Good Answer!

I’ve been asked on more than one occasion “What does a technical writer do?” “How do you become a technical writer?” Well, this post by Susan Bodnik at answers these questions well. I really like the last paragraph where she notes that technical writers, though being an expert is not required, need to be familiar with the software used in the profession.

Click this link “What is Technical Writing” to review the post.



It worked for Kris Kringle & Macy’s

You know that part in Miracle on 34th Street where the disheveled mother tells Santa (aka Kris Kringle) to discourage her son from wanting ice skates for Christmas because she can’t find them at Macy’s? And what does Mr. Kringle do? He tells the boy he can have the skates for Christmas and winks at the mom, telling her later that Gimbels (a rival to Macy’s) has the skates. She is so impressed that Macy’s is not being so commercial (at Christmas!) as to only market their own store but are thinking of the customer.  She adds that she will become one of Macy’s most loyal customers because of their generous policy.

Well, let’s flash forward 60+ years into the future.  What if, say, XYZ Company’s jobs openings page matched you to a job AT ANOTHER COMPANY if they didn’t have an opening you qualified for? Here Kris Dunn of iMomentous makes an argument for that very philosophy.

TalentBin as the next recruiting tool?

I ran across this post from David Zax on Fast Company detailing how TalentBin would be giving LinkedIn a run for its (8K a year compared to a 6K a year) recruiter fee. LinkedIn relies on the member to input their resume-like information whereas TalentBin searches the web for the finer points a LinkedIn member may have left out of their profile. TalentBin is banking on the fact that your social presence on the usual sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as on Wikipedia, Meetup, GitHub and Pinterest will show a hidden talent such as sharing code you’ve written, a publication on a particular subject, comments you made to solve a specific problem or an elaborate architectural drawing you’ve made. TalentBin’s search engine seeks candidates through skills, interests and actions in the social media world.

Check out the TalentBin site for details and be sure to view their demo video!

Benefits & Regulations Prep

A post on the HR Daily Advisor sheds some light on complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how to handle W2 Reporting. Specifically addressed for W2 Reporting is small employer exemptions, COBRA coverage, and partial months of insurance coverage.

Click here to read the full post.

Also, be sure to sign up for the Employer Benefits Bootcamp on February 19.

2013 May Be the Year

Of late I’ve been researching Human Resource trends (and teaching myself more about blogging!). I started working in an office in the 90’s (not dating myself, I swear) and at the time applying for a job was pretty simple. The process involved getting a Sunday newspaper, circling jobs you qualified for, typing out a resume (one type written page could be photocopied many times) and a separate cover letter on thick, expensive “resume” paper then putting it into an envelope (of the same paper quality as the resume) with a stamp and a mailing address as stated in the advertisement.  A day or two went by; you received a call from HR and were presented with a time for an interview. You dressed in a suit and showed up in person to answer the interview questions, and within a few more days you received the call telling you that you had the job.

Flash forward to the early 21st century: the Sunday paper now just exists for coupons. Jobs sites supply the well of jobs and you are now required to apply online – tailoring your resume to the job listed – and then enter specific details into an applicant tracking system (ATS). Your other job application options include creating a stellar LinkedIn profile where recruiters may search you before you can even apply to a job and networking with professionals in your field who may know of an “unadvertised” position. You are also encouraged to create a Twitter resume, post extensively to Google+, make your whereabouts known in FourSquare, post significant details about your life in Facebook, update wiki’s and make a video for YouTube – all of these actions increase your influence in the social media world and bump you up in the search engine ranks. Your interview may be conducted by a recruiter a world away via Skype while you sit before your webcam (or just hold up your smartphone!) dressed in business casual attire. That same recruiter may send a text with a 1AM time stamp telling you that you have the job!

As you can see, so much has changed and evidently, the social media revolution has reached a new point and is transforming the working world once again.

According to a post from blogger Dan Wisniewski, those looking for a working environment outside the rigid 9-5-onsite-only standard may get their wish starting in 2013. For years workers – namely Generation X and the Millennials – have wanted more control over their schedules; or at least to have hours that allow for more work-life balance. Mr. Wisniewski states that this year may see a rise in companies agreeing to offer more flextime and telecommuting options. Human Resource Departments may use video to conduct online interviews, which saves the employer and the applicant time as well as money.  Lastly, the idea of using temporary or freelance workers will grow in popularity because hiring these people will allow companies to be more competitive (no benefits) and allow the workers to gain more experience and flexibility.

Wow, 2013 may be the year when everything we’ve known about applying for, obtaining, and retaining a job changes. With that, I can honestly say that I appreciate the opportunities and challenges of being social networking savvy.  I especially appreciate it since I am from the generation that saw these trends just as they were beginning to rise.

The Future is Social

Jeanne Meister’s blog post details how 2013 will be the year when recruiting takes a bigger step into the social media world. She states that more companies will incorporate games, or “gamification,” into their training to engage employees.  Additionally, Ms. Meister adds that resumes will be replaced by personal brands established in the social media world, for example, how you appear in online searches, your current tweets, your LinkedIn community and recommendations, and your ability to influence others (Klout score!). She also writes that recruiters are taking sourcing to a new level by scanning updates to online profiles (indicating those planning a job search) and the applicant’s extensive use of social media.

Read the full article here:

2013: The Year of Social HR

What’s your Klout score?

You may be hearing this question in interviews, seeing the number on business cards or it may be showing up in your online profiles. Klout scores are determined by a social media metrics site called, simply, Klout and the scores range between 1 – not so influential and 100 – very influential. The average score is around 40.

Klout ( was founded in 2008 with the idea that everyone is influential, then they set out to measure to what degree each individual has influence. Klout pulls measurements from Facebook (how your network engages you directly), Twitter (retweets, followers, and replies), Google+ (comments, reshares and +1s), LinkedIn (title, connections, comments), Klout (+Ks), foursquare (tips) and Wikipedia (inlinks and page rank). These seven main areas, along with other mathematical factors combine to create this score and show how you can persuade, inform and excite those who are linked,  follow or like you in the social networking world.

So now that you have the basics – download the Klout app for your smartphone, get plugged in and post to all the social media sites then check your score to see to how much of an influencing force you are!