WBEZ | Putting Your Best Foot Forward http://www.wbez.org/tags/putting-your-best-foot-forward Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en How to get a job without having experience http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/08/how-to-get-a-job-without-having-experience/7391 <p>Wait, what? How can I do that? Larry Stybel at the <a href="http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/hbr/hbr-now/2009/08/how-to-get-a-job-without-exper.html" target="_blank">Harvard Business Review</a> tells us it's possible. You could be fresh out of college or newly unemployed, but Stybel tells us we can beat that old Catch-22: "You can't get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without a job." He says it takes a little "creativity and humility" and he even tells readers what he did (clinical psychology) to get to where he is now (business consulting). <blockquote>I couldn't get business experience without getting hired. I couldn't get hired without business experience. What to do?</blockquote> Stybel decided to help out an organizational psychologist who wanted to market a new product. The man had a solid idea but no money so Stybel offered his resources in return for a job title, a good reference and contacts. Although the business proved unsuccessful, Stybel's experience landed him a job at a talent management-consulting firm. Here's what he says you can do: 1.‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Look for a company with a great idea and no money to do it. 2.‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Be specific about what you will provide. Stybel said he'd make calls and set up appointments. He didn't say he'd generate sales because he didn't think he could. 3.‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Be specific about what you will receive. Stybel wanted a job title, references and introductions to potential employers. 4.‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Be specific about time frame. Be sure your commitment doesn't hinder your job search or present job performance. In Stybel's case, he willingly went from one financially unrewarding job to a new, better paid job. We at Hard Working know that won't always work these days.‚  However, his tips can help you out, especially when you add <a href="http://wbezhardworking.wordpress.com/2009/06/29/social-network-your-way-to-a-new-job/" target="_blank">social networking</a> to the mix. The important part is that you put your best foot forward and be flexible and open to other markets. Take a look at these <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124952701913210043.html" target="_blank">people</a> who changed fields. All three left their jobs to try something different and Alexandra Levit of the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124952701913210043.html" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a> answered their career questions. Did the recession take your career on a different path? Tell us. We want to know what you did and how you did it.</p> Thu, 13 Aug 2009 13:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/08/how-to-get-a-job-without-having-experience/7391 Free haircuts for the unemployed? Yes please! http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/08/free-haircuts-for-the-unemployed-yes-please/7389 <p>With no job and no income, it can be hard to maintain that "clean cut" look while navigating the maze of unemployment. That's why Charles Martin at <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;hs=Yjw&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=Salon+64,+1064+W.+Bryn+Mawr,+Chicago+IL&amp;fb=1&amp;split=1&amp;gl=us&amp;cid=0,0,4186051457830867642&amp;ei=NvKCSv_9N4PWM4id2aUL&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=local_result&amp;ct=image&amp;resnum=1" target="_blank">Salon 64, 1064 W. Bryn Mawr</a>, is now offering free hair services for the unemployed. <blockquote>"I thought it'd be a goodwill thing to do because so many people are hurting for money, especially now. It's a really rough time right now," Charles told me.</blockquote> The first 20 people to schedule an appointment will receive a complimentary haircut, shampoo and blow dry. To be eligible you must provide unemployment documents and proof of a job interview. Call (773) 728-1128 to make reservations. Salon 64 is open seven days a week and the free services are available through August 20. But that's not all. Chicagoans can find free haircuts all over town, especially if you're willing to take on a dramatic new look. <a href="http://chicago.salonapprentice.com/chicago_no_log_in/_Chicago_list.php?a=search&amp;value=1&amp;SearchFor=Chicago&amp;SearchOption=Contains&amp;SearchField=city" target="_blank">Salonapprentice.com</a> lists salons seeking hair models and the site is also a good source for free haircuts and styling. Did you snag a complimentary new "Ëœdo? Tell us where and we'll pass it along.</p> Wed, 12 Aug 2009 14:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/08/free-haircuts-for-the-unemployed-yes-please/7389 Tweet This http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/tweet-this/7385 <p>Here's something to tweet about: small-business owners are looking at <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter </a> to increase sales and reach out to customers. