Interviewing in the Digital Age

Yesterday,  I went on an interview for a new position. Before I went, the hr manager emailed me and said “please be sure to bring a portfolio with samples of your work.” This is a reasonable request as before a company hires you, they want to see what you’re made of. This caused me to come up with some advice to share for other people interviewing as I am:

1. Be different than your competitor. 

Like I mentioned, I was told to bring my portfolio of work. I did. I took it one step further though and I brought my iPad to supplement my work as well. Now, the hr manager was able to look at my writing samples (press releases, blog postings, etc.) through my portfolio. Thinking ahead though, I was able to show her the outdoor media campaign that I had created at one of my last jobs. The benefit of this is that she got to see the billboard in its bright colors and get a feel for what it looked like besides for it just being on paper. I was able to explain that this was a concept I created, took the initiative on and was able to run with. My prior company had never had an outdoor media campaign before and I got to showcase my work right off of their website.

2. Anticipate your future employers needs.

I was going for a social media/pr coordinator position. Before my interview, I checked out their press releases and different social media channels. During my interview, I mentioned that I had looked at them and I had some ideas on how I could improve the channels ROI and help create a bigger buzz for them. The hr manager then asked me what I would have done different. I told her that there was nothing I would do different, as the person who had this job held it for three years, left on good standing and I didn’t want to offend them. I mentioned that they built a great foundation and knowing myself, I explained the areas that I could help improve on and make them better for the company as a whole.

3. Why does this company stand out to you?

When interviewing with the hr manager, she mentioned to me that the company has a lot of “social responsibility” and they are very proud of that. I instinctively put my hand up to my chest and smiled and she noticed and said “social responsibility moves you, doesn’t it?” This was the perfect opening where I could talk about my philanthropy work that I did in college with Relay for Life, Centre County PAWS (the local animal shelter) and of course my work with THON (Penn State’s dance marathon that raises money for kids with cancer). I had also mentioned to her that I read about the environmental awards they had received for their outstanding work.

4. Get a personal feel from the interviewer.

I always remind my friends that interviews are a two-way street. Not only are you looking to start fresh but the company is also looking to add to their company as well. I remind friends that they need you as much as you need them. I also tell my friends to get a personal feel for the company. When the hr manager asked me “What questions do you have for me,” I responded with the usual questions about the job making sure I understood what was being asked of me. I went on to ask her “What do you like most about working here?” She seemed a little taking back as if no one had ever asked her that before. I said to her, “You’re my link to this company and I like to get a feel of what other people in the company think of where they work.” That made her smile and she was able to give me a lot of insight about the company. 

5. Always do a through follow-up.

I always make sure to ask for a business card or a method to follow up with. I know it sounds like an obvious point but I have friends who didn’t know that they should send a follow-up email or phone call to thank the interviewer for their time and to leave an impression. I always send an email with just some follow-up points on things we talked about and why I think I would be the right person for the job. I also always make sure to mention something in the interview that matters to me: i.e.- social responsibility, so that when the hr manager talks about me to the department head, she has something to say like “oh, he knew a lot about our environmental award and was excited to help bring that to the next level.”

What other advice would you offer those interviewing?

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Starting My Own Company

When I was a young boy, I always had the dream of owning my own company. Never did I think that before the age of 30, I would be doing so. I had the opportunity to work with a great web designer and some have some excellent clients to do some work for. All the pieces seemed to fall into place and thus I started X3 Media.

Business is not as easy as it seems. I would like to go through and point out a few things about successful people and people who have the drive that not everyone knows.

The first thing I would like to point out is that success takes time. A person has to know what they want and go for it. Don’t be worried about falling down a few hundred times because that is the only way to fix what you are doing wrong. Trust me, you will do things wrong. I do them wrong all the time and I’ve been in the field for a while. It’s part of growing professionally and knowing not to make the same mistake again.

