Kenny Soto Derek Magill Interview

Interview with Derek Magill: Standing Out by Advertising Your Resume Online

Standing Out From The Crowd…

I chatted with Derek Magill via Quora, over a question I asked on How can college students leverage social media to get interviews at startups?. When Derek gave his answer I was astounded by the strategy he provided me: using Facebook Ads Manager to target key employers to showcase his resume.

 

Derek is the Director of Marketing at Praxis, a one-year long personal accelerator that  helps young people with getting jobs and get an apprenticeship in entrepreneurship to build a portfolio of marketable skills. We did a phone interview on December 6th on how college students can stand out today before graduation by leveraging the internet.

 

 

 

“Derek Magill  dropped out of college a year and a half ago. He had to be creative to promoting himself to get a job.”

KS: What do you believe is the biggest challenge all job seekers face today?

DM: Right now, in particular, it would be differentiation in a marketplace that is over “credentialized.” 70% of people who graduated high school are attending college this year. The degree’s quality is getting watered down. How do you show you are a valuable team member? How do you stand out from the average bachelor’s degree holder?

KS: Is there another way to differentiate yourself online?

DM: It depends on the industry. Here are the general best practices I have:

  • First, realize a degree now no longer a guarantees a job.
  • Ask yourself: What is your value proposition (this is based on some research you’ve done, similar to a class project)?
  • What is the company doing now and what do you see yourself doing with them in the future?

The most important thing to consider is this: you are not in a passive role anymore, you are being specific and showing what you can do.

KS: Would you say that taking the extra step to stand out matters?

DM: Yes. And if you have something concrete just show it, “here are XYZ things I think you can do for your marketing.” I can do these things for you, for free to prove that I can do it.

KS: Freelance work gets your foot in the door.

DM: Of course, offer your skills up for free especially when you are young. We have the ability to work for cheap; we have fewer responsibilities at our age. What can you do right now to get your foot in the door? All of this has to be done with a given timeline, so you don’t waste your time but, this shows your value prop and how you execute.

KS: What was the genesis of creating a Facebook Ad for your online portfolio/resume?

DM: I had experience with them and my experience with marketing definitely helped. Most importantly, I had to think outside of the box to showcase my abilities.

KS: What  are the disadvantages of advertising your resume via FaceBook & social ads, if any?

DM: There is always a downside to any gamble you take. You want to take into account the company, what they are looking for, the culture, what exactly are you showing? The FaceBook ads might not fit the culture. You won’t show up to an interview with a finance firm with a hoodie and a t-shirt. Similar strategies to the ads will work with the right type of organization. The ideal target would be a marketing position if you are doing social ads for your resume. This is the biggest target for that right now.

For instance, investment banking might not be the best place to target however, it’s still open to experimentation. Not a whole lot of people are doing this so there is still room for trying. You won’t know that companies won’t like that approach until you try it. There are so many people with degrees that you need to do something different, be creative, and show your value before you even enter the door.

KS: How should you present yourself online in today’s marketplace (any best practices you have outside of social ads)?

DM: Personal website or any online platform, answers on Quora, posts on LinkedIn/medium.

Personal and professional dev makes you a better writer, thinking, creator.

It helps you slowly to establish yourself in the industry because it shows people what you know and they can latch onto. It is tremendously valuable when looking for a job or a client. The best thing you can do is create a blog and share your thoughts with the world and interact with other people in the industry and showcase  your work to people in the industry.
It’s all about building a reputation. You are building your (online) resume. Compare these two candidates: A 19-year-old candidate who applies to a marketing firm and has a resume, and one has a website with 15-20 articles. The person who shows their intelligent thoughts will be miles ahead from a person who doesn’t.

KS: Ok, so this is definitely a lot of information. How can college students get started?

DM: Quickest, easiest, and best options you have to start are:

  • Pick up a couple of topics you love and care about. Side note: that’s how Derek and I connected because we want to teach people
  • Build an online presence and create a paper trail now!
  • WordPress and Blog firms
  • Amazon Reviews and reviewing books! This shows you read important books on your industry.
  • Amazon reviews get indexed on google and can help you Personal Brand.
  • A concrete example would be, if you are a developer you should be posting code on GitHub.
  • Any intellectual should be answering questions forums and Quora now.

