Archive for October, 2009

Keeping up with the Kardashians during the job hunt

Keeping up with the Kardashians

He completely lost me at “sir”.

It was his first chance to make a lasting impression and he totally blew it.

Clearly stated in the job description was “accurate, detail oriented, excellent communicator…” and “please contact Heather Gardner direct for immediate consideration.”

Had he taken the time to look me up, he would have known…. Oh “Bing” or “Google” me please!

It’s so easy to lose out on an opportunity by making a simple yet costly mistake. In this example he assumed Heather Gardner was male, he was being lazy or he just wasn’t paying attention.

Applying to open jobs is an important thing to do during an active job hunt.   Keeping track of who you respond to is even more important!  Get the name wrong might just cost you the job.  Which resume version you sent and when will help you be prepared so when the recruiter pre-screen call comes, it will likely turn into an interview.

You can’t over do “attention to detail” when corresponding with a perspective company, hiring manager, recruiter or human resource professional. It could make or break your chances of being considered for a role.

AND ….

SEND a “Thank you” regardless of whether you got the job.  Not only is it key to make an excellent first impression, but that last bit of communication is important as well. Keep yourself on top of mind with that hiring manager that didn’t offer you the job, because who knows what doors that might open in the future.

Having trouble keeping track?

Are you sending out introduction letters with the person’s wrong name? Get help! I always recommend as an excellent CRM tool for the active job seeker. has some pretty sophisticated components and offers webinars all the time. There’s a free and premium version.  I suggest you get on track because an excel spread sheet only goes so far…

What tools are helping you to keep up with the Kardashians during your job hunt?


October 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

Would you hire Gladys Kravitz?


Would you hire Gladys Kravitz?

Gladys Gravitz was the infamous “know-it-all” snoopy neighbor on Bewitched.  If you are unfamiliar with her character, you can read more about her here.

I was channeling Gladys Gravitz the other day when I read this Job Posting:

“Seeking super smart person to join our wildly successful global team.  Proven track record of brilliant thinking, complex problem solving and must be absolutely fabulous in most ways.   Needs to have great fashion sense, superb innovation skills and be a good communicator with others.  Team player, bright and overall a really nice person.

For immediate consideration send resume with salary expectations and cover letter to: 

No phone calls please, this company is confidential”

As I read through it I kept thinking…

 “OMG, that’s ME. I’m perfect for that role!  I’m the perfect candidate!!!!”

Now let’s back up here.  How did I really know I would be the BEST suited for that role.  Honestly, would I make the ‘perfect’ candidate for that job?    How do I really know?

In reality, here’s what I DON’T know:

  1. Company
  2. Industry
  3. Role exactly, title, etc.
  4. Pay Range
  5. Benefits
  6. Travel required
  7. Size of company
  8. Public or private
  9. Company location
  10. Who does this position report to?
  11. Expectations
  12. Company culture
  13. Duties
  14. Requirements
  15. Experience level
  16. Growth path
  17. Financial stability of company
  18. Product/service… what does this company do exactly?

….. and the list can go on and on…..

If I send my resume, cover letter and salary expectations I may actually position myself “out of consideration”. 


By presenting myself in a way that they “aren’t” looking for.    

To give you an example.  If I chose to divulge my salary expectations and it’s 100K and the job pays 50K, what are they going to think?  My resume will go into the “out of the price range” pile, better known as the trash basket.

It’s easy to believe that you would make the perfect candidate, but it’s also important to realize that YOU have to position yourself accordingly during your very first contact with this company.  

Qualifying an opportunity before presenting yourself as the right candidate gives YOU the leg up on everyone else who applies blindly.   AND you will show that you care about the role by researching and doing your homework.  There is nothing worse than a “I have no questions” candidate.  It’s okay to ask questions, as long as they are smart and show you’d make a good hire.

For an ad like this, try to figure out as much information before hand as you can.   You can do key word searches in Bing and Google and see if you can find it posted somewhere online WITH the company name.  If that doesn’t work, try replying to the blind email address with a clever “call to action” that will entice them to reply back.  This is something that takes a little ingenuity.   Sometimes if you’re lucky, the true email address may show up or you might get a reply with a name attached to it. 

Think of yourself as a job search DETECTIVE (hey, cool blog title there).  Find and gather as much information as possible.  Knowlege is key.

If all else fails, you might have nothing to lose by applying blindly, but don’t feel bad or rejected if no one replies to you.   Since you have no clue who/what/where or when about this ad, it’s kind of a crap shoot.   Like a slot machine – but hopefully without losing money 😉

Remember it makes sense to QUALIFY the opportunity as much as possible before positioning yourself as the PERFECT candidate.  You just might be, but the more information you can find out ahead of time the better your chances are of making sure your first line of contact says so too.

Would you like to hire Glady Kravitz?

October 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

What would Batman do?

maisy 013

What would Batman do?

Gotham City just had a major layoff.  Batman is now unemployed and actively looking for his next gig.  Superman and Spiderman got their pink slip a week earlier.


Because Batman is an “out of the box” thinker he knows that he needs to try something different in order to find employment during these extraordinary times.


Personal (Professional) Branding:  This is something that a great many of us miss when we are job hunting.  It’s really a simple concept, but it can be a difficult thing to enact and master effectively.   Ask yourself this question:


“How do I want someone who has no clue who I am to see me as?”


In Batman’s case, he decides that he will formulate 4 different versions of his resume using all of his trademarks skills and experience, but tailoring it to specifically branding himself as:


  1. Crime Fighter
  2. Gadget & Weapon Inventor / Tester
  3. Billionaire Philanthropist
  4. Manager

Networking:  This is the time to use your contacts.  And if you can, don’t wait until you NEED a job to build your network, start it NOW.   The best way to get your foot in the door is by networking.   If you are uncomfortable about attending face to face events, drag along your social butterfly friend.  This may help you ease your way into feeling comfortable around folks you don’t know yet.  Master this skill and it will help you for decades.


Target Company List:  Job board leads stale?  Create  a Target Company List.  You can use LinkedIn’s new sophisticated “companies” tab.  This will not only pull up all the cool companies you’ve listed, but you can see by what corporate path people migrated to and from.  There may be a company or two that you hadn’t yet thought of that is listed within the company profile.  It will also identify folks in your network that work there and how you know them.


Try joining some of the larger groups.  Not only will you see the company list of presenters,  but the groups members as well.  You’d be amazed at some of the cool companies you can cyber sleuth your way into.    A few of the more technology based companies even Live Video stream their Meetup’s so that you can watch them back without attending. 


Business Journal Book of Lists.  Great way to find out company information by region.  I landed a great job using these lists by targeting companies rather than openings.    But don’t just limit yourself to these lists, Fast Company, Inc 500… and other major business publications all seem to put out great lists throughout the year.  


Add New Superpower to your resume:   Don’t discount all the stuff your doing and learning to find your next role.  Highlight the good stuff on your current resume.  If you are finding leads via Social Media, networking, etc. add as appropriate to your resume.  Remember you are BRANDING yourself not as the job seeker but as the professional.  The wording you choose is VERY important here.  If you are in sales, you can put something like, “experience with lead generation using Social Media tools.”  You may even decide to volunteer at some of the professional networking groups and add that to your resume to make up for a gap in employment.


Hopefully channeling Batman will help you gain new ground in your own job hunt.  What other Super Hero would help?

maisy 010

October 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm 3 comments


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