Cramer vs. Stewart

Written on 10:05 AM by Robert

The Daily Show

I have been a fan of the Daily Show for over a year. It is a surprisingly entertaining source of financial and political news for me. This week, Jon Stewart began his crusade against financial media giant CNBC, and specifically Jim Cramer of Mad Money for his presentation of misinformation on several matters, including the financial health of several companies like Bear Sterns.

All week there has been a "war of words" between these two. Cramer has been on half a dozen talk shows this week trying to present his side of the story while Stewart ripped into him with video clips from Mad Money showing Cramer making faulty financial predictions. These predictions, according to Stewart, played a part in making the general public lose money in the stock market.

Last night, Cramer appeared on the Daily Show to face the ever-ready Stewart in a debate about the state of the financial world and CNBC's role in it. Stewart's argument was that Cramer's entertaining show (and CNBC as a whole) should do more in protecting the finances of the average stock holder and less in protecting the interests of the corporations. Cramer seemed to agree with every point Steward made and explained that the information given to the people was based on facts presented by corporate CEOs, which was almost laughable in itself.

My opinion is that Cramer should not be offended by Stewart's criticisms. Stewart is a comedian with a comedic show about politics and finances. Cramer's job is supposed to be predict the future of the stock market based on the information he gets. So who's at fault? Whoever is in charge of checking the validity of corporate claims before making predictions.

What do you think about this whole mess? Oh, and before you give me your answer, here is but ONE of the dozens of clips on Youtube showing off Stewart's handling of Cramer during this past week. Enjoy!


The Layoff Cycle

Written on 5:01 PM by Robert

The Layoff Cycle Edit

The HACE Regional Career Conference

Written on 1:55 PM by Robert

I just came back from a career fair hosted by HACE (Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancment). It was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, NYC.

It was a great event, and it wasn't as crowded as some of the more well-known career fairs in the city. There were quite a few companies represented there, but the most popular, by far, was Time Warner Cable. They also had Career Coaching tables there for those who wanted to have their resumes critiqued. It was a well-organized event and didn't seem intimidating at all.

I actually went to meet with someone at Time Warner Cable. But based on my experience, they didn't have any positions available at this time. Sounds like I've heard that before. But it wasn't a total loss. The recruiter gave me the name of the HR representative I can contact directly about future openings.

It was good practice for me to get out there and give my 30-second speech about myself. I still need to refine that, though. I emphasize my hard skills too much, and not enough of my soft skills. Everyone should Google to find out what the difference is, if you don't already know.

One thing I DID do before going, which is something everyone should do as well, is check out the jobs being offered by the companies that are attending the job fair. It will help you weed out the employers that are not hiring in your area or in your field of expertise.

Also, observe other people and learn what NOT to do. One woman is on her cell phone while introducing herself to the recruiter and asks her what positions are available. HELLO! Do the research online before stepping up to a recruiter at a job fair and give him (or her) your undivided attention. Shut off your phone! It's only for a few minutes!

Are there any other career fair tips or stories you'd like to share? Edit

What the heck is a torrent??

Written on 1:35 PM by Robert

A torrent is a file-sharing utility that most computer professionals lately can't live without. Neither can software pirates. We won't go into the legal aspects of downloading illegal material here, but I will say that it can be done. However, this is something being done by hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of computer users worldwide.

What can you download? You can actually search and retrieve entire albums, computer software, short video clips, entire DVDs, and video games. Some of the software would also come with a "keygen" (a key generator) that supplies you with that required product key that needs to be entered when the software is installed. Other times, the key is supplied in a text file or embedded in the software itself, so that installation would be all you need to do.

How do I get in on this action?

  • Download and install a torrent software. You can try uTorrent or Bittorent, two of the more popular packages out there.
  • Start the torrent software. Once it runs it may stay resident in memory (invisible, for all you non-techies) waiting for your first move.
  • Go to a torrent site to search for what you want. A few such sites are thePirateBay and Mininova. For you experienced torrentors, the follwing two sites go through a dozen such sites simultaneously: and
  • Once you get the list of available entries for what you want, sort by SEEDS. Think of seeds as people who have this file. The more seeds the file has, the better chance you have to get that file in a timely fashion. Choose the entry that has the most seeds.
  • Before clicking on the link that says "Download Now", check for comments. There are times when the file contains a virus. Other people before you would leave hateful comments if this is the case. Otherwise you will see tons of praise.
  • Click on Download Now. Windows will ask you to either Open or Save this file. Choose Open. Your torrent software will now activate and download your request. You don't need to keep your PC on until it downloads. When you shut down, the torrent download ends, but will continue where it left off next time you open your torrent software.
  • Once the download is complete, right-click on it and choose Open Containing Folder to actually see what you downloaded. Now you can do whatever you choose to do with it.
Once you do the first one, the rest will become easier. People tell me (ahem) that you can download the world's best software packages on there and train yourself to use them in a professional manner.