In the end, just don’t sit around and expect your resume to do the work for you. Adapt as needed and you’ll get better through the process.

What we have now is a consuming mindset, and then we do it for four years and when we have to build stuff after college we don’t know what to do. It’s better to build stuff now, and you’ll learn faster. College students who assume they can start after graduation and they already lost.

Final Thoughts

Let me know what value you found in this interview. Please leave a comment below and join the conversation.

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  1. How to Get a Job at Google? Answers From an Ex-Googler.
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  4. If You Want to Get the Job, You Don’t Need a Resume — You Need a Value Proposition
Kenny Soto Getting a Job at Google

How to Get a Job at Google: Answers From an Ex-Googler.

Brian Rabben of Growth Wizards

LinkedIn, @brianrabben

I recently had the great pleasure of connecting with Brian Rabben via Twitter who used to work at Google. He worked on the AdWords platform in 2005 and is now the CEO of GrowthWizards. We had a brief conversation on Twitter about a possible interview on his experience working at Google and what relevant advice he could give current college students who are interested in applying to Google or to any company, period. Here is the following transcript from that interview:

What was your involvement in 2005 when working on Google Adwords?

I managed the customer phone support team for Google AdWords North America, then transitioned to the AdWords Optimization Team (where I built and managed large AdWords accounts for clients to whom Google had dedicated an internal team of account reps).

How were you able to get that job opportunity?

I was referred by an existing Google employee. This is, by far, the best way to get hired at Google.

What three core principles did you gain from that specific work experience that pertains to teamwork?

“The phone support gig at Google was essentially a combination of teaching and therapy. Our angriest customers would get transferred to me after screaming at (or otherwise abusing) my team (your classic “let me speak with your manager” situation, but significantly worsened due to the complexity of the product and [resulting] frustration…). With respect to teamwork, this specific work experience helped me gain a very, hands-on, practical understanding of the following core principles:

The value of “empathy-first”:

“No matter what, we’d get a few furious customer [phone calls] every week [and] instead of being defensive from the outset, [we used] the following strategy: take 1-3 minutes to let them talk > restate their grievances > empathize with their situation > respond with a resolution [which] almost never failed.”

The value of sympathy for your team members:

“Phone CSR gigs are extremely emotionally draining…it’s even worse if you’re a sensitive person; one angry customer call can ruin your day. Sympathy, when expressed in the form of statements like “it’s not your fault, that guy is just a jerk. I know how you feel…he called in to scream at three other team members for no good reason last week”, etc. can be all it takes to re-energize a team member after an awful experience.”

The value of preparation:

“As I mentioned, a complex product like AdWords is very difficult to support because of how easy it is to misunderstand its intricacies (especially when there’s a financial punishment for misunderstanding certain intricacies). As part of their training, we made sure our junior CSRs studied every conceivable scenario (including stranger situations like how to engage with psychics and porn advertisers) so they’d be prepared to handle not only these specific scenarios, but more importantly, to learn the different psychological strategies appropriate to dealing with different customer personas (e.g. the right way to engage with a potential fraudster vs. the right way to engage with an advertiser who’s furious because she can’t figure out how to spend her huge monthly budget).”

How has your experience working at Google affected your career path? Were there any negatives from working at the company?

“Working for Google was, by far, the best career move I’ve ever made. The “I’m an ex-Googler” badge of honor has opened countless doors for me…it’s been ten years since I quit, and I’ve never needed to submit a resume.”

If a college student were to apply to Google today, what advice would you give them to help their chances in landing the job?

“Find someone who works there and figure out how to get them to refer you…I’m pretty sure Google employees still receive a cash reward if you get hired, so they’re already incentivized to help you get in, but the referral process takes awhile for them to complete, so you need to make a very strong argument that you’re the right person for the job. Perhaps even more importantly (especially for the engineers out there), if you can connect with current Googlers, you’ll learn some very important tips about how to survive the Google interview process.”

What are you looking for when recruiting new team members to Growth Wizards?

“Work ethic. My top hires are all musicians who had no digital marketing experience prior to working with me.

