Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Resume Reconstruction Part I - Get rid of your Objective

Ok, so it’s been ages since I’ve blogged but honestly, it’s been a great 6 month break.  Much needed.  I feel refresh and energized to start blogging again so I hope you’re ready.  I’ve got a bunch of content lined up so it should be fun again...which is always important for me.

Quick update on me before this weeks topic….we are settled quite nicely out here in CA.  It’s farking expensive but the weather, availability of most everything and live at the Mothership it’s hard to complain.   I’m still a boy of the 603 but the 408 isn’t so bad.

With that, I’ve been talking to a lot of recruiter friends (nod to referrer!) and have come to a’s time for a resume revolution.  The whole state of resumes is terrible.  The entire thing is just messed up.  Most of them don’t tell the right story and get good candidates rejected without any conversation.  So, for me, that tells me it’s time to just nuke the whole approach and start fresh.  Let’s start at the top and take a look at the “Objective”.

Honestly, I’ve probably read about a million of these things and for the most part they all suck.  The objective of your resume is to get you a job (or the job).  Period.  End of story.  The objective really isn’t to get you a rewarding and challenging position that blah blah blah blah blah…’s to get you the job.

True story, I’ve received SEVERAL resumes where the objective has resulted in an instant reject.  I mean, instant.  Sending a recruiter that says “To find a role at WRONG COMPANY” will get you rejected immediately.  Last one I saw was looking for a role at Amazon….that’s great, I love Amazon but um, I don’t work there.  Trash. I’m not a big fan of just complaining so in lieu of an Objective what should you do?  Here are a few options.

1) Don’t stress it.  Start your resume with your best attribute (Education or Experience) so when a recruiter or manager sees your resume it JUMPS to their attention.  This is always my preference on a resume.

2) Start with a summary of skills or experiences.  I don’t love this to be honest but if you’ve got a bunch of skills/experiences that an employer will really value than sum them up, show them off and then dig into the details later in your resume.

Make sense?  I hope so, my big issue with resumes right now is that they are filled with junk and don’t truly show off what makes a person exceptional….so over the next few posts we’ll blow it up.  I leave on vacation this week but will be posting from parts unknown….until then, enjoy the week

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Five signs your career is undergoing the zombie apocalypse…

I had a fantastic conversation with my boss this week joking about how shows like “The Walking Dead” are kind of a funny analogy for work.  Well, we were laughing but it’s probably not that funny if you are in a dystopic professional state...but hey, no one said this blog is for SERIOUS advice.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how when you sense the zombie virus is invading your career….it’s time to run.  So, to help you out...a few signs your career may be going zombie:

You wander around aimlessly - It’s probably time to find a new job is you find yourself wondering around from task to task and not really engaging your brain.  What are you doing?  What are you looking for?  Work is a chance for you to use your brain and exercise your smarts.  You’re probably in a culture or company that doesn’t value thought if you find yourself aimlessly staggering through your day.


You eat brains - This one is important.  You are no longer to accept good ideas or engage in real conversations...basically, you eat brains.  You laugh, but it’s true.  We’ve all meet with someone who just says no to everything, never adds what we should do...and just destroys the conversation.  Zombie Brain Eating Coworkers...get a new job.

You take weapons everywhere - Well, not literally but you get the point.  If you find yourself always getting ready for battle or an ambush at work...not good, beware.  You really want to work in a place where you can debate issues on their merit and have a robust conversation...not have to bring your weapons to keep you safe from the brain eaters.

You’re constantly overwhelmed - Ok, so did you see World War Z?  The scene where the zombies totally overwhelm Israel freaks me out….crazy.  Anyway, a lot of companies with bad cultures have this kind of crazy non-sensical hoard mentality where one person gets infected with an idea….and boom, everyone goes nuts for it.  Bad corporate cultures are like cults or zombie infections…..bad ideas dominate and overwhelm anyone who gets in the way.

You’re friends keep disappearing - This one is kind of obvious.  In all of these shows/movies people die.  Friends just kind of go away or get left behind.  It’s time for a job change when all of your friends are quitting or leaving.  Attrition is the dirty secret companies don’t like to talk about...some attrition is healthy and good for the organization but bad companies have unhealthy attrition rates because people realize it’s not a great company.  If you notice friends disappearing….start looking around.

Ok, that’s it this week.  Obviously just a funny blog but the point is really serious.  Bad companies or bad cultures are just not cool and rather that fight the and find a place you can settle down a bit and really grow your career.

Final note, if people at your company ever dance like the zombies in the Thriller video… should stay there because that dance is just amazing.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Four years of

Ok, so I got a notice today that my blog is 4 years old...honestly, it's been probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I'm certainly no blog king or any kind of expert but I like to think in a way, I've added something to the community and helped a few folks have a better career along the way.

If you've never blogged but wanted to do it, just do it.  Trust me on this, you won't regret it and you'll probably learn even more than you share...I know I have learned WAY more than I've shared.

