3 Ways To Keep Your 2017 Career Resolution

Whether you are in the market for a new job or not, 2017 is your year to make good on your career resolution. According to Business Insider, the U.S. economy is on the up and up. By the end of last year, the U.S. was reveling in about 74 months of consecutive job growth.

Companies are on a hiring spree as competition declines, and salaries are climbing. So, what does this mean for you?

The current jobs market means that your New Year’s career resolutions doesn’t have to die a slow death over the next few weeks. Take advantage of the times and elevate your career in just three, simple ways.

Resolution #1: Figure Out Your Next Move

We know what you are thinking, ‘Gee, that was helpful.’ But, bear with us. Perhaps you’ve been toiling away at your job for years, daydreaming about your next move or maybe you’re comfortable and haven’t given it much thought. In either scenario, LinkedIn is still your friend.

Use LinkedIn to achieve career resolution in 2017

Beyond simply connecting with your colleagues and other professional contacts, are you leveraging all of its features?

Cyberstalk for All the Rights Reasons …

In the beginning stages of your job search (especially if your path is uncertain), LinkedIn is a great resource to lightly cyber stalk (in a non-creepy way) people who have the careers you want. Even if your profile isn’t set to private, don’t be shy; go ahead and click on that executive’s profile you admire. Do you have mutual connections? If not, don’t be afraid to take it one step further and reach out to them. Cold contact (emails, messages, calls, etc.) still works. It’s all a numbers game so don’t get discouraged.

Find Common Ground…

If randomly approaching a stranger online isn’t your thing, then LinkedIn’s Alumni Connection feature is probably up your alley. At any point in your career, your alumni game should always be strong (after all isn’t that why we paid for expensive pieces of paper to prove we belonged to a certain academic community?). Alumni love hearing from their people so drop them a quick line, tell them your story, and make the ask. Stay clear of outright asking for a job. Simply asking for advice is the best way to go.

Leave Breadcrumbs …

Breadcrumbs is online dating lingo for stringing someone along with no intentions of committing (e.g., liking someone’s Facebook page, retweeting them, sending seemingly innocuous texts like “Hey, how are you?”). What does this have to do with your professional life? Well, LinkedIn’s Job Search function often lists who posted the job. Scope out their profiles and use the tactics mentioned above. They’ll likely see that you’ve checked them out and may return the favor. But don’t just leave it there. Wait a couple of days, then send a short follow-up email introducing yourself, referencing the post, and linking them to your profile. Remember recruiters accept applications and referrals, but they also ‘source’ roles. In other words, your outreach is doing part of their job for them. Help them, help you.

Resolution #2: Get Organized

First things first. Set specific goals on a daily basis and give yourself a timeline on when you would like to secure an offer.  Before you know it, your inbox will be populated with interview requests, calendar invites, follow-up notes, etc. It can all get to be a bit overwhelming. To handle it all, get organized with personal organization apps (24Me, Evernote, Remember the Milk) or try out bullet journaling with old school pen and paper. Do what works best for you.

Resolution #3: Be Part of the Conversation

Building your network is a give and take situation. In exchange for the advice imparted on you by your new connects, the least you can do is share your thoughts. No need to be an industry expert to sound off on a range of topics. Take to LinkedIn’s Blog feature, Medium, and Twitter (the company’s struggling, but the platform is still clutch) to spread ideas and offer insights. Nothing to say? No worries, simply sharing resources like news or reports goes a long way in building your profile as someone who cares about industry trends and developments.

Feel free to join offline conversations. Networking can be daunting, but it does not necessarily have to be a thing that you need to “get over.” If you can’t stomach another awkward networking event where everyone else seems to be in the same boat as you, then gravitate towards things you would normally do. For instance, join a Meetup group, an industry organization, or sports league, attend events or conferences, or sign up to volunteer. Making new friends and catching up with old ones helps organically grow your network.

Bringing It All Together

The 2017 job market is hot, hot, hot. So go ahead, update your LinkedIn profile, get your (non-creepy) cyberstalk on, and share your ideas with your growing network. And for bonus points, step away from your laptop or mobile device and get engaged in your community. Your dream job is right around the corner.