Intelligence and creativity are obvious musts, but, because growth marketing changes so quickly (and there are so many diverse skills to acquire before you’re proficient), more than anything, young growth hackers need to be willing to pay their dues in hours spent learning.”

I hope this was helpful and if you want to see more interviews like these just leave a comment below on the next company I should research.

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  1. Are You Ready For The 2016 Job Hunt? (12 Min. Read)
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Job search tips 2016 Kenny Soto

Are You Ready For The 2016 Job Hunt? (12 Min. Read)

The Times Have Changed…. It’s time to fix your job hunting techniques.

The year is almost ending, and it’s time to start thinking about what companies we are going to apply to after graduation. However, there’s one big issue: our resumes just don’t cut it anymore. 93% of all Hiring Managers use resume scanning software to filter candidates from the application pool. I was recently told this by TopResume, a company that reviews resumes to be up to ATS (applicant tracking system)  standards.


What alarmed me the most is that I learned that most companies use these resume scanning software systems. I would love to work for, Apple, Amazon, and Google to name a few. So what is one to do when attempting to apply for a job in a time and age where just this year, college graduates have made up 40% of the unemployment population in the US? As young professionals, we need to change our job hunting strategies and begin using the internet to stand out from the crowd.Why it’s time for a personal brand.

Why it’s time for a personal brand.

There is one thing you need to stop believing and that is that a well-constructed resume will help you get the interview. Although it is still important to develop your work experience and have a crisp resume, you need to know that everyone and their mother has one as well…and she is most likely applying to your dream job as well (here’s a PDF you can read later to see why I say this). The number one way to stand out from the sea of resumes that make it after the dreaded ATS’s scan through everyone else’s is a personal brand! Creating your personal brand online can help your job hunt tremendously, and it doesn’t take that much money to start.

I highly recommend creating a website through a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress or SquareSpace that don’t require any coding skills to enable you to start putting who you are on the internet. The very first thing an employer who sees your resume does is Google you! You need to make sure that you are in control of your digital persona. People will take photos of you and build content about you via social media that you will be indexed for on Google. Either you take control of your image or others will do it for you, and your hiring manager will see it.

Kenny Soto Job Hunt Help

There are many ways to get started!

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’ve just spent an all-nighter writing this 10-page essay, I got my B+, now what?” Well, the coolest thing about a blog is that if you don’t have anything to showcase right away, use your old homework (make sure it pertains to what you are interested in doing in the future) and use the content as an article.

The hardest part about building a personal brand and using a blog is creating content but, don’t let that stop you from using old work to kickstart your content creation. If you write about what you’re interested in, it will be enjoyable, just be authentic.

If you don’t have the money right now to set up a website, there are two alternatives you can use! Don’t give yourself an excuse not to do this today:

Kenny Soto Job Hunt Help

Use the posts option on your LinkedIn and Medium accounts to create a personal website substitute while you save up around $50 to make your personal branding website. You need to begin today to make your job hunt easier in the future.

Up next…drum roll… researching your target companies

The next step as you journey off into creating an awesome personal brand is to begin finding out more about the culture of the companies you want to work for in the future. It can all start with a Tweet or InMail (LinkedIn message) directly to someone in the business you feel may answer you. The secret to increasing your chances to getting a response is to NEVER ASK FOR A JOB REFERRAL, instead ask them:

  • What do they think about the industry?
  • Where do yourself in the company?
  • What do you believe was a contributing to your success in establishing and advancing your career?

There are more questions you can ask but ultimately the reason they will answer you is because you will always begin or end the interaction with, “I wanted to know if you had the time to answer a few questions so I can put the content on my blog to help my viewers.” Or, “…so I can get other ideas to help build new content.” This technique has worked for me and if all else fails on Twitter and LinkedIn, then just use Quora.

Kenny Soto Job Hunt Help

Quora is a platform that allows you to ask anyone in the world any question you may have as well as enable you to answer any question that they have posted. The network on this platform is full of amazing and intelligent people who, when engaged correctly, can also be asked for a short 15-minute phone call or quick conversation over a cup of coffee. This provides you the opportunity for  you to expand your network before applying for jobs. Heck, even if they don’t help you get the job you do three crucial things:

  • Help grow your content on your site.
  • Learn more about the industry you are entering.
  • Increase the size of your professional network.

