can you do the digital handshake?

With the growing number of video interviews, there’s not a good reason to assume you won’t be asked to be part of one. Business video chats are not in the same category as a Skype or Google hangout because there is a level of professional behavior expected from all parties. Many business meetings are being held in a video conference, too, so these skills are going to be essential in most careers.

One of The New Secrets to Rocking Your Skype Interview that Scott Dockweiler gives us on The Muse is the “digital handshake.” This substitute for a physical shaking of hands is a way to show you are friendly, professional, and ready to get started. This is how you do the first impression successfully, laying the foundation for good communication during the rest of the meeting. Without that good first impression, the rest of the meeting is an attempt to overcome bad vibes.

Components of The Digital Handshake

  • Look at the camera
  • Lean slightly forward, shoulders & eyes focusing ahead
  • Nod your head in a slow, confident, deliberate gesture without breaking eye contact

Now I can hear some of you saying…”I’m looking at a camera! What’s the eye contact there?” You need to remember, in a video meeting that the camera is where you look when you are speaking. When the other party speaks, look at the screen, but when you speak, look at the camera. Some people use a photograph with a hole in it for the lens to put over the camera as a reminder.

Why A Digital Handshake Is Important

The whole video business meeting dynamic is inventing itself, and we are still seeing things change. But even a few years ago, global trends indicated that business and video conferencing were only going to increase. Since the use of video eliminates some of the geographic limitations, we are going to have to be prepared for some cross-cultural challenges along with the ordinary challenge of impressing a remote viewer with your professional abilities.

That simple nod and the body language accompanying it says you are ready to listen and contribute to the meeting — so it can start. 


online authority is essential for professionals
Professional resume and executive resume services have always emphasized the importance of networking for those interested in finding a job or moving ahead in their career plans. This is because the interactions we have with others in our industries creates a background impression that job applications, resumes, and cover letters are viewed against. People see the resume, for instance, and find out more by either asking around or remembering contact.

LinkedIn is an online networking site, the biggest and most influential one we have access to in 2015. Louisa Chan is a marketing expert, and her post on Copyblogger is primarily speaking to content writers. But the 7 Ways to Build Online Authority with LinkedIn that Chan suggests are good suggestions for professionals of any industry who wish to establish authority in their field. Isn’t this what networking and moving ahead as a professional is all about? As others become familiar with our expertise, we have a voice in the field — and the more expertise that is in our voice, the more authority we have.

Seven Ways To Build Authority on LinkedIn

Here is a quick look at these great suggestions:

  1. complete your profile
  2. compose content for distribution
  3. convene in relevant LinkedIn discussion groups
  4. connect with your peers
  5. communicate in a personal way
  6. continue to improve
  7. commit to your production schedule

All of these are ongoing projects. Even the completion of your profile is never ending, because if you are doing the other things, there will be more to add to your profile. And each time you add to the content you produce, your voice is being heard as an expert in your field.

If nobody knows you are an expert, you are invisible. One of the first things that a potential employer or the HR person deciding on your promotion, will do is see what you have to say about your expertise online. This is essential, whether it is original content (and there should be some original content) or a carefully curated contribution to the discussion along with your commentary.


predictive analytics and your career

“While not new, predictive analytics is an important factor in assessing a candidate’s fit and potential. What is new is its accelerating use in corporate America as a means to filter candidates in and out of consideration long before any personal assessment is made.” — Lou Adler

Lou Adler is a regular contributor to LinkedIn and has so much experience and authority in his perspective on the hiring process that it is worth taking the time to understand what he says about the way Big Brother is Now Determining Your Hirability. Today, a person seeking a position is filtered by all that is in their resume, and all that is in their online brand as well. There’s a list of characteristics that fit into a pattern; the pattern of the Achiever.

Here is what the “Achiever Pattern” that many companies look for consists of:

  • lower turnover with growing responsibility
  • quality of the years of experience rather than number of years
  • quickly being assigned (or volunteering) for important projects and/or teams
  • demonstrating same patterns of initiative & responsibility in every position
  • rehiring and being rehired by past co-workers
  • participation in expanding cross-functional teams

Why Are Certain Qualities Desirable?

If you look at the Achiever Pattern’s overall impression, you see someone who is willing and able to work within any setting and maximize the potential. They are good to work with, as evidenced by the fact they hire past co-workers and are hired by people who have worked with them in the past. There’s a pattern there of more than a self-centered trampling on the way to a shinier inflated ego — the achievement they consistently reach is an achievement that is good for everyone.

If you don’t have these qualities, you may be filtered out of the running before you ever get to the interview. It may be a good idea to carefully look at your resume and online presence and see how accurately they are portraying your own achievements. LinkedIn profile development has never been more important than it is today because it reveals a pattern that your next employer uses to predict your hirability.


