Business cards out, icons, 'thlogs' are in
(Daily Oklahoman, The (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Nov. 27--Job hunters may commit their share of online gaffes and blunders, but an equal number are using the Web to their advantage with tools such as 'thlogs,' branded bios, and icons.
Gone are the days of flooding the market with resumes and hoping for a call back. Resumes are so 2000. Vicki Kunkel, a Chicago-based author and personal brand manager, says the standard listing of jobs and education, better known as resumes, are tools to weed people out rather than count them in.
Now, young professionals are creating what is known as 'branded bios,' which are Web-based summaries that tell observers (i.e. prospective employers) about their passions and ideal professional job, as well as educational and professional details.
In short, they identify a brand, a niche, an image.
"If there's anything we can learn from these past elections, learn this: If you don't control your image, somebody else will," Kunkel said. "And if that happens, it's almost impossible to turn around."
As chief executive officer of Leader Brand Strategists, Kunkel helps professionals create their Web-based images. She says her clients generally get hired in higher-paying positions than the average job hunter and many end up realizing their dreams after attracting an employer who was a good fit.
For instance, one of Kunkel's clients has great communication skills and loves children. Her dream is to give a voice to children on certain advocacy issues.
This client started her search by creating what Kunkel calls a "thlog," which is simply a blog that advocates a position and sticks with it. A thlog is not about reacting to others' views. Instead, it offers original, visionary thoughts on a position.
Kunkel's client also comments occasionally on relevant blogs in which she advances the topic with fresh thoughts and information. Then she provides a link to her thlog and gains traffic that way.
Edmond-based Internet author and guru Joel Comm has mastered the art of communicating on the Web. He says he earns thousands of dollars a month in passive income from blogs he has created. Comm recommends newcomers start with blogger.com, which is operated by Google.
"I kind of look at it as a blog with training wheels -- anybody can do it," Comm said. "Once you get the feel for blogging, I recommend people get off the blogging service and move onto two other platforms."
Wordpress.com and moveabletype.com are two platforms that give more power and design flexibility, Comm said.
Another feature that sets professionals apart is an e-mailed newsletter relevant to the brand. It takes a lot of time to create a meaty newsletter, but Kunkel says doors fly open when it is done right.
To create a branded bio on your Web site, Kunkel recommends a series of steps that tells observers your position, education, bio, blog and contact info.
Colorado-based Internet adviser Dave Taylor agrees controlling your image on the Internet is just as important as not goofing up.
"It's like writing resumes or sending in applications for jobs -- there are people who get it and people who get thrown in the garbage before it's even opened because it's amateurly addressed," Taylor said.
Kunkel also tells her clients that business cards are out and icons are in.
What is more advantageous is to hand out a personalized icon, or logo, that captures who you are at a glance. It can be used both on a card and on your Web material.
"We are in a society of instant images. You can't hold anybody's attention for very long anymore," Kunkel said. "This instantaneously identifies what you are all about."
Copyright (c) 2006, The Daily Oklahoman
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