Speaking of networking for your job hunt…

Kenny Soto Job Hunt Advice

Another resource you can use to help your job hunt is networking websites. It’s not what you know or even who you know, it’s who knows you! What you need to do is take the initiative to actually go out and meet other business professionals if you really want to get the needed connections to help your job hunt. I recommend choosing MeetUp as your main platform for networking. You can search via any topic you want to learn about or any industry you wish to join. At the very minimum, you will expand your knowledge around your particular field and meet new people.

The challenge you need to be aware of as you go into the new year is that a resume is no longer enough. These are a few of the many steps you need to take in order to have a better chance at landing the job you want in the coming year. I hope this was some help and feel free to click in the articles below to learn more about personal branding and job hunt techniques.

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A Digital Marketer's Most Important Asset

A Digital Marketer’s Most Important Asset: Their Curiosity

Keep up

The Internet is always changing because customer behavior is evolving. How we buy, learn about new information, and share valuable content changes every single day. The biggest issue we as marketers and business leaders face is the challenge of being able to connect with our customers on a deep level. It is not enough to just to be able to find them anymore. With the advent of the Internet, we need to connect to anyone who utilizes the tool. Whether you are marketing a service, a brand, or a product, your job as a marketer is to be able to not only sell to your customer but to bring value to them. Being able to have them see how your product or service can have a profound impact on their lives (or the lives of their friends) is vital to your bottom line.

Why many of us will fail

The former CEO of Cisco states, “Either we disrupt or we get disrupted…” If we don’t understand that we need to connect on a meaningful basis with each customer we interact with, then we will fail. Assuming that what you provide to your target market is a product/service of high quality (and that you are listening to your market to make sure they want this) your main job as a digital marketer is to communicate to them how you can help serve them. Yet, what hinders your ability to do this is the assumption that what you already know about marketing is all you need to know. There are new tools, resources, and competitors changing this marketing ecosystem every single day. It is now more important than ever to inquire about digital marketing (and the Internet as a whole). Rather than stay in the paradigm you’ve learned through rigorous study and practice. Everything we learn regarding the internet changes every 6 months to a year and the rate of change is increasing.

Building and Studying your growing library of knowledge

The best practice that I have learned from my mentor is the habit of collecting, reviewing, and then writing about the information you get from resources you attain throughout your time on the Internet (and sharing this information in networking events and forums). This database of useful information allows you to share valuable information with your network and teach them as well. The best ways for you to make sure you keep your marketing chops up-to-date is to question what you know. This is the only way you’ll be able to successfully help your clients and your company when people need your marketing skills or need to find out about your company.

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Why Should All College Clubs Have a Facebook Ads Budget?

Why Should All College Clubs Have a Facebook Ads Budget? (8 min. read)

It’s time to rev up your club’s brand awareness.

If you are involved in as a leader of a club while attending a university there has to be two things that your team has to have to be successful: a vice president of marketing and a portion of your budget allocated to online marketing. There are thousands of online tools (paid and free) that can allow you to recruit more members, gain more attendance at your events, and even begin to crowdfund from the students at your campus to grow your organization. As a club leader, you are always focused on doing the best for your team and there are many ways of doing that.

One of the best methods of achieving your club’s goals is to market its brand. We use Facebook every day, it’s time to learn how to advertise on it.

Facebook Advertising: Before You Begin

The very first thing every club should have at the very least is a Facebook Page.

To create one click here: https://www.facebook.com/business/products/pages

Once you have created your Facebook page the next step is to learn more about how you can create brand awareness using your current number of members. The two ways to do this is to first utilize the Facebook Groups that your members are all in and have them share the page in those groups. Secondly, have them invite their entire friend list in order to gain some initial traction.

One of the most important tools on your page that you will want to manage at least once a week is the “Publishing Tools” section. This will allow you to schedule posts while you or another team member isn’t able to access your site (rumor has it that if you schedule your posts through a third party applications, Facebook hinders it’s post reach).