This is in no way the only method out there right now. This method has been around for years and used by most people today. There are legitimate file-sharing reasons for using this, however it has evolved to a point where it has been used for a wide range of reasons. For the sake of education, if you haven't learned how to do this yet, you should try it out. Edit

10 Tips for Attending a Career Fair

Written on 9:49 AM by Robert

There are a few MORE job fairs coming up in NYC this week. I'll be busy preparing for them for a few days. Here is something interesting I came across.

Top 10 Tips for Attending Career and Job Fairs
QuintCareers print-friendly
Printer-Friendly Version
Compiled by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

1. Have a pen/pencil and paper available for notes.

2. Bring resumes and a folder or portfolio to hold your materials.

3. Take the time to find out what companies will be represented before the day of the career fair.

4. Research information about the participating companies and organizations prior to approaching the recruiters. Use the Internet, news sources and career fair materials to learn about the companies' booths you plan to visit. You can impress a recruiter by knowing about his or her company and can discuss its current situation.

5. Use time wisely. Determine where employers are located and in what order to visit them. Focus on three companies that you are truly interested in.

6. Broaden your focus and include many types of employers. For instance, you may not have considered working for a hospital, but hospitals recruit and hire professionals in many different fields (e.g., management, information systems, or health care).

7. Be aware of time demands on employers. Do not monopolize an employer's time. Ask specific questions and offer to follow up after the fair, as appropriate.

8. Be direct. Introduce yourself, including your name and career interests. If you are job-seeking, state the type of position in which you are interested. If you are gathering information, let employers know that you are only interested in materials and information. Remember to use good eye contact and a firm handshake. Career fairs are the perfect place to use your elevator speech.

9. Make sure you learn from the recruiter employment and/or hiring trends, skills necessary for different jobs, current openings, salary, benefits, training, and other information about the organization. Also make sure you know whom to contact for follow-up discussions.

10. Ask the employer for the next steps in the recruitment process and try to obtain the recruiter's business card for follow-up discussions/correspondence.

Anyone else want to share any useful tips or advice? Edit

What are you feeding YOUR brain?

Written on 9:30 AM by Robert

Last week I received an email from CUNY (the City University of New York) about a job search bootcamp-style seminar conducted by Eric Baron. Now, before this email, I've never heard of this guy. So I did a little research, and I read up on him on his web site, Eric Barron Live. I liked what I saw, and decided to pay the small charge (CUNY discount) to attend the one-day bootcamp this past Saturday. I have to say, it was well worth the money.

The event was held at the Gotham Comedy Club, of all places. Mr. Barron conducted this bootcamp as if we were watching a comedy routine, while we learned a lot about the job search process and how to sell ourselves as a brand to a prospective employer. The workshop lasted for six hours, but I have to say that he was so entertaining that time FLEW. Although his target audience was for the 20-somethings that are about to graduate from college and enter the workforce, there were people in their 50's in the audience as well.

I want to pass onto you some of the tips I've picked up here. Here are some of the highlights:

- Setting S.M.A.R.T goals
- How to efficiently manage your time
- Creating your "Personal Brand" - I have to admit I liked this topic a lot. Basically, you are creating a 60-second infomercial about yourself, showcasing some interesting and fun facts about yourself that are not in your resume. This is useful during job fairs and during an interview when asked that famous question. "Tell me about yourself."
- Cover letter, resume, and thank you letter tips
- Interview advice
- What is networking and how can you effectively connect with people to EVENTUALLY ask them about any job opportunities
- How to use the Social Media to promote yourself (Linkedin, Twitter, blogs)

One of the most important things I learned here is creating my personal brand. That 60-second introduction is VERY important. Things that enhance that personal brand would be a business card, which includes your name, an adjective describing yourself, and a picture. There are a few job fairs here in NYC on Thursday, so I need to get on that and prepare.

Let me know if you have any questions about personal brand, or anything else about the Eric Barron workshop. I have more details that would probably take too long to spell out in one blog entry! :)


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