Thursday, November 3, 2011

Exploding Common Words of ‘Wisdom”

Most of the people who have worked with me know I’m a renegade when it comes to career advice and that I don’t agree with a great deal of it.  There’s a lot of  “one size fits all” stuff out there, but since everyone is different, how on earth can “one size fit all?!?” 

  1. “A resume should be  one page, but I don’t ding people for more than that.”   [Name], director of talent acquisition at [a major company] Laboratories.  –> Nay, nay, unless you’re shortly out of college.  More often than not that means a tiny font or omission of Very Important Information.  Two pages, sometimes 2.5 pages.  The key is the information on it.  A very good 2.5 or 3.0 page resume that makes relevant points and tells the full story  is infinitely better than a really bad 1.0 or 1.5 page resume any day.  It’s not the length, it’s what’s on it.

  1. “Do you have any questions for us?”  This is your time to ask questions at the end of an interview (from a career newsletter) –> No, it isn’t.  The time to ask questions is throughout the interview and by creating a dialogue. 

  1. Here’s a tip for cover letters to get more interviews. Use a bulleted format cover letter rather than a standard letter in paragraphs. The bulleted format is more eye catching, and is more likely to be glanced at by the hiring manager or other person assigned to sort through resumes. This format will help you get your resume seen by more people and as a result get more interviews and more job offers (from a professional resume writer).–> I disagree.  It’s usually a format for generic covers which are scarcely looked at.  It doesn’t allow for truly selling yourself in a way in a way unique to the job seeking industry that only my top sales experience through relationship building has taught me and that I teach to clients.  These letters have  often gotten compliments from hiring authorities…which means the letter was actually read.  There’s a few tricks to the paragraph format that make it work quite well.

  2. In the final paragraph of your letter, before the “sincerely” and your name, simply state “I will call you next week to check on a convenient time to speak with you in person” You’ve told the hiring manager you will be calling. Logically he should be expecting your call. For this reason you may tell the gatekeeper that “Mr. HR Manager is expecting my call this week.”  This will increase your chances of getting through, and of getting the interview. (from a career coach’s blog) –> No, it won’t.  This person has never made cold calls in her life.  By contrast, I cold called for about 20 years of my career.  And for various purposes, I still do it.  So yes, logically what she says about them expecting your call is true, except that from the hiring authority’s standpoint, he’s not really expecting your call, and some of these executives are very irritated that you presumed to sound like someone they know.  Rule no 1.  Never play down the gatekeeper.  There are ways to tell the efficacy of one, and then act accordingly. Rule no 2.  HR (now Talent Management, and lately Human Capital) isn’t generally the way to go.

  3. You can’t afford to work with a rookie or a recruiter who isn’t making it. Try to find recruiters with a minimum of 5 years in the business with at least 5 years at the same firm. Check him out  on  linkedin. Look for recommendations. Only work with a recruiter who  puts in quality time learning what is important to you and demonstrates that he understands it. (a linked in post from an in-house recruiter)–> Oh painful.  I made my first placement 2 weeks after I started 3rd -party recruiting.  In the space of 3 years I’d developed an entire new industry that the whole firm adopted, so I’d left that company and started/trained a department in the new firm.  I was typically, in an office of 20 people, the first or second top biller and I had a huge number of repeat and exclusive clients.  To this day I know recruiters who have been around 15 + years that totally bite and still don’t get the point of what they’re supposed to be doing.

I see and hear erroneous stuff all the time.  It upsets me.  People who don’t know what they’re talking about are giving advice that others are listening to at the cost of their search.  But there’s some really good stuff out there too, and next week I’m going to give some examples of that, but this time I can use the source!

No comments:

Post a Comment