Top Ten WordPress “Free” and “Premium” Theme Websites

Top Ten FREE WordPress Theme Websites:

 

http://www.wordpressthemesbase.com

http://www.site5.com/wordpress-themes

http://www.freewpthemes.net

http://www.wptemplates.org

http://www.wpdaddy.com

http://www.wpshower.com

http://www.skinpress.com

http://www.mynewthemes.com

http://www.wpskins.org

http://www.premiumwptheme.net (free)

 

Top Ten Premium Theme Websites for WordPress:

 

http://www.wpnow.com

http://www.wpzoom.com

http://www.eleganthemes.com

http://templatic.com

http://www.woothemes.com

http://ithemes.com

http://www.press75.com

http://www.nattywp.com

http://themeforest.net

http://gorillathemes.com

New LinkedIn Class this upcoming Thursday, 9/23/2010 Va. Beach, VA

Build a LinkedIn POWER PROFILE That Will

Get You NOTICED

Thursday, September 23, 2010

(late morning or early evening)

FINALLY!  Training Sessions Designed To Promote YOU!

Do you want to learn?

  • How do you create a LinkedIn Power profile that will get you noticed?
  • Do you want to build a bigger, better, profile that will draw attention to you and/or your company or business?
  • How to establish your credibility as a subject matter expert in your social community?
  • How and why do you join groups?
  • How to find a job or research a company?
  • … and so much more
SIGN UP TODAY!

Space is limited for each of the two-hour sessions.

LOCATION:

College Park Executive Suites, LLC (CPES)

900 Commonwealth Place, Suite 200

Virginia Beach, VA 23464 VALUE PROPOSITION: Business Profits or a Headhunters Goldmine (You!) Presenter: Dawn Boyer THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 Organizer: Karen Clements TIME CLASS

  • 10:00 am – 12:00 noon
LinkedIn Power Profiles
  • 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
LinkedIn Power Profiles About the Hostess: RSVP Today!

http://linkedin9-23.eventbrite.com/

Price: Only $30.00 pre-paid, $40.00 at the door. College Park Executive Suites Owner/Manager, Jackie Gilmartin, is hosting this event.

Take time to look around while you are here.  CPES has full-service executive suites with a professional image to accommodate your business needs.

Are attending job fairs still useful in this electronic age of resume posting? (Part 2)

Are attending job fairs still useful in this electronic age of resume posting? (Part 2)

Part 1 (http://tinyurl.com/244uqse) imparted knowledge about why employers attend job fairs, and this article will explain why job seekers should attend, even though they think they are a waste of time.

Job fairs are common in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake.  Some folks travel from other places to attend, or they drive to Washington, DC or the “triangle” in North Carolina for what they think may be a good venue.  I’ve hear many job seekers complain that a job fair wasn’t up to snuff, they wasted their money, employers didn’t have any jobs, no one accepted resumes, or wanted to interview them. Walking in, have zero expectations, but prepare for positive actions you can take to make it worth your while, regardless of the number or type of employees and their interest or number of current job openings.

What to take to a job fair?  Hard copy resumes for those few companies decide to review it or keep it.  Make sure cell and/or home phone numbers and an email address is at the top.  If you can obtain some business cards (with a concise list of capabilities on the back of the card and your website URL for your resume), provide those at each booth.  Dress for success at these events – do not walk in the door in sloppy clothes, leisure wear, or beach get-up.

Actions to take at a job fair to get that return on investment and make yourself memorable:

  • Speakers and special presentations for free to attendees – soak up the knowledge for even the tiniest golden nugget you can carry away
  • Visit every booth – regardless of whether you have an interest in or have even heard of the company
  • Talk to and listen to each employer representative – ask if the company has subsidiaries/partners, who might not be at the job fair, who may have job openings
  • Recognize that many employer representatives at job fairs are non-HR or non-recruiters who were told to be there to man the booth and may know little about any job openings or even about the company itself
  • Ask for names within the company; and if you know anyone in the company – ask about them, their health, how you can get in touch with them (see part 3)
  • Ask representatives to glance over your resume for any advice they can offer if they won’t take the physical hard copy at the job fair event (most prescribe online posting)
  • Get a business card from everyone in the room (see part 3)
  • Practice your elevator speech – you have 60 seconds to make yourself memorable
  • Research every company by picking up company information you will need later (see part 3)
  • Talk to other attendees – if someone notes they are leaving XYZ company – there’s going to be a job opening soon (see part 3)
  • Find out if the company is looking for candidates for now or further down the road; are contracts ending or beginning; are the company ranks expanding or shrinking
  • Don’t expect any interviews at job fairs – usually there are too few reps manning the booth to afford quiet, to-the-side mini-interviews
  • Soak up the give-away goodies offered at the job fair – if for nothing else, to walk away with something useful (flashlights, yellow highlighters, refrigerator magnet clips, thumb drives, etc.) – but don’t grab and run – make sure you do spend time with rep, ask politely what they are giving away, and thank them for the item