 Anyway, here's to another 4 years and sharing a few random pieces of info about my blog I don't generally share but think are kind of cool.  Hope you enjoy.

39 people read my first post.....thanks Mom, Dad,, tough start

151 people read my blog during it's first MONTH of existence.....yeah, I rule.

About 1500 people read my blog a month when I'm not writing much (see now), when I actually write 4-6 posts a month that number jumps to about 3500.....that blows my mind.

Since I started this blog, people have read my posts 75,000 times...which is just silly and humbling.

The post "My review of The Google Resume" had about 5500 people read it, the second most popular is "Thinking about a career in recruiting?" which ironically still gets about 50 new views a week.  Weird but awesome.

Most of my readers come via which is cool.....the second most via @JeffreyTMoore on Twitter so follow me if you don't already....

The large majority of my page views are from the US, like 60% but every day and week someone internationally reads what I've got say....just today for example, people in 10 different countries read my blog.  Again, humbling and really shows how small and interconnected the world is when a dude from NH writes a blog that gets read in China......(damn!)

I run ads on the blog but have never made any money....note to self, fix that.  Anyone want to help?

That's probably about it for cool blog stats and insights.  Like I said, I don't generally share much info about the back end of the blog but I find it so amazing that after 4 years I thought it would be fun.

The only other thing I can say is THANK YOU!  Honestly, I never thought I'd get 100 people to read my ramblings and it's by far the most rewarding thing I've done. So if you're a loyal reader (you guys know who are you) or some random person in China who is wondering what the hell this dude with he laser beams is saying....cheers to you all.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest Blog!! Common Sense Rules for Recruiters!!

I'm excited to have a guest blogger this week!  My dear friend Nell, she pretty much rules and is a ton of fun.  Like I said last week, I'm hoping to have more guest posts and this is the first.  With that, I'll let Nell tell you about a few basic rules for recruiters....needless to say, I love the last two.  Enjoy!

Common Sense Rules for Recruiters

One of the advantages to being a “senior” member of a recruiting team is that I have a lot of years (i.e. I’ve been doing this for a LONG time) from which to glean my knowledge and experience. I also recognize that the means with which we can now do our job has changed drastically and will continue to evolve as technology improves (sidenote: I remember when a former boss finally agreed to fore go the Rolodex for a desktop computer for each of us and watching her point her mouse at the screen like a garage door opener) but common sense and basics of how we do our job and conduct ourselves as recruiters should not.  

Far too often I hear stories from candidates and hiring managers about recruiters who more closely resemble used car salesmen or glorified paper pushers than professional recruiters and it absolutely makes my skin crawl.  Here are just a few of the common sense/basic rules that we should all be following:

  • You are often the first impression a candidate has of the company. Just like you are passing judgment on their skill set and experience, a candidate is assessing if the way you treat them is indicative of how employees are treated within your organization.  So regardless of their qualifications, always be respectful. Always.

  • When you are interviewing (phone or in-person) pay attention to THEM.  Don’t multi-task just because they can’t see you, and don’t check your email or take a call while they are sitting in front of you.  Ever.

  • If a co-worker or hiring manager isn't returning an email or if you are going back and forth over email and not getting anything resolved, pick up the damn phone and call them OR walk to their office and actually talk to them.  It’s amazing how well TALKING to someone actually works.  Technology is awesome but not always the best means to communicate.

  • Follow through with your candidates and hiring managers. If you say you are going to do X, then do it. Duh.

  • Pay it forward. Every week you should do something or help someone else find a job or make the one they’re in better.  When I was unemployed several years ago I was shocked at the number of people who went out of their way to help me. I was equally as shocked by the number of fellow recruiters who didn't return my calls or emails. 

and last but not least…

  • If you don’t enjoy recruiting or being a recruiter, then get a new job -- you’re making those of us who love it, look bad.

Find me at or on Twitter @nellthayer

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog update and a few news items

Ok, it's been like two months since my last post...needless to say, things have been a little crazy.  With that here are a few updates!

1) My writers block is gone (nod to Ted!) so that's good news.  You'll start seeing more posts over the next few weeks.  If you have any topic requests, let me know and I'll do my best.  The plan is to get into my weekly schedule again with a few random one off updates too.

2) The last 8 weeks have been crazy for me.  We bought a house and got stuck in the Boston area for an extra 4 days over the holidays.  Since getting back, we closed on the house and are doing a bunch of renovations....note to self, that sucks

3) I'm going to be trying to do a few more guest blogs and have folks post on my site too.  First one is this week from my dear friend Nell.  You can find her @nellthayer on Twitter.

4) At some point I owe everyone a "My move to the Valley" post but damn it's been too busy to think lately.  Maybe in June I can do the "One year later" post.....that seems like a good idea.

5) Expect a few "moving sucks", "renovations are a pain", "I'm tired" posts over the next few weeks...move date is on the books so things will continue to be crazy but feeling a little like General McArthur so look out...