First Impressions Matter

photo by woodleywonderworks

photo by woodleywonderworks

If you’re a freelancer, making a great first impression with clients is vital. Here are some of my tips for making sure that first impression is a good one.

Like many other freelancers, I dread hearing these words from a potential client: “Can you send me a copy of your resume?” Resumes will never be a great way for me to showcase my work, and I don’t think they make a great first impression. They also seem a little old-fashioned for those of us who work almost entirely online. My body of work is online, and that says so much more about me than I could possibly cram onto a one- or two-page resume. However, many people still ask for a resume, and you have to be prepared to send one to potential clients or employers. If you’re preparing an “old school” resume, FreelanceSwitch has some good tips. Read More about First Impressions Matter

Raveal: The Future of Online Job Hunting?

raveallogoWe’ve all probably used either or at some point. Whether or not we did so successfully or enjoyed the process is another story. Looking for work online can feel clumsy, impersonal and of questionable effectiveness. Even professional networking apps like LinkedIn haven’t really made significant advances to the way we go about searching for jobs on the web. A new service, called Raveal, hopes to bring some fresh perspective to the online employment search game.

Raveal is aimed at the job hunter, promising to represent those who list themselves with the service as people, not assets. It’s an attractive prospect when you’re coming from a situation where you feel significantly less than human in the meat market that is Monster. And it has a distinctly simple, clean Web 2.0 look that at least shows the site’s designers take their job seriously. Read More about Raveal: The Future of Online Job Hunting?

Is Your Personal Blog Working For or Against You?

diaryA big chunk of web working has to do with managing your online presence. That means staying on top of social media trends, managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other profiles, and making sure all these communities are working to your advantage. A well-managed online presence could mean a Digg front-page one day, and a well-placed link another, generating a lot of traffic and interest in whatever service/product you may be selling.

It’s surprising, then that people so often overlook the value of a personal blog in the social media web.

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VisualCV Puts Your Best Foot Forward

ScreenshotAs a web worker, you likely gave up sending out paper resumes long ago. But is the online profile that you show prospective employers anything more than a marked-up copy of that old version? If so, VisualCV wants to help you bring that hoary old document into the web age. After a free registration, you can create your VisualCV, you end up in the company’s browser-based editor. Here you can add and edit typical sections like “Objective”, “Work History”, and “Education” to your CV.

But things don’t stop there. What makes VisualCV stand out is the variety of content that you can add to areas like the Portfolio sidebar. Web sites you’re proud of creating? Put up screenshots. Video or audio recordings to show off your people skills? Put those in too. The end result is somewhere between a traditional resume and a single-page portfolio web site. VisualCV also offers you control over who can see your work, and lets you create multiple versions to put forth a different persona to different readers. Best of all, it’s all free.

May 23: What’s Interesting This Morning

Update: Stuff I found interesting to read about this morning…

Everything You Totes Didn’t Need to Know About The All-for-Nots

What do you get when you combine a horny bassist and his groupie girlfriend, a laconic drummer with impulse control issues, a keyboardist with a fallback career in contract law and a frontman with ego issues that rival Anton Newcombe‘s? Potentiating two of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s most important cultural exports — post-punk pop and ironic self-awareness — The All-for-Nots has a shot at becoming the first true breakout, must-see hit of the web video generation.

The show is financed by Vuguru, which also made the popular Prom Queen and represents Michael Eisner’s quest for personal reinvention after being ousted from the Mouse House. The production team, Dinosaur Diorama, is helmed by Thom Woodley and Kathleen Grace, who garnered New York media attention and accolades with their take on hipster hooliganism in The ‘Burg. And of course it’s socially networked to the hilt, with the inevitable MySpace page and a promotional agreement with the newly AOL-owned Bebo.

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Palm Foleo delayed, possibly due to smartphone synching issues

Palm_foleoI don’t think folks should be too hard on Palm for a delay of the Foleo considering there was never an officially announced release date. However, it does look like the rumored late August launch was real. Notice the word "was": according to a Deutsche Bank analyst, the device won’t be seen until late September or early October. The issue appears to be a smartphone synchronization issue between the Foleo and some Treo models. This is actually surprising since the core competency of the device is as a "smartphone companion".

The way I see it: Palm has missed a huge sales opportunity not getting this device out by now. While we might have a "ho-hum" Folio attitude in general as consumers, the device is really geared towards the suits. After 15 years in the corporate world I can tell you that most companies are setting or already have set their discretionary budget for next year at this point. That will make the Folio a tough sell in large quantities for most companies simply because the dollars might not be there.

How do I deal with a troublesome board member?

_Naturally, this is a question most founders would just as soon not have attributed to them. I agreed to post it on one person’s behalf._

*How do I deal with board member whose priorities seem to be diverging from mine and my co-founder’s at a critical time in the startup’s life?*

My co-founder and I have our hands full dealing with things like a) a product upgrade and b) a big sales push to get us over the hump. It’s a critical time for the business, and we’re pusing our team really hard. We’re confident that this will work, but we have a particularly difficult board member who doesn’t seem to share our attitude.

We’re not sure why, but nothing seems sufficient to meet his expectations for revenue (some of which I feel may be unreasonable for a young startup). We hear the word “results” a lot. I am beginning to fear that his attitude might have more to do with his own investment portfolio (need for an exit?), and less to do with our company. More pressing: we worry that his attitude, or lack of patience, will taint others on our board — insecurity breeds insecurity, and after a certain point, I’ve observed that many investors will opt for unloading a startup that represents a troublesome situation. (Ditto for a founder who represents same.)

The director is a well-connected investor, so we can’t afford to alientate him, or anyone else. And I figure if we go head-to-head with him we’ll lose. (Money talks.) So short of fostering more confrontation/conflict before the board, what can we do? The more time we spend assuaging his concerns, the less time we have for the real work.

HP Does Not Need a Celebrity CEO

Wall Street Journal speculates on who could be the news HP CEO. They say, it would be someone with an impressive resume, and lots of star power, in order to restore Wall Street faith in the company. Names being bandied about are Ed Zander of Motorola and Michael Capellas of Compaq among others. First of all, HP should stop listening to those idiots on Wall Street. Look at the carnage Wall Street backseat driving has done – AT&T, WorldCom, HP. The list is endless. They supported the HP-Compaq merger, and now that it did not work out well, then they turned on Carly. They had their chance back in the day, and they choose wrong. So no need to pay attention to these guys. (Think about this – a dumb journalist got it right, and these guys who get paid megamillions to manage money couldn’t see the obvious!)

Celebrity CEO – well no one has more star power than Carly. She made the front page of New York Times for god sake. Which other CEO makes that kind of news, unless they are involved in a massive scandal, ala Bernie Ebbers. What HP needs is a low-key geek, who can get things done. I am pretty sure there are tons of them around – folks who understand the uniqueness of HP, its engineering heritage, those who can focus on work not marketing messages and hour long videos.

I have two names – Vyomesh Joshi – who has done a spectacular job of making HP printer business a cash cow that helps feed the entire operation. “H-P would risk losing credibility by choosing an insider because this is a company that isn’t succeeding,” Steve Mader, a vice chairman of Cleveland recruiters Christian & Timbers tells WSJ. What a joke – the guy who is making more profits for the company is not good enough. Oh wait these jokers are the ones who brought Carly from Lucent to HP back in 1999. If they want a celebrity CEO, well how about Steven S Reinemund, chairman and CEO of Pepsi. He is kicking Coke’s butt. Long shot? How about bringing Lou Gerstner out of retirement?