How NOT to get the job you really, really want

Have you considered renting a billboard and promoting your resume that way? If you have, can I make a suggestion? PLEASE DON’T do that.

  • Mark4Hire <– Did it work? No.
  • HirePasha <– Did it work? No, but she started her own company. God bless her. How much did it cost to rent the billboard? $7,000.00)
  • Julie Sarpy <– $1200.00 for 3-days of Billboard hype. Not sure if it worked.
  • David4hire <— $5,000.00 billboard. No success story posted. (Anybody have an idea?)

Why billboards are a bad idea:

  • Not targeted – On any given day, on a major thoroughfare, tens of thousands of cars pass through. Where are they going? To work? Maybe. Maybe they are job seekers like you? What percentage are people ideally suited to hire you? Can you tell? Nope!
  • Expensive – In these days and times, spending thousands of dollars on a longshot is very risky.
  • Can’t track who saw it – Sure, its in a great location for a lot of eyeballs (presumably) but how many people really paid it attention? Maybe they are listening to the radio, talking on the phone or they saw it but did not really see it. Case in point, if you drive the same way everyday to and from work, do you still look at the street signs?
  • Often in a bad location – Bad location is subjective. If you have a pizza joint near an intersection, then a billboard is GREAT! However, if you want to work in the semiconductor industry and there are no semiconductor companies near that location, then that location pretty much sucks. You dig? So, my final analysis?

Just say no!

However, if I caught you too late and you have already invested in a billboard. Sigh… Here are a few suggestions (for what its worth)

  1. Use a (free) service like Textmarks. With Textmarks people can text a phrase to a number (41-411) and the service will automatically send a message back to them. The message that is broadcast could be “Project Manager – 10 yrs experience – Six Sigma Certified –”  When someone texts the service you get their phone number. So, follow up and say “Hi, are you hiring?”
  2. Find other suckers / umm, I mean other jobseekers to join you and thereby defray costs. Have the billboard point to a website where multiple resumes are posted. Hmm.. Maybe you can make a business out of it? If so, let me know (and send me a cut).
  3. Make sure that the billboard is not on a major highway. Beyond all the traffic, who is really looking at it? Do the research and make sure that the billboards are near office parks. The price may be lower since you are not near a major intersection, but at least the traffic will be more targeted. And speaking of location, do yourself a favor and put your tax dollars to work. The Department of Labor keeps stats on occupational trends. For example, <– reports on what counties in Ga are projected to be hiring and in what and which counties are expected to be doing the hiring. Make sense?

Good luck with your search.


How to Get The Job You Really, Really Want (Part 3)

Let’s imagine that you are a Software Engineer and your dream job is to work for Microsoft and develop the next version of Halo. Do you want to stack the deck in your favor? Try this sneaky / strategic move. Find a resume of someone already working there and match your resume as closely (and honestly) as you can to it. For example, here is a search string that will help you find the resumes of Software Engineers who work for Microsoft and have had some experience with the XBox.

intitle:resume software (engineer OR developer) xbox “microsoft corporation” -your -submit -apply

For the unschooled, with the above search string I am asking Google to look for the term “resume” in the title of a web document, the term software, the term “engineer” or :developer,” also bring back documents that have the words “Xbox” and “Microsoft Corporation,” but not “your,” “submit” or “apply.”  The terms your, submit and apply are typically on job descriptions which is why I do not want them in my search results. I am seeking resumes. ( For more info on this type of thing, check out my recruiter training website. )

Out of those results, I found a resume of particular interest, a former “Development Lead” working in the XBox Division of Microsoft. Check out some of his work history.

Now why do I suggest that you mimic someone’s work history rather than say… a job description. Oh, let me count the ways…

  1. Job Descriptions tend to be too generic and often times do not give the job seeker enough information. I mean, think about it, how closely would a want-ad accurately describe all that you are responsible for at the office? (Especially when companies are ascribing more work, but not more money.)
  2. Who is evaluating your resume? An experienced recruiter with years of hiring in the industry or a junior recruiter who is only checking for keywords? There is no way you can know! However, if an experienced recruiter and a junior recruiter can scan your resume and see you doing things that present day employees are doing, chances are they will consider you more qualified. Furthermore, a hiring manager can look at your resume and their “gut” will tell them that you would be a good fit since you have done so much of what their workers are presently doing. Make sense?
  3. If you look at someone’s resume and you cannot reasonably adapt your resume to fit what they have done, then maybe its not really the job for you. Make sense?

Okay, I’m done for now. More tomorrow…


How to Get The Job You Really, Really Want (Part 2)

In my last post I mentioned Linkedin, so in this one I am going to keep that vibe going. In this post, I am going to go a bit deeper in what I posted yesterday. In so many words, find people who work for a company you are interested in and then ask them refer you to the company. If you are hired, they get the employee referral bonus.

Step 1: Look for a gig on Linkedin by going to –> In the screenshot below, I am (a) looking for a Project Manager role. (I also noticed that Linkedin has scanned my profile and (b) suggested jobs I may have an interest in.

Step 2: Click on one of the jobs. In this case, I choose to click on the job posted by Home Depot. If I wanted to change my mind, I would add more keywords to my search (see arrow below).

Step 3: I see who posted the job and I also see several people in my network that can connect me to that person. Cool!

What would I see if I had no networked connection to that recruiter? I would see other people in my network that work there (check out the example below) or (theoretically) I would see a message from Linkedin asking me to invite more people into the Linkedin network.

Happy Hunting!


How To Get the Job You Really, Really Want (Part 1)

A very good friend of mine is a brilliant fellow named Otis Collier. We have worked together on several occasions and are planning to do a VERY cool project together in the near-future, but more on that later. I wanted to share with you guys a job hunting strategy that he shared with me that was like… “Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Its like… so obvious and would work too.” But I digress, here is his plan, something I call “The Otis Collier Method” (Patent pending)

Step 1: Find a job that you want.

Step 2: Find out if the company has an employee referral program. (And who doesn’t these days?)

Step 3: Approach someone in the company and say, in so many words, how would you like to make a couple of bucks? All you have to do is forward my resume to your company recruiter. If I get hired, you get the employee referral bonus. If I do not get hired, its bad for me, but nothing happens to you. Its a no-risk way to earn extra cash with VERY little work.

How smart is that? I thought it was very smart. In fact, as soon as he shared that gem with me, the little hamster in my mind started running in a wheel. Does every company have an employee referral program? Hmm… The quickest (and easiest) way to find out is to go to the career section of the company I am interested in and look at their Career section. I am chomping on some Frosted Flakes as I brainstorm this, so let me look up the Kellogg’s website to show you what I mean.

Okay, so, if employee referral programs are mentioned on company career pages… Hmm… yup! There is a way I can search that on Google. For example…

Hmm… For that matter, I could do the same thing on a job board.

Okay as I look at the results I am getting, I am thinking that they are just too broad, so I refine my searches a bit more by adding more keywords like a job title or industry. For example…

Okay, so I say okay a lot, I’m still thinking.


Once you have confirmed the company you have an interest in has an employee referral program or you have found another company that does, contact an employee who works there. How? There are a lot of ways to do that, but I suggest researching Linkedin. Do you know how to do that? If not let me know and maybe I will write up something on that.

For now, happy hunting!