Also, you are going to make mistakes. Own up to them and most of all, learn form them so that next time you don’t mistake the same mistake. Whether it be a mistake with a co-worker, your boss or in the work that you do, learn what you did wrong and how you can correct it. Early on in my career, I got busted applying for jobs from my work account. I was young and barely out of college. It wasn’t a job I wanted but I was broke and needed the money. Let’s just say, I wasn’t fired but I wasn’t going last there much longer. I found a new job and that was that.

Another big point about running your own business or working for someone else is that you aren’t the perfect fit for everyone and you shouldn’t try to be. Some clients that you may meet won’t be the perfect client for you. They may not have enough money for you to work for them or they may ask for too much for what they are willing to give you. You need to figure out what your own worth is and when to say ‘no’ to a client who just doesn’t work out. Do yourself a favor and find out what your own worth is. What will keep you afloat in your current situation? What will allow you to move up in life? Ask yourself these questions, make lists and take the time to figure it out. You aren’t the perfect fit for every client and sometimes you are better off waiting for the right one to come along instead of just taking one.

You will know what feels right. You will find out through experience what works and what doesn’t. The biggest thing you can do for yourself is to learn what you can from some influencers, ask a ton of questions and make sure that you are constantly learning. Social media and public relations are always changing due to new apps and products. Stay on top of it and talk to those “higher ups” that you trust and can learn from.

And with all of that, X3 Media was born. It’s no where near what I have planned for it but it’s a start. That’s all that I needed, a start.Image

DiagnosticWorks/Atlantic Imaging Group Breast Cancer Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Christopher Kerney

(973) 451-8219

CKerney@DiagnosticWorks.com

DiagnosticWorks/Atlantic Imaging Group Hold 1st Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day:

Whippany, New Jersey – October 29th, 2013 – On Friday, October 25th, DiagnosticWorks, LLC (DW), hand-in-hand with sister company Atlantic Imaging Group, LLC (AIG), held their first annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Dubbed “Pink Friday,” it was a time of celebration and remembrance. The two organizations teamed up for a slew of activities including a raffle, work area decorating contest and turning the office pink with balloons and other decorations.

Many items were raffled off as a result of generous donations by outside resources. Some of the groups that helped contribute to the raffle’s success were: Planet Fitness of Whippany, Nutrition Zone of Rockaway, Joe’s Crab Shack of Clifton and Blackthorn Restaurant of Parsippany. DW/AIG sends a big thank you to our friends at these locations as the raffle would not have been possible without their support.

The office was fully pinkified by employees wearing pink and sharing personal stories about their own or loved ones battle with the deadly disease. All money raised is being donated to breast cancer research, and as a company the office raised over $650 in donations.

When asked about the reason for the day, President Bill DeGasperis said “Honestly, to be a part of doing something that can help cure this disease is what anyone would do.” DeGasperis was humbled by the amount of support the office showed and can’t wait for next year!

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To see more pictures of the great cubes and the office decorations, please visit our blog at www.DiagnosticWorks.com. To find out more information about DiagnosticWorks or Atlantic Imaging Group, please call PR & Media Specialist, Christopher Kerney, at (973) 451-8219 or email him at CKerney@DiagnosticWorks.com

Expectations Of A Brand’s Social Media Manager

When I see brands on social media, I have some expectations. I expect that if I tweet something at a brand, they will respond. It doesn’t have to be in two minutes, I am overjoyed when it does, but I expect a response. In today’s day and age, everything is via the internet and mainly social media. I honestly don’t know when the last time I had to call a hotline or an 1-800 number and sit on hold for 10 minutes when I was able to Google them and find out everything I needed plus more within :90 seconds. The way people are accessing information has changed and social media plays a big role in that.

I expect that brands will also have an updated page where I can find the latest breaking information. If I “like” a brand’s page, “follow” them, repin their pictures, or give them +1′s, it’s because a company is branding themselves in a positive light and they are doing something right. These are the brands that I will make sure my hard earned money or time is going to. If it is a brand that has a product, I will endorse the product by purchasing it and sharing the latest information. I will also be sure to tell my friends about it. If the brand does not have a product or something I can buy physically, I will still share their information and talk positively about it.

