Mark's story… social media & networking

The following is a Facebook conversation between myself and Mark Schmid, a colleague of mine from 15 years ago.  We  recently reconnected via Facebook. The extent of our interactions have been “LIKES” and comments on each other’s posts… but  there is a level of trust there from 15 years ago that seems to have stood the test of time.
Hey Chris! Thanks and can I ask for your advice?
Between You and Mark Schmid
Mark Schmid August 26 at 10:22am
Hello Chris!

Thanks for the post on social media rules for biz. That site is great! I’ve been reading as much as I can about how to use it effectively. Did you read the Canadian Business (Sept 13th) interview with Amber MacArthur? Its a little brief but says some interesting things about personal brand building in the career world.

Chris, I’m in the middle of a serious job search at the moment and I’m having trouble getting interviews. I took a couple of years off to be a stay-at-home daddy and I think it may be hindering me. I did some consulting work for a friend’s company to stay involved and I’m trying to be as proactive as possible in the job hunt but I’m still having great difficulty breaking back into the workforce. In part, I think it has to do with the online screening/app process that so many companies use and I’m sure it also has to do with my resume. Do you have any advice or resources on how to catch the attention of a Chris McLeod type of employer?

I’ve also been told that many employers are using LinkedIn as a screen. Its been a long time, Chris, but I was wondering if you would be willing to be a reference and write a recommendation for me on LinkedIn? I’d really appreciate it.

Any ideas or help you might have would mean the world to me.

Thanks, Chris!

Christine McLeod August 26 at 12:23pm
Absolutely Mark… happy to help you. In any way I can. First things first, I know we all need a job to pay the bills, but what are the things you are most passionate about that in an ideal world woudl be part of the package for you? do you have a sense of the type of work you are best at doing? the industry you want to be in? schedule? travel etc..?
Also, send me your resume and I can give you some feedback on it.
Linked in for sure is good- I am assuming you are on it? Will look you up to see if I am connected to you and yes I can write a recommendation for you.
If you can help me answer some of those questions I cna help guide you in some directions that may help?
Mark Schmid August 26 at 3:57pm
Wow! Thanks a ton, Chris!

In an ideal world:
I would work on a daily basis with a product/service that I really care about, that makes people happy, and in some way makes the world a better place. My co-workers would be as excited about work as I am. I would control my schedule to ensure that I wouldn’t miss family events, could play with my daughter, and could take time to recharge when necessary. I would be in a position where I could interact with the entire organization and could influence the direction of the company. I would not be chained to a desk full time. I would spend time in the field with clients and co-workers. Much of that time would be outdoors. There would be travel involved that wouldn’t exceed more than 1/3 of the year and trips wouldn’t last more than 2 weeks at a time unless the family could join me. I’d spend a lot of time on the west coast. The job would have a comfortable salary and an achievable performance bonus or commission/profit sharing program to reward hard work.

Most of the things that I’m the most passionate about look like they come from a teenager’s Christmas list: Bicycles, hockey, power boats, consumer electronics and computers, motorcycles, video games, skis and boards and, athletic training.

I also spend a ton of time reading and thinking about:
Business organization and efficiency, business development, Alternative energy sources for consumers (believe it or not), and, green vehicles.

What I’m best at… I’m at my best when I’m teaching people about a product, an industry, or a lifestyle; motivating and influencing. When I believe in something I tend to become evangelical. I love to see people excited and energized and thrilled. I am very good at building personal and business relationships. I’m also very scrutinizing. I am good at recognizing opportunities for improvement, I discover what people want out of a product or service and I then I convey that information well. I enjoy analyzing products, markets, and business processes. I do this well because I’m not afraid to ask questions and actually listen to the answers.

I love the bike industry. I’d still be there if we hadn’t left BC. Unfortunately, the industry is very small in Ontario with most positions being full commissioned sales or low paying in-house sales or warehouse jobs. I would work in the industry again if I could avoid full commission.

The other industries that I’m interested are: professional, amateur, and action sports (teams, leagues, organizations, sports marketing agencies, broadcasting), sporting goods, fitness, green transportation, green tech, renewable energy, marine and power sports, video games/electronic entertainment, and, to a lesser degree, consumer electronics/computers.

