Here is my advice about job hunting long-distance: Forget it. It’s not going to work for most of you, and you’ll need to relocate before you get the job. But for a few of you, there’s hope for a long-distance job hunt will work. So, here’s some advice if you must make it work:

1. Pitch yourself as specialized.
Most people are relocating from a city that is in low demand to a city that is high demand. For example: Tucson to San Francisco. There are not a lot of skill sets that someone has to look outside San Francisco to get. If you want to get a job from Tucson, you need to have one of those skill sets that people do not think they can hire for in San Francisco. Usually this means that you’re very specialized. So, the first thing about getting a job in a city you don’t live in is that you need to be very specialized or in high demand.

The idea behind being a specialist is that you are so good at a very specific thing that people are unlikely to find someone as good as you locally. Sometimes a good career coach can help you rewrite your resume to focus on a specialty. If you don’t have one, a good primer for finding a specialty is reading about the funeral industry, where you have to specialize in something (sometimes weird) in order to survive. Read more

I met D at a party. I was there with Ryan Paugh and a few bloggers from the Brazen Careerist network, and because it was SXSW and it was all parties all the time, I was pretty partied out. But the party was for Kirtsy, and I love the women who run Kirtsy, so I went.

Also, Holly Hoffman wanted to meet Guy Kawasaki. And really, it’s not like I’m his best friend, but because I know him, I could say to Holly, “Oh, I’ll introduce you.” And I did that. And Holly was thank-you-thank-you, even though Guy is so nice that you can just walk up to him and introduce yourself and he’ll be nice. To everyone.

And I’m standing there with a bunch of 25 year olds, because I’m always hanging out with 25 year olds because that’s basically my job—I work with them and my business is for them. But I was not with THE 25 year old because the night before, I woke up to him peeing on the carpet in my hotel room.

When I asked what he was doing, he said, “Oh, sorry” and then he went back to bed. So I woke him up. And yelled at him.

He said he was drunk. He went back to sleep. I woke him up. I said, “I told you you had to go down on me and you didn’t. You asked a woman out after she wrote a whole blog post about oral sex and you don’t even do oral sex.

I’m pissed.” Read more

The guy I'm sort of dating asks me, “Do you know Glenda Bautista?”

I say, “No.”

He says, “We're trying to hire her.”

So I check out her blog and dis her and he says, “She was dating Matt Mullenweg.”

I say, “Really.”

He says, “Yeah. I was talking with my business partner and we both thought it must really suck for her that they are not dating anymore but they are still mentioned in the same breath a lot.”

“Really? Like how?”

“Google Glenda Bautista Matt.”

I do that. Their life looks really fun. They do cool stuff, meet cool people, and how can you not think Matt is great? He is. Who knows what he's like to date, but he's a great online brand.

That conversation was four weeks ago. And I have talked with this guy I'm sort of dating, D, a lot since then. But I am not saying that he's my boyfriend because maybe I want my boyfriend to have as big a brand as Matt. Read more

This is a guest post from Dan Schawbel. He is 25 years old and already, the New York Times has called him a “personal branding guru.” Dan’s book is Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and it just came out today.

Personal branding describes a process where individuals differentiate themselves from a crowd by articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence.

Here are five reasons why Generation Y is better at this process than everyone else:

1. We have the least amount of responsibilities.
Personal branding is a very time consuming exercise that most adults don't do because of the sheer amount of responsibilities they have, which are priorities to them. However, the more time you invest in your personal marketing efforts, the more successful you'll be. For Gen Y, the amount of hours we have left after classes, interships and jobs, is still greater than an older person in the workforce, with twin babies, a pet dog and a list of errands. Millennials can stay up till 2 or 3 a.m. growing our personal brands using social media tools, such as blogs and social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist, to become more well known in our industry. Read more

This is another post about a book. Two days in a row. But before you get all giddy and think you should send your book to me so I’ll write about it, forget it.

First of all, I get five to ten books every week. And I throw most of them away. Second, honestly, for the most part, you have to be my friend for me to write a whole post about your book. Sure, there are exceptions. For example, Tim Ferriss is not my friend but I wrote about his book anyway. But the exceptions are mostly for academic books with research that blew me away.

So stop thinking that I am going to write about your book if you simply send it to me. But really, if you want to promote a book, the best thing to do is make a lot of friends before the book comes out. Just like you don’t want to wait to build a job search network until you need a job, you don’t want to build a book promotion network when you need press.

So, Ramit has put up with a lot from me, including me being an hour late to have coffee with him. More than once. He has earned a post. Read more

I do a lot of interviews. At least two or three a week — ranging from CNN to local newspapers. And no matter where the interview is running, there are some things you need to know about doing a good one:

1. Be interesting. The questions people ask you are not really what they want to know. It's what they think will be interesting. They would ask you about the price of tea in China if they thought the answer would be interesting.

So your job in an interview is to give an answer that is entertaining and thought-provoking and all the other things that people like. You don't need to answer the question as much as you need to answer the need for interestingness.

2. Be short. The world does not have an unlimited attention span to hear how your mind works. So you can't think out loud in an interview and have everyone wait til you get to your point. Your point has to start right away.

Also, if you are short then you are more likely to be interesting the whole time. The longer you talk about a given topic the harder it is to keep someone's interest. In the PR world this is called “soundbite”. But really, you can use the sound bite technique everywhere — on radio, in a blog post, on a date. Read more

I announced last week that I’ll be running a poll on my sidebar each week. I'm aiming for a new one every Tuesday.

The poll is a fun way for me to think about career topics. A new format always gets me going. But it’s also fun because even after writing about careers for ten years, I have a lot of questions in my head that I have not found research to address.