Make the time you spend at job fairs memorable, useful, and work for the return on investment (ROI) and you will gain that new job sooner rather than later.

Stayed tuned for Part 3 in the next article.  Tell your friends to read these articles!  Share the information and fun!

For more related articles by this author:

Why attend a Job Fair? (Part 1) – http://tinyurl.com/244uqse

Why attend a Job Fair? (Part 2) – http://tinyurl.com/343f8tu

Why attend a Job Fair? (Part 3) – http://tinyurl.com/28bwrby

How many types of resumes should one have? – http://tinyurl.com/2eby5gr

Dawn Boyer, Small Business HR, Career, and LinkedIn Social Media Coach

D. Boyer Consulting, Va. Beach, VA  23464

Dawn.Boyer@me.comhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/DawnBoyer

Follow me on Twitter: @Dawn_Boyer

Blog:  http://DawnBoyer.wordpress.com

Examiner Career Coach:  http://www.examiner.com/x-56052-Norfolk-Career-Coach-Examiner

POWER RESUME WRITING & POSTING TIPS SEMINAR

Do you have questions on how to write a resume and how to get your resume on the top of the pile?

If so, keep reading.

Questions about the value of our seminar:

* Have you always kept the length to 1-2 pages because that is what career counselors and books have advised you?

* Do you read numerous books on resume writing and have not seen any “new” ideas – just old and rehashed one?

* Are you only listing job “tasks” in employment experience sections?

* Are you confused about what is a Bio, C.V. and/or a Resume?

* Did you know you should have two types of resumes?

* Need POWERFUL NEW ideas to get your resume noticed?

* What happens after loading your resume into an online resume database/recruiting page?

* Are there questions you always wanted to ask a recruiter about how they do their job?

Agenda:

* Journalizing your resume for metrics/statistics

* Ideas to improve electronic resume presence

* Special knowledge – recruiters / headhunters

* Tips and tricks – to get seen in electronic databases

* Avoid mistakes and dependence on big job boards

* Find yourself on Internet before future employers

* Lists of large employers

* How to find POC’s in companies you want to work for

* Avoid the crowd so recruiters can find you easier

plus more….

Sign up today, as space is limited to ONLY 24 SEATS for our 2-hour seminar.

ITT Technical Institute

863 Glenrock Road

Norfolk, VA  23502

(Across from Costco, 2nd floor, Theory 1 room)

Only $20.00 for early bird registration and if space is available $30 at the door.

Hurry and get this incredible information today.

Register:

http://resume6-19.eventbrite.com

Presenter:  Dawn Boyer

Organizer:  Karen Clements

Resume Presentation Flyer_June 2010

Social Media Site Got Her Fired – Fair or Unfair?

I’m still in shock reading about this story in a recent “Dear Abby” column.  A candidate for a position was hired, but on her first day of work was called into the Human Resources office to be ‘let go.’  The reason noted was because of photos that were on her website from her job as a model for a local department store; which were posted right next to photos of her children and family.  According to the article, the photos were not revealing or provocative, but skin was showing.  An internal employee in the company had applied for the same position, Googled the new hire, and complained to the Human Resources department.

Let’s Play Devils Advocate:

Human Resources: Did anyone in the hiring department Google the candidate before or after the interview and before the hiring decision was made?  Did the interviewer think to ask if the candidate’s modeling job entailed showing flesh? If not, bad on you.  Do you have a written company policy that is in an employee handbook or policy guide noting the new hire that any web photos that might ‘embarrass’ the company should be immediately pulled and any found after hire might evolve into termination?  Probably not.