Increased salaries in 2017

Virtual Skinny: Who Run The World?


WOD (Word of the Day): Artificial intelligence is an area of computer science that focuses on creating ‘intelligent’ computers that have human-like reactions. Yup, just like you see in the movies. 



When You Need to Diversify …

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) dropped a discrimination lawsuit against data-mining startup Palantir Technologies. Fun Fact: Palantir’s software helped track down Osama bin Laden right before the U.S. took him out. #TheMoreYouKnow 

When You Need to Know More …

Turns out that the DOL found that Palantir has been turning away Asian applicants from engineering gigs in droves. The agency says Asian applicants were ‘routinely’ weeded out during initial stages (i.e., résumé screening and telephone interview). #PlotTwist 

When This Isn’t What You’re Used To …  

Cisco exec Barry Gee says discrimination cases involving Asians in Silicon Valley isn’t the typical storyline (these cases usually involve black and Hispanic applicants) though he admits Asians do get shut out of management roles. 

When Things Are Unclear …

So far, specific numbers to back up the DOL’s allegations are unclear. In the meantime, Palantir is denying any wrongdoing. And, the company should hope things are on the up and up because any findings of wrongdoing could cancel its federal contracts worth US $340 millie.


When You Want to See Results …

The larger tech industry continues to struggle with diversity across the board (underrepresented minorities, women, etc). The industry’s taking a page from the National Football League’s (NFL) playbook. Tech and Internet companies are applying the ‘Rooney Rule’ to help up their diversity numbers. How does it work? Companies like Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, and Microsoft are using the rule to make sure that at least one woman or underrepresented minority is interviewed for a position. Could help bring in a more diverse applicant pool, but companies shouldn’t get it twisted. It’s not just about getting people interviews. The issue runs much deeper. #UnconsciousBias  

How to Not See Results …

Investor and serial entrepreneur John Greathouse thought he was giving sound advice to women in tech when he advised that they ‘create an online presence that obscures their gender’ (e.g., use your initials for  job apps or when seeking startup funding). Greathouse said women should create a ‘neutral online presence’ to avoid gender-bias.  Studies apparently show that men are less likely to find female names likeable. Greathouse learned very quickly what happens when a good deed goes wrong. Many women and some men were not having it, and immediately responded with comments, posts, blogs, etc. See here, here, and here. Moral of the story: Not a great idea to suggest workarounds a problem without making suggestions to solve the actual problem. Greathouse has since apologized. We gotta ask: Despite the backlash, does Greathouse have a point until the larger problems are fixed? Sound off in the comments!


Who Run The World?

Melinda Gates wants girls to run the tech world. She’s now turning her attention to the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math). Gates, who earned a computer science degree from Duke and previously worked at Microsoft for a decade, is concerned that the percentage of women in computer science has plummeted from 37 percent to 18 percent since the ‘80s. Her plan is to assess the problem before deciding where resources should go to bring solutions. #StrengthInNumbers  

Switching Gears …

First India and now Germany.  If you’ll remember, people were not happy when WhatsApp announced that it would start sharing its users’ data with Facebook. German regulators just threw a flag on WhatsApp’s play. They say German users didn’t give the go ahead on any of it, which violates its data protection laws. The regulators want Facebook to stop collecting WhatsApp data and to hit the delete on all German users’ data collected already. Facebook plans to fight Germany on this. The company probably keep its defenses up because Italy is giving the company major side-eye on the same issue. 


Looks like folks aren’t sold yet on self-driving cars. New Kelley Blue Book survey found that 80% of survey participants said we should “always have the option to drive themselves;” 64% need to be in control of their own vehicle; and 62% just enjoy driving.


Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft have partnered up to make moves on artificial intelligence and come up with best practices for it. #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork 

Salesforce just threw a wrench into Microsoft’s plan to buy LinkedIn. The company is asking European regulators to put the kibosh on the deal. Something about the deal will be a threat t’o future innovation and competition.’