Today’s poll is one of them. I know the research about who is bulimic and what happens to them. Mostly because I was bulimic all through college and I thought becoming an expert on the topic would help me stop throwing up. (That didn’t work, but the mental ward did). But there is no workplace research. And I’m curious. So I wrote the poll question because I genuinely want to know the answer: What percentage of women in corporate America are bulimic? I think the answer is higher than anyone would expect.

Read more

I was thinking that a new blog design would be frivolous, and I should just write good posts. But then I ran the post about my new headshots, and the comments section was filled with people saying how much they hate the photo on my blog masthead.

That photo is from a time when I was just getting my big writing jobs—at Yahoo Finance and the Boston Globe—and my book was coming out. And the headshot was all about making me look older and wiser than people maybe thought I was.

But, really, I am not big on authority. I’m more about conversation. And I think it’s way more interesting to look a little off-kilter and ask good questions, than it is to look perfect and act like I have all the answers. So I knew it was time to change my photo.

Then I started getting excited about trying lots of new things on my blog.

Then I did what I do best: Found great people to work with.

Read more

To manage your image effectively, you have to think constantly about how other people will perceive you.

Are you wondering if you’re good at image management? Ask yourself how you responded to that first sentence. If you said to yourself, “I am not consumed by what other people think of me—I have enough self-confidence to just be myself,” then you are probably bad at image management.

Because it’s not so cut and dried as either being ruled by everyone else or just being yourself. In fact, managing your image is mostly just making sure that people see you as your true self and don’t get side-tracked by things that easily derail our perception of other people.

Here are three ways you need to manage your image and you might miss these opportunities if you’re not paying attention:

Read more

When I started doing Twitter, I put my Twitter feed on the sidebar of my blog. It seemed smart: more content means more traffic, and more traffic is good. But after two weeks of Twitter, I removed it. And then, when I was blogging about important topics like ditching Hebrew school as a career harbinger, commenters asked what happened to my Twitter feed.

Well, the Twitter feed is right here on Twitter. Just like my LinkedIn profile is on LinkedIn, and the potted plants I’ve collected on Facebook are on Facebook. Because mashing our social media together for the purpose of marketing one feed to another dilutes the value of social media. If you express yourself in the same way on a blog and on Twitter, then you don’t need both.

Each of us is multi-faceted. With a selection of media to choose from, we can express different parts of ourselves in different ways.

It’s clear to me that blogging is best for expressing big ideas. If you can’t convey new ideas on your blog, then you probably won’t get a lot of traffic. And most blogs that do well have a single theme and the audience can depend on the theme dictating the content of the blog. But Twitter is not good for fleshed-out ideas. I see people using Twitter for a lot of stuff, but not for fleshed-out ideas. And Flickr is good for expressing passion. Way better than, say, Twitter.

So it strikes me as really lame that we have such a wide range of media at our disposal yet people are using that range to convey the same aspect of themselves: the personal brand they are creating for social media.

Ironically, personal branding mostly rewards consistency, and using different media for different aspects of ourselves is not typically what builds brands. But none of us is so narrow to fit completely into the brand we present on a blog. There is more to each of us.

So I am playing with Twitter right now, seeing what part of me feels most natural to be in Twitter. This is the same thing we do as we make a new friend. We figure out what combination of the things that make up our personality will be best with this person. That’s why we’re a little different with each person we know.

As it turns out, Twitter feels very intimate to me. It’s a small burst, and small means intimate. It’s never a rant, because there’s not enough room, and it’s always immediate because—in keeping with Twitter conventions—it’s about “what I’m doing now.”

Mashing all social media together to create one image of ourselves doesn’t make sense because we are all already accustomed to showing certain parts of ourselves only in certain parts of our lives. We all know, for instance, that women don’t talk about blow jobs at work, even though they give plenty of them. And men don’t talk about the details of project management on a date, because they’d never get another blow job. It’s acceptable to have different places in your life for different aspects of your personality. So don’t flatten yourself by presenting only perfect consistency across Twitter and LinkedIn and blogs and Facebook.

Also, people who want to meet you in one format, won’t necessarily want to meet you in another, and that’s fine. Jason Warner, at Google, for example, explained that he doesn’t want to check out your MySpace photos before he hires you because it’s not the part of you he’s expecting to show up at work.

I actually already have experience switching media for different parts of me, and I’m telling you, it has served me well: I got into graduate school in Boston University based on my ability to write about sex. I spent my time in grad school writing hypertext fiction. I lectured at Brown University, I lectured at the Sorbonne, and I’m in Wikipedia for my sex writing — in hypertext. But when I had the opportunity to write career advice, I knew hypertext wasn’t the right format. So I started over, with a different way of thinking, in a different medium.

Sometimes I call this a braided career. Sometimes I call this bad branding. It’s a fine line. And some people will say that if you’re truly integrated, you will be your same self everywhere. I disagree. I think that the most socially adept people highlight the parts of themselves that will be most interesting to the people at hand.

So I am keeping Twitter separate. I want to play and explore and I don’t care about being consistent with my brand there. I want to show another part of myself on Twitter—a part that I wouldn’t necessarily show on the blog.

What is social media for, really? If traffic is your holy grail, then you need to point all your social media to one spot, in a sort of exercise in cross-pollination. If it’s not to build traffic, then it’s to build connections. And those connections can improve your life.

So give yourself permission to use social media to explore all the aspects of your personality, rather than just the one you picked for your “official personal brand”. It makes sense that you should give yourself some leeway to be inconsistent in who you are—and thereby consistent with who are completely are—in social media. Explore your full identity as you explore the media.