Tell me what you want, what you really, really want

(Sorry about the Spice Girls reference. I couldn’t resist.)

Kudos to Indeed for putting together some very interesting research. They looked at all of the jobs in their database and made a list of the most common attributes that employers are looking for.

Here are the top 5 on their list:

1. Leadership
2. Interpersonal
3. Problem solving
4. Motivated
5. Efficient

( Click here to see the rest of the list. )

When I saw this data I was instantly impressed and began wondering a few things. If these are the attributes that employers “really” want more than anything else, do certain industries value these traits more than others? Hmm… Perhaps I should research this a bit further?

When I searched on jobs with the term “Leadership” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Assistant Managers
* Restaurant General Managers
* Store Manager
* Avon Independent Sales Rep

When I searched on jobs with the term “Interpersonal” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Store Manager
* Customer Support

When I searched on jobs with the term “Problem Solving” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Satellite TV Installer
* Management Trainee

When I searched on jobs with the term “Motivated” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Sales Representative

When I searched on jobs with the term “Efficient” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Cashier
* Night stock
* Retail Associate
* Assistant Manager
* Director of Surgical Services

What jumped out at me was when I looked at each attribute (above and the other 10 on the Indeed site), Sales positions were always in the the top 5 of jobs with one exception – Teamwork. I thought that was kind of weird, then I changed my mind. Sales is after all, a competitive experience in many offices.

All this to say, when you are preparing your next cover letter, or prepping for an interview, be sure to hit on all of the characteristics preferred by employers; especially if you are in Sales. (Smile)


How to find a part-time job

I have a question for everyone.

“How can a semiconductor chip company remain profitable if the chip price plummets every few months?”

Anyone? Going once. Going twice. (Smile)

  • If you do not know the answer, then you are not an expert in the field of semiconductor chips.
  • If you do not know the answer, then you probably do not work in that industry at all. At least, not on the technical side of things.
  • If you do work in that industry but just don’t have an answer to my question, then I might not want to talk to you because you were not able to answer my question.
  • If you do work in the semiconductor chip industry and know the answer to my question, then you probably said something like this.

Now, imagine that you are a Chemist and someone asked a difficult question that you correctly answered. Wouldn’t that mean that you have more than a cursory knowledge on the topic? Wouldn’t that mean you just (more than likely) impressed someone who could quite possibly hire you? If not full-time, then perhaps part-time. What’s to stop you from saying (after you have correctly answered the question of course), “If I can be of further service to you feel free to e-mail me.” Or perhaps, “This may solve your problem in the interim, but I know how to resolve it long-term and its too much to go into here. Feel free to call me and I will give you more information.”

Of course, when they reach out to you, ask them about their issues and offer your services. You have already proven your worth (and given them a free sample of what you can do) by answering their question. (Wink)

There are a lot of Question and Answer sites online (a WHOLE lot of them), but here is a short list of the more popular ones.

* Yahoo Answers
* Answerbag
* WikiAnswers
* Anybody Out There
* Askville
* Mahalo Answers
* Linkedin Answers
* Askme HelpDesk
* Rediff Q & A
* Fluther

Good luck!


Has Google Banned Your Resume?

Do you read Hacker articles? Hm… maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I discovered a very interesting bit of info that cited the “Google Blacklist” which are words that Google does not like. As you can imagine, some of the words are pretty sexual in nature. (Um… No need to mention what those word are, correct?) However, some of the words seemed pretty innocent like “amateur” (with a capital T) and “are” if its after the word blacks or jews or scientologists or behind a number of group names.

As I scanned through the list I thought, “Wow. Some people have too much time on their hands and other body parts.”

And then I wondered would any of these words be on a resume and if so, would that mean that Google would block your resume from being seen in its search results? Hmm… I wondered so I did a bit of experimenting.

  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education summa cum laude -your -apply -submit returned 15,300 results
  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education domination -your -apply -submit 285 results
  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education ecstacy -your -apply -submit 145 results

So it would seem that your resume may not be banned by Google for certain words, which is good to know. I suppose it takes more than one word to trigger a Google ban. Since all of the other words on the resume and (presumably) the website its on do not have sexually explicit language, your work history appears to be safe. Still, with all that being said, I would be very careful about the verbiage in your resume. Why? Although Google is able to figure out that your resume is not a porn site, how will the various applicant tracking systems handle your work history? Will they think its something naughty and banish it from the company’s blackhole of a resume database? Its possible, (like anything is possible I suppose) but I do not know for sure.

