Acing the M.E.T., Mandatory Eyeball Test

mandatory eyeball test

Acing the “Recruiter Interview” – AKA: The Mandatory Eyeball Test
Advice to recent Boot Camp Grads, or any “tech-ey” job seekers

So, you just graduated a coding bootcamp…or you’re looking for a job in tech… here’s some advice: Book appointments with recruiters. Really. Try to batch them. Book several appointments on the same day. Recruiters don’t want to spend all day talking to you. They have their appointments set by the hour most likely. When booking, ask the recruiter: “How long should our appointment be? I’m planning the rest of my day.” This tells them, MY time is valuable too, and I have a meetings with OTHER recruiters. This also shows them that there is an urgency for THEM to place YOU.

Questions to ask recruiters:
What do you need from me, in order for you to me? 
Is there a Mandatory Eyeball Test?

Ask the recruiter about parking, beforehand. Perhaps they could recommend a cheap parking solution or ideally, the recruitment company may be able to validate your parking. Ask the recruiter what you should bring with me?  Driver’s License, Soc card, etc… and is there a form I could fill out at my home, and bring, instead of filling out at the recruitment company’s lobby, I have places to go.
All recruiters will need your current resume at the very least. Some may also need to check the box that they have seen you in person and that they can confime that you are not (or at least don’t outwardly present as) an axe-murderer. I call this the Mandatory Eyeball Test. Recruiters may or may not be able to place you until they see you, based on that particular recruitment company’s policy. Ask them. Is the Recruiter Interview 100% necessary? Can we do it over the phone instead?

(Disclosure: I am an exception to this rule, I have been working at a job, full time, for years, and I have still never met my recruiter in person. I prpbably owe him a thanbk you note. In fact , he found me, but that’s a different story.)

So, if there is the eyeball test , ACE IT! Get a fresh haircut (and manicure?) Dry clean your best business suit. Update your resume, online and print. Have working live samples of your work , either on line, or on a lpatop that you can bring with you. Some recruiters may actually REQUIRE that you have a resume in Microsoft Word. Just do it. Have it available online in PDF format for easy printing, but also make sure that the links in it are live-links. Your resume shold be formated to be 8.5:” x 11″ and print fine. Make sure your .pdf file is not gigantic (over 500k. in file size.)  I create pdf files from Adobe InDesign , and preserving the live-links is a feature of the pdf writing software in the Adobe Acrobat settings. – Printed resume: have some copies of it printed, on paper, in hand – I think that recruiters may scan them to .pdf (then pitch them.) Make sure your resume is OCR, Optical Character Recognition,  friendly. Don’t have graphic elements, gradients, backgrounds, or ANY images, unless you are specifically marketing yourself in design.

Market yourself. What are you best at? What are you seeking? What are the tools you use? Use the commonly accepted terms, as keywords. For example; are you “Full Stack Web Developer” say it, and describe why you are. – Print 100 (temporary, job seeking/networking) business cards on demand , carry a short stack in your wallet,  have them on you whenever you leave the house – and always have them on you, just in case. Print these cards on regular business card stock. FedEx/Kinkos, Staples, Office Max… these companies do printing on demand. I recently printed 100 full color business cards on regular card stock for $10. They look just fine.

I would definitely (continue to) apply at the “listed” job openings, on the large job hunting portals like InDeed. These postings are going to be inundated with applicants. The more creative, and deeper you go to search out opportunities, the better chance you have. Go to your own social media. Post who you are, what you are capable of doing, and what are looking for. You might find someone that you know is looking for someone with your skills. I would also target places that I like, that are within 30 mileo fwhere I live. Do I have a LinkedIn connection that works there? Reach out. It’s free. Lookf for your fromer copmetitors of where you have worlkded. You can leverage your own background.  Use content rich keywords. For me, it’s: Industrial B2B Front End Web Design and Development, Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Industrial B2B Ecommerce, Catalogs, Schematics, WordPress, Yoast

At the Interview
So, you made it to the interview. Introduce yourself at the desk. Be nice. Smile. Make small talk if prompted. If they make you wait, be patient. They are trying to help you. Have your portfolio in your bag. Carry a printed resume, with your business card paper clipped to it, in hand.

PRO TIP: If they want to introduce you to another recruiter “real quick”, do it. Now you have 2 boxes checked, and may have cast your net twice as wide.

Soft Skills
When they ask you “How are you?” You can respond “I’m fine. How are YOU doing today?” The Soft skills are very important. People want to work with other people that are competent and not jerks. Be yourself. Or, if you ARE a jerk, don’t be yourself.

