Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

New Job

Even from the most committed employees, one question comes up over and over again: how to use Social Media to find your next job.  It might be couched in different language (How do I develop professional profile/How do I take advantage of Social tools for support, etc), but the question remains.  How can you use Social Media to find your next role?

Given the competition and the tough economy, all of the stars need to align to best give you a chance.  Test yourself: how many of these steps have you really done well?

1) Complete your LinkedIn profile:  This doesn’t just mean adding your experience, but soliciting meaningful recommendations, adding “real” connections, and using descriptive keywords so that you can be found when searched.  It also means adding a summary, education, certifications, etc.

2) Cleanse your social thumbprint:  Too often we don’t consider who might read our personal profiles, and whether what is posted – by us or by others – might possibly disqualify us from consideration.  Cleansing your profiles of out-of-brand pictures and inappropriate content is a great first step.  Managing your personal brand proactively and strategically is far better.  And if you understand the privacy controls, use them.

3) Move from passive to active:  Before meeting with any networking contact or interview, search for the person in LinkedIn to identify the common relationships.   Instead of clicking “connect”, pick up the telephone and ask your connection about the person you are going to meet.  This will yield a significant benefit for when you meet, and will also strengthen your relationship with your connection.

4) Stay up to speed:  Keep up-to-date with the latest issues and trends in your industry, through LinkedIn groups, by following thought-leaders on Twitter (I’m at @randallcraig…), by monitoring Twitter hashtags, to participating in web discussion groups.  Nothing shouts relevance than a person who understands the issues, and their impact.

5) Strategic Status updates:  Most Social Media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow a status update.  Instead of being verbose (and perhaps irrelevant), use your Tweets and Updates to showcase your value and connection.

6) Start a blog:  Social Media and your resume have one thing in common – they speak to what you have done.  A blog speaks to how you think, and allows your network to understand the depth of your expertise.  While there are downsides to a blog (time commitment, writing quality, etc), it can improve your profile significantly.  A simple blog where you write 3-4 paragraphs weekly is all that is necessary to gain these benefits.   Here’s my quick (free) course on blogging.

7) Monitor and respond:   Listen to what is happening on the web using monitoring tools including Google Alerts (for new pages on Google), and Hootsuite (for the latest status updates).  Beyond monitoring your own name, monitor for positions requiring your expertise, target companies, and key industry terminology.  Finding out what is happening in real time means that you can be the first to share that news with your network… or the interviewer.

Interestingly, the same things that will make you more valuable to another organization, will make you more valuable to your current one.  And the more valuable each person is to their current employer, the more valuable the entire organization becomes.

This week’s action plan:  Which of these seven steps have you not yet addressed?  This week, choose a few, and put them on your to-do list.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
:  Professional credentials site
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

The Right 10,000 Hours

by Randall Craig on June 7, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, New Job

Malcolm Gladwell asserts that one cannot be an expert without first earning 10,000 hours of experience.

So how do you become recognized for your expertise if you don’t have enough experience to be recognized…?  This isn’t a problem just for those entering the workforce (or for entrepreneurs), but also for those considering a career change, and those newly promoted into a different role.

Here are a  few ideas:

  1. Borrow the experience: Add people to your team to complement the skills you lack – then learn from them.
  2. Purchase the experience: Hire a coach or management consultant to quickly get you up to speed. Of course, make sure that their 10,000 hours are real and directly relevant to your requirements.
  3. Change your focus: Sometimes a slight shift in your priorities will allow more of your past experience to become relevant.
  4. Assume the risk: Yes, you might not have those 10,000 hours, but the cost of failure may not be so high. Nevertheless, reduce this risk by reading, attending presentations, and networking to learn as much as possible.

This week’s action plan: What kind of hours are you collecting? This week, add up the hours that you have “earned” throughout your career across various competencies. Are you earning hours in the areas that are important to you?

A bonus idea: Many people like the idea of writing a blog, but are unsure what the best topic should be. Here’s a clue: blog on either the topic you have the most hours in, or blog on the topic you are hoping to build.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Reference and Recommendations

by Randall Craig May 13, 2009

Whenever you are considered for a new relationship – as a supplier, customer or investor – the “buyer” needs to check you out. This is especially true when it comes to applying for a new role. The dreaded reference check (or background check) need not be that stressful, if only you considered a few simple […]

Read More

Not Yet

by Randall Craig April 7, 2009

Have you ever been asked whether you had a particular skill, and struggled to answer when the answer is clearly “no”? While no one appreciates spin, there are a number of ways to answer, each with a unique nuance: Answer: Yes: If you are part of the Fake it ’til you make it school of […]

