(Update: And this is why they should hire me.)
So I’m graduating soon. Too soon. The CRC (Career Resource Center) here at Wesleyan has been telling me to apply to as many jobs as I can and hope that I get a bite from at least a few of them. I refuse to do this. Why? Because why would I work at a place that writes mind-numbingly dull jobs descriptions when I could work at a place that writes job descriptions like this. GlobalGiving gets it. They understand that:
It’s pointless to hire someone based solely on a resume and cover letter. When almost every company’s job description asks for applicants that are “creative” and “innovative”, why does almost every companies’ application process involve the same old boring resume and cover letter? GlobalGiving is actually asking their applicants to do something. Not only will this give them an idea of whether the applicant will be successful at the job, it gives the applicant a sense of whether they will enjoy working there. Win win for everyone.
Good talent looks for challenges. The second I saw this application, I was excited. I think it’s proof enough that it is 3 AM and I’m still working on this application. Getting your applicants excited about working for you is the best way to distinguish between who wants to work for you and who is just applying because they need a job.
Hiring can be viral. GlobalGiving’s unique application process has already received a ton of attention on Twitter. They asked applicants to use the #IWillLoveThisJob hashtag, creating a flurry of tweets from interested folks (like me) and their supporters. Let the battles begin!
So here I go. If you think I’d be good for the position, feel free to retweet this post (I cleverly put the hashtag in the title so it will automatically be included! I’m so sneaky.)
The year is already 1/12 over! How did that happen? I’m a little late to the game with my tech predictions for this year but I figured better late than never. Last year I batted around a .400. Let see if this year is any better. Here are my predictions for the coming year:
There will be a large-scale botnet attack
Hackers have recently been mounting large-scale attacks on major corporations by using botnets. Here’s how it works: A botnet is a network of computers that are infected by a virus. Hackers use this virus to take control of all the infected computers’ computing power and attack a specific target.
Hacktivist groups like Anonymous have recently made headlines by using botnets to attack organizations that criticized and withdrew support of Wikileaks. Just a few days ago they were in the news again, threatening Egypt’s government for blocking internet access to protestors. With more and more computers becoming infected, the botnets are growing exponentially in computing power. I think we’ll see some major attacks this year, possibly to financial or government organizations.
This past year we finally saw an effort by Twitter to make some revenue. Analysts say that their ad services may make as much as $250 million revenue by 2012. Their challenge is going to be proving that these promoted tweets are actually effective, since Facebook offers the same service with a bigger user base. Twitter has enough of a niche market that if they introduce something similar to Facebook and Google’s do it yourself ad services, they could start to be competitive.
Myspace is hurting badly. It recently laid off about 50% of its workforce and continues to struggle to find a niche in the Facebook-dominated social space. One thing that Myspace seems to have over Facebook is a good interface for sharing music. Myspace continues to be a site for musicians looking to share their music and they still have recognition. With some rebranding and significant downsizing, they must be useful to someone!
iPhone on Verizon will crush Android sales
The iPhone is coming to Verizon in February and analysts predict anywhere from 12 to 25 million will sell in 2011. That does not bode well for Android, which was able to compete with the iPhone in market share partially because of AT&T’s exclusivity deal with Apple. However, HTC and Motorola have some pretty nifty new Android phones coming out mid-year that will definitely be competitive, so we’ll have to wait and see!
CES 2011 was a blizzard of tablets. It seemed almost every single maker had their own tablet to announce. Google will be showing off its new tablet operating system, Android Honeycomb, at a press event on February 2nd.
This is the operating system that many of the tablets at CES will be running and I can’t wait to see what it looks like. We haven’t heard anything about iPad 2 yet, but the first generation has been out for so long with little to no competition that even with all the shiny new Android tablets hitting the market soon, I think iPad sales will continue to dominate in 2011.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should put no restrictions on the type of content we receive and the methods in which we receive it. Proponents for net neutrality argue that telecom companies are trying to enact a tiered model where the consumer would have to pay a different amount to access different data.
This model is ultimately harmful to the consumer because telecom companies would be able to remove competition to their services by controlling the flow of content and creating artificial scarcity. This issue hasn’t had much effect on the mainstream media yet, but I think we’ll be reading a lot more about it this year, especially with the recent Comcast-NBC deal.
I had this prediction written in early January and then it came true. Yahoo announced more layoffs this month and I predict we’ll see more of that in 2011. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Carol Bartz is out of there by December.
