Wednesday, August 31, 2011

North Dakota or Hopkinton?

You can move to North Dakota to take advantage of the boom there, or stick around New England.

If you stick around here, some states are doing better than others.

If you plan on sticking around New England, then make your way to Hopkinton for the Job Search Jam Sessions on Friday, Sep 2.

We have a good lineup of speakers and sessions that will meet your needs.

Tickets are available here. You can pay by credit card online or pay by cash at the door.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Make your way to Job Search Jam Sessions!

In this article Donna Svei talks about structural issues, your job search skills and using your friends, family and network to make connections.

Read Donna's article and then come back to register for Job Search Jam Sessions. We'll help you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"In New Jersey, about 600 jobless people a year try self- employment"

Bloomberg had an article recently on how some unemployment programs foster entrepreneurship.
Founding a business isn’t for everyone. Hours are long, initial earnings puny, and the failure rate high even in boom times. A weak economy makes everything harder.
For some displaced workers, however, self-employment may be their best hope. Entrepreneurial aid to the jobless is typically aimed at older, educated workers who lost good jobs in battered industries. With the national unemployment rate above 9 percent, such candidates face slim odds of finding appropriate work through a standard job hunt.
If this is of interest to you, there is a session or two planned for the Job Search Jam Sessions on this topic.

Register here

Note: you can pay online, or at least reserve a ticket and pay at the door. The reservations at least help us plan properly for how many folks we will need to feed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jam Session Speakers

We have a great set of speakers lined up for the Job Search Jam Sessions!

  • Anne Crawford - "Your elevator speech : Getting you to the next level"
  • Joanne Dustin "Building Relationships - The Key to Successful Interviewing"
  • Suzanne Grey - will do a session for entrepreneurs
  • Bill Lippencott - (final topic title TBD)
  • Hari Narayanan from the Milford Workforce Central Career Center
  • Linda Waters - (final topic title TBD)
  • Denise Zazzera - will do a session on forming a buddy group

Have you reserved your spot? Register for the Job Search Jam Sessions here

You can pay at the door but please register before hand so we can plan accordingly for the lunch and breaks.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New England has the 2nd-lowest jobless rate in the nation

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via - Latest Stories by document.write('');By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web EditorTwitter: @kdonog on 8/19/11

New England has the second-lowest regional jobless rate in the nation in July, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, as Rhode Island's rate stayed at 10.8 percent.

Things you can do from here:

Friday, August 19, 2011

9 Ways to Shine at a Networking Event

Jason writes:
While attending networking events, you will have the chance to meet many new people as well as re-connect with those already in your network. Without a doubt, you want to come across professional at all times. Your personal brand is at stake every time you set foot in a room of people.
Read the full post here to help prepare for the Job Search Jam Sessions on Sep 2

Register for the Job Search Jam Sessions here

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Post the flyer for Job Search Jam Sessions 3!

You can help spread the word about the Job Search Jam Sessions coming up on Sep 2. Take this flyer and post it where you can!

Job Search Jam Sessions 3 Flyer

Yes, take this flyer please!

Hopkinton Networkers Group - "STEMPower Program"

The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by our speaker, Amy Mosher. The facilitator for this week will be Salpi Sarafian. We will devote the first hour, from 10 to 11 AM to the following agenda: Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Intros, and Needs & Leads. Please arrive early, so we can make every effort to start on time. In the second hour, Amy will be providing an overview of the STEMPower program.

STEMPower program

Amy R. Mosher will be providing an overview of the STEMPower program, which serves and connects job seekers and employers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields such as Biotechnology, Green Jobs, and Aerospace, among others. Amy will also discuss trends from employers’ perspective and suggest tools and techniques for jobseekers to better position themselves in a dynamic global marketplace.

About Amy Mosher:
Originally from Central Massachusetts, Amy R. Mosher is the Lead STEM Coach for Workforce Central Career Center in Worcester, Southbridge and Milford. She holds a Masters in Community Development and Planning from Clark University and a BA in Environmental Studies/ Spanish from UVM. She has 10+ years of experience in community and workforce development and is particularly passionate about developing green and entrepreneurial pathways and solutions for both jobseekers and employers in a ‘new career economy’.