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/business/smallbusiness/23twitter.html?scp=2&amp;sq=twitter%20claire%20miller&amp;st=cse" target="_blank">The New York Times writes</a> some small businesses use the digital word-of-mouth site as their sole marketing tool. That's not surprising; the Web site's free access and flexibility makes it easy for small-business owners to maintain. Anita Campbell at <a href="http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/01/the-ultimate-small-business-twitter-list.html" target="_blank">Small Business Trends</a> compiled a <a href="http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/01/the-ultimate-small-business-twitter-list.html" target="_blank">list </a>of Twitter users who tweet small business issues. Once you set up an account, you can start following these people and organizations who regularly post information by, about and for small businesses. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/business/smallbusiness/30reputation.html?pagewanted=2&amp;em" target="_blank">The New York Times also posted</a> a guide to developing an online reputation: -Set up automatic alerts to notify you when your business is mentioned in a review or blog. -Local search sites are the new Yellow Pages - make sure your business is listed. The more complete your listing, the more likely you are to get good search results. -Respond to reviews to show readers that you are listening and that you care about customer service. -Online reviews are a gold mine of business intelligence. Analyze metrics to get a better sense of your customer demographics. -Don't write false reviews to puff your business or trash a competitor. You can severely damage your reputation...and look really silly. Suggested reading: <a href="http://www.yelp.com/business/review_response" target="_blank">Tips from Yelp</a> on responding to positive or negative reviews. <a href="http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_to_manage_your_online_reputation.php" target="_blank">A guide to Web tools</a> to track your online reputation. Not sure what to do next? Start by setting up a <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter </a>account. Create a name that reflects your business. Keep it casual: write your updates like you'd say them to give your customers a feel for the business. Start following other small-business owners and regular customers and watch your popularity grow.</p> Fri, 31 Jul 2009 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/tweet-this/7385 En Espaƒ±ol: Aprenda ingles aquƒ­ http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/en-espanol-aprenda-ingles-aqui/7380 <p>‚¿Es nuevo a Chicago? ‚¡Bienvenidos! ‚¿Quiere mejorar su entendimiento de ingles? El ‚ <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?contentOID=536892200&amp;contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&amp;topChannelName=Business&amp;blockName=Promo+Item&amp;channelId=-536879030&amp;programId=536879129" target="_blank">Chicago Workforce Center</a> ofrece clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n para adultos en Ingles como un idioma segundo (ESL) en toda la ciudad. Esta pagina de Web es en ingles, pero tiene la informaciƒ³n que necesita. ‚¿Que es la mejor parte? Todos de estos servicios son gratis para bƒºsquedas de empleos. Para mƒ¡s oportunidades, revisa estos programas: Algunas de las bibliotecas pƒºblicas de Chicago tienen secciones especiales para estudiantes de ESL. ‚¿No encuentra un libro en su biblioteca local? <a href="http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/index.cfm/general/moreInfo/spanish" target="_blank">El Learning Express Library</a><a href="http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/index.cfm/general/moreInfo/spanish"></a> deja los usuarios hacer exƒ¡menes de prƒ¡ctica para el TOEFL y los exƒ¡menes de naturalizaciƒ³n de los Estados Unidos. Alguna de la informaciƒ³n tiene instrucciones para estos exƒ¡menes en espaƒ±ol. Necesita <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/howto/library_card.php" target="_blank">una tarjeta de la biblioteca</a> para usar los recursos en linea.‚  Cuando se registre, use el nƒºmero de su tarjeta de la biblioteca como su nombre de usuario. <a href="http://www.literacychicago.org/index.htm" target="_blank">Literacy Chicago</a>, 17 North State St., Suite 900, (312) 870-1100, ofrece programas gratis para adultos que les interesa aprender y mejorar su ingles. Estos programas incluyen clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n para adultos en Ingles como un idioma segundo. Para mƒ¡s informaciƒ³n sobre direcciones y tiempos de clases, llama (312) 870-1100 o envƒ­a un mensaje a <a href="mailto:info@literacychicago.org">info@literacychicago.org</a>. <a href="http://www.literacydirectory.org/" target="_blank">Literacydirectory.org</a> es un directorio de programas de alfabetizaciƒ³n y ESL en los Estados Unidos. Puede elegir su lugar con cƒ³digo postal o con la ciudad y el estado y elegir de clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n, preparaciƒ³n para GED o ESL en su barrio.</p> Thu, 23 Jul 2009 09:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/en-espanol-aprenda-ingles-aqui/7380 In Seerch Of: Why Spelling Matters http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/in-seerch-of-why-spelling-matters/7379 <p>I can tell you from experience it happens. I had everything together: cover letter, resume and references -- check. I went over them countless times and asked family and friends to double check. It all seemed in order, so I hit send. ‚ Because I'm a little obsessive, I checked the next day to make sure everything went through. It did, but then I noticed one glaring problem -- a spelling error. A spelling error in the cover letter! How did that slip through? ‚ A new survey from <a href="http://www.accountemps.com/PressRoom?id=2491">Accountemps</a> found 76 percent of 150 executives wouldn't hire someone with one or two typos in their resume. Forty percent said just one blunder nixes a job offer. ‚ Spell check can't pick up every error, though. <a href="www.resumania.com">Resumania‚ </a> lists some of the most common, and maybe the funniest, typos. Just make sure you don't make these errors when applying for a job: "Hope to hear from you, shorty." "Have a keen eye for derail." "Dear Sir or Madman." "I'm attacking my resume for you to review." "I'm a rabid typist." "My work ethics are impeachable." "Nervous of steel." "Following is a grief overview of my skills." "GPA: 34.0" "Graphic designer seeking no-profit career." Moral of the story? Check, spell check and double check. Read your materials aloud and have others review them too.