LinkedIn Endorsements!

Back in September, LinkedIn rolled out what they called Endorsements.  I was unaware of what endorsements were until one morning I woke up and checked my email where someone had endorsed me.  At first, I thought it was just that someone had written a recommendation for me but, when I logged on, I learned what Endorsements really were – in a nutshell, it’s like clicking like on Facebook, for what your skills are. 

Initially I was very excited about the Endorsements feature because it was a great way for those who are busy to write a recommendation, to still “recommend” what you know and are good at but, in about a week, to put it bluntly, it became an irritating nuisance. I started getting notifications from people I barely knew endorsing me.

As a recruiter, I spend more time on LinkedIn than your average LinkedIn user.  I use LinkedIn heavily as a networking and recruiting tool and one of the things I look at anyone’s profile is their recommendation.  It tells me that if someone took the time to actually write a well thought-out recommendation, they must think very highly of this person.  That to me is valuable!  The problem with endorsing people ended up becoming just a big exchange system.  Many people are endorsing me in hopes that I’ll endorse them back and they are very clear about it because they will flat out ask for it. 

One of the reasons I don’t like the endorsements much is that, if someone is on a job hunt, they’ll try to rack up as many Endorsements as they can.  Therefore, I’ve started to look past the Endorsements in my decisions on if I am going to reach out to someone or not. 

As LinkedIn puts it, “There’s no rule that you have to endorse someone who’s endorsed you.” This is true because I do not endorse anyone unless I can truly speak to their work, but it seems like the polite thing to do.  

This leaves you with one question – whether to endorse someone because etiquette demands it or endorse only because you can vouch for it.

Where do you stand on this?  Do you endorse?  Have you endorsed those you don’t really know? 

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Position Available – Human Capital Consultant – Booz Allen Hamilton

Are you a Human Capital Consultant with experience in Workforce Planning, Competency Modeling, Performance Management? 

Have you worked for a mangement consulting company?  Do you have experience with the big 4 consulting firms?

Are you looking for a new position within a company which truly values its employees?

Contact me now for details and to discuss possible opportunities!!

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Tips on finding a job …

In today’s environment, finding a job is a complex challenge.

The first stop in finding a great job starts with a proactive mindset. The next step is to become visible and relevant to people within the area you are targetting.  Becoming visible is extremely important because you have to stand out and be noticed.

Now let’s talk about how exactly can you make yourself visible?   Well as for anything else in life, it all starts with networking.  Start by networking with decision makers and potential colleagues in the target area you have specified. They may be a resource to you in finding a new job.  Now if you are wondering where exactly you can find these people to network with, well, social networks such as FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have become strong avenues for meeting and connecting with people with similar interests who can identify or help with job opportunities.

The next thing is to make sure that your online profile and your online resume can clearly demonstrate the value you can bring to an organization. You want to make sure you are concentrating on creating a hard-hitting resume and cover letter that will automatically give you an edge over people who decide not to pay attention to this extremely important factor.

If you make full use of the networking tools out there and post your resume and other career materials online which demonstrates that you have thought this through and have a plan in mind, you’ll impress potential employers as well as your network contacts and start seeing results. 

Once the interest is generated, you will gain the confidence in being able to handle your job search proactively!   I hope this advice helps you even a bit in your job search and wish you all the best in finding what you are looking for!!

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SOC…Securing our Country
SOC is the global leader in full-service security management. With extensive human and technical resources; a domestic and international footprint; and the necessary depth of know-how and experience – we are able to support and achieve our clients’ objectives in any corner of the world. We provide security services for individuals, domestic facilities, nuclear power plants, and military bases. We provide logistics services worldwide. We have a wide breadth of operations and maintenance (O&M) capabilities. We train military, police, and corporate personnel in the latest techniques and force protection strategies including personal weapon handling, off-road vehicular maneuvering, planning / executing convoy operations, and a full range of requirements from the military and SWAT Teams. Our customers include the United States Departments’ of State, Defense, and Energy; other government agencies; and numerous commercial companies and individuals. SOC continuously provides security from the front lines in most of the difficult regions of the world and at home in our own backyard.