After the Interview
Follow up. Ask them, Now do you have everything you need to place me? What Can I do now? Send them a thank you email, or a letter in the mail.

Get on Google’s Front Page!

dartboard rottervision seo

How can I Get on Google’s Front Page? It isn’t easy, but it can be done. Somebody has to occupy the top spots, why not you? Have your competitors been around longer than you? Are they more well known than you, bigger than you, richer than you? 

SO WHAT! or “SEO WHAT! 

You just need some really good SEO, or at least better SEO than your competitors in your area. Do they have a blog? No? Then you should blog! Do they have social media linking to their site? Do they have a good Website name? Good Page Names? Good Image names? Good alt tags? Good links to their site? If they are coming up high on searches, then the answer to all of these is probably yes. You need to do these things too, and more…


There are only 10 organic (non paid) spots on a search return page.  Many searchers only look at the front page. So, how can you get on the front page? Good SEO gets you good search positioning. Do what is good for your customer, have good content, and Google will reward you.

What is Good content? Good content is ORIGINAL writing, high resolution photos, art, pdf files, video, and more…

Good content supports your position to sell your goods and/or services, and tells your story to your audience. And, good content is good for your audience, and Google rewards you for this and ranks you higher than mediocre content. Think about it this way…How do uyou want to be found? What is your target customer searching for? How can you answer what he/she is searching for?

RotterVision adheres to tried and true SEO best practices. Google does publish guidelines on what to do and what not to do to be considered for top search engine positioning. These guidelines are constantly evolving. Here is one rule of thumb to follow… there are NO GUARANTEES! Nobody can guarantee you that you will appear in the top ten. If someone does, make sure to get it in writing. (And let me know who they are, I’d like to learn from them!) Many reputable SEO experts will either provide an analysis, a plan, or at the very least they will promise you that “they will do everything that they can to get you as high up in the search returns  as they can in search returns.”

Are there other search engines? Yes, but Google has 90% market share. Google is so ubiquitous it has assumed verb form…I Googled it.

My WordPress Journey

my yoga journey rottervision vegan cafe 313 psychedelic healing shack mural detail

Pictured: Detail of a mural inside the VeganCafe313 Psychedelic Healing Shack in Detroit

HI , my name’s Dave Rotter – My story isn’t remarkable, but it is unique, and it’s all mine. I’ve been putting words and pictures on pages for decades, FOR FOUR decades.

’77 – Apple II

’88 – Illustrator in a silk screen shop

’90s – HTML CSS sites and seo

2000s – Ecommerce, learned about blogging

2010s – WordPress class taught by LeAnne and Laura of ElleEll co, and Girl Develop It – built and sold my first WordPress site – it is still up!

2016 – Grand Circus Front End BootCamp

2017 – Attendee my 1st WordCamp Ann Arbor

2018 – Volunteer WordCamp Detroit

___

Long version –

1977 – My brother got a Radio Shack TRS80 computer. After a month he returned it for an Apple II.. Mostly we just played video games on it, but I did learn to do a little basic programming: if , then , goto, and I even built my own “space invaders” style game. I‘ve been lucky enough to witness first hand, the evolution of Apple (and PC) products since then. I used the first mouse on the Lisa in 1984, I used Illustrator in 88, and Photoshop 1, Macromedia Freehand, QuarkXPress, Aldus Pagemager, Adobe InDesign and more programs than i care to remember. We called them Application Programs back then, now we call them Apps. Desktop Publishing led me to web design. I used Front Page, Dreamweaver.

1988 – I worked in a silk screen shop, and built the screens, and created the films for the screens with a vertical stat camera. I worked in print shops doing Pre-Press production, and outputting films, for strippers.

1995 – Then I moved upstream working at Ad Agencies, and eventually as an in house agency for B2B and B2C companies.

2000 – I was doing basic SEO and Ecommerce, but still kicking around print shops, I just couldn’t escape… There were still “files to fix” before they could go to a press. Adobe Acrobat, and pdfs pretty much put the whole “Pre-Press Production” thing obsolete.

2008 – I was aware of WordPress as a blogging tool. We had to hire someone to build our blog. At this point I realized that I should probably learn WordPress.

2014 – I realized that it was time to learn WordPress to build dynamic websites. Static html looks bad on a phone, and google began rewarding the dynamic sites with better SEO.

I googled “how to learn WordPress” , I found ‘Girl Develop It’, and I took a beginner wordpress class. Bam! I made and sold my first WordPress site. It is still live.

