Resume, Job Help, & Job/Career Advice

Grand Potentate

Supporter of Possible Sexual Deviants
I have an acquaintance who's struggling with getting his resume noticed at the moment. I know there are a few other people on here with other career decisions at the moment. I know the SF Business forum has gone completely to shit, so I thought this might be a good time to start branching out.
I've taken a more active role in maintaining my LinkedIn profile over the last few months, but is it worth it?

Found out I didn't make Law Review today. Pretty bummed.

EDIT: Ok, actually really bummed. Like, came home from work and slept from 5-830 or so. Just has not been my year in things falling my way, and I'm freaking sick of it. The legal market is crap as it is, and you need every advantage to make yourself stand out, and I'm hating, hating, hating myself for letting this slip through my fingers, however it may have done (because you know that those review boards are as transparent as the Obama administration).
Harveybirdman you, sir, have just blown my mind.

LinkedIn does absolutely nothing for me. i should drop my membership. as for getting noticed, to me it's about being appropriate to the role, and being a good fit personality-wise.
LinkedIn does absolutely nothing for me. i should drop my membership. as for getting noticed, to me it's about being appropriate to the role, and being a good fit personality-wise.

I find linkedin to be extremely handy. Not only is it a great replacement for business card but they have a decent job search feature and I occasionally do get reached out to for potential opportunities.

It's value probably differs depending on your field but I certainly use it.
Also, keep that resume brief. Nobody wants to read all that shit.

In interview, keep your answers direct and to the point. If you go in there and start providing 10,000 word answers to simple questions, you're guaranteed not to get that job. Why? Because the person interviewing knows that you never shut up. In addition, the more words you use the less likely it is you know what you're talking about.

Saying I don't know is an acceptable answer. Unless of course it's a critical answer to the role; In this case you shouldn't be there in the first place.

Also, one of my strategies is to sort of take the interview over. Don't wait for them to ask you if you have any questions, Weave your questions in and turn the whole thing into a conversation. Generally, you leave the best impression when it appears a social interaction took place. People interviewing you are looking for someone that they can easily manage, I believe this trumps a perfect skill set.
I get recruiters on LinkedIn contacting me too. In fact that's how I found my current job.

I always thought the amount of people wanting to get into law school meant there was a gold mine waiting at the end of the rainbow.
I posted a few times on the other forum but my comments were mostly ignored so I gave up. I got my current job with a one page resume per Manager Tools. It was tough shrinking 8 1/2 years at one place and a bunch of internships into one page without resorting to size six font.
I started listening to Manager Tools around 2008 and at that time I had come back from an overseas assignment so I actually spent workouts trying to catch up from their original podcast while keeping up with the weekly ones. I still listen to Manager Tools weekly. In 2013, I returned from another international assignment so I dropped listening to the sister Career Tools cast.

I use all of the management trinity: one on ones, feedback, delegation and coaching. I'm probably the worse at coaching but the other three I stick to the model. I also adopted their way of setting up meeting agendas for my weekly staff meeting and I also have a monthly meeting with all my directs and skips. There were a few casts I shared with my key direct reports. I also borrowed their one on one form. I ditched using Myers-Briggs for personality profiling and subscribe to the DISC model now. I used to have my staff take the DISC test but I'm pretty good at guessing people's DISC models now after a few months of knowing them.

As for looking for help, I actually listened to the free resume podcasts and then I bought the interview series. I then forwarded them a draft of my resume and they sent me some feedback on it which I fixed. I prepared my interview cue cards and practiced similar to their recommendations although I just did it in front of a mirror rather than record myself but I did practice every day. I even tendered my resignation the Manager Tools way giving my old company a five and half week notice. It helped while I was looking for a job for ten months that I ended up bumping into my current boss who was also someone who listened to Manager Tools albeit a little less orthodox than me.