Read More

Social Media Risk Takers

by Randall Craig March 17, 2009

Just about everybody has heard about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. Avid users talk about connecting with family, networking with past colleagues, and meeting new contacts. Social media sites allow this to happen, and much more. You can post photos, blogs, “status updates”, job history, family relationships, event listings, and just about anything you can […]

Read More

Barack Obama: The ultimate job search

by Randall Craig November 5, 2008

Ten Career Planning Tips that we can learn from Barack Obama (and John McCain) Now that the dust has settled with the American Presidential election, all of the pundits can begin prognosticating on how Obama will do once he’s on the job. For those in the midst of a job search, however, attention must return […]

Read More


by Randall Craig October 28, 2008

Nobody likes the odds in a lottery, but when you apply for a new position, sometimes it feels like you’re buying a ticket for one. When you put your name in the hat, you do so with 1000 others. Get through the screener and your odds may be 100 to 1. By the time there […]

Read More

Promise Keepers

by Randall Craig April 29, 2008

You probably thought a cover letter showcased your fit for a job. You’re right – it does this. You probably thought your resume was something that would qualify you (or not) for an interview. You’re right – it does this. And you probably thought an interview was something that you did to prove that you […]

Read More

Mastering a skill

by Randall Craig February 28, 2008

How long does it take – or should it take – for you to master a new skill? Conventional wisdom suggests that after doing something several times, you should know it fairly well. After doing it for a few months, you should have proficiency. And after a year, you’re an expert. Or are you? The […]

Read More

Proofreading Makes Perfect

by Randall Craig January 29, 2008

I recently met two very different people: a young man from a small town with an incomplete education, and a senior executive from the big city. In both cases, they sought out education as a way to improve their value, and as a result, their career success. The young person was reading two books: one […]

Read More

Starting a job before you start

by Randall Craig November 13, 2007

When was the last time that you started a new project, role, or job? Did you ever think about what you should do before you actually assumed your new responsibilities? While it may come as a surprise, what you do just beforehand will often have a great impact on your success as you start. Here […]

Read More

Interview Questions

by Randall Craig October 23, 2007

Research shows that people don’t quit their company – they quit their boss. Think about it: the best managers can coach you… or kill you. They can approve training… or they can throw you to the wolves. Every organization has great managers – and some duds. That is why job interviews are equally about you […]

Read More

Who is more important?

by Randall Craig August 21, 2007

When you are speaking to a large group, who is more important – the audience or you? Think about it, there is an entire audience sitting on the edge of their chairs, listening to each and every one of your words. You may have been paid thousands to deliver your speech. And there you are, […]

Read More

Nickels and Dimes

by Randall Craig August 7, 2007

If you had a choice to be paid either $50 or $100 for a service that you performed, which would you choose? Most of us would choose the greater amount; after all, if we have to do the work, why not be paid as much as the market will bear? Take the money and run! […]

Read More

Closing Statements

by Randall Craig July 16, 2007

Have you ever been in a sales pitch, job interview, or other important meeting, and the person you are meeting asks you if there is anything else you would like to say, or ask? How should you approach this situation? Essentially, you have three choices: say nothing, say something new, or summarize the key meeting […]

Read More

Who’s the Customer?

by Randall Craig June 26, 2007

Were you ever at a restaurant when the service was really terrible? You probably promised yourself that you would not go back. And when the service was absolutely top-notch? You probably rewarded the waiter or waitress with a big tip. Either way, if you were asked about the restaurant, you would have responded with your […]

Read More

Winning the Interview Beauty Contest

by Randall Craig May 22, 2007

How can you do better at job interviews? It’s not about being “lucky”, nor is it about winning a beauty contest, it’s about preparation, presentation, and perseverance: Fish where the fish are: Only apply for those positions where you have a strong chance of success. Energy wasted with pointless applications can best be applied prepping […]

Read More

It’s (not) all about me

by Randall Craig January 23, 2007

Even if your day job isn’t “sales”, how often do you engage in the act of selling? More than you might realize. We pitch ideas to our managers. We sell our employees on what they should do. We (try to) convince our children why one course of action is better than another. And certainly, when […]

Read More


by Randall Craig January 11, 2007

No, it has nothing to do with Airline strategy. When you start a new job, honeymoon period. Then reality sets in. Employees will either thrive (good hire), disengage (walking dead), or become journeymen (consistently average work.) What can we do to improve employee engagement, reduce start-up stress, and improve retention? The concept of “onboarding” refers […]

Read More

Starting a New Job

by Randall Craig October 24, 2006

You’ve been through a grueling interview process and you’ve finally got the job or won that promotion. What can you do right at the start to guarantee your success? The truth is that nothing is guaranteed in today’s environment, but take care of a few key things, and your chances of success can improve drastically: […]

Read More