Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Internet Black Hole

Today while talking to a terrific, very smart USC MBA (he has a MS in engineering too), he mentioned the black holes of the internet: job/resume portals. He said they don’t work, on line networking doesn’t work and emailing resumes directly to HR doesn’t work. For the most part, he’s right. Our world of instant emails, instant gratification doesn’t always work for finding a job. So, note to job hunters – finding a job is very hard work and sometimes you have to go the extra mile. Finding a job is harder work than having a job. In order to not end up in the black hole you need to go the extra mile .

Create - a list of companies that interest you. Then find out who is in charge of what you want to do. Example, if you are a marketing person, find out who is the Marketing Director or Marketing Vice President. Then, send your resume directly to that person – after you customize your resume – see below for more on that. You can also send it to HR.

Tailor - your resume to fit the job you are applying for. Do not lie, do not embellish but do highlight those skills that are applicable to the job you are applying for. Your resume is a marketing tool. It helps you get the job but you need to get in the door to sell yourself.

Follow - always follow up a resume with a phone call. You can call twice and send one email, after that you become a stalker. You do not want to become a stalker.

Interview - When you get the interview remember your elevator pitch, know your resume and sell yourself. Know enough about the company to be able to explain why your skill set fits their needs.

Thank you – write a thank you note, don’t just email it. Personal well written notes are still a nice touch.

Got the job – great! Now get ready to work. Didn’t get the job – make sure you tell the people you interviewed with that they can forward your resume to anyone they think might be able to use your skill sets. Always stay on good terms with anyone you’ve interviewed with – you never know who they know. It’s best not to end up in the black hole of a burned bridge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An idle mind is the devil's workshop.

An idle mind is the devil's workshop. --- Lately I’ve been getting very irritated with people who have too much time on their hands. Idleness typically means you have no particular goal in mind and can be easily distracted, or in the case of a few, fixated. I’ve been finding these easily distracted or highly fixated people annoying.

First off, why do you have time to go through missed calls and actually call back those people who did not leave messages? It was probably a miss-dialed number. If they didn’t leave a message don’t worry about it. 

Second, don’t call people multiple times and not leave a voice mail. You might have the time to constantly phone me, but once I’ve seen you’ve called three times without leaving a message you become a stalker. Yes, our receptionist remembers you’ve called three times. Just leave me a message. Stalking people is not OK. Finally, story telling, when you keep telling the same people the same story over, and over, I think you need to find something else to do or someone new to talk to.

Retired – Great, good for you, go find a charity group and volunteer. 

Not working – you should be on the net, on the phone networking all day. You should not be fixated on one person – branch out, meet lots of people. If you are one of those people who think they need to check their PDA constantly and be in constant communication – get over it. 

Seriously, how narcissistic can we be these days?