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personal advice ● communications 101 By Kymberlie McNicholas Be the Right Person for the Job Preparing for a job interview isn’t as easy as it used to be, so it might be time to ditch the traditional résumé and work on your proposal I f you are looking for a job, most of the time the first line of communication is through a piece of paper, or thanks to the digital age, an email attachment. But before you hit send on Gmail or on your fax machine, after finding the open position of your dreams—or simply just a foot in the door—through LinkedIn, Mon- ster.com, GlassDoor, or Craigslist, here are some very im- portant job search tips that you should consider. START BY SEEKING ADVICE Before you even start looking for a job, you should talk to people. You should ask for advice. Make sure you under- stand the market you want to enter and what it takes to suc- ceed. The big trend to help you find the help you need is experts on demand. That means if you have a question, there’s someone ready to answer you in real-time. Google recently announced Google Helpouts, which allow users to search through their database of experts to find someone who’s online and available to offer advice. Many of the ex- perts seem to run about $15 for 15 minutes or so with a $.99 charge for each additional minute. I have a concern with this service, however. Google makes money selling advertising. This seems to be another way to help its small business customers build their brand. There’s the potential that these so-called experts may offer vague or biased information that supports their own brand 120 PAGEANTRY HELP YOURSELF: Expert advice is only a keystroke away, but as you would with any communication over the internet, use your common sense and intuition when you decide whether to heed their advice or not. versus their competitors, and possibly upsell unsuspecting users who trust them. I don’t know that for certain. But when you search careers/education and someone who owns a flight school is the one offering advice on how to get your pilot’s license, who’s flight school is he going to promote? Sure, he is an expert in that field, and maybe there isn’t anyone else better to give that information. But in this particular case, why not just call any flight school for free versus paying for this Google Helpouts expert who may spend your 15 minutes coercing you into signing up for his classes? Google Helpouts is still useful. I’m just saying I get the feeling it’s more of a marketing tool for small business. So simply double-check for bias and take some of the advice given with a grain of salt, which you should in the case of any advice anyway. The one on-demand expert service I prefer at the mo- ment is PopExpert. They’re a little more limited in terms of the types of experts they offer, but they definitely offer ca- reer coaching. What I like is that you can see each expert’s bio. It’s totally transparent. And every expert is hand-se- lected by the PopExpert team to make sure they can add value to your life 100 percent. The one caveat: They’re more pricey, at $50-$125, than most of the experts on Google Helpouts. However, the sessions are longer (50 minutes), and you get the first session free. You may only need one