You can also see the stats of your published posts so you can A/B test (click the link to learn more about A/B testing) your headlines to see which one’s your team can repurpose for future posts.

The primary reason for scheduling and analyzing your posts will be for constant promotion of your events and to send out crowdfunding links to potential donors whether they are current students on your campus, friends & family of your club members, and university/club alumni.

To set up the events on your Facebook page click the events tab near the status update section of the page under “Event, Milestone +”.

Once you set up the event dates for all the events you have for the semester it’s time to begin advertising them and your club as a whole.

Accessing Facebook’s Ads Manager

To access the Facebook’s Ads manager enter the URL: https://business.facebook.com

Before you can create Facebook Advertisements for your Facebook Page and it’s events, you first have to click “Claim Assets” and then click “Page” in order to utilize it (note: you can only do this if you are the admin of the facebook page).

After that, click “Ads Manager” to begin creating your first advertisement.

Creating Your Campaign

The first step to creating your campaign will be to choose the objective for the advertisement that will be shown to your target audience (this is the foundation for your call-to-action which you will be creating for your headline/ad copy).

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be creating the example campaign using the “Promote your Page” option.

Step 2 will be to indicate how you will be purchasing the clicks/impressions for your advertising. This is how Facebook makes the majority of its revenue as a company. Once this step is completed you will then scroll down to step 3, creating your ad set.

Note: It is highly recommended that you read these 3 articles later before creating your first ad so you can get a large return on your investment:

Targeting Your Audience

When targeting your audience you first need to consider who is your client persona (the fictional representation of your ideal client) in order to maximize the percentage of engagement and shares of your ads on Facebook. The targeting is determined by multiple factors such as geo-location, age, gender, language, interests, how they are currently connected to your page, etc. The basics for geotargeting your audience are available via Facebook’s business FAQ

When targeting, if you are only looking for your audience to be students on your campus and/or in the general area of the school I suggest only targeting that specific city or specific zip codes in which it is located. This ensures your money isn’t being wasted on Facebook users who may not have any relevance to your campaign goals.

If you click the arrow next to the mile radius you can customize it to any specific target you want (note you cannot do this for specific zip codes).

Above, is the preset I use to target college students for my website articles. You can customize these settings to meet your specific needs, just make you consider the audience reach before you continue. Do you want to reach 10,000 people or 400 people for example? You can also target via other pages and interests. For the purposes of this tutorial, I used CUNY pages to specifically target the most relevant college audience for the events I’d host at my college.

You can use “Behaviors” & “Connections” to further target your audience.

And don’t forget to save your audience!

Budgeting your Ads $$$

“If you choose a daily budget, the amount you enter is the maximum that you’ll spend each day. If you choose a lifetime budget, the amount you enter is the most that you’ll spend during the lifetime of your ad set.” -Facebook Help

You can choose to either do a lifetime budget or a daily budget (to conserve your funds I highly recommend doing a lifetime budget).

The final step before uploading the content of your ad is to schedule specific times of the day to target your audience (you can only do this if you have a lifetime budget).

After you decide your budget & schedule that you can use for each campaign the last thing to do is to add your banner ad, ad copy, and to review how the ad or ad set looks on both Desktop and Mobile News Feeds.

Additionally, you can study the data and ultimately learn how to fundraise to specific targets to maximize your return that you spent after your advertisements have been activated.

*Example of how to optimize your next target audience by age, gender, and how much each audience will cost per click.

Now all of this may seem like a lot, however, after making at least 3 ads you’ll be able to do this for your club events (or anything related) and setting up the ad won’t take more than two days to plan and execute. Just remember to always monitor how your audience is reacting to your ads and to learn from the data you collect.

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LinkedIn Help Kenny Soto

How to Use LinkedIn to Get Interviews

This question was one I asked via Quora in September of 2015, where several business professionals graced me with their insights. Below is the featured answer to my question that every college student needs to read:

Answer by Paulo Tanaka, Software Engineer at LinkedIn.

Paulo Tanaka Quora“I can tell you first hand, as I used LinkedIn during school to get an internship at LinkedIn, which turned into a full-time job. Also, I should note that the entire process was done through LinkedIn, as the company did not have a presence in my school.