What do you think we’ll see if 2011? Angry Birds on gaming consoles? Apple shutting down it’s Ping service? Share your predictions in the comments below!
Prediction #1: Twitter will remain unpopular among college age students.
Verdict: Kind of.
It’s hard to say whether this prediction is right or wrong as Twitter does not often release usage statistics, but PEW Internet recently released an interesting study on social media usage by demographic. While the younger age group (15-24) still makes up a majority of social media users, the fastest growing group is the over 74 year cohort. This neither proves nor disproves my prediction, but it is still an interesting statistic!
Prediction #2: Twitter will be bought.
Okay, so Twitter wasn’t bought. BUT, I did say that they would not monetize. Given that they have not released any information regarding their profits (and given that they probably would have if they were actually making a profit), I’m going to postpone this prediction to 2011.
Prediction #3: LinkedIn profile expansion among college age students.
It seems that most college students still don’t understand the power of networking sites like LinkedIn. The usage demographic remains heavily skewed towards the older male demographic with fewer than 4% of users in the 18-24 age group. Hopefully my E-Book about Networking for New Grads will help that.
Prediction #4: People will actually start to care about Facebook privacy.
This summer, Facebook’s privacy debacle made headlines on almost all major newspapers. It’s agreed by basically all journalists that Facebook screwed up royally. Whether anyone actually cared about it? I hope so!
Prediction #5: Explosion in sales of E-book Readers and 3D TVs.
Verdict: Half true.
Did you get a Kindle for Christmas? The Kindle has dominated the Amazon Best Seller’s list for the entire year. Gartner group reported in December that electronic book readers would reach 6.6 million by the end of 2010, which is a 79% increase from 2009. If only I’d stopped there. Due to a serious lack of content, 3D TV sales this holiday were dismal at best. Guess no one wants to wear funky glasses in their living room.
Prediction #6: More cross-over between social platforms.
You can login to almost any website now using Facebook Connect and Twitter now allows you to look for friends by connecting your LinkedIn profile. The Facebook and Twitter APIs also allow lots of social media newcomers like bookmarking site Diigo to send updates straight to Facebook and Twitter.
Prediction #7: Pressure from baby boomers to improve Facebook usability.
Verdict: Kind of.
This is a hard prediction to measure and I don’t think there can be a definite answer. What we do know is that baby boomers are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, so Facebook is making more of an effort to cater to this age group. I recently set up my aunt on Facebook and saw that they have a great new “Welcome to Facebook” page, something I would not have seen when I joined the site back in 2006. If they keep adding features like this to improve usability, I think baby boomers will continue to flock.
Prediction #8: Google Wave will be an epic fail.
Verdict. SO true.
You may ask, “What is Google Wave?” Exactly. Google announced this August that they would no longer be developing their Google Wave product. From one of the most buzzed about products in 2009 to a discontinued service in 2010, this definitely qualifies an epic fail.
Prediction #9: Backlash towards telegraphic communication.
Guess I was wrong. People don’t seem to have a problem with twitter’s 140 character limit. Is social media making us dumber?
Prediction #10: Service that combines personal recommendations with personal networks.
Facebook has been doing this all over the place. With their Facebook Connect and API, websites can
creepily stealutilize information on your facebook profile to offer recommendations based on what your friends like.
Well there you have it. With four and a half true, three false, and two kind of, I’d say that’s a pretty good showing for 2010. Check back soon to see a new set of predictions for 2011.
Happy 2010! After four months abroad in Spain, I am back in the United States, settling back into Chipotle burritos, big SUVs, free tap water at restaurants, and going to bed at midnight instead of 6am. And it’s great. Although it’s not great that I haven’t written since December, but it’s a new year! So here are 10 new thoughts on the emerging trends of 2010.
1. Twitter will remain unpopular among college age students.
2009 has been the year of twitter. Twitter traffic grew more than 1300% from Feb ‘08 to ‘09. However, one demographic remains dubious towards adopting another social media platform: college-age students.
Twitter should be used for developing professional networks and college age students are (usually) not thinking about their professional networks or careers (past their GPAs). For personal networks, twitter does not do anything that facebook doesn’t also offer. Which leads me to my next prediction…
2. Twitter will be bought.
My brother will argue with me on this one, but I think that Twitter has to monetize next year or they will be bought by Facebook. And if they haven’t made profits yet, I don’t see them doing so in 2010.
3. LinkedIn profile expansion among college-age students.
More students will create LinkedIn profiles. However, they will miss the point completely, using it as an electronic copy of their resume rather than a networking tool because (see #1, they don’t think about their professional networks until after college).
