Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bouldernet's Got Talent - Liz Ryan

First off, I apologize to both Liz Ryan and the gentleman whose head I caught in this photo. Obviously, I must add “learn how to take a good photo” on my ever-growing list of things I’m going to learn while I’m unemployed. One of my other goals has been to meet cool, influential people and spread the word about them. As mentioned with my blog post about Dave Taylor, I have yet to really do my homework on gaining followers. For now, I’m just trying to get my feet wet learning about social media tools – and believe me, there are a lot to choose from.

So how did I get to see Liz, up close and personal? It started with my friend, Pete, who invited me to Bouldernet, a group of Boulder-area job-seekers that meets weekly on Thursday mornings. I was greeted by a group of about 50 people, all very friendly and welcoming. At the beginning of the meeting, “I have a job” announcements were made, followed by cheers from the group. There were smiles and handshakes and it was kind of heartwarming to be joining this special club of supporters. When we newbies got up to introduce ourselves it did seem a bit like AA. “My name is Yvette. I’ve been unemployed for 1 week.” I almost said I was a recovered workaholic. I let the group know that I’d be interested in giving a session on use of Social Media to find a job, and the leader, Dave Collins, spoke to me after the meeting and gave me the thumbs up to present in August. Several others, including a few other Sun alumni, came up and introduced themselves to me.

But where does Liz fit in? Well, it turns out, she was the speaker at Thursday’s meeting! I’d heard of this dynamic woman before. She’s a popular speaker and writer and her name had come up through The Women’s Vision Foundation – a group I worked with through my role as Women@Sun chair. Liz has an active online community of her own called AskLizRyan. This was the first I’d had a chance to hear her speak and boy, was it a treat! Liz, not only has a lot of great advice about resume writing, she’s hilarious! I’d try to recap some of her best quips, but it’s really her anecdotes and personality that make her funny. She could make it as a stand-up comic in LA! At one point she belted out a few lines from My Fair Lady’s “Show Me,” in an attempt to point out our resumes should not be full of flowery adjectives, but instead tell of our accomplishments with hard facts. All the resume advice was great, but at this point, I was thinking that Liz could not only be stand-up comic, but a musical sensation on Broadway! So we got it all -- resume advice, comedy, and a little bit of music.

What a great group! I was able to meet new people, learn how to improve my resume, and listen to an excellent speaker – all for a $1 donation! Had I known unemployment could be so good, I think I would have gotten laid off long ago!

Of course, when I got home, that My Fair Lady song was still going through my head. I had to check to see if Liz thought to produce her singing talent on YouTube. I found her on YouTube, but she was giving resume advice. After checking out Liz's Bio, I found that, indeed she is mega-talented, has written the book: Happy About Online Networking: The virtual-ly simple way to build professional relationships and is a professional opera singer! I knew it!

All the resume advice Liz gives is great, but I seriously think she needs to capitalize on that singing. I mean if Susan Boyle can make it big that way, certainly Liz Ryan can. Maybe even I could! Here’s a song to help inspire all of us unemployed people to really demonstrate our talents.

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