The first thing to do is to keep an up to date profile. Throughout school, I’d always be updating my profile and adding more connections. This is crucial, as it will make you look a lot better in the eyes of recruiters, as well as placing you higher in search results.

The second thing is to leverage LinkedIn groups (communities) to your advantage. Join groups of topics that interest you. This will also help you place higher in search results.

Third is to always add any recruiter who contacts you and any interviewer that interviews you. This will make your profile more credible and make you better connected, again making you rank higher in results.

Fourth, and most important, don’t rely on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is merely a tool. Make sure you’re always attending career fairs, talking to recruiters (and adding them on LinkedIn). Be always on the lookout for new opportunities that can make your resume really stand out. This is what will really set you apart.

I hope that helps!”

Author’s note:

LinkedIn is a vital resource for anyone trying to get into the workforce. College students should constantly be searching up the employees of the companies they want to join. A lot of them post informative articles about the company and what they are learning and it is a great way to connect beforehand.

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How can college students leverage social media to get interviews at startups? Graham Campbell Kenny Soto

How can college students leverage social media to get interviews at startups?

This question was one I asked via Quora in August of 2015, where several business professionals graced me with their insights. Below is the featured answer to my question that every college student needs to read:

Answer by Graham Campbell, Owner of Moose Media Management specializing in Social Media Services & Training. 

 

As the owner of a Social Media startup & someone that has interviewed & appointed dozens, if not hundreds of people in the past I would say ‘leveraging’ Social Media is going to be an advantage, but not necessarily in ways you would expect. You still need to make sure you apply for any available position using the official channels. If no position is advertised & you are just speculating, I would still consider the following points:

Social Media Across the Board

Make sure your social media profiles are complete, current, interesting & relevant. Concentrate on your big 3 – Facebook, Twitter & most importantly LinkedIn. If you do make direct contact with a potential employer then do it solely via LinkedIn & email. I want to see your professional portfolio & networks; the other channels really just add colour for me at this stage & perhaps give me a better insight into the type of person you are – For example it may jump out of your Facebook profile that you’re dedicated to your family, your Twitter may tell me you are engaging & responsive & Instagram tells me you love going climbing with your mates. That sort of ‘colour’ is very valuable to any potential employer so I’d suggest not having too many closed networks at this stage.

General Rules

Also don’t try & focus all your platforms on ‘leveraging’ your new role. Let LinkedIn be LinkedIn & Facebook be Facebook. I’d be interested in a well-rounded person & an understanding that you utilise these networks in different ways – presenting different ‘faces’ within them is key. Obviously if you need to clean them up – then do it – no-one needs to see your bare heinie on Facebook, not your mates, not your parents & certainly not any potential employer. Don’t be boring, though, if there are pics from the same night which just show that everyone was having a great time then – there’s no harm in that!

It would be good to see Social Media projects you’ve been involved in linked to you, but this isn’t essential. It’s that sort of stuff that would come out at an interview. Therefore don’t flatter yourself too much that any potential employer, even within Social Media, is going to spend more than 5-10 minutes looking at your profiles for an entry level job. You just need to grab attention with your Bios, we aren’t going to trawl for nuggets hidden in the depths of your feeds.

Direct Contact

Most important to me if you contacted me directly (especially if unsolicited) is that you’ve taken the time to find out about the company, you can show that you are genuinely interested in the work that we do (don’t over-use the word passionate, it drives me wild) & that you are aligned with my company’s values & ethos. If you can reference particular projects we’ve been involved in (not always easy I know) that you genuinely found engaging, then all the better, let us know. Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic, however, walk the line between enthusiasm & obsequiousness [inclined or disposed to please], I still want to see a bit of ‘edge’ or spirit.

If you want to do something different think about a video. You must make sure you are good on camera, though, know what you want to say, how to say it concisely & generally be engaging. Practise. Otherwise, it would backfire.

If presentations are a strength then what about:

Follow all the right prospective employers/people on Periscope, create some buzz about your upcoming 5-minute pitch to be their companies next stand-out employee, then nail your live ‘performance’! Hey presto you’ve just effectively interviewed for all the companies you want to work for in one go & got a jump on your fellow graduates (anyone reading this that actually follows this through please let me know & also credit me in your interview) you can have it for free! I suppose the real key is to play to your strengths & align those to the interests of your prospective employers. In other words: don’t be someone or something you’re not in Social Media as in life. It’s never a recipe that succeeds – trust me!