SOC is growing, and we’re looking for qualified people to join our team. We believe our employees are our most sustainable competitive advantage. We search for people that can work in a team environment, who demonstrate a passion for their work, and who can contribute to our continuing success. SOC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V

If you are interested in opportunities on our recent WPS contract – please check the link below and apply for the position you feel you are most interested in or qualified for.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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Tips for Networking!

Networking can be intimidating for some, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to help you improve your networking skills:1. Volunteer: Volunteering can open you to a wide range of people with backgrounds and experiences you might never encounter otherwise.

2. Explore new activities: if your workplace or neighborhood is mostly filled with people just like you, try stepping outside of your comfort zone on your free hours.

3. Go places alone: If you attend a conference, business luncheon or even an art show on the weekend with a friend, the tendency is to talk to the person you arrived with. Arriving alone encourages you to work the room and meet more people.

4. Show a genuine interest in others: Ask questions and listen.

5. Invite people to meetings: When appropriate, consider inviting someone outside your usual circle to attend a conference or meeting with you.

6. Hold weekly meetings: Commit to asking someone new out to lunch every week (or month, depending on your schedule). It could be someone from your office, another department, a client’s office or someone you met outside work.

7. Smile: This last tip is the easiest one to follow and the one that will most likely bring you the best results.

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The 10 Worst Presentation Habits

The 10 Worst Presentation Habits

Do you have any bad presentation habits? We all know bad presenters when we see them. Carmine Gallo’s  “The 10 Worst Presentation Habits” is an excellent resource on public speaking. After reading his ten bad habits, I realized that I committed at lot of them during my presentations.

I realize it was just a matter of inexperience in giving presentations and not having the 10 commandments handy. Do you want to avoid bad presentations?

The 10 Worst Presentation Habits

Check out Business Week’s slide show that summarizes of Gallo’s list of the 10 worst presentation habits:

“As a communications coach for some of America’s most admired companies, I work with business professionals who want to engage their listeners — whether they are addressing employees, customers or colleagues; whether they are speaking to an audience of one or one thousand.

In my book, 10 Simple Secrets of the World’s Greatest Business Communicators, I identify bad presentation habits that impose barriers between speakers and their listeners. Here are the worst habits and how to overcome them.”

Below are Gallo’s bad habits verbatim:

  1. Reading from notes: review your material to the point where you have so completely absorbed the material, you can deliver it without notes.
  2. Avoiding eye contact: maintain eye contact with your listeners at least 90% of the time. It’s appropriate to glance at your notes or slides from time to time, but only for a few seconds and only as a reminder of where to go next. You are speaking for the benefit of your listeners. Speak to them, not the slides.
  3. Dressing Down: find a clothing store and salesperson whose recommendations you trust. Always dress appropriately for the culture, but a little better than everyone else.
  4. Fidgeting, jiggling, and swaying: the solution is simple. Don’t fidget, jiggle or sway! Videotape your presentations or rehearsals from time to time to catch your flaws.
  5. Failure to rehearse: take a cue from Cisco CEO John Chambers. He spends hours rehearsing every component of his presentations, from the material to the flow of slides to when and where he’s going to walk among the audience. It’s preparation to the extreme, but it works.
  6. Standing at attention: move, walk, use hand gestures. Great speakers are animated in voice and body.
  7. Reciting bullet points: don’t write too many words on the slide. A good rule of thumb is no more than four words across and six lines down. For slides with more content, do not recite the slide word for word. Include a story, anecdote, example to add color to the content. Trust that your audience can read the slide for themselves.
  8. Speaking too long: edit everything you say. Do you spend five minutes saying something that you could otherwise say in 30 seconds? What can you cut out? Be thorough, yet concise in all manners of communication, including phone conversations, emails and formal presentations.
  9. Failing to excite: tell your listeners why they should be excited about your content. Give your audience a reason to care.
  10. Ending with an inspiration deficit: go ahead and summarize what you just said in the presentation, but leave your audience with one key thought — something they didn’t know that makes their jaws drop in collective awe.
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Losing your job because of your tweets!