I'm finding after five years of podcasts I'm usually not that far off the mark on any topic muddling around on my own. Maybe I'm trained more on their mindset now. I'd still like to attend their one day workshops if I ever get time and money. I went to a few other management courses and frankly they are not as practical as Manager Tools. I don't have any formal training (i.e. MBA or whatever).

I feel really sorry for the first team I ever managed because I had some concepts but just didn't execute them very well. Manager Tools really helped put together a structure and I've applied that structure to three teams in two companies since.

5 Phrases To Close Your Cover Letter & Land The Interview

Writing a cover letter isn’t an easy task for many job seekers. There’s a lot of pressure because, sometimes, the cover letter is the only piece the recruiter will read. Therefore, your cover letter must be a piece of writing that describes your achievements and how you will help the company succeed.
Additionally, you want your cover letter to illustrate how you are the best fit for the company and for the reader to believe you have the qualifications they seek. If you want to land an interview with your cover letter, you don’t want to sound vague or wishy-washy. Your cover letter should illustrate why you are the best fit and how you will help the company or organization reach success.

However, when writing the closing paragraph of your cover letter, it’s easy to have a passive voice because you don’t want to appear overconfident. For example, if you say, “I look forward to hearing from you,” that’s great — but that alone doesn’t seal the deal. The closing paragraph of your cover letter must be one of the strongest elements because it is the last impression you leave in the reader’s mind.
Here are five phrases to include in the final paragraph of your cover letter that will help you seal the deal for your next interview:

1. “I am very excited to learn more about this opportunity and share how I will be a great fit for XYZ Corporation.” Strong cover letter closings are enthusiastic and confident. You want the reader to have the impression you are truly passionate about the position and working for their company. This statement will also illustrate your ability to fit into the company culture and how your personality and work ethic is exactly what they’re looking for.

2. “I believe this is a position where my passion for this industry will grow because of the XYZ opportunities you provide for your employees.” It’s always a good idea to explain what you find attractive about working for the company and how you want to bring your passions to the table. By doing this, you can illustrate how much thought you dedicated to applying for the position and how much you care about becoming a part of the company.

3. “If I am offered this position, I will be ready to hit the ground running and help XYZ Company exceed its own expectations for success.” By adding this piece to your conclusion, you will be able to add some flare and excitement to your cover letter. The reader will become intrigued by your enthusiasm to “hit the ground running.” Employers look for candidates who are prepared for the position and are easy to train. Therefore, this phrase will definitely raise some curiosity and the reader will want to discover what you have to offer for their company.

4. “I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how my qualifications will be beneficial to your organization’s success.” Remember, you want to make it clear in your cover letter how the employer will benefit from your experience and qualifications. You want to also express how your goal is to help the organization succeed, not how the position will contribute to your personal success.

5. “I will call you next Tuesday to follow up on my application and arrange for an interview.” The most essential part of your closing is your “call to action” statement. Remember, the purpose of your cover letter is to land an interview. Don’t end your cover letter saying you’ll hope to get in touch. Explain to the reader the exact day and how you will be contacting them. When you state you will be following up with the employer, make sure you do it!
Remember, the closing of your cover letter is the most important element that will help you land your next interview. By crafting a strong, confident, and enthusiastic closing paragraph, you will leave the reader feeling like you could be the best candidate for the position.
So, drafting a cover letter to fit both Fall OCIs and my independent search for 2L summer. Suggestions? How formulaic should it be as opposed to a real "letter"? (B/c all they offer in the counseling office are templates, etc.)

Would anyone mind forwarding me a particularly effective cover letter they've used so I can break it down and, yes, exploit it?
Not feeling it, although I think a resume should highlight skills in the context of a position or calling. But I want to know what cultures you've been exposed to, since personality fit is a big part of it.

That said, I helped someone out recently who had light work history and we focused on transferable skills in his roles.
That said, I helped someone out recently who had light work history and we focused on transferable skills in his roles.
What skills would be considered 'transferable'? And, more importantly, how would you highly those over work history?
What skills would be considered 'transferable'? And, more importantly, how would you highly those over work history?