Whatever you do, don’t bombard the company with unsolicited requests & I would certainly advise against using social media ads to ‘get yourself out there’ – I don’t think they are suitable for your situation.

What about a handwritten letter?

Regarding [a] handwritten letter – that’s fine but I’ve seen too many terrible ones, it has to be spot on. If your writing is illegible or even too neat, if you are dyslexic or just rubbish at spelling then don’t do it. To be honest, a well constructed electronic letter may give me some insight into your design proclivities. I’ll judge you by the fonts you use, line spacing, kerning & general design. Sorry, but it’s the truth! Clue – most ‘creatives’ like simplicity (I’m sure you know that).

So I have rambled a bit, it’s been a long week but, I want to leave you with this: it’s a bit of life advice really, but allies to this situation. Live by this & you will go far. It’s a conflict resolution model by Don Miguel Ruiz & it’s at the heart of who I am & the ideals of my company:

  1. Be IMPECCABLE with your word
  2. Don’t make assumptions
  3. Don’t take things personally
  4. ALWAYS do your best

Best of luck in your search.

Author’s note: Hopefully this answer gives you some hope in your job search. Always try new things, you never know until you do it.

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CCNY Class of 2019 Freshman Convocation Speech by Kenny Soto

CCNY Freshman Convocation Speech: Class of 2019


Introduction

Hello there everybody.

My name’s Kenny Soto and today I’m gonna give a little speech about what City College has to offer and what student government can do for you.

So I am gonna start off with a little story. I was born in the Castle Hill projects of the Bronx and at the age of six years old I was constantly told that I’d never succeed. I was even in special education for the first four years because I, “wasn’t fit for a classroom setting.” And now I’m here speaking to all of you.

Background at CCNY

You’re gonna constantly hear about the great resources, successful alumni, and all of the classes that you can take here at City College. But, I want to also remind you that you will be challenged and with challenges can come some doubts.

When I first started here I was a biology major, and I was studying biology to become a doctor; to make my parents happy. And then I realized that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to stay and learn from this experience here at City College. So now I’m a music major and I couldn’t be any more (nervous much??? haha) happier.

Some of you may even think that college is not for you and you might want to drop out…I too thought the same. My sophomore year I was deeply considering this until I realized that there’s so much more outside of your courses. You are not here simply to get an amazing GPA. I joined a fraternity, got involved in club life, and even joined student government and everything completely shifted.

What CCNY & student government can offer you

Your purpose here besides getting a degree is to learn. And this does not mean simply going to class and then going to work or hanging out with friends. This means as VP Reina said, look to your left and look to your right and realizing you can learn from your fellow student body as well.

Discover the amazing people that are here. Interact with faculty outside of classrooms, go to some events, and interact with student government. Because this is what we are here to do; we are here to represent you as the student body. If you ever need or feel the need to speak to student government about any issues you may have or any improvements you see that should happen, feel free to come to us in the North Academic Center and reach out to us (or just hang out).

Takeaway

Now there’s one thing that I want to say from a philosopher by the name of J. Krishnamurti who states, “The purpose of education is not to add accolades to your name or further your position in society. The purpose of true education is to enrich the experiences and relationships that you have with the universe and with yourself.”

Thank you.

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Personal Website Kenny Soto

The 6 Steps to Building a Personal Website

You have to market yourself.


You already understand the importance of a 
personal website if you clicked to read this article (or you’re curious). Minda Zetlin from Inc.com comments on a survey of 300 HR professionals that shows that 30% of them see a personal website as a key advantage for job applicants however, less than 1% actually have one. If you want a leg up on your competition, it’s time to invest in a website.

1. Buying a domain

When setting up your website the first thing the you need to do is compare the pricing options on different domain extensions attached to your first & last name. The best domain extensions to use are .com, .me, or .info for a personal website (the complete list can be found here). Once you’ve decided which extension you’ll be using the next best course of action is to choose from the large list of domain name providers. My suggestion is to either use godaddy.com, namecheap.com or bluehost.com. It is advised that you make your first purchase for owning the website for 2 years because people with your name can bid for your site and put it on hold until your subscription expires and if you mistakenly forget to renew they will grab it.

