Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Unemployed or Underemployed? 10 tips to help you change that

My friend Dawn Pennington is filling an open slot on her editorial team.  Here's a list she made that is excellent advice for prospective job seekers. You'll see I have alternate advice for #4. But you might want to listen to Dawn -- she's the one hiring.

Things I’ve learned (or re-learned, or learned better) this month, being the person who can change your life or make you suffer ...

1. DO feel free check in with the hiring manager on occasion. They are busy and need help. They probably are meaning to call you but can’t find two seconds to rub together to do it.

2. DON’T call and hang up and call back and hang up. The hiring manager is probably on the other line and can’t hear what’s going on with you repeatedly beeping through.

3. DO e-mail. Busy people may not pick up their personal cellphones but they are probably watching their inbox from afar.

4. DON’T leave voicemail. Not in this day and age. We can see that you called.
XX Sean's alternative: Leave voice mail, but make it short and to the point. And speak CLEARLY. E-nun-ci-ate.

5. DO offer to send writing samples or otherwise provide additional information that will help them to reach a decision or to at least keep the conversation going.

6. DON’T tell us how great you are. And how much you need to be paid. And how much your student loans/mortgage/pets/kids/Grandma’s meds cost you. We genuinely don’t care. You are supposed to solve MY problems, not the other way around.

7. DO tell us how great of an asset you could be to us. I had a girl tell me “I couldn’t find your website” after I put the URL in the ad.  A GREAT candidate would have said, “Hey, you know what, your site doesn’t come up at the top of a Google search, but I could help you raise your page ranking with some keyword tricks I’ve learned.”

8. DON’T believe you’re God’s gift. God has many gifts to give. And I always keep my return receipts. And I am totally willing and eager to be surprised. But at least package yourself nicely and make me want to see what’s inside. Don’t CALL ME ALL WEEKEND and FIVE TIMES BEFORE 9 A.M. on MONDAY to beg me to tell you how awesome you are because you want an offer NOW NOW NOW.

9. DO play ball. Just don’t play hardball unless you’ve got some kickass experience and/or ideas for making/saving us money. We know you’re inflating your current salary. It’s OK. Just understand I am under no obligation to match or exceed it, but I am willing to reward someone who comes in and totally shines. But not a moment sooner, and certainly not before your start date.

10. DON’T slip off your mask too soon. If I ask you after a long day to meet one more person — a person who normally works from home that day who came in specifically to meet you — and you say thanks but I don’t have any questions for her and “you’ve kept me here a long time already” … well, foot meet door. Ask her how she likes working here and how much you would be working together, should you get an offer. Chances are I trust her and she can say something in your favor, if you give her the opportunity.

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