</p> Tue, 21 Jul 2009 09:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/in-seerch-of-why-spelling-matters/7379 Learn the language to improve job hunt http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/learn-the-language-to-improve-job-hunt/7377 <p>Are you new to the Chicago? Welcome. Bienvenidos. Do you want to improve your English? The City's <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?contentOID=536892200&amp;contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&amp;topChannelName=Business&amp;blockName=Promo+Item&amp;channelId=-536879030&amp;programId=536879129" target="_blank">Chicago Workforce Center</a><strong></strong> offers literacy and English as a Second Language courses and workshops throughout the city. The best part? These services are free for job seekers. For other opportunities, check out these programs: Some of the <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/espfor/esl.php" target="_blank">Chicago Public libraries</a> <strong></strong>have special sections for ESL students. Can't find a book at your local branch? The <a href="http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/" target="_blank">Learning Express Library</a> lets users take online practice tests for the TOEFL and U.S. naturalization exams. Some of the review information has instructions for these tests in Spanish. You need a <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/howto/library_card.php" target="_blank">Chicago Public Library card</a> to use the online resources. When you register, use your library card number as your username. <a href="http://www.literacychicago.org/index.htm" target="_blank">Literacy Chicago</a>,<strong> </strong>17 North State St., Suite 900, (312) 870-1100,<strong> </strong>offers tuition-free programs for adults interested in learning and improving English. Programs include adult literacy classes, GED preparation and English as a second language courses. For information on class locations and times, call (312) 870-1100, or e-mail <a href="mailto:info@literacychicago.org">info@literacychicago.org</a>. <strong> </strong> <a href="http://www.literacydirectory.org/" target="_blank">Literacydirectory.org</a><strong> </strong>is an online listing of literacy and ESL programs in the U.S. You can select your location by zip code or city and state and choose from literacy, GED preparation or ESL courses in your area.</p> Thu, 16 Jul 2009 14:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/learn-the-language-to-improve-job-hunt/7377 Teach for America CEO offers tips to job applicants http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/teach-for-american-ceo-offers-tips-to-job-applicants/7374 <p>The founder of Teach for America, Wendy Kopp, recently <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/05/business/05corner.html?em" target="_blank">chatted</a> with New York Times reporter Adam Bryant about what she looks for in a job candidate. Some of her suggestions seem valuable for anyone searching for a job. Here's an excerpt from the interview: Q. Talk about the art of goal setting. A. It's all about setting a goal that's at the right intersection of ambitious and feasible. We do see the incredible power of setting stretch goals. But if you set a goal that's really not within reach, people will just give up on it and you really don't have a goal. We've seen this over and over. I think there's as much talking down of goals around here as there is of actually saying, "You're not thinking big enough." Q. What are you looking for in teachers you recruit? A. The No. 1 most predictive trait is perseverance, or what we would call internal locus of control. People who in the context of a challenge --  you can't see it unless you're in the context of a challenge --  have the instinct to figure out what they can control, and to own it, rather than to blame everyone else in the system. Q. Any particular time-management techniques? The best time-management thing I do is reflect an hour a week on the overall strategic plan for myself --  what do I need to do to move my priorities forward? And then there are the 10 minutes a day that I spend thinking about, "O.K., so based on the priorities for the week, how am I going to prioritize my day tomorrow?" I don't know how I could do what I do without spending that time. Q. What's your two-minute commencement speech? A. My two-minute commencement speech would be to tell graduates to take on the world's inequities now, because they're huge and have such important human consequences. But they are solvable. It's just that it takes incredible amounts of time. They're very complex problems. So better to start early so that you have enough time. And also, I just think there's actually a huge power to inexperience. In the context of deeply entrenched problems that many people have given up on, it helps to not have a traditional framework so you can ask the naƒ¯ve questions. That can help you set goals that more experienced people wouldn't think are feasible. You set those big goals, and you wake up a year later after insane amounts of work and realize you actually met them.