Compliance work, for one thing. Inventory maintenance, reporting, scheduled maintenance all fall into this to a degree. Being able to train others is another. It's not an exact science, but you get the point.

Sales / fundraising for another. For instance, if you solicited donations for a cause, then you should have no trouble working A/R collections. Granted AR is more work than just picking up the phone, but I can count on my thumbs the number of collectors who can make a compelling case for payment - but you can train that provided said person is not shy about asking for $

Why work history matters is that it tells: duration and relative value to a company. Just because you have skills doesn't mean you're providing value to the company. I was looking at a resume and everything looked great work-wise - except the candidate hadn't lasted anywhere longer than a year. That's a red flag for me, which overrides the skills portion. You have to produce value.
Skills based resumes just end up in the bin for me when I screen. You have to tailor the work accomplishments (hence having a longer career document that can be excised for each application) to what you are applying for. If you are in Finance and you want to get into Actuarial, it is far easier to move roles within your company than move companies AND move roles.

Length is a telling indicator. You really can't achieve anything significant in less than two or three years. I hate people who apply for some managerial or junior executive position with six months in that same role. Six months lets you find the toilet and find out who your friends and enemies are. That's about it.
This Lifehacker article might be very useful for some of you guys. Copied in full here, but the comments at Lifehacker are worth reading as well.

How Can I Make LinkedIn More Useful in Landing a Job?
Melanie Pinola Today 10:00am 11,865 20

Dear Lifehacker,
On every job application, companies ask me for my LinkedIn profile. The problem is, I'm not really sure how to use LinkedIn and my summary is a complete mess. How can I improve it? Should it look like a cover letter or my resume? Help!

Lost About LinkedIn

How to Use LinkedIn to Increase Your Hirability
LinkedIn is the social network of choice for hooking up with people and companies professionally; in fact, one survey found that 86% of companies… Read…

Dear Lost,
When you’re looking for a job, it really pays to fine-tune your LinkedIn profile, since that’s the site companies and recruiters turn to first to find and evaluate job candidates. The good news is you can use LinkedIn to position yourself exactly how you want potential employers to see you. With so much flexibility, however, that’s also the hard part. Here’s how to tweak your LinkedIn profile specifically to help you land a job (or even just increase the number of opportunities that come your way, even after you’re done actively job searching).

Your Resume vs. Your LinkedIn Profile

When many people sign up for LinkedIn, they copy the basic details off their resumes into the wizard (e.g., job titles and employment dates) and then leave it at that. With such sparse details, however, that’s the career equivalent of joining an online dating site with nothing but your name, age, and location.

LinkedIn is often thought of as an “online resume,” but it’s really more than that and should be treated differently from your resume. Ideally you customize your resume specifically for a certain position and employer you’re applying to. Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, is a broader view of you as a professional. It should supplement the information on your resume, but not be an exact copy. Also, on LinkedIn you can be more personable in the way you tell the story of your career and what your professional goals are.

Our own Alan Henry (before he became a Lifehacker editor) gave this example of how LinkedIn can even help if you have a poor resume:

I’ve used LinkedIn in a number of ways - connecting with people I knew from jobs gone by is one, but lately I’ve used it more to check out prospective candidates applying for jobs at my current company than anything else. It’s really interesting to see how a candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile match up. In particular, I came across one candidate where their resume was chock full of buzzwords and I had all but written the person off, but their LinkedIn profile had a wealth of interesting and personal information about their accomplishments as well as endorsements from previous supervisors and colleagues. It actually made me reconsider the candidate in a lot of ways.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the main areas you should focus on in your profile to make it more attractive.