Here is another example of how tweeting EVERYTHING can backfire!

A job applicant tweeted the following :

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

This tweet caught the attention of Tim Levad, a channel partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded :

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

Ouch! The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

I can’t stress the importance of being careful while putting your business out to the social media network.  Please just pause for a second and think “should I be saying this in these words for the whole world to know” before you hit the share / save button and this can really save a lot of headache in the long run!!

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Social Media – Be Careful What You Write About!

  This particular Twitter posting came back to bite the agency person from Ketchum (New York office) who made some unflattering remarks about Memphis that morning before he presented on digital media to the worldwide communications group at FedEx (150+) people.

Not only did an employee find it, they were totally offended by it and responded to the agency person. The kicker is that they copied the FedEx Coporate Vice President, Vice President, Directors and all management of FedEx’s communication department AND the chain of command at Ketchum.

Mr. Andrews, the Ketchum presenter, did not take into account that many FedExers are native Memphians and are feircely defensive of their city and their company.

Mr. Andrews,

If I interpret your post correctly, these are your comments about Memphis a few hours after arriving in the global headquarters city of one of your key and lucrative clients, and the home of arguably one of the most important entrepreneurs in the history of business, FedEx founder Fred Smith.

Many of my peers and I feel this is inappropriate. We do not know the total millions of dollars FedEx Corporation pays Ketchum annually for the valuable and important work your company does for us around the globe. We are confident however, it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position as a vice president at a major global player in your industry. A hazard of social networking is people will read what you write.

Not knowing exactly what prompted your comments, I will admit the area around our airport is a bit of an eyesore, not without crime, prostitution, commercial decay, and a few potholes. But there is a major political, community, religious, and business effort underway, that includes FedEx, to transform that area. We’re hopeful that over time, our city will have a better “face” to present to visitors.

James, everyone participating in today’s event, including those in the auditorium with you this morning, just received their first paycheck of 2009 containing a 5% pay cut… which we wholeheartedly support because it continued the tradition established by Mr. Smith of doing whatever it takes to protect jobs.

Considering that we just entered the second year of a U.S. recession, and we are experiencing significant business loss due to the global economic downturn, many of my peers and I question the expense of paying Ketchum to produce the video open for today’s event; work that could have been achieved by internal, award-winning professionals with decades of experience in television production.

Additionally Mr. Andrews, with all due respect, to continue the context of your post; true confession: many of my peers and I don’t see much relevance between your presentation this morning and the work we do in Employee Communications.

So while letting the whole world know about what you are doing and feeling is great, please be careful of what you post in the social media network because you might post it and forget but it will exist in the virtual world for people to read and find and it might just come back to bite you!!

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Commonly used words and their definitions in Quality Assurance!

Quality Assurance is not very complicated by any means given you understand the basics.  Here are some basic and most common words along with their definitions to help you get a better understanding of what QA is all about.  Hope this is helpful 🙂  

1)What is quality? 
Quality software is software that is reasonably bug-free, delivered on time and within budget, meets requirements and expectations and is maintainable. However, quality is a subjective term. Quality depends on who the customer is and their overall influence in the scheme of things. Customers of a software development project include end-users, customer acceptance test engineers, testers, customer contract officers, customer management, the development organization’s management, test engineers, testers, salespeople, software engineers, stockholders and accountants. Each type of customer will have his or her own take on quality. The accounting department might define quality in terms of profits, while an end-user might define quality as user friendly and bug free. 