Snap, Inc. formerly known as Snapchat is out with its ‘Snapchat Spectacles’ complete with a wearable camera. They’re going for US $130. Add that to your holiday gifts list. 


Loads of content plus a social platform could equal a potential Disney acquisition of Twitter. The social media platform lost a controversial user. Venture capital investor Marc Andreessen decided to call it quits on the Twitterverse. He’s apparently feeling ‘free as a bird.’ #PunIntended 

Music streaming service Spotify has also got buying on its brain. Soundcloud could be it’s next target. If it works out, it’s music to Soundcloud’s ear since the company’s been struggling and looking for a way to exit stage left. Meanwhile, Spotify’s finally saying hello to Japan, the world’s second largest music market (worth over US $2.5 billion). #BetterLateThanNever 

Queen B (aka Beyonce) just made her first foray into tech with a US $150,000 investment in Sidestep, an app for buying concert ‘merch’ that also helps you head straight to the counter to pick up your new swag. 

What Was Trending This Week … 

Mary J. Blige can add host to her resume. Mary’s hosting ‘The 411’ on Beats 1. This week, she interviewed Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton then the R&B singer sang to Hillz about police brutality. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but check out the full interview here. Happy Friday!


Microsoft and LinkedIn Get Together

Tech Giant and Professional Network Say “I Do”

Microsoft and LinkedIn just announced that they have decided to become one. According to reports, Microsoft plans to buy the professional social network for a cool US $26 billion in cash money.

So, why is this happening?LinkedIn, Microsoft

The merger is a win-win situation for both companies. Linking up with LinkedIn allows Microsoft to dive into enterprise social media services. While LinkedIn can have some peace of mind in an increasingly competitive market.  In other words, LinkedIn can now be more competitive when matched up against other companies using their social graphs to potentially compete against the professional network.

What does it mean for us – the average LinkedIn user?

Not to worry, even though LinkedIn will become part of Microsoft’s productivity and business processes segment, it will still keep its branding and product.

Is the deal finished or is it done? 

The short answer is “no.” Both companies’ boards have given the go ahead.  LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman led the deal. In a statement, he said “Today is a re-founding moment for LinkedIn. I see incredible opportunity for our members and customers and look forward to supporting this new and combined business. I fully support this transaction and the Board’s decision to pursue it, and will vote my shares in accordance with their recommendation on it.”

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner also had positive things to say about the new partnership. Weiner penned a blog post where he said that this merger is simply just the next phase in the company fulfilling its mission.  Read the full post here.

But, there is still more to do. More hoops to jump through to finish the deal. Regulators in the United States, the European Union, Canada, and Brazil still need to give LinkedIn and Microsoft their blessing.



Virtual Skinny: “Dislike” Would’ve Been Just Fine…


Good to Know: You can now react in more ways to your friend’s Facebook updates. FB globally released its reactions feature so people can express themselves in more ways than just “liking” stuff.  But, some people feel like FB did the most, when a “dislike” button would’ve done the trick: 

dislike button


Where Do We Start?

Remember how the U.S. government asked Apple to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists? A ton’s happened since last week.

Oh Please…

The U.S. government said “BYE Apple” and dismissed its messaging as a mere marketing ploy – nothing more, nothing less. It just wants Apple’s help to get to the bottom of this specific instance by helping crack the phone’s passcode.  Apple stayed on message and said this whole thing is about protecting people’s civil liberties. The company refuses to create a special software to give the government access to its devices.

Where’s that “dislike” button when you need it? 

The government eventually found a way to reset one of the terrorist’s (Syed Rizwan Farook) iCloud password, which allowed investigators to see the dude’s backed-up data. Apple said wait a minute (or as the kids say “wayment”) and claimed that resetting the password only made it virtually impossible to get data straight from the phone. Now, there’s chatter that Apple’s been working on creating new security measures that would prevent any workarounds from being used to break into iPhone devices. Experts says if and when Apple creates these new measures, it’s pretty much game over unless Congress amends existing law to require companies like Apple and Google to make their data available to law enforcement.