Tweak Your LinkedIn Profile for Search

You can make your LinkedIn profile much more effective if you tweak just three areas: Your photo, headline, and keywords you use in your profile. That’s because these are the only things that show up when an employer or recruiter searches for job candidates, and with over 225 million members on LinkedIn, it’s critical your profile gets to the top of search results for the types of jobs you’re looking for.

Profile Photo: The best photo for your LinkedIn profile is one that looks like a professional headshot—that means no blurry images, distracting background elements, or other people/animals in the photo (you’d be surprised at some of the profile pics you’d find on the networking site). Most important, make sure you have a photo in the first place. Otherwise you’ll look like a generic gray silhouette, which makes potential employers less likely to view your profile or trust you.

Headline: The headline is that blurb that goes beside your name at the top of the profile. LinkedIn puts in your title and company there by default, but you don’t have to leave it at that. By making your headline more descriptive with keywords that describe your skills, employers can get a better picture of you and you’ll show up better in search.

For example, instead of “Budgeting Director at Kelly Services,” you can make it “CPA/MBA | Deliver Timely, Accurate Management Information & Analysis for Decision Support | Budgeting Director, Kelly Services.” (Full disclosure: That’s an example from an infographic about LinkedIn mistakes I created with AvidCareerist’s Donna Svei, promoting my book about LinkedIn. Donna says adding credentials, like the CPA/MBA is wise to do for many industries and can help separate you from the pack.) My profile headline simply adds a few of the areas I specialize in writing about: technology, personal finance, telework, and "life hacking."

Keywords: To make your profile more relevant to potential employers and more easily found, incorporate the most important words associated with your job. For example, keywords like “MySQL databases” or “social media strategist.” A good way to find those three to five important keywords to pepper your profile with? Copy the description from an ideal job posting and paste it into

The best places to put those keywords are your headline, summary, and job titles—but incorporate the keywords as naturally as you can, rather than trying to force them in.

Enhance the Rest of Your LinkedIn Profile

The areas we tweaked above will help your LinkedIn profile be more visible. The other sections can be used to showcase your skills and experience.

Summary: The summary is your introduction to others on LinkedIn. It should sum up, in 200 to 300 words, what makes you unique as a professional: e.g., what you do, what you know, and how you would be an asset to a company. It's a place to tell your story, even if you just say “I’m a project manager with over ten years experience working in the online media industry.” When you're job seeking, you can also write the kinds of job opportunities you’re looking for (e.g., want to work with a non-profit or at a startup), list accomplishments you have, and more. A few other tips:

  • While this is the section to quickly “sell yourself,” it’s also a great place to let your personality shine through by writing naturally and avoiding formal (sometimes trite) job language, such as “mission-critical skills” or “focused team player”.
  • Include your contact information in the summary too, along with a list of your skills or specialties (e.g., "medical coding, certified professional coding certificate, CPT and ICD-9 coding").
  • To make your summary more readable, if you’re listing a lot of skills and specialties, bullet-point them.
Experience: The experience section most resembles a traditional resume. Here you’ll want to customize the skills and experience to your profession just like you should on your resume. While including those all-important job keywords, point out your measurable achievements.

Customize Your Resume to Your Profession
There's no one-size-fits-all resume template. Just as you should tailor your resume for each position you're applying to, your resume… Read…

Turn Work Experiences into Measurable Achievements on Your Resume
Job seekers are often advised to quantify their accomplishments on their resumes. But what if you're in a job without tasks or responsibilities… Read…

Other sections: The other profile sections let you add education, honors and awards, LinkedIn groups you've joined, and so on. You can even upload multimedia such as presentations to your profile. While these areas are optional, filling out your profile as much as possible will give potential employers a better sense of your background and strengths—and help you stand out from the crowd.

Finally, once you’ve set up your profile, remember to keep it updated and try to stay active on LinkedIn. Other tools LinkedIn offers for job seekers are job listings, company profiles (so you can do that important pre-interview research or find contacts at a company), and discussion boards (LinkedIn Groups) to help you stay connected.