2) What is a Test Suite and a Test Script?
The most common term for a collection of test cases is a test suite. The test suite often also contains more detailed instructions or goals for each collection of test cases. It contains a section where the tester identifies the system configuration used during testing. A group of test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions of the following tests.
Most commonly, test scripts are the code that is used by the automated tools to carry out the tests.

3) What is a Test Plan?
Collections of test cases are sometimes incorrectly termed a test plan. They may also be called a test script, or even a test scenario however, a test plan is the approach that is used to test the system, not the individual tests.

4)What is a Test Scenario?
A test scenario is a test based on a hypothetical story used to help the tester think through a complex problem or system. It can be as simple as a diagram for a testing environment or it could be a written out description. The ideal scenario has five key characteristics. It is 
(a) a story that is 
(b) motivating, 
(c) credible, 
(d) complex, and 
(e) easy to evaluate. 
They are usually different from test cases in that test cases are single steps and scenarios cover a number of steps. Test suites and scenarios can be used for complete system tests.

5)What is a Test Case?
A test case is usually a single step, and its expected result, along with various additional pieces of information. It can also be a series of steps but with one expected result or expected outcome. The additional fields are a test case ID, test step or order of execution number, related requirement(s), test category, author, and check boxes for whether the test is automatable and has been automated along with the status. Larger test cases may also contain prerequisite states or steps, and descriptions. A test case also contains a place for the actual result. These steps can be stored
in a word document, spreadsheet, database or other common repository. In a database system, you can also have a place to be able to see past test results and who generated the results and the system configuration used to generate those results.  These past results would usually be stored in a separate table.

6)What is an inspection?
An inspection is a formal meeting, more formalized than a walkthrough and typically consists of 3-10 people including a moderator, reader (the author of whatever is being reviewed) and a recorder (to make notes in the document). The subject of the inspection is typically a document, such as a requirements document or a test plan. The purpose of an inspection is to find problems and see what is missing, not to fix anything. The result of the meeting should be documented in a written report. Attendees should prepare for this type of meeting by reading through the document, before the meeting starts; most problems are found during this preparation. Preparation for inspections is difficult, but is one of the most cost-effective methods of ensuring quality, since bug prevention is more cost effective than bug detection. 

7)What is verification? 
Verification ensures the product is designed to deliver all functionality to the customer; it typically involves reviews and meetings to evaluate documents, plans, code, requirements and specifications; this can be done with checklists, issues lists, walkthroughs and inspection meetings. You can learn to do verification, with little or no outside help.  

8)What is validation? 
Validation ensures that functionality, as defined in requirements, is the intended behavior of the product; validation typically involves actual testing and takes place after verifications are completed. 

9)What is a walkthrough? 
A walkthrough is an informal meeting for evaluation or informational purposes. A walkthrough is also a process at an abstract level. It’s the process of inspecting software code by following paths through the code (as determined by input conditions and choices made along the way). The purpose of code walkthroughs is to ensure the code fits the purpose. Walkthroughs also offer opportunities to assess an individual’s or team’s competency. 

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Some ILLEGAL Questions

With the workforce being so diverse now, I thought I would post a list of some questions that are considered illegal due to the equal opportunity laws in the USA.  I realize some of these questions might not be so out of line and perfectly acceptable in some countries.  I am posting some such questions here so you don’t loose the right opportunity due to a question you didn’t know you couldn’t ask or be asked.

What political party are you affiliated with?
Are you a member of the local country club?
Do you go to church regularly?
Are you currently married? Are you divorced? What is your sexual orientation?
What are your outstanding debts?
What charities are you involved with?
Do you drink?
Do you have a boyfriend?
Do you have a girlfriend / boyfrend / Are you planning to have children?
Do you have a physical disability?
Do you have any health problems?
How old are you?
This is a Christian company. Do you think that you can be happy working here?
What does you father/mother do for a living?
What is your first language?
What is your IQ?
How much do you weigh?
What’s your religion?

Hope these help 🙂

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