Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Review: The Essential Digital Interview Handbook by Paul J. Bailo

The Essential Digital
Interview Handbook
The ESSENTIAL digital interview HANDBOOK
by Paul J. Bailo
Published by Career Press 2014

An alternate title for The Essential digital interview Handbook could be, How To Set Up And Use Your Own Digital Video Studio On A Budget - because, that's just what you learn from reading the book.

For those job seekers wanting to put together their own video interview lab, here's the CliffsNotes to do it. In fact, a whole job search campaign could be created using the book. For example, once the setup is complete, it's a short jump from using Skype to preparing a one-way digitally recorded interview, a digital resume, and video shorts for use on YouTube, blogs, and leave-behind dvds.

Part One features the equipment and materials check list. The reader gets a "Queens, New York" take on being practical (which I guess equates to the Kingman, Arizona Vs the Las Vegas Strip approach). For those doing it themselves (and on a budget) the work has already been done, just march down the list of lab tested equipment.

Parts Two and Three focus on execution - how to use the studio equipment you now have. Or for those using a video service provider that already has a studio, the suggestions and tips in these sections can help cut the learning curve (and presumably the cost) way down. And judging by the quality of much of the video material floating around on the net, I completely understand and appreciate Mr. Bailo's emphasis on getting the nitty gritty basics right.

So who will find this book helpful?

The two obvious groups (as noted) are job seekers interested in putting together own mini-studio (just follow the list) and those using an outside service (self-coach and practice using the material before actually going in to interview digitally or produce a digital resume).

There are however other categories of digital media users to whom I'd recommend the book.

First, the big and amorphous group of do-it-yourself producers of internet video clips for a million different reasons: the girl doing fashion and makeup YouTube videos as a way to get into the business; the consultant wanting to produce short promotional videos; the high school athlete hoping to snag a college scholarship. The list is quite literally endless and includes anyone needing to communicate visually over the internet for whatever reason.

Second, freelance workers (I call them Free Agents, a frequent writing topic). Estimates have it that close to 50% of the US workforce is now involved in some form of Free Agency (freelancers, contract workers, 1099ers - those referred to by the US Dept. of Labor as "Contingent Workers"). This category is growing and could comprise 70% of the workforce by 2020, an amazing prediction. Regardless of the percentage, lots of people will no doubt soon be doing things exactly as Mr. Bailo has described, given the rapid growth in digital everything.

There are many books available on the "inner" aspects of job search preparation (the soft skills - mindset, strategy, the nuances of interpersonal communication - all things important and very much at the heart of what I do). But this book is more about the "outer" aspects (the first impression - sound, lighting, and script).

When compared to traditional face-to-face interviewing, the cost and convenience of going digital will make it unavoidable. However don't think of this as a replacement. Rather, as pointed out in the book, see this as a screening step - another hurdle to be crossed on the way to final in-person interviewing. Those not taking this step seriously will likely not go beyond it.

So my hat goes off to Paul Bailo. He gets it and has put together a very helpful and easy to use reference book for all of us. Digital interviewing is here to stay. Don't make the mistake of doing it yourself or using an outside service without first reading the The ESSENTIAL digital interview BOOK.

You'll be glad you did.

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What's Hot, What's Not

I believe in the Marketplace, where things are what they are. If something is hot, the value goes up and when it cools, the value goes down. That's just how it is. This is not to say that I am OK with everything about the Marketplace but how I feel about it counts for squat.

But I must admit, it's always interesting.

Take for example the recent story on NPR about the plight of most of the college instructors in the US. Most (76% really?) are part-time employees averaging (per the story) between $25,000 and $27,000 a year. I assume benefits are nil, after all, that's one of the reasons they are not full-time employees.

Okay, so it's just the way it goes in the Marketplace.

Now check out this story about programming engineers in Silicon Valley. Many start at over $100,000 and can earn WAY more if they are extremely capable. But we know this, right? I mean with all things digital, they are HOT HOT, thus their high value.

Okay, once again that's just how it shakes out in the Marketplace. It's all about value created. Digital stuff and abilities are valued high and much of everything else is valued pretty low by comparison.

The programming engineers are getting big bucks because of two factors. First, supply and demand. As long as demand outstrips supply, prices for their labor will remain high. Second, talent and ability. And for the most talented, where productivity is really high, salaries are sky high.

So what's the big deal? Do we care (or even notice) the disparity between the part-time college instructors and professors and those in demand around Silicone Valley? Are we taking stock in what the Marketplace is telling us?

Nope. It's full bore ahead with all things digital.

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

PS - And the cost for higher education continues to go up, huh...