Monday, June 28, 2010

A New Look

Feel free to give me some feedback. I saw new templates on the Blogger site, so I decided to try out one and see. I think it's a slightly better, cleaner look, but I'm open to comments.

Making a Little Effort at Networking - Part 1

I’m not a big networking person. I know that it’s good for my career, but I’ve been lucky enough to get myself fairly well known, my picture is on daily emails from SQLServerCentral, and so a lot of people know of me. As a result, I don’t have to do a lot of networking.

However I have started to make it a point to do some short sessions with people I don’t know at events. It’s easy to spend time with people I know, and that is valuable, but that doesn’t expand my network, or help me find people that I might want to know better.

So I’ve started to do two things that help here.

1. More than a Thank You

Quite a few people want to say hi to me, shake my hand, or even ask a quick question. So instead of saying “thank you” and moving on, I decided to try and do more. As people do engage me, I stop, take a few minutes, ask them a question or two, get to know something about them, and make sure that I don’t disengage for at least 2-3 minutes.

In doing that, I’ve found a couple things happen. The first is that I tend to remember the person more so that I recognize them again. It means that I have a little more of a connection, and it might lead to more interaction later on.

I can also potentially get some good ideas. I’ve heard a few cool things about SQL Server or careers from a few people that I’ve stopped to ask a question about. Someone told me a LinkedIn story that helped them get a job. Someone else told me how they use SQLServerCentral, and that’s valuable information for me. Another person gave me some insight into their job, which is for a media company and that was just a neat thing for me to hear.

For Part 2, tune into the next blog entry.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I saw Paul Kenny at the first Business of Software conference, and then had dinner with him, chatting about sales. I actually had our company bring him in for some training and he was back last year again at the Business of Software. I’m not sure he’s coming again, but he’s a great speaker, and this video is worth watching:

Paul Kenny at the Business of Software

Most of us don’t want to sell, but we need to. Not often, especially for technical people, but there is one time when we need to:

When we are looking for a job.

You need to sell yourself. Think about how you sell your skills, your capabilities, and keep that in mind when you watch the video.

If you are in the software business, consider going to the Business of Software on Oct 4-6, 2010. It’s a great conference to learn about what others are doing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Being Real

I wrote last week about marketing yourself for a new job, or at your current employer for some reason. I got a note from someone that they didn’t feel comfortable putting on an act.
I agree with that. Putting on a front for a job isn’t a good idea, and it can end badly. Look at a few people that haven’t been honest on their resumes (George O’Leary)
The Modern Resume isn’t about putting up a front, or a fake persona that you try to back. It’s about showcasing your talents and focusing on certain areas of your career that you ensure employers take note of.
Not a writer? If you start to blog to get a job, or show what you’ve been doing, guess what? You’re a writer.
The same thing happens in other areas as well. You become that person. You gain those skills, and those skills become a part of your career.
The only way you would be disingenuous about would be if you presented things on your resume or with your documentation that aren’t true.
When you build your modern resume, you are highlighting the things you have done, and documenting them. Not putting on an act.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tie It Back

I gave the Modern Resume: Building Your Brand presentation last week at the SQL Saturday #22 - Pensacola event and had about 30-40 people come see it. I got some good responses, but there was one interesting thing that came up.

I have talked about how it helps to prove value to your manager when you attend training or a conference. You tie back something you learned/used to your job. You specifically show your boss where something matters.

I’d say that you ought to do the same thing for your brand. When you learn something at an event, from a book, from a blog, make a note of it. Give the person/event credit that helped you, and give your interpretation. Do that enough, and all of a sudden you look like a real go-getter that is worth hiring.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Anonymity is Fading

I’ve done a good amount to raise my profile over the years. Not with that intention, but as I’ve tried to be more active in the SQL community, writing more about SQL Server, my profile has raised.

Today I saw Dave Winer posting on Twitter about the Google home page change (there’s an image there) and then said that when he searched for “Dave” he was on the first page still.

So I tried it and typed “Steve Jones” into Google and hit enter. My first result page is long, longer than I remember and I had to scroll, but I actually had two results on page 1.


You can see the second one above, with another right above this for my SQLServerCentral blog.

That’s amazing to me. It’s kind of cool, but I think I’d prefer to be buried on page 10. Where do you show up?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Marketing yourself

One of the things that needs to be a part of your modern resume, is a way that you market those things you do for your career. Whether it’s the book you’ve read on your specialization, a class you took, a blog you wrote, or a speech you gave, at some point you need to introduce some marketing to let others know what you’ve done.

I’m fairly humble, and uncomfortable with awards and recognition. I don’t like talking about what I do, or have done, most of the time if it’s self-promotion.

However the place where it is appropriate is where you can, and should, is when you are trying to get a new job, or impress your current employer. If you are a consultant or contractor, then this is almost constantly, but if you are an employee, you need to learn to do this when it matters.

That’s not every day or every week, but it does mean that you need to prepare every day or every week by documenting you efforts, blogging, volunteering, etc. and having that effort ready to show when you look for when you need it.