By joining groups, updating your status, and growing your network connections, you'll become more visible on the network and connect to people who can possibly help you in your job hunt. After all, something like 80 percent of jobs aren’t advertised, so it’s really all about your network and how you present yourself professionally.

Good luck!

I read them all. Unfortunately I had one interviewee, after a great interview, ask for a few moments to "summarize" why he was a good fit. He then begins reading me his cover letter verbatim. I pulled out my copy of his letter, laid it flat on the desk so he could see it, and began tapping my finger on it. Didn't even budge, kept talking and began adding anecdotes. Hour-and-a-half interview. He went from 2nd choice to out of the running.
i had a candidate ask me to critique her interview at the end of the interview.
I was contacted by a recruiter who wants to meet me in regards to a job I applied for. Interesting thing is, she wants to meet at a local bakery to talk. Maybe i'm out of the loop on job interviews, but that seems odd to me. Has anyone ever had an initial interview take place at a restaurant or coffee shop?
beware Amway / Quixtar / Direct Marketing Pyramid Ponzi scheme. Although those most often took place at coffeeshops and truck stops and the people asking to meet were really really vague about the circumstances except to note that I had a purty mouth. (This was before the mask).
I was contacted by a recruiter who wants to meet me in regards to a job I applied for...Has anyone ever had an initial interview take place at a restaurant or coffee shop?
Well, my interview to be on the Selective Service board was at a Wendy's, but that's a volunteer job.
Recruiters are pimps and they have to make their rounds. The idea is presumably to avoid driving all the way back to the office so you can both wait around to talk for five minutes. Better to mix it with a coffee break in town. Order expensive food and drink, expect the recruiter to pay.

8 Errors You Must Stop Making in Your Job Search
By Alison Green

August 7, 2013
Every job searcher faces different challenges, but hiring managers see some of the same mistakes over and over again. Chances are good that if you're looking for a job, you're making some of these errors – and you might have an easier search if you resolve to change your ways.

Here are eight job-search missteps to put an end to today.

1. Trying to read into every word or action from your interviewer. Because job searching can be so stressful, many job seekers try to find clues about their chances in everything an employer says and does. This leads to frustrating and generally fruitless attempts to parse every word from an interviewer – "Was she signaling I didn't get the job when she said they had more candidates to interview?" "Is it a good sign that he shook my hand and said he'd be in touch?" More often than not, these "signals" don't mean anything at all, and just drive candidates crazy trying to read between the lines.

2. Stressing out over elements of your job applications that really don't matter. Employers really don't care whether you spend time tracking down the hiring manager's name or just address your cover letter to "dear hiring manager," so don't put time into that. Similarly, most hiring managers really don't care what your résumé design looks like as long as it's organized and easy to skim, or whether your post-interview thank-you note is handwritten or emailed. Don't sweat the little stuff; put your energy into showing your qualifications and why you'd excel at the job.

3. Scrimping on the cover letter. If you're applying for jobs without including a compelling cover letter, one that's customized to this specific job, you're missing out on one of the most effective ways to get a hiring manager's attention. A cover letter is your opportunity to make a compelling case for yourself as a candidate, totally aside from what's in your résumé. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't write one tailored to each job for which you apply.

4. Thinking that you have the job before you have an offer. Too often, candidates see good signs from an employer and think it means that they're going to get an offer – only to be crushed when the offer never comes. And not only does this regularly lead to disappointment, it can also lead you to make bad decisions for yourself – like not continuing to apply for other jobs or even turning down interviews because you think your search is over. Never assume that you're getting the job until you have a formal offer.

5. Not explaining why you'd excel at the job. If you're simply submitting a résumé that runs down where you've worked and what your job duties were, it's no wonder if you're not getting interviews. Hiring managers aren't nearly as concerned about what jobs you've held as they are about what you accomplished in those jobs. Your résumé needs to list specific accomplishments (like "increased Web traffic by 25 percent over 12 months" or "regularly recognized for highest number of customer compliments"), and your cover letter needs to explicitly address how your track record shows that you'd excel if hired.

