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Blogging and Using Twitter

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Friday, December 10, 2010
Now that you've been using Facebook forever and it feels like old news, you may have become more web savvy and starting writing a blog and/or using Twitter. In this internet age, blogs and tweets are great ways to share ideas and disseminate information, but you must use them wisely. You are putting out information that is going to be there forever, so think about whether or not you'd still be happy to have your name attached to the things you write when they pop up in a Google search 6 months from now.

Many of you may have blogs or Twitter accounts that are opinion- or issue-based rather than personal. More power to you for writing about the topic you're passionate about, but don't be surprised if a new job offer comes with the condition that you stop doing so. Depending on where you're going to work, it may be a conflict of interest for you to be publishing ideas that are not part of the message of your organization. It's all about keeping things professional and protecting the integrity of your job.

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Holiday parties - eat, drink, be merry, and NETWORK SOME MORE!

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Wednesday, December 8, 2010

As promised, here are some more holiday parties happening around the District in the next week:

Happy Hour on the Hill with YCDC and Coro
When? Thursday, December 9th: 6:00-8:00pm
Where? Hawk N Dove: 329 Pennsylvania Ave SE, 20003
What? Join YCDC's Government and Politics (GAP) Program as we welcome our friends and colleagues back from the campaign trail and prepare for the new legislative term. We're excited to co-host our Happy Hour with the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. If you're not sure about your next career move, this will be a great opportunity to network and talk with Coro representatives and alums about the Fellows Program.

National Farm Bureau’s Annual "Taste of the States”
When? Tuesday, December 14th: 4:30-7:00pm
Where? Holiday Inn Capitol Hill: 550 C St. SW, 20024

iConstituent Open Bar Holiday Party hosted by Cassandra Malone
When? Thursday, December 16th: 7:00-9:00pm
Where? L2 Lounge: 3315 Cadey’s Alley NW, 20007

National Association of Broadcasters Holiday Reception
When? Thursday, December 16th: 6:00-8:00pm
Where? National Association of Broadcasters: 1771 N St. NW, 20036

Third Way Holiday Reception
When? Thursday, December 16th: 6:00-8:00pm
Where? Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar: 223 Pennsylvania Ave SE, 20003

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How to use LinkedIn

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Tuesday, December 7, 2010
In this town, everyone swears by networking. The connections you make come in handy all the time. But in a place where everybody knows everybody, how do you keep track of your network? LinkedIn is the answer. It’s a networking tool that helps you discover inside connections to other professionals and opportunities. You might discover that the person who once held your dream job went to your alma mater, or that an old friend used to work with someone with whom you’d like to get an informational interview. The possibilities are endless. Building your LinkedIn network is like playing Six Degrees of Separation, minus the part where you get to be friends with Kevin Bacon.

One important thing to note is that LinkedIn is NOT Facebook. It is a professional tool and people use it for professional purposes. It’s not just a game to see how many connections you can make; you want to have quality connections so that you can actually take advantage of them in the future. It won’t do you much good to be connected on LinkedIn to someone whom you met so briefly that they won’t remember who you are in 6 months, much less be willing to help you out. Also, don’t be offended if people say that they’d rather not connect on LinkedIn. People use it to different degrees, and some may only want to connect with close friends and work colleagues. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get the person’s business card and ask for an informational interview in the future!

Bottom line - play it smart. Don’t be creepy. It never hurts to politely ask if you can connect with someone on LinkedIn. Expand your network and then make it work for you! It really is all about who you know...

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Facebook Do's and Dont's

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Monday, December 6, 2010
Facebook. We all love it, or used to love it, but now more than ever is the time to realize that what you post online can come back to haunt you. First and foremost you should be aware of your privacy settings, and keep them as tight as possible. If you’re not sure how specific setttings affect how you appear in searches, ask a friend to check it out for you and then return the favor.

Every time you update your status, or post pictures, or write something on your friend’s wall, take a moment to think about how those things might be perceived by a potential employer. Just assume that anyone you network with could pontentially look you up. You should never say anything offensive, or allude to details of your personal life that you don’t want the whole world to know. And in case you haven’t already heard this a thousand times, you should not have ANY pictures involving alcohol where you appear drunk. Use your judgment. A photo of you sipping champagne at a fancy New Year’s Eve party is probably ok, but holding a solo cup while you play your fourth round of beer pong is not.