Recap of HNG Meeting of August 5, 2011:
Our 58th meeting of HNG had 19 people, this is 10 less than the previous meeting, and one signed the New Member list. Barbara McKee was our facilitator. There were five introduction speeches.

Our speaker, Gail Greenberg, cancelled on Thursday because she was not feeling well, so we went to Plan B and conducted an interview question workshop, which, as always, went over very well.

Schedule for HNG Meetings:

August 19, 2011 Amy Mosher STEMPower Program
September 2, 2011 Job Search Jam Session #3
September 16, 2011 Dan DeMaioNewton "Dealing with the Afflictive Emotions of Job Seeking"
October 7, 2011 Joellyn Schwerdlin "Network Your Way Into the Hidden Job Market"
October 21, 2011
November 4, 2011
November 18, 2011
December 2, 2011
December 16, 2011

Register for the Job Search Jam Sessions here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two information-rich webinars

Starting a business can be tough, rewarding and one heck of a thrill ride. But at least you control the reins, and therefore a larger part of your investment results. The path to business ownership that you take can have a great impact on the financing options available to you.

Only 1% of small business are started with an SBA loan...Where will you find the money to start your business?
This month's webinar will review business and franchise options and focus on the latest and greatest financing vehicles. 
Our guest this month is an expert who owns a company that provides working capital and alternative financing options specifically designed for small business, including start-up, growth and distressed situations. 
Join us for an information-rich webinar designed to help those exploring business ownership options. Space is limited so register early to make sure you have a seat.

Click here ( to register for:
Tues, August 23 at 6pm CT


Click here ( to register for:
Thurs, August 25 11am CT


Suzanne Grey will be back to help you with your entrepreneur dream! Join us for the next Job Search Jam Sessions on Friday, Sep 2. Register here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How long will you cling to the notion?

Matt Youngquist writes: 
"As the years of this current recession stretch on, however, I’m just wondering how long the emotional fence-sitting among individuals and organizations can hold out. If the current macroeconomic trends continue, how long will we cling to the notion that this situation may be an abnormality, versus the “new normal” in its own right?"
You can read Matt's full post here

If you want to be prepared for the new 'normal', I think that learning from one another, sharing what we have learned on the job search and having a laugh or two will go a long way!

Join us for the next Job Search Jam Sessions on Friday, Sep 2. Register here

Friday, August 12, 2011

Better Business Bureau warns: Job searches can lead to scams

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Staff reports on 8/9/11

If you're looking for a job, you could be at risk for identity theft, the Better Business Bureau warns.

Things you can do from here:

The upcoming Job Search Jam Sessions will provide the latest tips and information to help your job search.
Register here:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Christopher S. Penn's Out of Date Newsletter, August 2011 Edition

Why send Christopher's email newsletter here?

As you scroll down past the header and opt out message, you will find the "Get back to work" section. The advice is worth giving some consideration to!

It may just create the edge you need for the company/position that you are targeting!

Can't see this? Doesn't look right? View it in your browser.
Turn on images or  you're likely to miss something useful, fun, or eye-searing.
Every issue, someone mentions that they couldn't find an obvious unsubscribe link. This one was made by Paul RJ Muller of the Caffeination Podcast and is specially designed to make your head hurt. Thanks, Paul!

turn on  images to see the most obvious unsubscribe link ever
Dear Stephen,

Welcome aboard the August edition of the Out of Date newsletter! This month's newsletter is yet another experiment in content generation. I'm writing it inside of a book publishing platform (more in the Neat Stuff section) so it will be available in many formats, such as:
I'll start off by saying thank you for being a premium subscriber. As with last month, there will be premium content in this newsletter that is a reward for your being willing to complete your profile. You'll enjoy the premium article this month, though you might feel squeamish about using it. Don't worry. It'll fade with time.
Let's get to this month's news. Make sure you follow me on Twitter (@cspenn), connect on LinkedIn, and read my blog so that you can get the latest news and info from me as quickly as possible, but if you don't, at least the newsletter gets you caught up, right?

