Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Now that you got the job

Matt Youngquist just published a "Brag" post on his blog and he said some things that are so spot on.  Career Horizons does a terrific job and it's important to recognize that and thank them.  This post takes a minute to ask the newly employed clients of Career Horizons to say thank you and to use their search as a source of growth.  I am hereby forwarding these thoughts to the folks from NFJS that have recently gone to work as well.  The following thoughts are paraphrased from Matt's post:

·        Say "Thank you" to all of the people who have helped you through an amazingly difficult process and time.  Even if the individual was simply an encouraging informational interview.
·        Follow up on all of the opportunities you were pursuing and let them know you are off of the market.  Say "Thank you." for whatever level of consideration they have given you.  Think about the number of times some employer simply dropped off of the map part way through the process and remember not to be like that.
·        Create a "Lessons Learned" document, maybe just notes, but whatever it is, make it something you can refer to over time and use in the future.
·        Remember all of the bad behavior you experienced and make a very focused effort to not repeat any of it.  If you are a hiring manager, work hard to create a process that is respectful of both the candidates and your company and actually addresses the questions that matter to you, your team and your company.
·        Take a breath.  Take a few minutes to be thankful.  If you can take some time off, do so.

Most importantly, congratulate yourself and give the next person the same respect you were looking for when you were on the market.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Watching the various “social networking” sites as they compete with each other is fascinating.  I don’t understand some of it, but then I’m used to some level of confusion much of the time anyway….

Linkedin is now positioning itself as a place to put your best case resume so you will be miraculously found by the employer of your dreams (and live happily after).  
Facebook has added “BeKnown” as the place to do your business networking and where you can post your resume and then have the employer of your dreams discover you, so you can live happily ever after….

Does anyone actually know someone that got recruited off of Linkedin?  I’m a Career Coach and work with between 150 to 200 people a year and have yet to encounter someone who had that happen.  I know that it does occur, it’s just not all that common. 
The challenge is that all of us bring a lot to the table and it is very unusual for all of it to apply to a particular job we’re interested in.  I’m an old guy, so I’ve had a lot of time to wear different hats, including Teacher, Salesman, Developer, IT Manager and now Career Coach and that doesn’t begin to capture my volunteer work.  Turns out I’m not all that unusual in today’s market.  I was told when I was in college that I would likely have 3 distinct careers, my kids were told to expect 7!  So back to Linkedin, Which of those skill sets do I represent?  Which set of accomplishments?  How do I represent them?  How do I capture 50 years of work history in 400 words or less?  For that matter, how would I capture 4 years of college in 400 words or less? 

Linkedin works great for claiming a set of experiences that demonstrate your brand, your core strengths, those things you always do.   It works really well for connecting to your business friends.  It is truly amazing for allowing us to know what those friends are doing today.  I’m not so sure about how good it does as an advertisement. 
Facebook is fabulous at helping us know what our personal friends are doing.  It also has some semi-serious security issues and it includes a connection to that cousin/friend we all have who has a few “boundary issues” and has been known to post the pics from his last trip to BurningMan…..  My point here is that BeKnown becomes a very hard sell, just because Facebook is so successful at creating/documenting personal and family communities.  Job-Hunt.org had some additional thoughts and took the time to post them here.

An additional consideration is the amount of time spent on the computer.  We have all heard that “networking” is the key to your next job, whatever your profession is.  While Linkedin and Facebook (and Biznik and ….) are fabulous at documenting and tracking our network, the primary source of new connections is getting out and meeting people.  I have certainly heard and read about people getting jobs via connections they have made and only made electronically, it just is not been the case for people I have worked with.  I also have yet to meet someone who has told me about this as something that happened to them, so hoping that it will work seems like a very bad percentage play. 
There are tools that we know work: custom resumes, Linkedin connections, letting your friends know you’re looking, volunteering, researching companies and following what they’re doing, etc.  Focusing on these is a full time job, adding a tool with very uncertain value doesn’t look all that exciting.