Recently, I was honored to be among industry experts discussing current trends in resumes and cover letters on a Mashable Biz Chat. Tracy Edouard, Marketing and Communication at Mashable, gives us the highlights of Mashable’s #BizChats Twitter chat on how to transform your resume and cover letter for the better and you can see different professional perspectives on these questions:

  1. Is it important to have both a cover letter and resume when submitting job applications? Why or why not?
  2. How can someone truly make their resume stand out from the competition?
  3. What features are important to showcase on someone’s resume? (GPA, school, skills, etc.)
  4. What are employers and recruiters looking for in resumes and cover letters?
  5. What are the biggest cover-letter mistakes professionals are making?
  6. How important is design when it comes to creating a resume and cover letter?
  7. What are the top resources available for resume and cover letter support?
  8. What final tips do you have about creating great resumes and cover letters?

These are all good questions. And the input from the various professionals involved is valuable without a doubt. But do you know what the most striking thing about this Twitter chat is?

There Isn’t An Excuse For An Ineffective Resume & Cover Letter

We have the ability to pull experts from all over the place for a chance to pick their brains. Every expert tweeting is linked to a site with a wealth of information, and there is no reason a job seeker with access to an expert can’t get expert advice. Much of that advice is free, too!

The overwhelming consensus is that you can have an effective resume and cover letter by putting the right effort into it. Sometimes that effort involves doing the research on current trends and revamping it yourself, sometimes it takes a resume critique from a professional to help you see what needs to be done, and sometimes your best investment is in a professional resume service.

The help you need to have a powerful resume and cover letter is out there and you can find it easily, along with a wealth of career advice from experts in your field.

top mistakes that get your application tossed

Sometimes, the difference between a job application that makes an employer say, “Wow!” and one that makes an employer say, “Whoa…skip that one” is a simple mistake that is easy to avoid. In a recent Daily Worth article, Natasha Burton looks at 9 common job application mistakes that can cause that application to get tossed. Her list is:

  • not following instructions
  • applying for “any” position
  • sloppy grammar
  • outdated resume
  • listing responsibilities instead of what you accomplished
  • over-the-top resume
  • passive voice & too many skills
  • unsolicited salary requirements
  • inappropriate cover letter/email

Pay Attention To The Details

Every single item on this list could be avoided if the applicant is paying attention to detail. It’s pretty easy to go into an automatic zone when you are submitting a lot of applications, but that’s when the mistakes happen. Electronic job applications, for instance, are increasingly common and can put everything in the wrong box if you aren’t careful.

Handwritten applications are still being used, and that means your handwriting has to be legible. Is it? Hard-to-read scrawls are one big reason a good candidate goes un-interviewed. Slow down and write clearly if you are asked to fill out an application by hand.

Many times, it feels redundant to fill out an application when you have all that information on your resume. But often, an employer will use it to cross-check your information. It’s a good idea to have a copy of your resume — the updated one you submitted — so that the details are easy to access. Nobody remembers all the little details of a job history without help, and why add stress to your life? It’s easy to have your resume along and use that to fill in the application quickly.

Probably, the most important mistake to avoid is not following instructions. If you have a tendency to skim quickly and assume you caught the gist, slow down and make sure you also catch the details that could change the way you do things.

3 reasons to track the numbers in your job performance

Some of us liked math class, and some of us did not (I am in the latter group). But like it or not, numbers are essential in your career, from resume to retirement and everywhere in between. Job performance numbers are particularly useful for at least three reasons:

  1. they look good on your resume
  2. they help with salary negotiations
  3. and they give you confidence

Performance Numbers Validate Your Resume

When you can state that your work for a past employer resulted in a 15% increase in sales, that is an authoritative statement. It had better be a true statement that you can back up with more information, too! The fact is. illustrating your success with hard numbers always gets a good ROI on your resume because it is specific proof of your worth. Employers looking for a good return on their investment in hiring you will be impressed.

Performance Numbers Bolster Your Salary

When you come into a salary negotiation equipped with the numbers showing your worth, you have a powerful argument for getting a raise or added benefits. You have provided the company with more profit and are worthy of a bigger wage. Again, the numbers need to be backed with additional information so it can be verified if questions come up. If you are due for a salary increase, be prepared to bolster your claims with the numbers to prove it.

Performance Numbers Boost Your Confidence 

When you are keeping track of what you do at work and the difference that it makes, there’s a record of your valuable input. Even something as simple as attendance means you were on the job — and if you are tracking all the numbers of your particular job you should see which numbers will be valuable for your resume and salary negotiations. You will also begin to see indications and trends in your personal work habits and opportunities that will help you establish goals.

Keeping track of your own job performance numbers puts you in control of your own career.

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