The company and hiring professionals went through the entire hiring process, and this should have involved a background check – including social media sites.  This stinks of sloppy hiring processes and procedures, as well as sloppy background and investigative steps.  Does your application form ask if the candidates have social media sites with materials, graphics, or photos that might be inappropriate to the nature and branding of the company for which they’ve applied for a position?  Then if not, you have NOT played fair in the game.

Whether this candidate was currently working at another job or not, you OWE them compensation for your bungling (and this is assuming that the company failed to get proper investigation and background check done in a reasonable time period AND notify the applicants this investigation would be completed before they could start work).  If the candidate quit another job (especially in this economy), and now has no second option for employment waiting outside this job, you owe them compensation worth at least two weeks pay in lieu of notice – even if she didn’t get a chance to show her professional capabilities.

The shame on the company is they fired the new hire before they gave her an opportunity to delete or privatize the photos on her social media site.  It still wouldn’t do much good, if she had posed as a model for photos published in the local store’s catalogs or advertising, they are still ‘out there’ in the universe – whether on the Internet or pinned onto some teen boy’s bedroom wall.  What the HR department did was a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction.  I hope the company will re-think what they did for future hires and set up a policy, as well as invest in proper hiring procedures before they make this mistake again.  Perhaps an application form section which asks candidates what social media sites to which they belong?  (Hey Lawyers:  Is this legal to ask?)

Yes – most states have an ‘at will’ capability for hiring and firing, and this article noted it was in the ‘south’ but didn’t name the state.  If the company was unionized, the result may have been a different story.

Another question – when and where did the squealer find this information?  Was it on her home computer or was she ‘cruising’ the Internet for fun and profit at work?  Check their Internet browser history on the computer.  If this employee found this information at work, why hasn’t your IT team blocked every employee’s access to Facebook, MySpace, and the ‘social’ media sites to ensure that real work is being accomplished at work on the company’s payroll?

Internal Employee: You were not chosen as the candidate to fill the position so you are using underhanded, unethical means to get rid of your competition.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  Did you get the position you craved or did they go out to seek another candidate more qualified than you because you are still NOT qualified enough?  Now that everyone knows you are a snitch – your honesty, integrity, and business ethics will be questioned as long as you work in that company.  No one will trust you to be on their side or want to deal with you as long as they know you’ll squeal on every little thing – even if has nothing to do with work.  What we don’t know is if you squealed on the new candidate to get her job or because you were second on list.

It would have been more appropriate, if you were determined to tattle on the new hire, to tell the Human Resources department they should speak with the new hire about privatizing their website versus telling them how offended you were.  What were you doing – spying on the new hire – anyway?  It does take a little effort to search through all those photo albums!  This was not a simple – “whoops, I stumbled across these photos and they are so offensive to me” – act of innocence.  This was a track her down and find something dirty or nasty to tattle on the new hire to get her out of your way.

Job Candidate: Are you nuts?  Get those photos that reveal more than your arms and legs into ‘privacy’ setting on your Social Media sites – yesterday!  If you don’t know how to do it – then get a Social Media Manager to do it for you.  This is a libelous, competition rich world out there, and if you give them any reason to question your background, ethics, integrity, and business professionalism, companies will use that one thing to drop you being considered for any position.  You won’t even know that they were considering you because they saw your social site, didn’t like what they saw, then moved on to the next candidate.

Unfortunately, this may be water under the bridge, BUT I would still get an employment lawyer to contact the company and ask for two weeks pay in lieu of notice or some type of compensation for the embarrassment, the sloppy way they hired and then fired you, and possible compensation for pain and suffering – now you have to start the employment and career search all over again!

For those of you who might be in the same situation, go to www.pipl.com and search for yourself.  You might be very surprised at what you find is ‘out there’ with your name on it.

Dawn Boyer is a doctoral student at Old Dominion University in the Darden College of Education, working on a PhD in Occupational Studies and Technology) focusing on Training and Development in Human Resources, as well as working as a (Doctoral) Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching computer science and technology classes to undergraduate students.

Ms. Boyer has over 20 years of senior management experience in human resources, of which nine years is in the defense-contracting arena. She also provides HR consulting via D. Boyer Consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses, including growing 8(a) defense companies in the Hampton Roads, VA area. She also provides LinkedIn and Resume Writing classes to individuals and groups.

she accepts LinkedIn invites via: Dawn.Boyer@me.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/DawnBoyer; Join her 4,600+ connections!

Follow her on Twitter: @Dawn_Boyer.

