya soon!

*Image courtesy of Consolidated Freight Co.

With the first day of summer just about two weeks away, I start to think of why it is my favorite time of year.  I think the warm weather is a bit of a given, but I have a few other reasons why I love it.

The Pool – I’ve been a water rat since I was a toddler.  I also lived close to the ocean in Virginia growing up.  So, I have spent many hours of my life in the water.  I’ve also been pulled out of the pool (over the side) because I couldn’t breathe more times than I care to remember.  That has not stopped me from going back in.  To this day, I still will spent a good portion of the day in the pool.  I love it!

The Grill – I love cooking on the grill.  I do it all year long, but it’s much more pleasant when it isn’t below freezing outside.  This morning I made bacon in a frying pan on the side burner of the grill.  I like to make it outside so it doesn’t smell up the house.  It doesn’t matter if it’s hot dogs or steak, I love cooking out there.  Plus the grill overlooks the pool.  Bonus!

Motorcycles – Riding is a huge passion of mine.  I still do it in some of the colder months, but like other things, it’s much more enjoyable when it’s warm outside.  Being on a motorcycle is such an amazing feeling.  It’s so relaxing.  It also will make you forget all your problems for a while.  Great for clearing your head.

Friends – This one sort of ties into all of the others.  Summer to me is about hanging out with your friends, having a cookout, swimming in the pool and riding.  There’s something about the camaraderie of bikers that makes you proud to be a part of that family.  I’ve met some of the best people while riding or talking about motorcycles.

Photography – This is also a given.  I do have a photography blog and a Photo Group.  The sun, the flowers, nature, cars and waterfalls all make me very happy when I get out with the camera in my hands.  There are a lot of places that I want to shoot this year.  Hopefully this nice weather (well, before this weekend) will continue and I can check more places off my list.

What about summertime makes you happy?

Rose and I have both lost our jobs due to this recession that may or may not be over.  She has been out of work for much longer than I have, but nonetheless, we are both itching to find good jobs and get back out there.  I know that this normally is a photography blog, but I feel that this needs to be put out there.

A few days ago, a friend emailed Rose about a job fair at Longfellows in Saratoga yesterday.  All he had was a scan of an advertisement for vendors, telling them that the job fair would be yesterday from 10am til 4pm.  I was excited for the chance to possibly get my resume out to a potential employer or two, hoping I could get back to work.

So, I Google “Job fair Longfellows”, “Longfellows job fair”, “Saratoga job fair Longfellows”, and a few other terms to find more info on this job fair, because I like to be prepared.  It’s also a good hike to Saratoga from Albany, and I didn’t want to drive all the way up there and waste their time and mine if the jobs were not suitable for me or vice versa.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing came up on Google.  Wait.  One hit.  This crappy little blurb on a job fair at Longfellows and a chance to win $100.  No listings of participating employers.  Who is this job fair for?  Were they hiring staff for Longfellows, or were there actual companies in the area looking to hire qualified employees?  Who knows?

Either way, I really need a job.  So, Rose jumped in the shower, and I got busy ironing my shirt and getting a nice tie to wear with my suit.  I am an old school kind of guy.  If I were to go for an interview at McDonalds making minimum wage, I would wear a suit and tie.  It’s the way it should be.

When we get to Longfellows, there were no signs in the parking lot or on the entryways to the building.  We guessed that it would be in the restaurant area, so in we went.  We walked in and found our way to the area that held the job fair.  There we about 10 or 12 companies in attendance.  Well, at least we made an effort.  If you don’t go, you don’t know, right?

If I were one of the ten or twelve companies that were there, I would have been very upset that I spent between $400 and $900 for a print and booth package and no one showed up.  The advertising for this event was horrible.  Huge FAIL!

But, wait.  There’s more.

I have also been to quite a few of the job fairs at the Marriott on Wolf Road.  They are put together in a much better manner.  The Times Union does a great job advertising this event on their site and in print.  There are usually 50 plus companies that participate in this job fair.  A lot of times, they are the same ones that are there every single time, looking to fill the same exact position they were looking to fill last time.  A lot of them are life insurance sales that require you to get licenses and Series this and that.  No thanks. To quote Austin Powers “that ain’t my bag, baby!”

Others may be positions I am qualified for, so I drop off my resume and chat them up, hoping I make a good impression. Hopefully, they will like me and call me in for an interview.

As I move about through the job fair, though, I notice lots of things.  I am a people watcher.  I love watching people and trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads.  Let’s go back to my McDonalds comment.  I ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview.  As I walk through the crowds of people, I see sagging pants, baseball caps, jeans and a menagerie of other things that makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people.  How do you expect to get a job dressed like that?  Or, did I miss the memo?

When did it become OK to present yourself as a slob at a job fair?  What happened to being respectful?

Another thing that really bothers me about the companies that attend these events is that you go there to meet the potential employers and give them your resume.  At a good number of the booths, the companies wont take your resume.  You must go to their website and fill out an application online.

Say what?  Why are you here?  Why did you spend the hundreds of dollars it must cost to be here if you can’t do anything more than chat with people all day?  What a waste of money.  Here’s an idea – take that money and donate it to a local charity, give a valuable employee a bonus, advertise online, something.  Maybe  I am missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Am I really missing something?  Is it just a write-off?  Please comment and subscribe.  See ya soon…