While you may be thinking, “What an obvious act of stupidity”, what is and isn’t appropriate to present to an employer (or potential employer), for many people, is not as obvious as you would think. Thanks to a new survey by CareerBuilder, 75 percent of HR managers have found a lie on a resume. The reasons for these falsehoods likely come down to the perceived need to grab a resume reader’s attention. The tell-all, spin-it-the-way-you-see-it nature of social media has contributed to a rash of behaviors on resume writing that are leaving many would-be employed out in the cold. Some of the biggest gaffes noted in the survey included a very common list that can be read at the link below.
I returned home last night from seeing a play to a slew of texts from friends commenting on the viral “me too” campaign that has hit Facebook in the past 24 hours. Honestly, I had not been paying it much attention, so I went on my site and began to scroll.
Page after page, I saw friends I had known for years who had posted two simple words: “me too.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. With more than 25 years in the workforce, of course I have encountered inappropriate sexual advances at work, and so have most of the women I know, and more than a few of the men as well. In short, “me too.”
And the harassment is not always sexual. As has been written in numerous articles about Harvey Weinstein recently, he was known for using abusive language and having screaming tirades.
I also thought about how, with all my training, even I am sometimes at a loss for what to say when I feel impinged upon so I asked some experts to give their best bets for phrases to halt harassment in its tracks. Here’s what they had to say:
X is harassment.
Stephany Zoo is the executive director of Phoenix Risen, a World Economic Forum-supported nonprofit that brings men and women together to talk about sexual harassment. She says that it’s all about setting clear boundaries at the start of the situation. “Make sure that you are explicit that what the perpetrator is doing is harassment,” says Zoo.
Alternative phrase: “Do not X; that’s harassment.”
Those types of comments or jokes that you’re making don’t belong in the workplace. Let’s keep things professional.
Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem, authors of The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book, say that when disruptive behavior evolves into bullying and harassment, it can be disastrous. The key is to have a respectful confrontation by pointing out inequity, setting boundaries and responding to disruptive behaviors.
Alternative phrase: “You may intend the jokes and comments to be funny, but they aren’t. They’re insulting.”
Thank you very much, but could you go back to the point you were making about X?
Attorney M. Reese Everson, author of The B.A.B.E.’s Guide to Winning in the Workplace, says that comments about your appearance (you have nice hair; your dress matches your eyes) can be meant as genuine compliments. However, if they make you feel uncomfortable or begin to cross the line, Everson says the key is to redirect the conversation back to the matter at hand.
Alternative phrase: “That was a very interesting point, and I want to be sure to put that in the report.”
Don’t touch my hair, arm, shoulder, etc.
Susan Harrow who teaches the True Shield™ verbal self-defense for girls says in addition to stopping the behavior on the spot, it’s important to tell the other person what you expect their future behavior to be.
Alternative phrase: “In the future, please ask my permission to touch me for anything other than a handshake.”
I feel threatened by this.
And leave it at that. Dr. Judi Cineas, a psychotherapist, says that when it comes to defending yourself or your space, it’s important to be definitive and not leave room for alternate interpretations of what you mean.
“Perpetrators of all kinds are good at using interpretation to cover their tracks. They will claim to not have understood what you meant or that their actions were not intended as you received,” says Cineas.
Alternative phrase: “I am not interested in…” or “I do not want…”
This is making me feel uncomfortable.
While some experts believe that telling the harasser your feelings is not the way to go, this phrase has gotten me out of many a sticky situation. In my experience, many people are not even aware that what they are doing is having an impact on others. Letting them know in a straightforward way is often enough to stop the behavior.
Alternative phrase: “I feel uncomfortable with this conversation, what you’re doing, how you’re talking to me.”
While curbing harassment is a problem that needs to be addressed at a larger societal level, in company policy, and more, as individuals, we all (men and women) need to learn how to stand up for ourselves when faced with situations that make us feel uncomfortable.
In short, we need to learn to just say no.
Thanksgiving and Christmas may be just around the corner, but there are dozens of other holidays that take place in November and December that you may never have heard of.
Chase’s Calendar of Events helps businesses host those special days, weeks and months that have been created to celebrate everything from living a gluten free lifestyle to family reunions to National Hot Dog Day.
Whether philosophical or playful, your business can create its own holiday as a launching pad for a newsworthy brand-building campaign. Remember though and industry leaders don’t just report or comment on the news, and other people’s content – they create it.