You’ve heard of the horror stories of students getting fired from their jobs for saying bad things about their bosses on Facebook.
Anyone seen Avatar? Heard of the Kindle? This one is kind of a given, with all the predicted CES hype around 3D TVs and E-book readers , you will be sure to see them crowding the shelves by Spring.
LinkedIn paired up with Twitter to offer cross-platform status updates. Maybe this is more of a desire than a prediction, but I want a multi-platform supported service that allows me to manage all of my social media identities from one single place. So, I predict it will happen.
The Facebook interface and user experience is sloppy. The site is difficult to navigate, privacy settings are confusing, and finding the features you want to use involves wading through pages of poorly designed interfaces (just ask my mom). The baby boomers are the largest growing demographic on Facebook. I’ve personally had to set up over ten accounts for family members who couldn’t figure it out. If Facebook wants to retain the baby boomer demographic, they’ll have to figure out a way to maintain the functionality they have while improving the user experience.
8. Google Wave will be an epic fail.
9. Backlash towards telegraphic communication.
In my experience, Twitter’s 140 character limit is not a positive. It hinders any real communication or connection and what you get is millions of users sharing a lot of links and talking mundanely about their personal lives.
10. Service that combines recommendations with personal networks.
I predict that some large retailer or rental company (maybe Netflix) will adopt users’ social media profiles into their algorithms for making suggestions. This would work great on an E-Book reader: “Looking for a new book to read? Your X friends that you have interacted with the most on ______ (insert social media platform) liked: ______”.
And there you have my predictions for 2010! Do you agree? Disagree? Have predictions of your own? Leave a comment and let me know.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any money lost due to gambling these claims. Unless you win.
The summer is coming to an end which means that many young professionals are wrapping up their summer internships or lining up a position for themselves for the fall. I had an extremely rewarding experience this summer working for PBS. I mean, who doesn’t love getting their picture taken with Josh Groban… during a workday!
Internships are all about creating lasting relationships with people in an industry that you are interested in. Whether your internship consisted of (or will consist of) making photocopies versus giving input on the user-friendliness of a website redesign (thankfully, I had the latter), social media can help you make the most out of your experience.
LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, plain and simple. No “Birthday Calendars” and no fancy bells and whistles, just a clean, powerful personal business network. With over 13 million unique monthly visitors, (and growing fast), you want to have a presence on LinkedIn.
As I said in my post on online reputation, 75% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to research job candidates before making an offer. (1) Spend 20-30 minutes and create a real profile, taking your time to fill in all the fields. Having a bare-bones profile with just your name (like so many that I’ve seen) says “I don’t care enough about my professional connections to actually spend time to let you know about me.” That is not the message you want to send.
Internships are about creating connections that will help you find “The Best Jobs”. (2) Use LinkedIn’s “Build Your Network” box to find past colleagues and classmates. You’ll surprise yourself with all the professional connections you didn’t know you had.
Twitter: who uses that, right? Wrong. While Twitter might not have found its way into your friend circle or personal networks, Twitter is a powerful tool for personally connecting with individuals in your industry. (1) Start by creating an account and following your co-workers. If they know you, they will likely follow you back. Keep in mind that unlike LinkedIn, you don’t necessarily have to have met someone personally to follow them. Make sure to follow the 5 Things on Twitter You Shouldn’t Do.
So you have a bunch of colleagues following you, now what? (2) Decide what you want to tweet about. For example, say you are interested in sports marketing. (3) Set up a Google Alerts for “sports marketing”, “nike advertising” and “adidas ad campaign” (just examples), (4) start following sports marketing blogs, and (5) then tweet any interesting articles or links that you find. You will begin to connect with other professionals in your field, creating helpful relationships that you can use when it comes time to search for a job.
Blogging requires dedication, perseverance, and a genuine interest in a specific topic. If you have those qualities, then starting a blog is a good step towards establishing yourself as a valuable resource in your field of interest. (That’s what I’m trying to do!) Here are a few resources:
My number one piece of advice is to just try it. I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy having a blog until I started writing about what my PBS internship was teaching me about social media. If you find that you aren’t passionate about what you chose to write about, write about something else. Use your blog to find out what you are truly passionate about.
Internships are a perfect time to explore what you may or may not be interested in. Take advantage of them while you still can! Use social media to create and maintain connections with colleagues and professionals and to deeply investigate an industry you might be interested in joining in the future.