Get Back To Work!

I'm going to start off with some grim tidings. Pretty much every generally agreed upon economic indicator except corporate profits shows that the economy has drastically slowed down. That means that finding a job isn't going to get easier for the rest of 2011. There is a silver lining: talented people are still getting jobs. A few of my former coworkers landed at new positions almost immediately after the recent merger. People who stand out can still find work.
So that begs the question, who stands out? More importantly, how can you stand out when everyone is clamoring for attention? We've talked about the basics before - professional presence online, writing as an industry expert, etc. But desperate times call for you to go above and beyond the basics.
One of Robert Cialdini's six principles of influence is reciprocity, the idea that if you give something to someone freely, you automatically create a slight, weak social obligation on the part of the recipient to do something in return. Marketers have understood this for decades, giving away everything from free samples to promotional pieces with actual currency attached to it. However, in all of my past experiences as a hiring manager, I have yet to ever see a single job applicant take advantage of this principle.
Writing an eBook, cutting a video, creating an MP3 - in the age of digital goods, content creation has never been cheaper or faster. To create a simple eBook, you need only a Web browser and access to Google Docs to create and export a PDF that you can give to people. To create a video, you need only a camera, basic editing tools, and access to YouTube. If you are truly financially pressed, chances are you can find a relatively quiet moment at a local Apple Store if there's one nearby and do your editing there. To record an MP3, you need only a microphone and the free Audacity audio software.
How do you use these tools to get noticed, to stand above the crowd? Create something that you can give away, and include it with your job application. If you're applying for marketing jobs, put together an eBook of the 5 or 10 marketing tips that are indispensable to you, put a nice cover on it (there are millions of images available at no cost on Flickr using the Creative Commons By Attribution, Commercial Use license - be sure to obey the terms of the license!), and offer it with your resume or in a separate email. I guarantee it'll make an impression that says you're more than just a single sheet of paper. If you're applying for a construction job, put together a YouTube video of how you organize your tools for maximum productivity or safety on the job site and add that in with your application.
You get the idea. Free or nearly free content tools exist to help you create a powerful impression of who you are and leverage the principle of reciprocity. If you're not using them, you're passing up a chance to truly set yourself apart from the crowd.
As always, if we're connected on LinkedIn, I will gladly forward any job connection request to anyone else in my network that I can help you reach.

Premium Neat Stuff

With as much free stuff as there is out there, I don't buy a whole lot when it comes to books. There's more than enough to read every single day. Thus, if I do buy a book, it's come highly recommended to me or I've had a chance to skim it in the library or online. As such, my recommended reading list is very, very short but impactful. Here's what's in my Kindle as of late and why.

  • Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull. If you're in B2B marketing or sales and this isn't your bible, then to be blunt, you're doing it wrong. Thull's book is a masterpiece on how to sell effectively, especially with complex products and services.
  • Strategy and the Fat Smoker by David Maister. David's an incredible writer and his works are always worth reading, full of dry wit and usable information.
  • Endgame by John Mauldin. Mauldin's one of the top shelf investment guys out there and his book is an eye opener. It's mandatory reading if you want the biggest possible picture of where things are going.
These three books should hurt your head, have you madly scribbling notes, and make you rethink a lot of what you're doing. That's my criteria for things I'm going to drop personal cash on - it's stuff that should make me sit down and seriously reconsider reality as I know it. Take note that only one is directly about marketing, even though I'm a marketing guy. Most of the really profound insights I get come from outside the marketing field.

