The iPhone Versus Workplace Etiquette: Take the Poll

Smart phones are once again the talk at the water cooler as co-workers chat up the recently-launched iPhone 4's features (and bugs) and compare notes on the latest in smart phone technology – from Android to Blackberry to iPhone and beyond. According to a recent ComScore study, over 45 million people in the U.S. own smart phones, the largest-growing segment of the 234 million-strong U.S. mobile phone market.

Now that mobile phone technology has advanced to the stage that people are carrying small, hand-held computers around with them on a day-to-day basis, the culture is definitely changing. From impacting e-mail habits to altering the way our brain processes information to changing the intrapersonal communication styles of a generation, mobile technology plays an important role in the digital age.

So this month, we want to know how smart phones affect etiquette in the workplace. Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below:

Your Job Search Elevator Pitch – Communicate Your Value in these 7 Easy Steps

Imagine you’ve walked into a networking event only to meet a potential employer you’ve been dying to snag an interview with. This is your chance. You need to make a good impression, and quickly. But you’re not sure what to say.

Wouldn’t it be great if you already had a short, targeted message ready to grab interest of your potential employer before he walks out the doors, taking your opportunity with him? What you need in these situations is a job search elevator speech, and not just your typical, “My name is Jane, and I’m an XYZ professional, nice to meet you.” So, here are seven tips to create a powerful job search elevator pitch that will hit the mark every time and help you spark the interest of potential employers.

Keep it short and focused. Of course, you should be able to go into a full-blown pitch on all you have to offer. But, this isn’t the time or place for that – yet. Experts suggest keeping your elevator pitch to 10-15 seconds. A sentence or two is perfect. Keep it focused on achieving your desired goal – such as to land an interview.

Brainstorm words and images. Think about what sets you and your skills apart from other people looking for a job in your industry. Then, come up with words and images that illustrate these ideas.

Lead with the benefits. A stranger doesn’t care about you or your need for a job. They don’t care how much experience you have or what your passion is. They care mostly about themselves. If you’re going to interest anyone in yourself and what you provide as a potential employee, you have to tune prospective employers in to what is referred to as WIIFM, or what’s in it for me? So, open your elevator pitch with how your work would benefit a company and its customers or clients.

Be real. Though you’re in the midst of a potential employment opportunity, don’t treat your elevator pitch like a sales transaction. People don’t typically enjoy interacting with pushy salespeople, so avoid acting too aggressive. Instead, focus on building a relationship first.

Tell a compelling story. People love stories and storytellers. They engage us and let us feel free to interact and converse. Telling a story with your elevator pitch is a great way to interest the listener and ensure the conversation moves forward into the details of what you do.

Don’t tell too much. Rather than divulging every aspect of who you are and what you do, create an elevator pitch that compels the listener to ask more about you. The best elevator pitches transition into conversations driven by the listener’s curiosity. This has the dual impact of engaging your new contact and enabling you to go into greater detail on your skills and expertise.

Stay flexible. No matter how much time you spend developing the perfect pitch, you’ll have to adapt it to each person you meet. Also, it’s vital to keep it updated and practice it regularly so it comes off naturally and sincere.

At some point in your job search, you’ll run across people who may benefit from your skills and background. It’s up to you to be able to communicate what that is in a way that catches their interest and leaves a lasting impression, making them curious to learn more about you.

How Bad Are Awful Co-Workers?

You’ve heard about bad bosses. They can stunt your career and make work miserable. But bad co-workers can do their damage in the workplace, too, by spreading gossip, causing drama, and piling work up on teammates.

So now we want to know, just how bad are bad co-workers?

Do you have a story of a bad employee that’s truly unbelievable?
We’re helping best-selling author Jim Stovall, who wrote 100 Worst Bosses, collect stories for his latest book, 100 Worst Employees. You can submit your story now – all names will be changed to protect the identity of those involved. If your story is selected for the book, you’ll receive a signed copy of the book when it’s released!

What’s the Worst Kind of Boss?

Chances are you’ve worked for many different types of bosses. There are four basic boss personalities you’ve probably encountered on the job: the tiger, the fox, the chameleon, and the ostrich. Each boss has their own style, and there are good and bad elements to each style. But, when a boss only uses the negative sides of their leadership instinct, it can make work miserable. So, we want to know what you think.

Want to know what kind of leader you’d be? Take our quiz and discover your leadership instinct style today!

  • Online Quiz
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Does Online or In-Person Networking Work Best? The Surprising Results of Poll

With so much focus on social networking and the job search, we wanted to know in our latest poll what you think works best – in person or online networking.

The results of the poll – posted and shared online – may be surprising.

A total of 477 readers responded to the poll, which asked “Which is most effective?”

A huge majority thought in-person networking works best.

Here’s how the results came back:

  • 21.4 % selected “Networking online.”
  • 78.6 % selected “Networking in person.”

But, as our readers shared, that’s not to say that networking online isn’t important. Their comments reinforced the value of balancing both in-person and online networking.

Networking Balance is Key

Reader Chuck Rice responded, “I don't know that you can do one or the other. Face to face will always continue to be important, however online networking is better for staying in touch and discussing a variety of topics to a larger audience. I've found that seeing a post or message from someone in the middle of my business day causes me to act immediately, as long as I've built some face to face relationship.”

Other commentators shared the value of networking online to expand your relationships beyond where time and travel costs allow with traditional networking.

When it comes to networking, it’s clear that balance is key. With all the focus and attention on social media and technology these days, don’t underestimate the value of meeting people face-to-face. Use both in-person and online networking tactics to get the best of both options. Putting all your eggs in one networking basket could limit your opportunities, so carefully plan time for each type of networking in your professional life.

What are your thoughts? Can you afford to rely on just one type of networking these days to build your personal brand, advance in your career, and find great opportunities?