</p> Thu, 09 Jul 2009 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/teach-for-american-ceo-offers-tips-to-job-applicants/7374 Social network your way to a new job http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/social-network-your-way-to-a-new-job/7368 <p>Network, network, network. In the age of the Internet, networking is stepping away from coffee with Potential Employer #5 and sprinting toward social networking Web sites -- including online job posts. Dawn Rasmussen at <a href="http://www.recessionwire.com/" target="_blank">Recessionwire.com</a> wrote about how to use online job posts to reach one goal -- getting a job. She <a href="http://www.recessionwire.com/2009/06/22/hot-to-really-get-a-hired-through-a-job-listing-site/" target="_blank">writes</a>: <blockquote>You're trolling job listings, clicking on openings in your target field, when you see The Dream Job. Your pulse starts racing. You look more closely. You are a perfect fit. You are such a perfect fit that it was like you had written the job description yourself. So you spend hours editing, proofing, tweaking and finessing your resume and cover letter. You hit "send" confident you'll be contacted right away. You never hear a peep.</blockquote> Rasmussen says that while this may be common, you shouldn't write-off all online job searches. Instead, use online job postings as a research tool. You can find out companies who are hiring and pick up on company lingo and keywords to use in your resume. Sign up for professional sites like <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/" target="_blank">LinkedIn.com</a> and <a href="http://www.plaxo.com/" target="_blank">Plaxo.com</a> and social networking sites like <a href="http://www.facebook.com/" target="_blank">Facebook.com</a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/">Twitter.com</a>. Nowadays, the Internet is everything so make your presence known by starting a blog with observations and insights about your specialty. Make sure to link your blog to your online profiles and make note of it in your resume.</p> Mon, 29 Jun 2009 13:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/social-network-your-way-to-a-new-job/7368 How to improve your cover letter http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/how-to-improve-your-cover-letter/7363 <p>We know the job market is tough out there so we're trying to give you the best tips we can find. Earlier, we posted about <a href="http://wbezhardworking.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/writing-a-better-resume/" target="_blank">how to improve your resume</a> so it stands out among the rest. That same author David Silverman over at Harvard Business is coming back for round two and this time it's cover letters. His advice? Don't bother. But if a cover letter is essential, he offers some pointers: <a href="http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/silverman/2009/06/the-best-cover-letter.html" target="_blank">The Best Cover Letter I Ever Received</a> In my last post I talked about how to make your rƒ©sumƒ© more likely to catch the attention of a hiring manager. As a follow up, I'd like to discuss cover letters. Here's my basic philosophy on them: don't bother. That's because the cover letters I see usually fall into one of three categories: <strong>The recap:</strong> The rƒ©sumƒ© in prose form. It's redundant, harder to read than the rƒ©sumƒ©, and provides no additional insight. <strong> The form letter:</strong> This says, essentially, "Dear Sir or Madam: I saw your ad in the paper and thought you might like me." And it's clearly a form letter where maybe they got my name and company right. If they're lucky, I will still take the time to read their rƒ©sumƒ© after being insulted with a form letter. <strong> The "I'm crazy": </strong>This one's rare, and it expands on the rƒ©sumƒ© of experience with some personal insights. Examples range from the merely batty ("I find batik as an art form has taught me to become both a better person and project manager.") to the truly terrifying ("I cast a pentagram hex and the central line pointed towards your job listing. I know you will find this as comforting as I do.") <strong> There are really only a few times to use a cover letter: </strong> <ol> <li>When you know the name of the person hiring</li> <li>When you know something about the job requirement</li> <li>When you've been personally referred (which might include 1 and 2)</li> </ol> Under those conditions, you can help your cause by doing some of the rƒ©sumƒ© analysis for your potential new boss. To illustrate, here's the best cover letter I ever received: <blockquote>Dear David:I am writing in response to the opening for xxxx, which I believe may report to you. I can offer you seven years of experience managing communications for top-tier xxxx firms, excellent project-management skills, and a great eye for detail, all of which should make me an ideal candidate for this opening. I have attached my rƒ©sumƒ© for your review and would welcome the chance to speak with you sometime. Best regards, Xxxx Xxxx</blockquote> Here's what I like about this cover letter: It's short. It sums up the rƒ©sumƒ© as it relates to the job. It asks for the job. The writer of this letter took the time to think through what would be relevant to me. Instead of scattering lots of facts in hopes that one was relevant, the candidate offered up an opinion as to which experiences I should focus on. And that means the writer isn't just showing me skills related to the job, he's showing me he'll be the kind of employee who offers up solutions --  instead of just laying problems on my desk. What do you think? Have you ever secured a job thanks to a cover letter? What's your view on the value --  or lack thereof --  of cover letters?