Neat Stuff

Every month, I share some things that have come across my desk that are worth noting, either things I've found on my own or things people have sent me.
  • I'm using a program called Scrivener to write this month's newsletter as an experiment. It's a Mac writing program that makes it equally easy to create web pages, eBooks, etc. I've truly fallen in love with it, mostly because it helps keep me organized while writing longer-form stuff. For example, I've got all of my research notes in here as I write this newsletter, which keeps everything at hand. You'll find it in the Mac App Store.
  • Have you played with Google's Search Stories? If not, you should. It's wonderfully fun and makes some pretty compelling videos. The catch, of course, is that if you're writing a marketing message, your search story needs to end with your site as the message, so if you don't rank #1 for something, anything, it's not going to be helpful.
  • At nearly every social conference I've been at, someone has asked how to save and archive Tweets. If you want to do it yourself, YourTwapperKeeper is the software to do it with. You install it on your own server (or have them host it for a fee) and then you get rich data collected about any trackable piece of text, from words to user names to hashtags.
  • Following the markets? CNBC's iPad app is available and has real-time data. It's terrific to keep running on your iPad and a lot quieter than having the television on.
  • A few people have asked me about the theme I'm using on my blog. It's called Aggregate, and is available from Elegant Themes. It's $39/year for any of their themes (which is handy if you change themes as often as I do). Affiliate link! The theme was customized and deployed by the outstanding Wordpress expert, Michelle Wolverton.
  • One of my favorite tools is TweetAdder. I use it to seamlessly manage Twitter audiences, doing a lot of the manual stuff automatically, slowly, and methodically. Check out the June newsletter for more tips on how to use it smartly.

Shameless Plug: Buy My Book

Marketing White Belt book cover I published a book on Amazon and B&N called Marketing White Belt: Basics for Digital Marketers. My motivation for writing the book was noticing that a lot of people have found themselves in digital marketing roles with little or no marketing background at all. We come from social media or technology or fresh out of school and are expected to be full-fledged digital marketers, expected to be able to generate impressive results by managers who don't fully understand marketing themselves.
This book gets you started on the path of marketing, introducing concepts, frameworks, and ideas that will help give you a solid foundation in the basics of marketing. It's everything you need to get someone started on marketing basics, while not being overly dense (and thus productivity-dampening). Each concept has a series of exercises that will let you test your knowledge and apply it to the business situations you're facing at your company.
How to Get It:
Have you already read it? Please leave me a review on Amazon or B&N. Thanks!

Travel and Events

A bunch of notices this month for travel. First, I'm pleased to announce that I will be keynoting the University of Toledo's Internet Marketing Conference in addition to a host of other events.
  • PodCamp NH, Portsmouth, NH, August 13.
  • SocialFresh Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, September 6-7.
  • Optimization Summit, Phoenix, Arizona, September 12-13. I'll be talking email marketing in depth.
  • PodCamp Boston, Boston, MA, September 24-25. I'm going to share some stuff about social networks.
  • UT Internet Marketing Conference, Toledo, OH, October 18. I'm keynoting the event.
  • SocialMediaPlus, Philadelphia, PA, November 15-16.
Also, on behalf of my employer, the WhatCounts Email Summit will be held in Las Vegas in October. As of right now, I'm not slated to speak, but it'll be a cross-section of clients sharing their experiences and best practices.
If you'll be at any of these upcoming events, please say hi.
If you would like me at your event, please head over to the public speaking page. I just published a new set of packages available to event organizers that will give you a better idea of how I can promote your event and put butts in seats for you!
If you would like me at an event you're attending, ask the conference organizer to book me!

Stuff For You

What's been popular among my stuff? This list.
I generate this by looking in Google Analytics at Content > Top Content and looking at the time period since the last newsletter. This is a helpful way to generate "best of" lists that requires no subjective opinions. The data tells you what people like about your stuff.
Also, for those of you who are followers on Twitter, you know all about #the5. Well, now there's a weekly wrapup summary email in case you miss a day, sent out every Saturday morning. You can subscribe to it separately here.