6. Taking advice from people with no experience hiring. There's tons of advice on job searching out there – from your friends, your relatives and plenty of self-styled experts on the Internet – much of it contradictory. Before you take any job searching advice, think critically about the source. Is it someone with significant experience hiring people? And recent experience, at that? If not, that advice might not be worth much.

7. Taking it personally. It's easy to become personally invested in a job you think you really want and then be devastated when you end up not getting it. Many job seekers start to question what's wrong with them and what they were lacking – but most of the time, these decisions aren't personal at all. Often candidates get rejected not because they weren't well qualified but because someone else was simply a better fit. When there's one open slot and multiple qualified candidates, lots of great people will get rejected. You can't take it personally.

8. Forgetting to evaluate potential employers just as much as they're evaluating you. In the anxiety of an interview, it can be easy to focus only on whether you're impressing your interviewer, but it's crucial to remember that you should be thinking about whether you even want the job. The interview process isn't one-way; you should use the time to think about whether you're the right fit for the work, the manager and the workplace culture. Otherwise, you can end up in a job where you don't excel or aren't happy. So interview that employer right back before you make any decisions.
I have to admit that it took a long, LONG time to come around to a good answer to "So tell me about yourself". I mean, my backstory is common knowledge so I have to find new ways to tell what motivates me, how deep my waters run. That kind of stuff. And eventually it became a story that was less about me and more about how I became a masked supervillain rap artist.
I find "Great Day," remixed by Four Tet, to be one of the greatest songs ever. Even supervillians sometimes need somebody to lean on.
Rambo, that's an hour long. Red flag.

That advice should take 30 seconds: come in 20% above the job's max, hang tough for a while, then come down to 10% over. You'll land somewhere between the max and 10% over. When you feel weak, always remember they wouldn't be at this stage if they didn't want you and wont risk losing you for a few grand. Also remember that the salary you come in as is basically yours for a long time with shit raises every year unless you get promoted, it pays to fight for a solid starting salary.

Or you can be like those H1B idiots fucking everything up and offer yourself for 1/2 the asking.

Either one.

Here's the synopsis:

The First Thing to Do When Negotiating Your Salary: Make Them Like You
Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra offers fifteen pieces of advice on how to negotiate your salary or job offer. The first component, he says, in the negotiation equation is: "They need to like you."

By getting the other side to like you, they'll be more likely to want to help you, another critical component of the process. This means, as Eric Barker points out on Barking Up the Wrong Tree, that the negotiation strategies you use at the table matter much less than what you do leading up to it. From the video (about 2 minutes 45 seconds in):

A lot of the action that happens in the job market season isn’t necessarily at the table. It’s not when you’re sitting across the table from the person you’re negotiating with. It’s a lot of the stuff that happens before or after.

It's not just about merit or your strong arguments, though those matter too. Just don't forget the emotional component.

The video above is pretty long, but chock full of excellent negotiation advice.
I made a move three years ago and they gave me a 13% raise in total compensation and most of it was in the base salary. Hurray, I made a new income bracket. The problem is I never read the fine print and their contributions to my pension are dismal compared to my previous company. I find I'm spending all of my "extra pay cheque" a year bonus on trying to get to a reasonable tax break than at my previous firm where I just had to throw in a few thousand and I was at the maximum qualification. Also the benefits claim process at this place is exceedingly cumbersome. It's almost as if they chose a provider to avoid paying out. However, potential job seekers never really look at those things - like looking at women for their cup size.
Anyone work in sales? I got a strong lead on a job in the field that sounds like it might be a good opportunity. Would love some advice on how to approach it as I don't have any direct experience in the field.
PM globetrotter on SF. He deals in sales worldwide and heads his own team. Would definitely be able to give you some help in that regard.

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