Read her blogs at http://DawnBoyer.wordpress.com and http://www.bloglines.com/blog/DawnBoyer

Becoming a Subject Matter Expert on LinkedIn via Questions & Answers

What are criteria for rating answers Best or Good?

Users of LinkedIn have been asking and answering Qs in Q&A for a while now. When one asks a Question, it’s good practice to go back and award ‘Good’ and ‘Best’ answers, as appropriate (and send a note to those rated Good or Best). 
What does one use as criteria for Good and Best? Is there an ideal number or percentage of “Good Answers” one should assign or do you just rate them as one’s fancy leads? 

What makes a good, quality Q&A? How would you rate the answers to one’s questions and why?

There is potential for increasing credibility, business proficiency, and recognition when answering questions as well as the question askers handing out a lot of “Good” answer rewards and recognitions.

MAIN CRITERIA:

The major criteria used in evaluating answers are, “Did they answer the question?” and “Did they answer all of the question?” This is more of a factor than one might think.  If the question is, “Which do you prefer, red or blue? Why?” invariably, someone will say, “Well, I don’t like either, but I do prefer yellow. This is why you should have included yellow…” The question they answered was, “What is your favorite color?” not “Which did they prefer, red or blue?” You will also get answers that will say, “Red,” but not answer “Why?”

SECONDARY CRITERIA:

1)         How much did the question and how much did the answer make me think? This helps especially if the view isn’t in line with one’s own. If there is pondering – long about something said – then there is something there.

2)         How much was learned from it? It doesn’t really matter if someone provides support material in their answer – one can always follow up with them.

3)         How entertaining was it? If they accomplished #1 and #2 and cracked a joke, it has value.

4)         How original was the answer? If I want Abraham Lincoln, I’ll go read him or ask him to answer the question. I like to hear people’s own ideas and experiences, not a regurgitation of others. But, references to subject matter experts can help if one understands why.

5)         What history does the person have in answering other questions? Repeat quality answerers like repeat quality customers are valuable to continue to build relationships.

6)         The answer is correctly written, with excellent grammar and syntaxes. It is a real and genuine pleasure when an answer meets these conditions in such a way that helps effectively to its readability and its comprehension.

7)         The answerer makes a genuine effort to communicate his/her ideas by applying the best of his/her knowledge and experience to add value to the discussion.

8)         Challenge preconceived assumptions and dogmas to offer an innovative analytic perspective that adds real value to my own learning process.

9)         Discard immediately all those answers coming from public domain sources like Wikipedia, because these may be found easily by making a focused search in Google.

10)      An answerer documents his/her response with statistical data, hard facts, and anecdotal evidence to bring a deep, well-documented and fresh perspective about an interesting and challenging topic from my own professional perspective.

11)      Short responses written in one-line sentences in most of the instances are judged negatively. These answers may be interpreted as a quick and superficial attempt of making a real and valuable contribution to the thematic discussion.

12)      The value of an answer in function of its applicability to real-life situations related day-to-day business contexts. When an answer is endorsed with proven experience in real business context, the response acquires an value from a professional perspective.

13)      Employing a dialogue with the author of a enlightened and outstanding answer to get a fresh and widen perspective for a theme mutually beneficial for both questioner and answerer.

14)      The inclusion of relevant links complementary to an answer helps to gain a wider comprehension about a theme sustained from different analytical perspectives for proper comprehension.

15)      Professional profile of the respondents for a clear correlation between professional experience and qualifications and perceived quality of the answer. This factor is the last one in being considered to avoid possible bias from a professional having an impressive professional profile and stellar qualifications.

TIE-BREAKER CRITERIA:

16)      Was the questions responded to by a fly-by answer? There needs to be some value and demonstration of interest in the question beyond supplying another answer for tabulation.  (Unfortunately, LinkedIn hasn’t yet separated those who have answered the ‘most’ questions from those who have received the most ‘best’ answers as SME’s.)

17)      How did the person respond to follow up questions for elaboration? While this may not appear in the original answer, one appreciates folks who respond to inquires for clarification or elaboration.

18)      How many best answers does the person already have? The fewest or none receive preference. (Again, see # 16 above for the fallibility of the current system.)

19)      Were they the first to answer? I like folks who help me get the ball rolling, so the first answer has value in this regard.  (One wants to provide a solid basis answer to a thought-provoking question within the first ten responses. Otherwise, most LinkedIn folks are too busy to click through to the ‘next page’ of responses to read one’s highly qualified response, and the answer might never be seen!)