I joined the Metro Detroit WordPresss MeetUp group.

2016 I did the JavaScript Front End BootCamp at Grand Circus

2017 – WordCamp Ann Arbor – and At that wordcamp , it really clicked , I decided right then and there that I did want to be a part of the wordpress community , and that I did want to volunteer – and take it up a notch – listening to Speakers like John Jay Jacoby (the guy who made BuddyPress) speak about our responsibility – and listening Organizers like Kyle Maurer – really had a positive effect on me. The9ir stories are inspirational.

This is Open Source. We have an opportunity to learn from each other.

Search Engine Optimization, SEO what?

Comicon Detroit draws a crowd

Pictured: Comic Con draws huge crowds. Even they do web design and SEO at a local level.

You have a website, great! A website is just words and pictures on pages, that’s all, right? Wrong. A good website has more than meets the eye. Besides putting words and pictures on pages, and making them look good, you need to make sure that people can FIND your site. How will people find your website? This isn’t Field of Dreams. ‘If you build it, they will come’ does not compute. On the contrary, this is the internet, 4.5 billion web pages, and growing, fast. All those pages are competing for page views. You need to have good Search Engine Optimization.

SEO exists “under the hood.”

You can’t see it. It’s a bunch of things that work in conjunction with your web pages. SEO consists of many things such as: page titles, image names, link names, keywords, image alt tags, meta tags, heading tags, and a bunch more tech-ey stuff. Good Content (words and pictures) and good SEO, when combined, may yield better positioning on search return pages, and more traffic.

How can my web pages come up as high as possible on search return pages?

Good content plus SEO is the answer. A reputable Web Designer will use tried and true methods to get your site seen. We all do searches all of the time. How deep do you go? Most people never go past the first page. (I do, but I am constantly trying to help people get from back pages to Page 1 (that’s what I do.) Coming up in the Top Ten on a search return usually gets you on Page 1. You want to do everything you can possibly do to get on Page 1 for your targeted keyword phrases. You want to dominate in your field, and in your community. Websites compete with each other for dominance in search returns. Don’t bring a lemon to a knife fight.

Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? On page two of a search return.

Don’t be afraid to search for yourself. How do others see you? Do you like what you see? Allow me, or another respected Website Designer, to help you be seen.


Need a website?

zingerman's cheeses The storied Zingermans's Deli in Ann Arbor Michigan offers over 200 different cheeses. They have a website.

Pictured: The storied Zingermans’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan, offers over 200 different cheeses. They have a website.

Do I need a website? Can I build a website myself? How can I hire someone to build me a website?

Do I need a website?
If you are asking this question, the answer is YES you need a website!
Everyone else that does what you do ALREADY has a website. If you don’t, you’re at a disadvantage. One main reason you need a website is to legitimize that you are indeed a professional. A website can reassure your potential clients that you are worthy of their business. Think of your website as an essential piece of your marketing efforts, an online brochure. You can advertise the products and services you offer. Make sure to include your contact information. The Main components of a basic website should include: your company name, an explanation of what you do, or what products you have for sale, your contact information, your turn-around time, the area that you serve, and most importantly what makes you unique!

You need to have an answer for the question: Why would someone want to do business with you?

Your website is the place for you to tell your story. You will need ORIGINAL text and images. Some Web Designers may help you write your story. Some Web Designers may even be able to take original pictures for you, or help you find stock images for your site. A website is only as good as its content (the words and pictures.)

Can I build a website myself?
There are plenty of ways for a non-tech person to build their own website. You are going to need to find a Web Hosting Company. Here is a short list of just a few: GoDaddy, Bluehost, A2 Hosting (MANY others are available.) Call a web host and ask them their rates. Web hosting rates vary widely. Generally speaking, you will need to spend at a minimum $12 a month for hosting and about $12 a year for the name.

The name is the www.youruniquenamehere.com . This is also called a Uniform Resource Locator, a URL. A host can help you secure your name, host you, and maybe even steer you towards a non-technical way to build your own website yourself.

How can I hire someone to build me a website?

If learning how to build your own website is not in the cards, you will want to hire a Website Designer. Fortunately there are plenty of Web Designers that will be happy to build your website.

If you are on social media, shout out. Chances are you already know someone who is a web designer. If you do not know a web designer, you might want to google “web design” + “your hometown.” You may not need to meet your Web Designer face to face, but it sure can be helpful.
Before you hire someone, make sure to ask to see some of their “sample websites” that they have built. Your website is going to look like their samples. If they don’t have samples, ask why. Maybe this is their first site that they are going to build.