Generating a holiday that ties in with your business, book, product or cause is one way to gain attention for your brand. For example: I had a client who was an expert in business etiquette.
She created Cell Phone Courtesy month and like magic, every year she gets a whole 30 days to promote her message (and her company).
She sends out press releases on the topic, gives radio interviews and has even appeared on television – all to promote, celebrate and give great tips on, you guessed it – cell phone courtesy.
Here are the three steps you can take to make your own brand building holiday.
1. Create a holiday event that relates to your business, book or product.
National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Get Organized Month, National Hot Dog Day: If you can think of a topic, there is probably a holiday someone has created to celebrate it.
And many have used these events as a springboard for promoting their message to the media. Some of the events my clients have created and placed in Chase’s have garnered them coverage in USA Today, CNET, The Huffington Post and hundreds of other newspapers, radio shows and blogs. To create your own holiday, think about the following:
- What topic relates to our business, book, product or cause that we could create a credible holiday around?
- Is there a specific date, month or time of year when it would be most natural for our holiday to occur?
- What can we name this holiday to easily showcase the thing we want to celebrate and promote?
2. Submit your holiday idea to Chase’s Calendar of Events.
In order to be officially included in Chase’s yearly book and Web site, you need to apply to have your event accepted. It’s free to submit, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Check the current Chase’s calendar to insure that the holiday you want to create has not already been claimed by someone else.
- Create a Web site for the holiday or put a page on your existing Web site dedicated to it.
- Mind the deadlines for submission. Chase’s works in advance, so be certain that you submit your holiday or event early.
3. Build buzz for your holiday event.
About 30 to 45 days before your holiday is due to debut, write and distribute a press release about the upcoming event. Include some background on why you decided to sponsor the holiday and how it is relevant in today’s world.
If the topic permits, offer five to ten tips that the media can easily pick up and integrate into a feature story or news item.
The beauty of creating your own holiday is that while it only takes one time to set it up, once established, it gives you a yearly platform to promote.
We live in a world filled with options. For example, “Would you like that latte decaf or regular? Low-fat, nonfat, soy, almond, regular milk or half-and-half?” However, where packing for a business trip is concerned, the fewer choices you have, the happier you will be.
Click this link for these four steps, and your next business trip will be both lighter in suitcase and more substantial in style: This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
Several years ago, I completed an international survey of over 20,000 business owners and leaders around the world. Most of the entrepreneurs I interviewed were millionaires, thanks to their smart ideas, hard work — and time management habits. These moguls were so successful in part because they knew how to be effective AND efficient. Here are the three time-management habits most of those millionaire small business owners had in common.
On a typical morning, you may find yourself posting a tweet, sharing a photo on Instagram, typing up a proposal, and reaching across your morning cup of joe to answer your cell phone — all simultaneously.
Here are four easy ways you can avoid distraction and find the time to focus on getting the word out about your business: This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
According to one study from Microsoft, US workers spend an average of 7 hours a day on their computers, while still another survey from Accountemps found that workers spend an average of 6 weeks a year looking for things.
While these two statistics may seem unrelated, think about this. One of the places we undoubtedly look for things is our computers. How much time did you spend this past week searching for a file you stashed somewhere on your laptop?
My recent experience hunting and pecking for a client contract on my computer led me to the conclusion that just as I give my closets a good cleaning from time to time, I was due for a computer decluttering. Here’re the steps I followed to give my laptop a new lease on life.
Clean up your hard drive.
Since computer memory has increased exponentially over the years, storage is not in general a big issue; however, the bad habit of dumping info on our computers is. A few ways to keep your hard drive clear of the clutter include:
- Delete any old working drafts of documents that have since been updated or are no longer useful.
- Dump files that are so old, the information in them is outdated and never used.
- Empty files that you created but never did anything with or that have no documents in them.
- Eliminate files that have different names, but contain the same duplicate materials.
- Delete all those hundreds (or thousands) of non-usable digital photos from your last trip.
Set up a logical filing system.
Try to mirror your paper filing system on your computer. The more your main folders resemble the names and categories you use to file paper, the easier it will be for you to both find and file various documents.
In addition create a ‘working file’ or ‘pending’ folder that lives on your desktop and can hold anything you are currently working on and need to access quickly and easily. While much of your computer may be used for the archiving of information, the ‘working file’ folder can hold the most relevant information and projects.
Finally, organize and update the bookmarks on your browser. Just as you may have random files floating around your hard drive, you more than likely have a ton of bookmarks that are not organized in any particular way.