Stuff You Did

In the spirit of you get what you pay for, I'm paying it forward to the people who share my newsletter with your networks. This issue, I'm profiling two people who moved the needle in the previous edition. Jay Fleischman brought in the most new eyeballs and Erik Deckers brought in the most clicks.
Twitter PicJay Fleischman is an attorney I've known for what seems like forever. He and I first talked when I was working in the student loan industry, and I even had him on my financial podcast a couple of times to talk bankruptcy law. Much of what I know about bankruptcy for college students came from him. He's a good guy and worth knowing. You'll find him at and @jayfleischman on Twitter.
Twitter PicErik Deckers is tired of BS in Social Media. So tired of it that he co-wrote a book with Jason Falls called No BS Social Media. Yes, I'm abbreviating the title to keep it moderately work safe. Their new book looks to be exciting and certainly entertaining. You can find Erik with Jason at their web site and @edeckers on Twitter.
If you want a chance to be featured in this newsletter, which has a readership of about 12,600 really awesome people, just share it with your network:
FacebookFacebook TwitterTwitter LinkedInLinkedIn DiggDigg MySpaceMySpace
If you're the Facebooking sort, you can also just use the Like button:

More of the Tweeting sort? Tweet This:

Next issue, I'll pick two more people that send eyeballs and clicks this way. Share this newsletter and get featured!

The End?

For now, this is the end. With as much travel as I've got, there's a good chance I'll see you soon. In the meantime, please feel free to stay in touch:
That's all for now. Thank you for reading it.
Christopher S. Penn


You can find additional tips and tricks to help your job search at the upcoming Job Search Jam Sessions on Sep 2. Register here:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let Hopkinton be the start!

HOPKINTON, Mass.—— The consensus economic outlook has no quick return to full employment. This Job Search Jam Sessions event will provide you with help on entrepreneurship, networking and use of social media tools.

While Labor Day is the traditional end to summer, Job Search Jam Sessions is timed to get you off to a good start. “This is an ‘unconference’ for the unemployed and underemployed,” says Steve Sherlock, lead organizer. “The event’s organizers and session facilitators all have experience dealing with the challenges of layoffs and unemployment, and they are enthusiastic about sharing what they’ve learned in a peer-to-peer setting.”

In coordination with the Hopkinton Networking Group, Job Search Jam Session 3 will offer networking opportunities and motivational support for unemployed and under-unemployed workers. New and recent college graduates are welcome to participate to learn and share the tips and tricks of the job search.

Job Search Jam Session 3 is scheduled for Friday, Sep 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The location: St. John the Evangelist Parish Center, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton, Mass. The event has the capacity to serve up to two hundred job seekers from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Persons interested in attending should register at The cost is – $8 per person. You can pay via credit card or at the door. Attendees will be asked to check in at the Parish Center on Sep 2, between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Coffee, refreshments and snacks will be available for the morning and afternoon break. Lunch will also be served during the conference.

Proceeds from ticket sales will help defray expenses. Any ‘profit’ will be donated to the Church in return for the use of their facility.

Directions to the St. John the Evangelist Parish Center can be found on the church’s website (

“Job Search Jam Session participants will be able to acquire dozens of new LinkedIn connections. More importantly, they will share experiences from the job search with their peers, learn what has worked for others, and at the end of the day they’ll return home more informed, more confident and motivated to pursue new opportunities.”

Job Search Jam Sessions Agenda

The event will feature both seminar-like sessions and informal opportunities to network in small groups. The agenda will be adapted to reflect the needs and interests of participants. There will be sessions devoted to job interviews, financial planning, and the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Information on specific sessions will be posted to as the schedule is filled in.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RI's numbers

Unemployment: 10.8%

Total home vacancy: 10.7%

State GDP per capita: $41,816

Key reduction:benefits recalculated, payoffs now average $100 less

Rhode Island has silently crept up the unemployment rate ranks, and now has the third highest in the country, behind only California and Nevada. While the state is performing quite well, the massive unemployment rate has the potential to weigh heavily on the state’s budget, either in the short-term or the long-term.