Make sure to negotiate the price, and get the details and agree on the terms of the contract before any work is done. Most Web Designers will require half payment up front, and the rest due when you approve the website, and it goes live. Make sure you know what will happen after the site goes live. Will the Web Designer do changes/updates for  a reasonable rate? Will they give you the files and or the password if you decide to continue with a different Web Designer?

Good Luck!

If you have any questions about what to look for in a Web Designer, or a Web Hosting solution email me at dave@rottervision.com .

The purpose of a Blog, or Why Blog?

The facade of the old Adams Theatre, designed by famed architect C. Howard Crane, on Adams Street in Grand Circus Park, Detroit, is preserved.

Pictured: The facade of the old Adams Theatre, designed by famed architect C. Howard Crane, on Adams Street in Grand Circus Park, Detroit, is preserved.

What is a Blog? What is the purpose of a blog? How does a Blog work? Why  Blog? Who Blogs? Who reads Blogs?

Blogging is creating a platform where you can tell your story, grow an audience, sell products and services. I’m Dave Rotter, of RotterVision. I blog. I can show you how.

What is a Blog?
A ‘Blog’ is a collection of ‘Blog Posts’ that a “Blog Author’ posts online. A ‘Blog Post’ is simply a web page with words and pictures, that a ‘Blog Author’ has posted online.

What is the purpose of a blog?
The Purposes of Blogs vary.  The purpose of this Blog is for me to tell my story, ask people to subscribe to my blog (build an audience), and sell my web design/development services. I strive to provide useful information to my audience. If you want some advice on how to start blogging, email me at dave@rottervision.com  

Here’s one purpose of a Blog in action: Let’s say ‘Jack’ owns a Heating and Cooling Company that sells and services Furnaces and Air Conditioning Units in Metro Detroit (stay with me here.) Jack could provide visitors to his site fresh and informative answers to a question they may have.  ‘Jane’, a homeowner in Metro Detroit has an Air Conditioning Unit that has conked out on her on a very hot August day. She goes outside and looks at the failed Air Conditioning Unit and sees that there is ice on the pipe that leads from her house to the Air Conditioning Unit. She pulls out her phone and searches, “Why is there ice on my Air Conditioning Unit outside?” Jack has recently posted a Blog Post that answers this very question. Jack’s Blog Post may come up high on the search return page. Jane clicks, and reads Jacks blog. Jane then calls Jack and hires him to service her Air Conditioning Unit.

BAM!

Jack Blogs ‘to provide quality content to visitors to his website’, AND, in turn, to sell and service Air Conditioning Units. Search engines may reward Jack for having dynamic, quality, ‘destination’ content. Search Engines may put Jack’s website above his competitors that do not Blog, in the user’s search returns.

How does a Blog work?
Blogging is easy. It’s very similar to making a post on a social media site like FaceBook. Once your Blog is set up, you simply type a paragraph on your phone, tablet or computer, and upload a picture. Setting up a Blog isn’t that hard either. You only need to set it up once. You could either pay somebody like me to do it, OR you could learn how to use a ‘Content Management System.’ I like WordPress, other Content Management Systems are available. One of the best things about WordPress, besides being free, is that it is truly a community.

You could find a “Meetup” in your area and meet up with other WordPress enthusiasts and professionals in real life. For the price of an Espresso Macchiato you might find a tutor, and a friend! I’m a proud member of the Metro Detroit WordPress Meetup Group. Maybe see you at a meetup?

Why  Blog?
Because…Why Not!?! You have a story to tell and/or products/services to sell? Right?

Who Blogs?
Anybody that has a story to tell and/or products/services to sell.

Who reads Blogs?
Who doesn’t? No really, everybody reads blog posts, whether they know it or not. Blog posts are literally everywhere online.

~ So, why did I include a picture of a building facade with this blog post… why not?

RotterVision puts words and pictures on pages. Ask me about guest-blogging opportunities.

RotterVision does Web Design & more.

The Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum, stands proudly on Grand River in Detroit.


Pictured: The Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum, stands proudly on Grand River in Detroit.

Hi, thanks for being here. What is RotterVision? RotterVision is me, Dave Rotter. I am a one person Web Design company, and more… WordPress, E-Commerce, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Blogging, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, traditional print design, music, video, photography and much more. Do you have a story to tell, a product to sell? Let’s talk!

After all, what is most important in business? I believe it is relationships. Anyone can buy anything from anywhere. How and where can you build and maintain meaningful business relationships? What makes you and your business unique? What is your story to tell? How can I help you tell your story?