HOW TO RATE ANSWERS:

GOOD: If they answer the question and hit one or more of the secondary criteria, then they receive a good. If they don’t answer the question, then they don’t unless they are a repeat, quality answerer.

BEST: This isn’t as important to the questioner as it is to the answerer.  LinkedIn has a list of labeled SME’s but there is an issue of quality metrics within the system (as of April 2010). As it is, all someone has to do is answer, “I agree with (so & so),” or even crack a silly joke or add a pun, and that’s still considered an answer. Since one loses the right to select BEST if not used, make a selection anyway to help somebody.

One could easily have half or all answers rated “good.” It’s possible to get many good answers. Thanking people for answers or asking for elaboration dramatically increase the likelihood of quality responses; however, as mentioned above these do not enter the public record.  One doesn’t have set a number or percentage for GOOD answers. Rate it according to standards outlined above.  Use the same criteria to evaluate questions for answers with other LinkedIn profile owner’s effort – to get your name established as credible and a professional. If someone others (and oneself) values has asked or answered a question, one tends to be more likely to read those. Unless one can add value in a different way from other answerers, don’t leave an answer. Some read far more Q&A’s than they answer.

People like questions that challenge them to think and reflect, especially if about topics that are new or haven’t yet been considered. Readers also like those with links to research material on things they may be investigating. Don’t worry about experience or credentials unless it’s a technical issue. Good ideas will have value regardless of who says it.  Management Consultants may use Q&A in LinkedIn to not only find good answers, but also track down qualified folks who might be good business connections, a splendid hiring opportunity, or to acknowledge expert status.  If you continue to received “Best” answers in LinkedIn, you will start developing a following, and recognition as an expert in many of the subject areas in which one has focused.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dawn Boyer is a doctoral student at Old Dominion University in the Darden College of Education, working on her PhD in Occupational Studies and Technology), as well as working as a (Doctoral) Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching computer science and technology to undergraduate students. Ms. Boyer has over 19 year of senior management experience in human resources, nine years in the defense-contracting arena. She also provides HR consulting services via D. Boyer Consulting to small businesses, including dynamically growing 8a set-aside defense companies, in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Her LinkedIn profile is: http://www.linkedin.com/in/DawnBoyer. She accepts all LinkedIn invites via: Dawn.Boyer@me.com. Join her 4,600+ connections!

Best of the Beach – Do a Small Biz a Favor?

Monster Clean has added itself to the “Best of the Beach” listing of vendors this year for several reasons:

1) To see if the advertising (small business card size) generates any extra business
2) To see if we can get enough votes vs our closest competition (ServPro) to win the “Gold”
3) To see if the post card campaign we used will generate any new business (it did – 4 new jobs on the books the day after we mailed them!)

When we signed up for the contest, we were told our ad would be in the “Best Of” section with all the other vendors. The Virginian Pilot screwed it up (dang it!) and placed our ad in the “Home Section” instead. This might be OK for regular advertising, but unfortunately no one is looking for us to vote in that section of the paper.

So we are doing damage control AND get as many votes as possible.

You can help us by voting for us three ways (and we hope you DO vote for us all three ways:

1) Whip out that handy, dandy cell phone and text the code letters “ECA” to the short # 21333.

2) Go to www.hamptonroads.com and create a profile (takes all of 5 seconds). Then go to www.hamptonroads.com/bestof, and scroll down to:

(a) Virginia Beach – when that page opens, click on the “Home Services” link and we are near the top – Carpet Cleaners – vote for Monster Clean.

(b) Then go back to all the other cities on the available lists, and “write in” (or vote for if it’s appeared on the list) Monster Clean – usually in Carpet Cleaning or Home Contract Services listing(s).

FYI: ANY BUSINESS CAN BE A WRITE IN – so if you haven’t planned on entering the contest, but want to – simply get all your customers, friends, and family to go to the paper’s website and write in your name in the appropriate category. Good Luck!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH! WE APPRECIATE ALL THE ASSISTANCE YOU CAN HELP US WITH!

WE WILL BE HAPPY TO RETURN THE FAVOR IF YOU ARE IN THE “BEST OF” CONTEST ALSO!~

Thanks!

Dawn Boyer
MonsterClean
http://www.MonsterClean.com