Hmm… that would be an interesting study.


How to set your expectations after an interview

What is the worst part of an interview? If you ask me, its the not knowing that drives me crazy.

ME: Did I get the job? Do I have a chance? If I did, would you even tell me? Or, are you perfectly satisfied with sending me some automatic generic reply? Why aren’t you answering the questions in my mind?!

RECRUITER: Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch.

Well, if you identify with my previous angst, you may want to try my (patented-pending) approach to interviewing for a job. In a nutshell, interview the interviewer to gauge the likelihood of said interview being a waste of your time. To do this, sprinkle in these questions some time during the process.

ASK: How long have you been recruiting? How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been recruiting for a while (at least 3 years), then you can assume that they know what they are doing.


ASK: How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been focusing in the same industry for awhile, then they “get” what managers in the field really want vs what they say they want.


RESEARCH: How many endorsements do they have on LinkedIn?

WHY?: It suggests how much of a people person they are. Recruiting is all about relationships and selling. If they have a bunch of attaboys from people they supported then they know how to pick and present a candidate and (better yet) know how to politick to get their hiring numbers up.


ASK: How long have you been recruiting for my role?

WHY?: Let me count the ways. If the job is old (especially in this economy) say, over 90 days old then (1) the manager can’t make a decision, (2) manager is still lobbying for increased headcount and wants resumes on tap for when they are ready, (3) manager wants to hire his cousin but has to “exhaust the possibilities” so it looks good, or, (4) manager wants to hire internally but politically cannot so he has to make it look good.


ASK: How pivotal is the role in the overall company scheme?

WHY?: Is the job low on the pole? If so, most likely they are not in a rush to fill the position. If your gig does happen to be low on the priority list so, ask about other roles they are trying to fill. If you know someone that might be a fit, you have another reason to contact them (to give them a referral) and chances are they won’t ignore you.


ASK: What was the last great achievement made here?

WHY?: If you get a blank stare, they are (most likely) a worker bee. They are definitely not drinking the company kool-aid which may be bad for you. Why? Not well connected with the company so might not be able to remember opportunities in other departments you might be a fix for.

These are just a few questions and the methods behind the madness. Let me know what you think? Have you tried this method before?


How to get jobsearch help from friends and family

Do you know someone that is looking for a job? Of course you do! How do I know that? I know that because you get the same emails that I do that say, in so many words, the economy sucks, you know who’s hiring? If you do, send them my resume because its attached. Chances are you received these type of emails from family members, friends and people whom you have no idea where they came from. Am I right?

Well, if you know someone who has tried this method of prospecting the hidden job market and did not get anywhere, maybe it was due to their approach. I do not want to bash anyone, but some people do not make it easy for me to help them. I mean, my heart goes out to anybody who is looking for work. (Why would I write so much on the topic if I did not have sympathy for those suffering this plight?) But, dude, make it easy on me. Three sentences and a resume is not doing it for me. May I offer a suggestion? Check out a request for assistance that was forwarded to me recently.

(1) Jim,

(2) First and foremost, I must THANK YOU for being an instrumental and valuable connection for my personal and professional growth here in Atlanta! Just knowing you is inspiring to the success I’m trying to build for myself and constantly reminds me to work harder and push further toward my next level… and that “next level” is exactly why I’m reaching out to you today. (3) By the way, I remember your being a fan of the TV show “24.” You might find this article interesting: How Will Jack Bauer Spend His Vacation Until The ’24’ Movie? I hope it makes you smile.

(4) As you know, I am currently a producer/programming assistant at [ censored ] in Atlanta, [ censored ]. I’ve enjoyed my experience there; however, it is not currently yielding desired growth or opportunities for career progression, nor does it provide what I need to take care of financial responsibilities. Thus, I have found it very necessary to pursue full-time opportunities that will help me achieve these desires.