Also, make sure you have all of your bases covered when it comes to protecting your online image. You might be vigilant about keeping your Facebook profile clean, but that doesn’t mean that your friends will be equally mindful. Talk to your friends, explain that your career goals make it especially important to keep certain things off of Facebook, and ask them to respect those boundaries. It’s as simple as "please don’t tag me in the pictures from your birthday bar crawl, or post comments about what happened that night.” You’ll be amazed at how cool your friends will be about it.

Facebook can be fun and an easy networking tool, but proceed with caution. When you land your dream job, you’ll be glad you did.

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Have you registered for Career Day yet? The clock is ticking...

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Wednesday, December 1, 2010
If you haven't registered for Career Day yet, today is your last chance before prices go up. Online registration will close TONIGHT at 11:59PM EST. You'll still be able to register at the door if you like, but please be aware that it will cost you $5 more.

Click here to register for Career Day on Friday, December 3rd!

Here's a snapshot of the employers who will be at our organizational job fair:
Aristotle, Be the Change, Catalist, Chairman-Elect Kwame R. Brown (Council of the District of Columbia), EMILY's List, Environment America, Grassroots Campaigns Inc, The Mammen Group, The Management Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, NGP/VAN Software, Progressive Future, Salsa Labs, Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus

Keep checking back on the event page as we continue to update the list.

If you're already registered for Career Day, that's great! We look forward to seeing you. Now is the time to double check that you have printed enough copies of your most up-to-date resume, and make sure that your fabulous business casual outfit isn't at the bottom of your laundry basket or still at the dry cleaners. Prepare everything now so you don't stress later!

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Holiday parties - eat, drink, be merry, and NETWORK!

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's that time of year again...when networking opportunities abound in the form of holiday parties. Sure, the weather makes you want to stay inside in your sweatpants watching TV with a cup of hot cocoa, but do yourself a favor and put in the effort to get out there! Here’s a list of events to get you through the weekend; more to come!

DASHing Through the Snow! A WGirls DC Happy Hour
When? Tuesday, November 30th: 6:00-9:00pm
Where? CoCo Sala: 929 F St. NW, 20004
Why? In Support of DASH (District Alliance for Safe Housing) to ensure access to safe refuge for victims of domestic violence.

$10 gives you access to drink specials, celebrity elves and a fabulous silent auction. All proceeds benefit DASH.

LADIES & GENTS: Don’t be a Scrooge! Please come dressed to impress (business or festive attire) and join the WGirls for a night of celebration, all in support of a wonderful cause.
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!
Get tickets and more info:

Kimpton’s Red Hot Night in the Nation’s Capital
When? Wednesday, December 1st: 6:00-8:00pm
Where? Urbana: 2121 P St. NW, 20037
Why? Urbana will host Kimpton’s Red Hot Night in the Nation’s Capital, a cocktail party benefiting the Whitman-Walker Clinic. The event will feature popular TV personality and beauty/lifestyle expert Paul Wharton as co-host and emcee, $5 "Cocktails for a Cure,” light bites of Western Mediterranean cuisine from Urbana’s kitchen, and a live/silent auction including a weekend getaway to any Kimpton hotel nationwide and two roundtrip jetBlue tickets. A $10 admission fee includes one drink ticket and all proceeds benefit Whitman-Walker Clinic. The event begins immediately following the 5:30 pm candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle.

The Monocle’s 50th Anniversary Party

When? Wednesday, December 1st: 5:30-7:30pm

Where? 107 D St. NE, 20002


Phillips After 5
When? Thursday, December 2nd: 5:00-8:30pm
Where? The Phillips Collection: 1600 21st Street NW, 20009
What? Phillips After 5 combines a lively mix of people, jazz, gallery talks, superb modern art, and a cash bar for a memorable evening. Admission is $12; free for members. Cash bar.

Note: Due to the popularity of Phillips After 5 (the last 2 sold out prior to the date of the event), advance reservations are encouraged to insure admission. Reserve online until 12 hours before the event:

Young Consultants of DC Annual Holiday Party!
When? Friday, December 3rd: 7:00-10:00pm
Where? Midtown: 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW, 20036
What? The Young Consultants of DC invite you and your guest(s) to join them for their annual Holiday Party at Midtown Lounge. Come enjoy this extremely popular venue, meet up with friends, or work on your networking skills and make some new ones!