</p> Thu, 18 Jun 2009 10:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/how-to-improve-your-cover-letter/7363 Virtual business cards http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/06/virtual-business-cards/7357 <p>Mashable has‚ a good post today on <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/06/11/virtual-business-card/">paperless business cards</a>--a lot of the ideas are free. "What's that, you're still printing your business card on <em>paper</em>? That is so last year. These days, business cards are going all virtual and that's a good thing. Not only are paperless business cards good for the environment, and easier to carry, they're also unlimited --  you'll never run out when you're networking at an event or conference. But there are a bunch of different ways to construct a virtual business card, which is right for you? Below are eight ways to build a virtual business card that you can use to send your information to contacts the next time you're at a networking event. Please share any other services you use in the comments." Their list is below the jump. <!--break--> <strong>1. SMS</strong> - While it's true that almost everyone you meet is going to have a pocket to store your business card in, it's also true that almost everyone you meet will have a cell phone as well --  and they're likely to be a lot less cavalier about losing, misplacing, or throwing away their phone than they are about your business card. The services below allow you to beam your business card via SMS text message to interested parties. <blockquote><a href="http://contxts.com/" target="_blank">Contxts</a><a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337548-Contxts.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337548-Contxts" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a> - Send and receive 140 character business cards via text message for free. 140 characters doesn't seem like a lot, but it's enough to include vital contact information (like name, business name, phone #, and email). See our previous review of <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/03/17/contxts/">Contxts here</a>. <a href="http://www.textid.com/" target="_blank">TextID</a> - Meet someone new and tell them to text message your username to a short, six digit number. In return, they'll receive your contact info via SMS. The service costs $19.95/month with 250 free texts. <a href="https://www.dubmenow.com/" target="_blank">DUB</a> - Once you've created your business card on DUB's web site you can then have it sent to other users by email or SMS simply by sending a text message to the DUB site. DUB actually could have fit into almost any of the categories in this section since it supports email, SMS, and they have iPhone, Android<a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336868-Android.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336868-Android" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a>, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile applications, as well as a web interface.</blockquote> <strong>2. Mobile Web</strong> - <a href="http://www.mynameise.com/" target="_blank">MyNameIsE</a> is essentially a mobile social network of business cards. The site collects together all of your social profiles into a virtual business card that is accessible via mobile web and iPhone-optimized web sites. When you meet a new contact, simply enter each other's usernames and a connection is made. Perhaps more interestingly, though, the people behind "E" have created a <a href="http://www.mynameise.com/connector" target="_blank">USB dongle</a> called the E Connector (pictured above) that they plan to sell to trade show and conference organizers as a way for attendees to more easily share information. The dongle, which is about the size of the keyless entry keychain fobs used for automobiles, can automatically share contact information when it comes near another Connector. <strong>3. Email</strong> - Why manually email your contact information to someone you've just met when you can tell your phone to do it for you? Check out the services below, which combine the ease and ubiquity of text messaging with the power of email to share your virtual business card with colleagues. <blockquote><a href="http://mydropcard.com/" target="_blank">Dropcard</a> is a lot like Contxts and TextID, but it's focused on email. After you create a profile, anytime you meet someone you just text their email address to a special number and they're emailed your virtual business card. Dropcard is free for up to 5 connections per month, but for heavy networkers, opt for the $9.99/month plan that allows you to send unlimited cards. <a href="http://www.weavemet.com/" target="_blank">WeaveMet</a> - WeaveMet is a similar service that lets you send your contact information to people you meet via email or text message. You simply instruct the service (via SMS) to email new contacts your information, along with a short note (like where you met).