In effort to maximize my chances at obtaining gainful employment, I’m enlisting your help, in hopes that you can reach out to your contacts who you believe will benefit greatly from my skills and experience.(6) I specialize and can perform within the following business, education or media related areas and titles:

  • Radio/TV Broadcasting – Show Producer, Associate Producer, Programming Assistant, Web Content Producer, Assignment Editor, Program Coordinator, Assistant Program Director, Production Coordinator/Manager
  • Public/Media Relations – Public Relations Coordinator/Specialist, Media Relations Liaison, Community Relations Coordinator/Manager
  • Writing – Writer, Editor, Editorial Assistant, Proofreader, Copywriter, Scriptwriter, Script Supervisor
  • Business/Marketing/Event Planning – Marketing Communications Coordinator, Event Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator, Manager, Supervisor
  • Education – Teacher, Substitute, Administrative Assistant, Trainer, Paraprofessional
  • Administrative Positions – Customer Service Manager/Coordinator, Executive Assistant, Office Manager, Administrative Assistant

Once again, I ask that you forward my resume to your contacts that need someone like me, or if you come across opportunities that require online applications, (7) just shoot me an email and/or the requisition #s and I will complete the process J. Also, I can provide excellent references and tailored cover letters whenever necessary.

(8) TARGETED COMPANIES: Turner Broadcasting, Time Warner, BET, TV-One, WXIA-TV, WATL-TV, WGCL-TV, WSB-TV, WAGA-TV, WUPA/CW-69, Tyler Perry Studios, GA Public Broadcasting, School Systems (APS, Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb), Colleges/Universities, Federal Government, Non-Profits, etc…

(9) WITH REGARD TO LOCATION – I desire to stay in the Atlanta area, but I am open to opportunities in the DMV (DC/MD/VA) area. Wherever the right opportunity is, that’s where I want to be.

(10) WITH REGARD TO PAY –My desired pay is $40K or above. I am open to reasonable negotiations within that immediate range. I desire a full-time, salaried position with full benefits and the possibility of 401K/stock options… this is non-negotiable and are the only opportunities I can/will consider at this time.

(11) WHAT I’M NOT LOOKING FOR – As stated above, I am only considering full-time opportunities that can guarantee salary and benefits. I will not consider any multi-level marketing, commission based cold calling, or initial work for start-up companies. Freelancing work for individual or start-up companies is possible, but I will only pursue those opportunities AFTER full-time work has been secured.

(12) I hope my requests don’t come off as asking for too much, or as being too picky because I’m not. I’m a dedicated, hard-working woman and at this particular point in my life, I have to be authentic in my worth. Hands down, what I bring to the table through skill, experience and instinctive talent is worthy of investment… and anyone I’ve worked with, or for, can attest to that J

(13) I know that you have a very busy schedule, and from the depths of me, I THANK YOU for ANY assistance that you can provide. I’ve sown so many seeds since being here in Atlanta and I look forward to reaping the HARVEST of a rewarding opportunity…thanks for helping me take this step in enjoying just that!

Warm Regards,

[ censored ]
(14) Writer | Producer | Multi Media Professional
(15) Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | Blog

Why is this a cool prospecting letter? These are my notes:

(1) Although this person has (probably) sent this same email to several of her contacts, they took the time to personalize it. Or at the least, used a program that does it for them. (Smile)
(2) They start off giving me warm and fuzzy feelings. That’s a good thing because if I feel good about them, I will more than likely remember them later.
(3) We actually know each other and gave me information that I actually have an interest in. (Who doesn’t love Jack Bauer?)
(4) Thank you for reminding me of who you are. I don’t have the best memory.
(5) Keeping it real. I can appreciate that. I feel good about you and now I can (hopefully/maybe) be of help to them.
(6) Bullet points make it easier on me to pidgeon hole you.
(7) All I have to do is send you a lead and you will follow through? Cool. Thank you for not asking me to connect you to my closest connections when I barely remember you.
(8) Very nice. It saves us both time when we both know what you want.
(9) Very nice. It saves us both time when we both know what you want.
(10) Very nice. It saves us both time when we both know what you want.
(11) Very nice. It saves us both time when we both know what you want.
(12) Honesty is always appreciated.
(13) Ending the request on a positive note is also good.
(14) Thanks again for pointing out your preferred jobtitles. Again, I don’t have the best memory.
(15) Oh cool, you are on Twitter and Linkedin. I will connect with you that way as well.

I hope this proves useful to you and your connections.

Happy Hunting!

Jim Stroud