The state is attempting to reduce the effects in the short-term, at least, by adjusting the way benefit rates are calculated. NELP estimates that this reconfiguration of the system will reduce the average weekly benefits of residents by as much as $100. Workers will also have a longer period of ineligibility for benefits if they quit their job.

Read about the other 8 states reducing unemployment benefits here

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Providence metro jobless rate drops to 10.4%

Unfortunately, the rate is dropping as folks fall off the rolls to be counted not because they found work.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via - Latest Stories by document.write('');By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web EditorTwitter: @kydonoghue on 8/4/11

The unemployment rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metropolitan area declined in June to 10.4 percent of the labor force from 11.3 percent in the same month a year earlier.

Things you can do from here:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Job Search Jam Sessions return Sep 2

With Labor Day weekend approaching, there will be another Job Search Jam Sessions.

Hold the date: Friday, Sep 2

Schedule, speakers, and ticket information will be forthcoming.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hopkinton Networkers Group - "So I am insane, now what?"

Hello Everyone,
The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by our speaker, Gail Greenberg. The facilitator for this week will be Barbara McKee. We will devote the first hour, from 10 to 11 AM to the following agenda: Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Intros, and Needs & Leads. Please arrive early, so we can make every effort to start on time. In the second hour, Gail will talk about "So I am insane now what."

So I am insane now what

Gail will provide details at the meeting.

About Gail Greenberg:

Gail Greenberg functioned as a Senior Project manager in the High-Tech industry in the past 20 years. During this time she was part of a startup company where she held the position of Director of Business Development for 4 years until the company was bought.

As EMC alumni, she focused in Engineering Product Marketing proficient on “time to market” and “effective budgeting”. Gail has PMP certification and served as the Director of Marketing of the PMI central chapter for couple of years.

She holds MBA from the Hebrew University and notable technology credentials which she attained during the years.

Since Gail was laid off, few months ago, she made a career change and opened her own business.

Schedule for HNG Meetings:

August 5, 2011 Gail Greenberg So I am insane now what
August 19, 2011 Amy Mosher STEMPower Program
September 2, 2011 Job Search Jam Session #3
September 16, 2011 Dan DeMaioNewton "Dealing with the Afflictive Emotions of Job Seeking"
October 7, 2011 Joellyn Schwerdlin "Network Your Way Into the Hidden Job Market"
October 21, 2011
November 4, 2011
November 18, 2011
December 2, 2011
December 16, 2011

General Information:

The networking group meets in Hopkinton, at St. John the Evangelist Church parish hall. The meeting occurs, from 10 to 12 noon, and will meet the first and third Friday of the month. The parish hall has a capacity for 250 people and there is plenty of parking spaces in the parking lot and on the street. Around the perimeter of the parish hall are rooms to allow us to have focused network groups or for any other purpose we need. We chose the first and third Friday to allow everyone to attend the Acton Networking Group or any other networking group, if they wanted, on the Friday we do not meet.

We will maintain our close affiliation with Acton Networkers by using the same list-server to share information between the groups. Any e-mails specific to the Hopkinton Networking Group (HNG) will be indicated in the subject line either by "Hopkinton Networking Group" or "HNG"; this way anyone attending these meetings will know the e-mail is intended for them.

We will follow the following agenda items:
Landings (with doughnuts)
New member introductions
Needs and Leads
Speaker(s), Workshop, or Focus Group

For those new members who give their introductions, this is what we would like to know:
Skills and Value Statement
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
Your title
Your target companies
Geography of search
Name and e-mail address
If anyone wants to join our team, please let one of us know; we could always use the extra help and input for ideas.

Take Rt. 495 North/South and get off Exit 21A. Go through three traffic lights. Colella's Supermarket is on the right at the third traffic light. The first street after the third traffic light is Church Street, take a right turn. The church is on the right. Go around to the left of the parking lot and go into the side entrance of the parish hall.

Depending upon where you live, perhaps you may want to use Mapquest for a more direct route. The address of the church is:
St. John the Evangelist
20 Church Street
Hopkinton, MA 01748