Go under bookmarks and choose the organize feature. This will allow you to make folders with logical names that you can group and move your various bookmarks into.
Get control over your email.
For most of us our email inboxes have become the dumping ground for all our unhandled to-do’s. To begin the process of email cleanup, start by going through your mailbox and deleting all old messages you no longer need. Then be sure to delete the messages in the trash file.
Because most people have enough room on their computer to keep old email, they often skip this step. However, it has been my experience that the more current and up to date your email, the less time spent searching for what you really need.
Next, establish an email filing system. One method is setting up your email folders the same way you classify your work. For example, if you generally reference your work by client, then set up folders by client name; if you generally reference by product, then set up by product name and so on…
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of using ‘ignore’ as an option for dealing with the items on your computer. In the same way that a junk drawer, closet, or even room can become a loose end that drains your energy, random floating files, in an unorganized fashion, become the clutter that clogs up your computer.
Many, if not most, are surprised to learn just how necessary it is for them to create a strong CEO brand in their new role as the chief brand ambassador of their companies. Those who do catch on, realize that creating a CEO brand is a powerful way to position their leadership and build the brand of the business. Here are three important ways to pursue your personal brand as a new CEO. This article originally appeared on Inc.com.
Recently a new branding client called me in a panic saying, “We have to get on Snapchat. It’s the hottest thing. We can’t miss the boat.” I gently pointed out to the client that their core customer was women age 45-60, more likely the Pinterest — not the Snapchat — crowd.
This intense pressure to keep up with the online Joneses has led to a flurry of action, but not necessarily impact. The idea that you should be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and more leads many business owners to join each and every social media network–but do none of them well.
Instead, I encourage my small-business clients to think through the following three critical questions before choosing which social media sites to focus on:
1. Where and how does our ideal audience(s) consume their information?
Are they more likely to be reading blogs at Inc.com or surfing their Twitter feed three times a day? The answers help determine the social media site(s) that makes the best use of your resources.
2. What are the demographics of the various sites?
It’s important to take into consideration the details of each site you are considering. For example:
Facebook. According to the Pew report, 72 percent of female and 63 percent of male Internet users are on Facebook, equaling over a billion users a month. The site also has a strong presence across several age groups with a majority being 18- to 29-year-olds, but with solid users in the 30-49 and 50-64 brackets as well.
For businesses that have a strong business-to-consumer component, Facebook is a great place to showcase your brand personality since the site supports posting pictures, quotes, and fun updates–all opportunities to present your brand narrative to followers.
Twitter. Twitter has an estimated 250 million unique monthly visitors but according to the Pew report is marginally more popular with males and with users ages 18-29. Unlike LinkedIn, where status updates can be weekly, successful Tweeters post at least 2-3 times a day, but no more than 8-10. Businesses using Twitter as a main social media strategy need to have a significant amount of how-to and informational tips, ideas, strategies, and suggestions they can tweet.
LinkedIn. Considered the top B2B site for professionals, LinkedIn tends to attract an older, more educated and higher earning crowd than its competitors. One report by Royal Pingdom reveals that 79 percent of LinkedIn users are 35 or older. In short, LinkedIn is all about business. According to Lab42, top-level executives primarily use LinkedIn for industry networking and promoting their business.
Pinterest. Pinterest is best known for appealing to a mostly female audience, with 72 percent of users being women at an average age of between 25 and 54. Twenty-five percent of Pinterest users have earned a bachelor’s or higher degree, and the majority have a household income of between $25,000 and $75,000.
3. Do we have the time, talent, and/or money to pursue this social media tactic with excellence?
Another client I was working with–the CEO of a mid-cap high-tech firm–felt strongly that writing a regular blog would be of great benefit to his CEO brand and his company brand. The problem? He wasn’t a very good writer.
I suggested someone from his staff might take on capturing his ideas and turning them into initial blog posts. Sadly, no such person existed. As for hiring a professional writer, the costs–given the quality the client wanted–were prohibitive.
In the final analysis the client settled on a strategy featuring a monthly, rather than a weekly, blog. He also went whole hog on his Twitter strategy–reaching out to influencers in their space to gain brand recognition.
Regardless of which direction you decide to take your social media strategy in, the most important aspects to building your brand online are consistency and quality. Don’t let your social media accounts go idle, and don’t bombard your followers with promotion-only posts.
Let the particular medium dictate what and how often you tweet, post, or pin, and you will be on your way to branding your business like a pro.