Sunday, July 5, 2009

Are You Prepared on a Job Interview to Answer the Question How Many Followers You Have on Twitter?

If you're looking for a job and want to improve your chances of doing well in an interview, you need to know about the most important aspects of internet marketing today, including social media such as Twitter, blogging, article marketing and other strategies.

Check out now to learn how you can get the jump on your job competition.

-- Brought to you by Phyllis Zimbler Miller, a National Internet Business Examiner at

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Following Your Passion: Taking My Own Advice

As many of you know, the Flipping Burgers philosophy is to follow your passion – to invest your time in doing what you love to do. I have written many blog posts about this philosophy.

Now it’s time to take my own advice. My passion has always been books – reading books, writing books, buying books, studying how to market books.

And as I get more and more involved in internet marketing, I find myself stretched in too many directions with trying to keep up with this blog and my other interests.

True, I also love giving advice to high school students and young people about college applications, internships, jobs and careers. I just don’t love this as much as I love giving advice about book writing and book marketing.

Regrettably I have decided to take the step of no longer adding new posts to this blog, although I will, of course, leave this blog up. After all, many of the blog posts I wrote remain useful. For example, advice on interviewing techniques and proper interview attire is the same whether posted now, a year from now, or several years from now.

Use this blog as a resource archive for when you need to review advice on such topics or to recommend this advice to others.

You can also keep in touch with my activities by checking out my Miller Mosaic LLC company websites and And email me with questions or comments at

Wishing you much success as you follow your own passion through life.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Networking Events: The Early Bird Has a Good Chance of Catching the Worm

The October 30th Wall Street Journal article “As Layoffs Rise, Jobless Throng Career Fairs” by Dana Mattioli had a concluding paragraph that caught my eye:
Nicholas Schulz, a 23-year-old from Woodbridge, N.J., looking at jobs in the marketing field, has developed his own trick for making the most of his time. He arrives early to reach recruiters before they get burnt out. “If you get there later on, you can see it in their faces that you’re the thousandth person they’ve spoken to,” he says.
This advice is particularly important for all “networking” activities. If you get to an event early and you recognize a speaker or panelist, that’s a very good time to go up to the person and politely introduce yourself. No, you shouldn’t pitch yourself then. You should focus on spending a few quality moments just talking to the person. Before you turn away, you could ask for the person’s card.

Then after the speech or panel when everyone else is storming the barricades trying to get to the speaker or panelists, you can smile to yourself and go home. You can be secure in the knowledge that you can send a follow-up email expressing gratitude for the public presentation and adding a comment about the pleasure of speaking to the person before the formal presentation began.

You can add in that email an appropriate request that follows from the brief chat you had before the presentation. This might be something such as: I enjoyed talking with you about companies offering internships for marketing personnel. Would you have any recommendations of companies that might be interested now in marketing interns?

Obviously, if the person thinks his/her company would be interested, he/she will say so. Yet you’ve given the person an out – permission to say he/she doesn’t know of any companies at this time. Because you haven’t backed the person into a corner by expressing asking about his/her company, the lines of communication are still open for a future email from you.

While I can’t promise you that the early bird always catches the worm, I can promise that you often have a better chance of catching the worm if you arrive early – and use that time to your advantage.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Elevator Speech Revisited: Be Prepared for Opportunity

Last night I was at the event Penn in Pictures – a sometimes annual event sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Club of LA to strengthen ties with the LA entertainment community.

The event, as usual, had a panel of Penn alums in the entertainment industry talk about their paths to their current positions. Then there was a question and answer session.

This question and answer session could be someone’s opportunity. Not only is the panel made up of Penn alums, but almost everyone in the audience is also a Penn alum. And many people are partial to hiring or helping alums of their own college.

Up shoots the hand of one recent college grad, and she asks how someone might get help in finding a job in the entertainment industry. Naturally enough, a panel member says: What are you looking for?

And did this recent grad have a succinct, specific reply? She did not. She blew her chance of positive exposure by mumbling some insignificant response.

Do not let this happen to you! If you go to such an event AND you raise your hand to ask a question about help getting a job, be prepared with a one-sentence or two-sentence response.

State your goal (I’m hoping to become a television drama writer) and what you’re doing now (I’m currently working at an internet company and taking television drama writing classes). And, if you’re lucky, someone will offer to help you.

Be prepared for opportunity to strike!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Avoid Your Own Career “Credit” Crisis – Part II

Here is the second of a two-part series by E. Chandlee Bryan, a certified professional resume writer and career counselor at She specializes in providing services and career advisement to emerging professionals, and she has worked in career services offices at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University and served as director of career services at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. She has also worked "on the other side of the desk" as a recruiter.

