Thursday, February 23, 2012

Looking out for #1

Quick tip this week but it’s a good one.  I get a lot of calls from people asking me to help them with their job search.  I love it, always fun to help people find new gigs even if it’s not with my current employer (um Google that)......but I worry about something.  I worry that people expect miracles from my advice and for magic job offers to arrive at the end of our conversation.

Um, not likely...

So, here is the tip.  Only you can get your next job.  There is no networking guru or silver bullet that your buddies can shoot and get you a job.  You, and you alone have to find that great gig.  People like me can help, give advice and make connections for you.  But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to look out for #1 and convert those leads into jobs.

Got it? get networking and find a great gig

Monday, February 20, 2012

Career Advice from James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States

Guessing most of you are like, um who?  So, first a quick summary.  James K. Polk was the 11th President of the United States and has pretty much been lost in history due to far more famous presidents like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and others.  I just finished reading a biography about Polk and found him fascinating.  Tons of accomplishments and what amazed me the most was that he committed to being a one-term President...and despite his success..he stuck to that pledge.  You can read a bunch more about him on Wikipedia or pick a book on him here I actually found a few recruiting and career tips from, here we go:

Say what you are going to do, and do it - Polk ran on a pretty straightforward platform.  He was going to annex Texas and Oregon, reform the tariff system and redefine the banking system of the country.  And he did.  Pretty amazing when you think of politicians today who say one thing and do another...but whatever, this isn’t a political blog.  The lesson, he told everyone what he was going to do before getting the job and then came through on that promise.  So, when you take a new job and you make commitments during the interview process stick to them and you’ll have happier coworkers.

Time fades all accomplishments, no matter how great - Did you know Polk expanded the size of the US more than Jefferson?  Think about that, the Louisiana Purchase that we all study in school is actually smaller than what Polk acquired....who knew?  The lesson, no matter what you do in a job, time will fade your accomplishments.  So, if you want to have a truly great have to keep doing great things.  One great accomplishment does not make a great makes a flash in the pan.  Keep pushing hard to do great things in your job and you’ll have a great career.

Your health is more important than your job - Being President pretty much killed Polk.  He left office very sick and died four months after leaving office.  Crazy if you think about it.  The lesson, life is more important than work.  No matter how great or difficult your job, it’s not worth your health.  So, if you find yourself in a job that is literally killing you...get a new one, it’s not worth it.

That’s it, simple yet sweet advice from the 11th President of the United States James K. Polk.  With a little luck I’ll get another post or two up this week.  Until then, good luck out there!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Job Tip of the Week - February 11th 2012

The goal of these weekly tips is to give you quick, short pieces of information you can use in your job search.  Nothing else, short and sweet.  So, with that....

This tip is huge in my book.  Frequently when you get an offer, you negotiate.  Right?  Push back and maybe ask for a few more bucks an hour, more vacation, sign-on bonus...whatever.  The point here is when you are negotiating it's important to do it either on the phone or in-person.

No emails, no voice mails...when you're negotiating do it directly with the recruiter, manager or HR person.  Leaving a voice mail or sending an email makes you look like you are avoiding the conversation.  Take a deep breath, have the conversation and get the job.

Got it?  Good luck out there this week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recruiting lessons from my trip to the Super Bowl

Ok, so as some of you know, I was at the Super Bowl in Indy last weekend watching my Patriots lose AGAIN to the Giants.  So yeah, that was great...not!  But, I did have some time (mainly on long flights and drives) to contemplate a few lessons that will be helpful and relevant to your job search.  Here we go, job search lessons from my Super Bowl experience:

You can’t make every catch - Yeah, I’m thinking still about the Wes Welker drop.  Coulda, woulda, shoulda...the moral is that you just can’t possible do it 100% right every time.  You can’t ace every interview, it’s impossible.  Remember that when you don’t get a job and you’ll be in a much better place next time you interview.  We are all human (even Wes) and humans make mistakes sometimes.

Mental errors kill - Ah, Rob Ninkovich lining up in the neutral zone.  BRUTAL mental error that really hurt the Pats chance of winning the game by giving the Giants another shot on 3rd down.  But you know what?  Mental errors happen, and, most of us are humans so we make mistakes.  When looking for a job or interviewing the trick is to minimize mental errors and do the best you can.  What do I mean by mental errors?  Swearing in interviews would be one....I’ve seen it, not pretty.

Small things matter - Ever hear of Steve Weatherford?  He’s the Giants punter and he KILLED the Pats on Sunday night.  Every punt was a thing of beauty.  He made the game very difficult by pinning the Patriots deep in their own zone all game.  Recruiting link?  Sometimes it’s not the big things in your experience that’s the little things.  The little things like the way you smile when you meet someone or remember to follow up with a “Thank You” note that mean the difference between an offer or not.  So, next you interview channel Steve Weatherford and sweat the small stuff.

Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good - The Giants fumbled three times during the game...and all three times the fumbles bounced back to the Giants. Random.  Rarely happens.  The ball bounces differently and my Pats win.  Crazy.  The recruiting lesson?  Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good.  I once interviewed with a guy who LOVED the Red Sox.  We talked baseball for about half the interview and I got the job....pretty sure my recruiting skills were important too but if that guy was interested in cooking or physics I’d have been toast.  

That’s it for now, still recovering and I can barely talk...ugh, more tea for me! Until next time, good luck out there hopefully the economy is getting better!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Man, my resume sucks!

I look at a lot of resumes, some good and many bad.  I was going through my standard “New year, update the resume” exercise and had a revelation.  Please note, I’m not looking for a new job at all....every year since graduating from college I’ve updated my resume in January.  Some people garden, I’m a dork about resumes what do you want from me?  I never claimed to be cool...

So anyway, I opened up my resume and realized that mine, REALLY sucks.  Tons of wasted space, no real flow and a bunch of useless garbage that I should just delete. Pretty sure it's in some terrible 1998 format too...seriously, WTF Jeff.  

I think it’s time to blow the thing up and start over...alas, that’s another blog....  

But this got me thinking, if my resume sucks (and I’m some sort of “expert” apparently) than why not give a few tips and try to build a better resume.  Based on my terrible resume...a few thoughts taken directly from mine:

1) Don’t waste space - I think I probably waste about 7 lines at the top of the page showing off “Jeffrey T. Moore” and my contact, fail!  Space is like gold, your address isn’t THAT important.

2) Get to the point! - My resume has a ton of babble...awful.  So, streamline your thoughts and write concise sentences that get to the point and show off your skills.  Not sure why, but reading my resume made me think of the “today junior!” scene in Billy Madison

3) Show how you’ve grown - Clearly I’m a different person than I was 14 years ago when I started wouldn’t know it reading my resume.  Looks like I kind of do what I bad.  Anyway, your resume should flow and show how you’ve progressed and grow throughout your career.

4) Shine some light on your talents - Ok, I do this pretty well on my resume but yeah, I’m one for four...  A good resume shows off your skills and screams “We need to talk to this person!” when someone reads it.  Figure out what you do well and make sure it shines though your resume.

Ok, that’s it this week.....I need to rewrite this thing, it’s awful.

Good luck out there, New Year = New Opportunities!