When People Go Off-Script…

Silicon Valley regulars have rallied behind Apple but not everyone. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates added his two-cents, and he isn’t buying what Apple is selling.  Gates says what the government is asking the company to do is possible without compromising people’s general privacy and safety.

What Next?

Well, in the short-term, Apple still has to respond to the court order issued by a federal judge last week that set all of this into motion. The order requests that Apple give the government special access to the phone in question. The deadline is tomorrow.


Getting the Band Back Together …

Calling all for entertainment firms, tech companies, community organizations, social media companies! On Feb. 24, the White House invited a select few for an hours-long pow-wow. Why? Terrorists, of course. Apparently, they stay recruiting peeps online. The U.S. government isn’t afraid to admit that it’s out of its league on this one. So, it’s calling on the private sector for back-up. The goal? “[To] help communities and young people amplify their own messages.” Looks like a joint effort between Facebook and government agencies to fund a peer-to-peer college course to teach kids how to craft their very own anti-militant messaging could do the trick. A FB rep says we’ll know if its working by monitoring the number of shared messages and how people interact with them.

Watch What You Say on the Interwebs …

At least if you’re applying for a U.S. visa or seeking asylum in the country.  While the government is working with the private sector to help implement programs to curb terrorists’ online recruitment, it’s taking to social media itself to screen visa applications. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) isn’t messing around and plans to build tools so it can dig deep into applicants’ social media profiles for any red flags. Legislation has also been popping up in the U.S. Congress that would require DHS to screen pretty much anyone trying to make their way to the U.S. Those bills haven’t seen traction yet though.

Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater …

Immigration advocacy groups feel like all of this social media talk to screen out potential immigrants could leave some people out who don’t deserve to be. Besides, a new study shows that innovators in the U.S. are actually well-educated immigrants and not necessarily young college dropouts. The study found that more than 1/3 of U.S. innovators were born outside the U.S.


Alphabet, formerly known as Google, wants you to meet Atlas, its 5’9”, 180 lbs, battery run humanoid robot.

Not sure where to go for your next vacation? Travel site Expedia is knee-deep in user-experience research to make sure your trip planning is as easy, efficient, and enjoyable as possible.  Happy Planning!

Grocer Whole Foods wants in on grocery delivery startup Instacart. Both companies also plan to partner up for at least the next 5 years.

Online personal styling startup Stitch Fix is getting into the men’s wear game.

Are the 80s making a comeback? Amazon’s working on a new show called Jean-Claude Van Johnson and starring Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme. It’s being described as a “comedy-thriller.” Oh and the e-commerce company turned content company also forked over $15 million for Woody Allen’s new movie.

First Paypal, now LinkedIn … The social platform is set to air its first ever TV commercial during the Oscars on Sunday. It’s space-themed and the message? LinkedIn believes in you. The platform is often described as “the FB for professionals.” But, the company wants people to know that it’s much more than that through a large-scale marketing campaign.  We’re sensing a trend here …

The Virtual Skinny: Blurgh!


Good to Know: Use ride-hailing app Uber? Want that 5-star rating status? Just be a decent human being.  Sounds like general life advice to us. 


When A Crazy Idea Isn’t So Crazy After All … 

Wall Street is buzzing with news that Internet veteran Yahoo may actually consider selling off its core ad business to the highest bidder when its Board of Directors (board) meets this week. This is all according to the Wall Street Journal.

This Is How Rumors Get Started …

Thank activist investor Starboard Value for the suggestion. Last month, Starboard fired off a letter to Yahoo where it pitched the idea. The Internet vet has yet to respond publicly, but news reports triggered a 7 percent spike in Yahoo’s shares.

They Build You Up, Only to Tear You Down …

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer probably took on the role all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The former Googler seemed like the answer to Yahoo’s problems. However, after three years on the job, Mayer’s attempts to put Yahoo back on the map aren’t doing much good. Lately, some company execs have said “deuces.” Media reports are speculating that Yahoo’s board isn’t happy, and this could mean curtains for Mayer. Reports have even dropped Facebook Sheryl Sandberg’s name as a potential replacement. Highly unlikely but still!

