Weekend Fish Wrap: Best Get You A Snappy Resume


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...]

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...]

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...]

Internal Customer? Oh, you mean, “Welfare Recipient”

Buy My Fish, by David Burliuk

No shirt, no shoes, no service. Might add to this, bad attitude, irrationality, hatefulness and inappropriate behavior. All or any might lead the small businessperson to cut their losses and decline to bid, as it were. Potential and/or future customers some people might be, but the pain of their interaction outweighs the benefit of their business. "Right then, thank you Sir, there's the door, and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out." The Myth of Internal Customers This clearly isn't possible with "internal customers" and internal markets. In a large corporation, you can't decline to bid. Neither party to the internal transaction has a vote on with whomever they can do business. A corporate accountant must reconcile the … [Read more...]

The One With The Most Data Wins

The meeting did not go well for Tyler the intern  (all photo credit to Luca Galuzzi)

Continuing on with a series on career and business tips and observations, gleaned from hanging around people with too much gray in their not-enough hair. You are invited to a meeting. Because you are quick and clever, you've remembered to bring pen and paper. The ostensible purpose of business meetings is to share information and make decisions. But because business is conducted by humans, and some humans eat their young, all too frequently the meeting's agenda will turn into a search for the guilty and punishment of the innocent.* That innocent would be you. Dare to walk unprepared into the lion's den at your own peril.  The meeting isn't a walk in the park, it's a buffet dinner in the Serengeti... and you're appetizer, … [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...]

Caffe’ Corretto: How to Properly Accept a Job Offer

"Black Coffee" -- Aubrey Beardsley, 1895

Time for a serious coffee break.  Caffe' Corretto is something you need to drink when you need all your wits sharp about you, and yet other people's stupidities life's little mysteries have got you baffled and in need of getting hammered a little fortification.  Today, it's a strong cup of Cafe Bustelo from the French press, with a healthy shot of Wild Turkey 101.   Right, then...   First best way to accept a job offer:  "It's a good and fair offer, I accept" Second best way to accept a job offer:  "I would like to think about this and discuss with wife/husband, and get back to you latest by 9 a.m. tomorrow." There is no third best way. Worst way to accept a job offer:  "I'd like to think about it … [Read more...]

A Labor Shortage? Surely You Can’t be Serious…

Notice anything about this fellow?  I'll give you a hint: gray hair.  Retirement looms. "Worker finishes the neck on a Martin guitar at the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, PA. - Oct 2008"  (photo by dtaw2001 - released into the public domain - thanks, dtaw2001!)

China running short of people?  But they've got a billion and a half people over there. Labor shortage? Surely you can't be serious... I am serious, and don't call me Shirley. And I'm going to prove my point with headlines and comments, because I'm feeling a little pressed for time this morning. This from the UPI, dateline about a month ago: Labor Shortage Hits China's Export Base BEIJING, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- A labor shortage in Guangdong province, China's main production and export center, has hit its labor- and service-intensive industries, officials said Wednesday. The province, bordering Hong Kong, is facing a shortage of about 800,000 workers, said a spokesman with the province's department of human resources and social … [Read more...]

Need A Career Change? Try Welding…

There are some jobs that will likely never migrate offshore.   People like educators and medical personnel and other professions that require face-to-face interaction. And making big things.    Three-hundred-foot high wind towers, composed of rolled cylinders of heavy three-inch-thick steel plate at the base, are not economically transported from China to Western Oklahoma. They’re manufactured in Texas or Kansas plants, close to their final locations. The welding work force is getting older.  Walk through any steel fab shop, and headfuls of gray hair are not unusual.  It’s not a profession that seems to attract the younger generation. Although large fabrications are not easily offshored, the continuous drain of … [Read more...]