Weekend Fish Wrap: Best Get You A Snappy Resume

penut-no

The Fish Wrap: a semi-random assemblage of mildly interesting linkage, mostly centered around business+finance topics, sometimes from personal finance blogs. A carnival of sorts, arranged in no consistent fashion, indifferently curated. Best get you a snappy resume? Why? Because the recruiter will "Command +F the crap out of it", looking for important like keywords like Ruby on Rails. Because another recruiter just abhors cover letters.  Yet another one loves them. Recruiters spend 30 seconds per resume. Or six seconds.  Maybe seven. They use CV-scanning software. Except when they don't. Who the hell knows? Bottom line, read the post for a range of perspectives, including ones from countries other than the … [Read more...]

Tales from the interviewing trenches: Details matter! (Career tip #17)

Maybe should ditch the bowler hat and cane, but otherwise a finely dressed gentleman ready for a job interview

For want of a nail, the war was lost. For want of trimming your nails, the job was lost. That's right.  Go into an interview with nasty overgrown nails, and someone might notice, and not in a good way. What does that say about you?  It's a little details, but the job you're applying for might be all about details.  Don't do regular grooming, and who knows what else you might miss?* It's all about the basics: Wear a nice suit and tie, if it's a professional position.  Guys, that does doesn't mean a polyester-blend blue blazer with brass buttons, dockers and a garish tie.  A modicum of fashion sense might not help, but it won't hurt, neither.   Ladies, a well-tailored suit will always win the day.   If not a professional … [Read more...]

Don’t Misunderestimate the Salescallsiness of a Job Inteview (Career Tip Number 20)

CHEESY SALESMAN ALSO 443087220_a33182667f_o

That's right, salescallsiness [1]. Not entirely a proper word, but it conveys the urgency  and passion that candidates should feel when they're sitting across the table from *any* prospective employer, be it a company looking to hire, or a prospective customer looking to hire their services[2]. The listless salesperson will be vanquished by the one with zeal and passion.  The unprepared by the prepared.  And the indifferent by the one who engages the prospect and stokes their interest.  Remember  A=attention, I=Interest, D=Decision and A=Action? Picture this: a candidate travels all the way across North America to a job interview for a six-figure professional position.  Does she take notes? Does she ask thoughtful, … [Read more...]

Stupid Interview Questions (Career Tip #19)

"Leo Tolstoy Working At A Round Table" (and writing down rockin' interview questions) - Ilya Repin, 1891

  A long-running series on career tips for, well, for anyone. It started out as a series of advice to young people starting out in the workforce, from someone with more than a little gray in his hair.  And now, just observations and reflections on job and career.  Other examples can be found here and here. Stupid interview questions.  No, not open-ended saws asked by employers, like "Tell us about yourself". These are the questions that interviewees themselves may be at some point be prompted to ask, and which are most always flubbed. The unprepared will blankly stare and offer nothing.  The mildly prepared will let fly, for form's sake, with canned questions lifted from career websites.  The truly prepared will use … [Read more...]

Knowledge is Power. So are Ferraris.

fast-track career

Knowledge is power.  True.  And knowledge without practical wisdom is about as useful as a black highlighter pen. So, what better way to gain the knowledge and wisdom necessary for a fast-track advancement of your business career that to re-visit a few nuggets from the 101C archives (we'll get to Ferraris soon enough). Career Tip #13:  Bring Pen and Paper - Not necessarily in chronological or numerical order, but still crucial to come armed with an old fashioned pen or pencil and a scrap of paper.  Taking notes on an iPhone is cumbersome and silly. Understanding the small print… clauses, codicils and other buzzkills - RTFC!  If you don't already know what that means in engineering-contract-speak, you'll need to go read about … [Read more...]

Ten Things You Can Do To Impress People At Work

"Baking the bread" - Anders Zorn, 1889

Another in a growing series of tips for a decent career in the workplace.  Other examples can be found here and here. Working for the Man takes some doing. The workplace can be a political jungle, populated with hazards like vengeful Vice Presidents, ambitious underlings, and fearsome human resources trolls who are just waiting for a chance to eviscerate your career with razor-sharp talons. Fear not, here's the prototypical blog list of ten things you (yes, you!) can do to get ahead and impress people at work.  Some of them may require effort, some not so much. #1 - Get Up Early. Up outta that warm bunk and hit the ground running, soldier!  The early bird catches the worm, or at least orders up the Starbucks Venti Latte-to-go … [Read more...]

Getting Laid Off Sucks

You're Fired!  --- "Study for the Execution of Emperor Maximilian" - Edouard Manet, 1867

So you're getting laid off.  Shown the door, fired, canned, axed, sacked, or "termed", in cutesy HR-speak. Whatever the circumstances, the first thing to do is NOT to "consider" doing anything except gathering whatever shreds of self-esteem are left, and man UP!   That's right, sweep up the shards of that shattered ego, stand up straight, and put a smile on your face.  Be sure to shake the hand of your executioner(s), crack a few jokes, and walk out that door with head held high. Getting Laid Off Sucks More precisely, it *really* sucks.  Been there and done it, on both sides of the table.  Have fired and have been fired. Been there when there's gnashing of teeth (bearable) and gushing of tears (not so much). Getting canned … [Read more...]

“Quick, Help Me Find A Career!”

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'...

  A "career?" How entitled. With nationwide unemployment bouncing, skipping and hopping all around the 8 to 9 percent mark --- if government reporting is taken with large grains of (kosher) salt and a tequila shot or two --- how can theater and anthropology majors still be wishing on a star for a career? How about help you find a job?  (bold and italicized) Regular work ennobles, makes you get up on time, and gives you enough to buy Ramen noodles *and* pay off massive student debts.  Eventually. Let Your Fingers Do The Googling Try typing "labor shortage" in Google, and then hit "News".   OK, you'll mostly get stories about a farm labor shortage, pero mira  aquí , twelve bucks an hour picking lemons and … [Read more...]

Work Harder Than Europeans (Career Tip #18)

Nose, meet stone. Stone, meet nose.  Engage.

"Our goals should be the same as the Germans... work less". So quoth my old college professor of international business, in almost reverential tones. The Germans and other enlightened Europeans were held up as paragons of the good life, if not necessarily hard work and productivity.  This sentiment infests the Mainstream Media and commentariat: Why Americans should work less - the way the Germans do (The Guardian) Squeezed Dry - Why Americans work so hard, and feel so poor (The Atlantic) Why don't Americans have longer vacations (NY Times) American can learn from Europe on work-life balance (CNN) Why can't you be more like your cousin Wolfgang? He does all his homework, cleans his room every day, eats his peas, and … [Read more...]

Understanding the small print… clauses, codicils and other buzzkills

RTFC?  Pretty sure the US Government has stopped reading the contract for quite a while now....

RTFC! Read the f***ing contract!  That's a coaching mantra uttered by many a manager in E&C (Engineering and Construction) companies. Know what you're supposed obliged to do, what will make you money, save you money, or avoid massive pain down the contract road. "The customer wants us to gold-plate the railings", says the young project manager. "Is it in the contract?", answers his supervisor. "Err, I don't quite recall." "Well then, READ THE F***ING CONTRACT!"  (*) Whether  a beady-eyed charge-by-the-minute attorney combing through contract terms and conditions, a purchasing agent reading supplier proposals, or a prospective homeowner despairing that the bloody contractor will ever get his sh*t together and … [Read more...]