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One thing I dislike is when I see a brand on social media that is careless and not updated. Every brand should have time for social media. If the brand doesn’t, hire someone that does. Social media may not be the most important task for a

brand, but it should still be a task. Social media isn’t easy. A person can’t expect to post once on social and have a million followers the next day. It doesn’t happen like that. A person who runs social a social media account must be witty, precise, have excellent writing skills and be able to be convincing without being a door to door salesman.

Community managers have lots to do in real-time. They need to make sure that they are posting quality content in a timely manner, managing both the positive and the negative comments posted about their brand and know that their job doesn’t end because they have left for the weekend or the night. A community manager is someone who always needs to be connected to monitor what is going on with the brand. Don’t delete negative comments posted about a brand. Think how to respond, in a positive way, making your brand loyalty stronger and appeasing the consumer.

One negative tweet or post can ruin a brand’s identity. It’s said that when a brand does something great, a person will tell a friend. When a brand does something bad, a person will tell everyone who will listen. The odds are stacked against a community manager to be on the ball all the time. It’s a high-stakes job with high rewards. I’ve seen so many companies and franchises who will post one negative tweet and the media has a field day with them. Anything said on the internet can’t be taken back.

I encourage my staff to think strategically. Think of great content that will make people want more. This keeps consumers coming back to the site. Think what we can do different to stand out. Think how we can get more engagement on the site and help bring a new revenue stream to the company. Most of all, I just want them to think before they post anything.

Men & Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org), men too are affected by breast cancer. In men, the number of cases of breast cancer is much lower than in women but nonetheless it is still a killer of men and women alike. The American Cancer Society states that about 410 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The life time risk is 1 in 1,000 or a 1% chance as opposed to women’s life time risk which is about 1 in 8. Male breast cancer is found more commonly in men over 60 but younger men are still considered at risk for the disease.

Men have a small of amount of breast tissue located on the chest wall right behind the nipple. This is where doctors may find abnormal cell growth commonly found in breast cancer. During puberty, the male hormone, testosterone, suppresses the growth of the breast tissue, making breast cancer in men much less common than in women.

The cause of male breast cancer is still undetermined fully but many factors such as genetics and environmental influences do play a role in the disease. Some of the most common factors are: radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen (Hyperestrogenism), alcohol abuse (cirrhosis of the liver), genetics and also Klinefelter’s Syndrome. Klinefelter’s syndrome is a disease that affects about 1 in 1,000 men in which the male receives an extra “X” chromosome during birth from their mother which leads to an increase in estrogen production in the body. Also, men that take propecia, a drug that helps treat prostate cancer, may be at an added risk for male breast cancer.

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As in women, there are many forms of male breast cancer that range from non-invasive to aggressive (stage 0 to stage IV). In most cases, men are treated with surgery to remove the cancerous tissue over the chest muscle. After that, many men will also have some sort of adjunct therapy to make sure the cancer doesn’t spread. More aggressive cancers will usually mean that the male will need to undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or hormonal therapy.

The survival rate of male breast cancer is highly influenced by what stage the cancer is caught at. Research done by the National Cancer Institute (http://www.seer.cancer.gov) shows that men who catch the disease early-on (stage 0), have about a 100% survival guide. That number lowers with more aggressive cancers. Men who have stage IV cancer only a 23% chance of survival. This means that men should also be doing self-examinations at home feeling for any abnormalities or lumps on their pectoral muscles. If was found, they should consult with their doctor immediately.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM). Commonly referred to as “Pinktober” as coined by Hard Rock’s 13 years running Breast Cancer Awareness program, today starts a month focused on raising awareness and funds for breast cancer Imageresearch and education, and many groups are actively speaking out in support. Such organizations range from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American College of Radiology and Good Morning America to celebrities like Christina Applegate and Angelina Jolie. All agree that early detection is crucial when dealing with breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 192,000 women will develop breast cancer this year alone. Statistics show that women under 39 have a 1 in 225 chance of developing a form of breast cancer. That one young woman could be someone you graduated high school with. This number rises to 1 in 24 for women aged 40 to 59 which could be the girl you sat next to in your English class in college. In women over 60, 1 in 14 in women will have breast cancer. That could be your co-worker who sits in office down the hall from you. The ACS says that women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their life time. That could be a  close family member or even yourself.