Everyone, Calm Down … 

It’s true. Yahoo isn’t in a good place. But, talk about selling its core business and numbering the days of Mayer’s tenure as CEO could be all media hype. Re/code says that the meetings this week are business as usual. And, the board isn’t ready to ditch Mayer as it still has faith in her leadership.  We’ll wait and see …


Taking Things To The Next Level … 

#GivingTuesday happened, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan got the memo. First, they announced the birth of their first child, a daughter named Max.  Then, they stunned everyone by vowing to give 99% of their FB shares (worth about US $49 billion) towards making the world a better place. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative intends “to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”  The initiative is set up as a LLC and not a charity. So over the course of their lifetime, the Zucks will still have control over how their money is spent via private investments. #Mazel

There’s A First Time for Everything … 

Home-sharing service AirBnB and New York City (NYC) haven’t exactly had warm and fuzzy feelings for each other. The New York State Attorney General’s (AG) Office has traditionally been anti-AirBnB and is convinced that most AirBnB rentals in the city are illegal. Things came to a head earlier this year when a court ordered AirBnB to share anonymized data about its hosts with the AG.  But, that was the past. AirBnB’s now trying to smooth things over with local governments and is voluntarily sharing hosts’ data with NYC. The company hopes being transparent will show that 99% of hosts’ rentals are legit, and people benefit financially. As they say, you catch more bees with honey …

When Big Brother UK Means Something Different … 

GCHQ, the UK’s digital spying agency or its version of the NSA, is owning up to its hacking activities. The agency basically confirmed things we learned through the Edward Snowden leaks.  GCHQ admits that it hacks into people’s devices and networks not only in the UK but abroad as well. Proper search warrants not needed…. Awesome! Cambridge University Professor Ross Anderson says this behavior could harm the public. The agency sees nothing wrong and credits hacking for scrapping 6 alleged terrorist attacks this year alone.


Professional networking platform LinkedIn just upgraded its app. You’ll notice the common theme is all about de-cluttering the user experience. The app’s new private messaging feature’s got that texting-type feel.  TBH, it looks more like FB, and we don’t hate it.

It’s a hard knock life for Jay Z’s music service Tidal. The service has been out for only 8 months and is already on its third CEO Jeff Toig, previously chief business officer at streaming service SoundCloud. Toig starts in January 2016.

Software company Adobe is officially ridding itself of web animation tool, Flash. Not that anyone liked it in the first place. Hopefully, Flash’s replacement, Adobe Animate CC, is a keeper.

Ride-hailing app Uber is still snatching up Google employees. The latest? Former Google Maps exec Manik Gupta.

The Virtual Skinny: Half Way There


GOOD TO KNOW:  Pictures of cats are popular on the Interwebs, but they can also reveal interesting things about the location of the people who post them. 



Joining an international cybercrime ring to defraud eBay’s online ticketing service, StubHub, is definitely not the way to go.


Yesterday, seven people all based in different parts of the world including New York, New Jersey, Barcelona, London, and Toronto in connection with this group that stole credit and debit card numbers to purchase tickets to a number of high profile events like the JT and Jay-Z concert, a Yankees baseball game, and a Broadway play before reselling them to net profits. They dispersed these profits through PayPal accounts and British and German bank accounts. Six of the seven were indicted in New York yesterday.


In the NY State Supreme Court, the six were charged with a slew of crimes including money laundering, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, and identity theft.


In a rare showing of international cooperation, StubHub, Manhattan’s D.A.’s office, and other authorities worked closely with law enforcement around the globe for about a year. This coalition relied on I.P. addresses, and the PayPal and bank accounts to track down the individuals and successfully complete the second largest crime bust in the last year.