3. Ignore the conventional wisdom that the “best school you can go into” is the right school for you

Select the program that best fits your interests, career, and financial goals. Even at Ivy League institutions only an average of 30% of the graduating class begins a career with an employer met on campus. There are multiple reasons for this:

• Even in strong economic times, there are a finite number of available opportunities.

• The application process can be extremely competitive.

• Jobs aren’t always aligned with student interests—they are based on employer need.

4. Evaluate your options

There are many paths to achieve your personal and professional goals—playing the fugitive isn’t one of them. Here are two unconventional paths:

Start at a community college and blow away expectations. Over the years I’ve met several successful Ivy League students who transferred in from community colleges. Many states offer in-state students great programs that can help you with financial planning and assistance towards your education.

Take a break from your loans and get a credit towards your educational expenses. Two popular community service programs -- City Year and AmeriCorps -- offer eligible program participants the opportunity to apply for loan forbearance (i.e. deferment of loan payments during program participation) and service credits of up to $4,725 for one year of service, which can be applied towards past or future educational expenses.

5. Engage in on-going discussion on your career and finances and enlist a few advocates

Regardless of where you choose to go to school or what you choose to do, there are professional advisors who can help you at minimal cost. If you are currently in school or are an alumnus of an institution, you can frequently receive free career and financial planning assistance from school administrators.

If you are not, search online for potential resources and strive to connect with at least three individuals who are willing to invest time in getting to know you and whom you can turn to when you need it.

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How to Avoid Your Own Career “Credit” Crisis – Part I

Here is the first of a two-part series by E. Chandlee Bryan, a certified professional resume writer and career counselor at She specializes in providing services and career advisement to emerging professionals, and she has worked in career services offices at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University and served as director of career services at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. She has also worked "on the other side of the desk" as a recruiter.

Recently, the headlines on showcased “student loan fugitives” — or individuals who’ve fled overseas to escape student loan repayments. The subtitle reads like a worst case scenario: “When faced with monthly payments and relentless creditors, some see leaving the country as their only way out.”

As a career coach, I don’t recommend the asylum or escape approach to student loans. If you’ve chosen to move your career overseas, it should be because you want to go.

Prior to starting my own private practice, I spent over a decade connecting students with career opportunities. I worked in career services at three Ivy League schools (Dartmouth, Penn, and Columbia) and two liberal arts colleges (Colby-Sawyer and the University of Richmond).

In the process, I’ve gotten to talk to employers from all industry sectors — from investment banks and engineering firms to new media companies and non-profits. I’ve surveyed students and employers on starting salaries — and voraciously read up on national trends. Here are five recommendations with respect to financial aid:

1. Transparency, transparency, transparency

Don’t hide your debt statements under the mattress. Talk to a financial aid counselor — and get help of an external financial planner. What you pay or don’t pay down will affect your discretionary income as well as your ability to get credit. Know what you will owe.

2. Consider an outcomes-focused approach to education and your career

There are some career paths that have larger financial compensation then others. This should never be the determining factor in what you choose to do, but know that your salary may affect your lifestyle. Gauge starting salaries in fields of interest before you enroll. Sources of information include:

• Salary reports from the National Association of Colleges and Employers

• Statistics on on-campus recruiting and accepted offers (frequently available through career services offices on campus)

• Salary calculators from and general job search boards such as

Once you have an idea of what you can expect to earn, you can compare financial aid packages, earnings estimates, and school tuition fees. As you start out, you can establish a budget to maintain long-term debt avoidance —and make choices that help you accomplish your goals.

To be continued.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

New Experiences: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

I’ve written before about having an open mind (and recommended the book MINDSET by Carol Dweck). As it’s such an important topic, I wanted to revisit it again.

Most of us probably have a standard response to things we don’t want to do – NO (if we can get away without doing those things). Yet if you’re in high school, college or your first job – you might want to consider saying yes to things you don’t want to do because of what you may learn or who you may get to meet.

A long time ago my husband and I were asked to take with us to Israel two very bulky sweaters Israelis visiting the U.S. hadn’t been able to take back with them. At the time my inclination was to say no, but I was prevailed upon to say yes as we were taking half-empty suitcases so we could bring gifts home.

The irony is that neither my husband nor I had relatives or friends in Israel at that time. We delivered the sweaters to the head of Israel radio and his wife, and suddenly we had the opportunity to meet real Israelis! A totally unexpected outcome of taking two bulky sweaters in our suitcases.

If a teacher, mentor or boss asks you to help out with a project that at first sounds boring, do not automatically say no. First, get more information about the project. Second, take a few minutes to think about how you might learn something new or meet some interesting people if you do this project. And then, with an open mind, if at all possible say yes.

Being open to new experiences is a wonderful character trait that can lead you to all kinds of interesting things. Of course, we’re talking about LEGAL projects. While you might learn from an illegal activity, this is not something you want to say yes to.

Use good judgment about saying yes to new things – and do say yes when it is appropriate to do so.

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