Drink specials include $3 beer, $5 wines and rail drinks, and specialty holiday cocktails.
This event benefits One Warm Coat, DC Village Shelter and Facilitating Leadership in Youth (FLY). RSVP here.

All Access: A Night at the Newseum
When? Friday, December 3rd: 8:00-11:00pm
Where? The Newseum: 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 20001
What? Newseum and bring you NEWSEUM: ALL ACCESS, the holiday party to start all 2010 holiday parties!
This is the Newseum's first ever official after-hours party…don’t miss it!
Tickets: $15 in advance and $20 at the door will include:

  • Exclusive after-hours access to the Newseum--a dazzling, high-tech roller-coaster ride through 500 years of headline history including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism, the Berlin Wall and exciting galleries, theaters and interactives
  • Autorock DJ.
  • a separate silent disco room.
  • Cash bar with specialty cocktails and holiday treats available for purchase— all provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering, featuring Smirnoff cocktails & hydration by vitaminwater.
  • An unveiling of a very special photo installation featuring some of our favorite D.C. faces and characters of 2010.
  • Exciting films, merriment, mistletoe and more!
    • Berlin Wall Gallery
    • Athlete: The Sports Illustrated Photography of Walter Iooss
    • G-Men & Journalists: Top News Stories of the FBI’s First Century
    • Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery
    • Interactive Newsroom and Ethics Center

The Capital Club’s 19th Annual Santa Soiree
When? Saturday, December 4th: 9:00pm-2:00am
Where? City Tavern Club: 3206 M Street NW, 20007
What? Live Performance by Atlanta's Premier Funk Band: The Answer.
Attire: Holiday Black Tie.
Tickets (Limit 350): Ladies- $80; Gents- $120.

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Thinking About Law School?

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Monday, November 29, 2010
So the election’s over, you’re not sure exactly what to do next. But you’ve been wondering about law school, and if it’s the right choice for you?

Come on out and join GAIN for a panel discussion on the pros and cons of law school tomorrow the 30th here in DC!

Register to hear from our fabulous speakers:
  • Jonah Goldman, Vice President at The Glover Park Group.
  • David Burd, VP of Business Development & In-House Counsel, Earth Aid, Inc.
  • Joi Chaney, Special Assistant to the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Bandele McQueen, Senior Advisor at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLC.
  • Hayley Zachary, Finance Director for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords for Congress.
We hope you'll join us!

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Think Positively and in the Present!

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN Intern, Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Rather than telling the story of what you were doing up until recently (and hating that you have to tell people over and over), focus on what it is you’re looking to do in the immediate future. If you know exactly what you want to do next, talk about it. If you’re not quite sure, talk about the kinds of people you’d like to meet who can help steer you in a new direction.

Whatever the case, if you use specifics, the people you meet and network with over the holidays will be more likely to have a lightbulb go off in their head, despite being stuffed and sleepy. They may know someone in the particular field you’re looking to enter, or have a great contact who is a wealth of information that would help you settle the swirl of "maybe this” and "maybe thats” in your head.

The holidays are all about being proactive; get out there, make friends, mix & mingle with as many people as you can, and follow up with them for help.

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It’s time for holiday gatherings...use the guest list to your advantage

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Monday, November 22, 2010
Many of you will be heading home for Thanksgiving, which means turkey, football, and...smalltalk. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of questions about your life from immediate and extended family by checking out who will be in attendance at your holiday gatherings. Instead of feeling like everyone is going to want to talk to you, turn the tables and decide who YOU want to talk to! Ask to be seated next to your people of interest, and turn the smalltalk into a relaxed but productive networking opportunity. Who knows, maybe your uncle is golfing buddies with a former Congressman, or your cousin brought his new girlfriend who just came off a campaign as well. By the time you get to dessert, you could have the names of several people to contact about informational interviews next week!

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Remember what your mother told you!

Posted By Lily McCall, GAIN intern, Friday, November 19, 2010
Remember when your mother always told you to say please and thank you? Well that was good practice for searching for a job. One of the most important things to do is always say thank you... in as many was as possible. After that informational interview or that actual interview be sure to send an email thank you AND a handwritten thank you to pop into the snail mailbox.

Sending a thank you note ensures that some piece of paper with your name and business card will a) remind them you exist a few days later b) make them feel happy and more likely to help you and c) possibly sit on their desk for a few weeks for them to constantly be reminded of your job search. The best $0.44 cents you’ve ever spent!

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