The European Union’s competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, is feeling some pressure to either delay or get rid of certain parts of its antitrust settlement with Google. Alumnia previously proposed a settlement to address anitrust complaints against the Internet company for favoring its services over its competitors in search results. Online review companies involved believe the settlement could be stronger and want the commissioner to at least require Google to use their results to power the company’s specialized search products when appropriate. Almunia is expected to reach final decision on this case this fall in September.


Facebook basically killed it in the second quarter on Wall Street.  According to reports, the social media company saw significant revenue growth all thanks to ads shown to users who accessed its service via their mobile devices.  We recently told you that FB just closed its deal with Oculus, and it also successfully purchased WhatsApp, a popular text messaging app, before that.  Now, the Zuck wants us to turn to the book of faces to search for content.  This plan will roll out over the next six month and will likely prompt us to spend even more time on the platform.  By the way, according to the company, you’re already spending about 41 minutes on FB daily (more than the time we spend exercising). Awesome.




LinkedIn just bought tech ad and measurements company Bizo for $175 million.  As soon as the deal closes in the third quarter, marketers can tap into Bizo’s resources, which will allow them to better target professionals with ads and measure the effectiveness of their ad campaigns.

Twitter is joining the ranks of Google and Facebook by revealing its also lacking in the diversity department. About 60% of its employees say they are white and about 70% identify as male. Unsurprisingly, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and black people are the most underrepresented.





The Virtual Skinny: Up and at ‘Em


GOOD TO KNOW:  People that work for Amazon probably look better than you. According to social networking app, Hinge, its users went for Amazon employees about 14% more than others.  In yo’ face, Google and Facebook! 




Today is the deadline for the Federal Communications Commission’s public comment period on its proposed net neutrality rules.


Turns out a lot of you give a d*mn and like your Internet just the way it is — open and free.  The latest count is over 677,000 submissions to the Commission (thanks, John Oliver), and it looks like people aren’t digging Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan.


Everyone’s been waiting to see what Internet companies have to say about the proposed plan.  Yesterday, The Internet Association, a D.C.-based group representing leading Internet companies, turned in their comments. The group, whose mission is to fight for Internet freedom, made it clear that regardless of whether you prefer mobile or wireline, paid prioritization  for content on Internet platforms is a no-go.  So far, individual companies like Etsy and Kickstarter have also weighed in, and they are also worried about paid prioritization .  Etsy says if the proposal were in effect, the company wouldn’t even be able to exist.  reddit’s also activating its user base on this issue and urging them to support the reclassification of broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act (Title II).


The argument is that reclassifying broadband services as a utility (like your common carrier phone service) Title II would prevent paid prioritization of content that most of us are concerned about at the moment.  Some of us prefer not to pay more for us to watch or access certain content at faster speeds. Proponents say going down this route will protect the open Internet and allow for you and me to think up the next big Internet company.  Others against this idea, think it’ll open up the Internet to regulation and deter innovation. And by others, I mean cable companies.


Cable companies have yet to submit their filings, but there’s still time.


This is just the first round.  The FCC will open another comment round for additional input from the public.



In other news, privacy advocates, including ACLU and the Electronic Frontiers Foundations, are worried about CISA, the latest cybersecurity bill that would allow companies to share information with the federal government.  These groups compare this bill to a similar bill, CISPA, which would have permitted the same thing if passed into law.  They are writing to President Obama to speak out against the controversial bill.


Move over YouTube, Yahoo!’s got next.  With its push to deliver more content to users, Yahoo! is teaming up with Live Nation to offer free live steam videos of concerts.  If this bodes well, it’ll be a major boost in establishing Screen — the company’s answer to YouTube.  Free Justin Timberlake concert? Please and thank you.

LinkedIn wants in on the content game too.  The social network acquired Newsle, which lets people know when their connections have been mentioned in the news.

How about we acquire another dating site?  IAC/InterActive Corp just purchased HowAboutWe, an online service that matches people based on date-suggestions.  IAC already has OKCupid, Match, and Tinder in its portfolio.

Secret, an app people use to anonymously post gossip about their professional and personal lives, has raised $25 million to offer its services more broadly. It now wants to link its app to Facebook so users can easily connect with their “friends.”