2. Hosting to go with your domain

After carefully choosing your domain name the next thing you need to purchase is a hosting package. The best ones provide these services:

  • 24/7 Customer service Monthly or Bi-monthly discounts
  • Server space packages
  • Migration services (just in case you need to switch an already owned domain to another provider)
  • Security Services

The main reason why these four aspects should be prioritized over all others is because without these aspects you will have a longer process in setting up your site and you want to avoid as many hiccups as possible to save your time.

3. Can’t code? Use a CMS!

The easiest way to build a unique & well-designed website is to use a content management system such as WordPress & SquareSpace  (these are all in one packages that also provide hosting and domain purchasing). The best one is my opinion is WordPress for its ability to easily manage and customize the backend aspects of your website. For this article, I will be mainly referencing WordPress for adding your plugins and pages to your website.

There really is no reason for anyone not to have a website, regardless of your skills in coding. If you do however want to learn to code from scratch, you can use CodeAcademy for free. For a personal website all you need to know is HTML & CSS.

4. Who are you building it for?

There multiple reasons for you to have a personal website. One thing you must consider is who you are building it for, and not only why. The best thing you can do before beginning the overall design & structure for your site you need to develop a content marketing plan for your intended audience. For example, if you are a law student creating a blog based on general law knowledge you believe people should know, you can then market yourself to law firms (it’s great to have graduate from a great school but, if you don’t graduate from Harvard or Yale, you should consider increasing your edge). If you want to get into creating infographics for your blog, services such as Canva or Vengage can help. Building the website is half of the battle, marketing it is just as important.

5. Essential pages your site should have (after choosing a theme)

You can have multiple web pages on your site however, there are four that you must consider carefully. To save yourself time, make sure all the design planning is done using wireframe and then you implement everything you had in mind about the pages that you want.

The first and most important page is your home page, the one thing that can kill your bounce rate (tips for understanding that here). If you want your visitors to stay, make sure your homepage has content including your current blog posts, site news, or even your social media news feeds. After that, make sure you have a blog page. It is up to you whether you only want your posts or a sidebar/footer for your widgets. Don’t forget that in addition to these pages you should include a professional resume/portfolio. It can be the same information that you provide on your LinkedIn profile. Finally, don’t forget a contact page so people can reach you (you’re doing this to promote yourself after all).

6. Other key elements

You want people to follow you  so social media buttons are vital to your promotional success. If your WordPress theme doesn’t provide this functionality you can use the plugin Shareoholic or AddThis. Having a newsletter to keep people who are interested in you updated is also very important. After creating an opt-in button (could be labeled subscribe here), utilize services such as MailChimp or ConstantContact to design your newsletter emails.

Finally, to truly manage your website effectively I highly recommend learning Google Analytics. Google Analytics will help you to:

  • Manage where people are putting your links
  • Understanding how people interact with your site
  • Know where your audience is located and where they are coming from
  • Know what sites are bringing the most referrals

It will also help you to understand what website elements are working, what colors are working, where you’re not getting clicks, where you are getting clicks, etc. Keep in mind that this is a tool to focus on after building your website; once you begin content development and promotion.

If you have around $50 you can certainly get started today. So many of us use the internet however, we do not use it to truly promote ourselves and gain opportunities to further our success. If you want to continue to learn more about marketing yourself effectively online make sure to subscribe for more articles.

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Kenny Soto Photography

Daily Meditation September 6th, 2015

Often times I condemn this place: New York City. Why did I have to born here? What’s the point of struggling in this dump? I have the habit of always being surprised by how much I complain about living here after experiencing the beauty that is New York. Over the weekend, I took time out of my day to explore Coney Island after 4 years and I have to say there shouldn’t be much to complain about. Although our city does have its problems I find it that no place is perfect. We just need to accept our surroundings for what they are, appreciate them, and then consider how to change them for the better. Complaining about it doesn’t solve anything.

 

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