What does all this mean? It means a few things. A person is never “too young” to have breast cancer. Breast cancer can strike at any age so make sure that self-given exams and checkups are on your families to do list. Although uncommon, breast cancer also targets men as well. Any noticeable changes should be brought to a doctor as soon as possible. Mammogram and Breast MRI screenings are a person’s best bet when checking for breast cancer.

In women who are at high-risk for breast cancer, a doctor may use a breast MRI in conjunction with a mammogram as a better option for test screening. Breast MRIs are also important because in some cases, a women’s breast tissue may be too dense to pick up cancerous cells then on a mammogram alone. To find out more information about being considered “high-risk,” talk with your doctor. They can help determine your risk level.  
Breast MRIs are also an important tool for treating women who have tested positive for cancer. This is done to help the doctor find out more detailed information about the cancer and how far along it has moved.

Here at DiagnosticWorks, we help the un-insured, under-insured, and folks who are determined to manage who their health dollars are spent, find affordable diagnostic healthcare. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Early detection saves lives. To find out more about our network of doctors and how we can assist in finding a doctor, go to www.DiganosticWorks.com. For additional statistics on breast cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics

Maggie Redden: College graduate, Athlete, Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey!

ImageHere at Disability Connect, we are always looking for inspiring people who are making a difference in our world. Margaret, Maggie to all those who know her, is doing just that! Maggie was named Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey this year and recently just placed third runner-up in the 2014 Ms. Wheelchair America pageant in Houston, Texas.

Redden, 28, is a community outreach coordinator for the Paralympic Sports Club in her home state of New Jersey. As the coordinator, Maggie travels around the state and promotes the importance of physical activities to individuals who have disabilities. Whether it be competitive or recreational activity, Redden is no stranger! She was a paralympian in the 2008 Beijing Olympics representing team USA. She competed in both the 100m and 200m wheelchair track events.

Here is a little back story on Maggie. As an infant, she had contracted polio and that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She was adopted by a single parent at the age of two from India. Redden earned a bachelor’s degree from Penn State in 2007 where she majored in communications. Redden has spent the last year working in Kolkata, India with orphan girls. This has been her first time back in India she was adopted.

When asking Maggie about employment issues that disability candidates face, she mentioned that there are many “stigmas” that face these candidates. For example, she believes that employers feel that there are added costs when hiring candidates. Maggie states that she doesn’t need much in the area of accommodations and that ability candidates are just as capable of doing the work and are a great asset to a team!

In our next piece, we are going to take a ride with Maggie on her journey of becoming Ms. New Jersey, the road to Ms. Wheelchair USA and her projects for next year including a Ms. New Jersey 2014 pageant!

To see this article on our corporate blog, please visit us here: http://diversityoptions.com/blog/maggie-redden-college-graduate-athlete-ms-wheelchair-new-jersey/

DisabilityConnect.com is a division of the Workplace Diversity family. Workplace Diversity is a minority-owned business entity that focuses on connecting candidates with qualified employers who have made a commitment to hire diversity candidates. To learn more about us, please visit http://www.WorkplaceDiversity.com and http://www.DisabilityConnect.com.

For more info on Maggie Redden, visit her social media links here:
Website: http://www.maggieredden.com
Ms. Wheelchair NJ: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ms-Wheelchair-New-Jersey-2013-Maggie-Redden/136344369875919