So there you have it! I’ll shoot you my resume as well.

Thanks again, Chris. Any guidance would be fantastic.

Christine McLeod August 26 at 4:19pm
WOW- that is so awesome! I think I might write a blog post on this! seriously! BTW can you send me a head shot or photo of you via Facebook? I have an idea

Mark Schmid August 26 at 4:59pm
Uh oh, I’m imagining that you have that glint in your eye…. Here are all of the reasonably recent ones I could find. Well, the one in the hat might be a bit of a misrepresentation…. I’m quite a bit heavier at the moment. If you’d like something more professional, let me know and I’ll throw on a nice shirt and get Bec to snap one.
Thanks, Chris!
Christine McLeod August 26 at 5:19pm
OK- if you hate this tell me. But I LOVED your response.
I don’t launch my blog until next friday, right now I am just putting content in there and tweaking design…. but with your permission… what do you think? This could be a pretty cool social media experiment?
Mark Schmid August 26 at 7:27pm
Well, I’m honored that liked my response. Knowing how social you are and how many people are likely to read your blog I’m sure that it’ll turn up in searches pretty quickly. So, if you don’t think it makes me sound unreasonable or unemployable, give it a whirl. Lets see what happens.

The blog site looks great too. And, Chris, thanks for the glowing endorsement. It means a lot to me.

BTW: I changed my FB profile pic to something a little less thug.

Christine McLeod August 26 at 8:14pm
Well it’s not like I’m Ashton Kutcher or anything with a gazillion followers but let’s see what kind of response we get when I launch next week!

JP said to look at csga website where all the rep jobs and industry jobs are

You might think about getting creative and making a short video montage if yourself to email to hr folks?

Mark Schmid August 26 at 9:18pm
Thanks, Chris.
I’m a regular on CSGA. I’ll put some thought to the video. I hadn’t considered that option. I’m not not the prettiest fellow so I might scare them off. Maybe I’ll voiceover some claymation.
Christine McLeod August 27 at 6:38am
OK let’s give it a whirl and see if we can’t find you the perfect job: )
Mark Schmid August 27 at 6:43am
You are an amazing person, Chris. Thanks. I’m all fired up!
WOW! Definitely A few ah ha! moments for me here
1. Each of us has the ability to impact someone else’s life. How we conduct ourselves and how we SHOW UP for someone determines whether we impact it for the better or worse.
2. Whoever said social media is impersonal should give their head a shake. Never would you have got this intimate level of self reflection in a 1:1 conversation. A trusted connection from way back and an easy social media tool made it happen.

3. Recruiting software is flawed: The personality you see below is not able to come through on a paper or email resume that is one of a million in the “system”. How do we fix that?
So if you have any leads or advice or connections that can help Mark, please comment below! (and by the way, this post comes with my wholehearted recommendation of Mark as an amazing individual & business person!)




  1. Nora Stoecker on September 5, 2010 at 3:01 am

    A very interesting concept for a blog post – and an innovative approach for coaching/advise by your former colleague.

    It certainly caused me to visit his LinkedIn page! Unfortunately I’m not a recruiter, nor in the sales and marketing field or in the sporting goods industry. So I’ll probably be of little actual help. Bit best of luck to Mark, and congratulations on the new blog!

  2. Nora Stoecker on September 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    A thought — I just saw an article that mentioned Rick Singer, IBM’s Vice President of Sports Technology Partnerships on a project at the US Open.

    Thought to myself – is Rick Singer on LinkedIn?

    There *is* a Rick Singer on LinkedIn – “Vice President, Client Executive Marketing at IBM”. Same guy? I don’t know.

    Are there any potential sports-related marketing opportunities at IBM? I don’t know that either.

    Is it worth it to follow up? Only Mark can answer that question.

  3. Anonymous on June 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Just a thought-when I read the self ID Mark wrote it made me think of Canadian Outback; it might be worth taking a look as they do some fun work that incorporates a lot of what Mark mentions.

    Their website is:

    • Anonymous on June 23, 2011 at 2:11 am

      Thanks so much that is great will pass it on to Mark!