</blockquote> <strong>4. iPhone</strong> - There are a number of great iPhone business card sharing applications available in the App Store, and we <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/05/09/iphone-business-card-apps/">profiled a bunch of them last month</a>. One of my favorites is <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=294629657&amp;mt=8">beamME</a>, which lets you create a vCard and send it to anyone you meet via email, mobile number, or even Twitter<a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336651-Twitter.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336651-Twitter" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a> direct message. But check out last month's roundup for a number of great options. While mobile phone-centric applications are very helpful in the field, they only provide room for the most basic of information. The options below will help you create a more complete business card. <strong>5. Social Networks</strong> - Social networks, especially those that cater to business usage, are an amazing replacement for business cards. Most people you meet are probably going to Google<a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336661-Google.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336661-Google" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a> your name anyway, so filling out profiles on prominent social networks is a good way to make sure that what they find is what you want to present. <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a><a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337623-LinkedIn.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337623-LinkedIn" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a>, or <a href="http://www.xing.com/" target="_blank">Xing</a> if you live in Europe, are good places to start. LinkedIn offers tools to help you connect further with people you've met via networking events, as well as a way to communicate with them without having to give out your personal contact information. Be sure to complete your entire profile and pick an appropriate vanity URL. Another option that shouldn't be overlooked is <a href="http://www.facebook.com/" target="_blank">Facebook</a><a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336650-Facebook.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336650-Facebook" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a>. Privacy controls make it possible to keep your business and social contacts separate, and the coming addition of <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/06/09/facebook-vanity-urls/">vanity URLs</a> will make it a lot easier for people to find you. <strong>6. Google Profile</strong> - On the whole, <a href="http://www.google.com/profiles" target="_blank">Google Profiles</a> are pretty basic --  they're yet another place to list standard biographical information and profile links. But because they now figure so prominently <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/04/21/google-me/">into Google search results</a>, it's a very good idea to set yours up as part of your virtual business card strategy. Further, short vanity URLs make them really easy to share. <strong>7. Twitter</strong> - Everyone is already exchanging Twitter user names when they meet at conferences because they're short, easy to remember, and a great way to invite someone to connect with you without having to exert much effort. In May, we <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/05/19/twtbizcard/">profiled a new app</a> that allows you to send business cards over Twitter. <a href="http://twtbizcard.com/" target="_blank">twtBizCard</a> makes sending a business card via Twitter as a easy as appending a hashtag to the end of an @reply directed at the person who you want to send information. The nice thing about sending a virtual business card this way is you can use the remaining tweet space to include a message about where you met. <strong>8. Profile Aggregators</strong> - As a whole, every one of your social media profiles paint a picture of your online identity, so you may very well want to include those profiles as part of your virtual business card. But for social media junkies, that becomes a difficult prospect --  sharing a bunch of social media profiles URLs just isn't easy. An elegant way to deal with that problem is by using a profile aggregator. We recently reviewed a number of ways to <a href="http://mashable.com/2009/05/27/share-social-media-profiles/">share your social media profiles</a>, but two you should pay special attention to are <a href="http://www.retaggr.com/" target="_blank">Retaggr</a><a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337890-Retaggr.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/337890-Retaggr" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a> and <a href="http://www.chi.mp/" target="_blank">Chi.mp</a>. Retaggr creates a virtual social media business card that you can share and embed. The card includes links to all of your social profiles and even pulls in dynamic content (like blog posts and tweets). Chi.mp, meanwhile, gives users their own yourname.mp domain name and aggregates content from socials sites that you use. The reason Chi.mp is ideal for business use is that it has advanced privacy settings that allow you to create special profiles for different users --  i.e., so that your business contacts never need to see pictures of your kids from your Flickr<a rel="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336659-Flickr.whtml" href="http://www.blippr.com/apps/336659-Flickr" target="_blank"><span>(</span><span>)</span></a> stream.</p> Fri, 12 Jun 2009 08:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/06/virtual-business-cards/7357