Bag of Randomness

  • Many thanks to all of you that were kind enough to leave me a comment yesterday, it really, really touched my heart to know that people were happy for me.
  • I’m not comfortable saying who my new employer is.  If you noticed, I really haven’t done so since I’ve been at Southwest, but I have dropped numerous hints along the way to make it quite obvious.
  • I think I forgot to mention that another reason I was proud of myself was that I was able to land the job without any help or connections or any form of networking.
  • Some of you sent me a personal email asking for some advice regarding what to say in an interview, here are a few things I mentioned and asked in my interview that may help:
    • I’ll work as long as you want me to, as long as I get home in time to see Oprah.  It is her last season, you know.
    • So, just how sensitive are your Internet filters?
    • Me too . . . I love the Red Sox and Patriots!
  • OK, now for some real advice when it comes to this whole process of finding/landing a job since some of you have asked.  In one of the college classes that I teach I usually spend a good 45 minutes on this subject, but for you I’ll give you the KeithNote’s version, and because I really don’t have anything else to write about and I’m short on time to post other things, it’s good filler.  Some if this might be pretty obvious, but then again, maybe not.
    • If you are making an online resume, make sure to use specific key words for your field.  Recruiters do searches for those key words, and most rely on an automated search engine to get them leads.
    • There use to be a rule that a resume should only be one page, but that is no longer the case depending on your field and skill set and where you are in your career.
    • Avoid using Comic Sans font at all cost.  Just trust me.
    • If you see a job posted online and you want to get selected from all the other applicants, take the time to tailor your resume for that specific job and match it as close as you can to that job’s job description and responsibilities.  This way, you are basically doing the recruiters job for him and the like terminology will also help yield results as they search for key words.  A lot of folks make the mistake of using just one resume to apply for 100 jobs, and the shotgun approach just isn’t going to nail the target.  Forget the shotgun and focus on being a sniper.  Or in your case Scooter, a deer hunter with a bow and arrow.  Scooter is another guy that owns his own business and is his own boss, gosh I envy that.
    • If you are having trouble describing your skills in a resume, do a job search for your field and word smith from the job descriptions and responsibilities.
    • In one way or another you are going to be asked the following questions.  If you aren’t asked one of these questions, then the answers  you prepare for them can be pulled to help you with another question.  The key point I’m trying to make here is that you need to do some prep work so you will display that you are organized, can think quickly, and you won’t be second guessing yourself after the interview.  To do that, get out some paper and a writing utensil, then start making an outline of how you will answer what’s below (it should take you at least three drafts), and then practice answering the questions (yes, out loud) where your answer starts to naturally flow and doesn’t sound like you are in the seventh grade trying to recite the Gettysburg Address you were forced to  memorize.  You won’t have the benefit of the outline in a face-to-face interview, but the practice will pay dividends, and if you happen to have a phone interview, you are going to hit it out of the park with the help of the outline.  You’d be a fool if you didn’t use the outline on a phone interview.
      • Tell me about yourself – So many people miss the very first and easiest question that sets the tone for the entire interview.  Don’t waste your valuable and limited time with your potential employer by telling them about your hobbies or your family, keep it professional.  Instead, use this time to sell yourself, it is your first impression afterall.  Tell them your background in regards to how and why you are in your field.  In a way, you are giving them an overview or summation of your resume and why you are qualified.
      • Describe yourself in three words/How would your manager describe you/What are your strengths/weaknesses
      • Give me an example when you helped someone/solved a problem – If there is one thing that helps you make a connection and be remembered it’s giving them a specific example that shows your knowledge and skill set (and possibly tools and applications you both are familiar with), not a generic answer that everyone else is able to think of on the fly.
      • Why should we or shouldn’t we hire you? This is really an easy answer, not to mention there is really only one way to answer it.  The only reason they should hire someone else is if they find someone more qualified than you.  But don’t stop there, add more to the answer, and state that if they happen to find someone more qualified, then they certainly aren’t going to find anyone with more potential or dedication than you.
    • Once you land an interview and if they provide a the name of the person(s) you will be speaking with, do some research.  Look up the person on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Not only can you get a feel for the personality and experience of your interviewer, but you may just find out that you know someone in common, and you can contact that person to get even more information about the interviewer.
    • One question I like to ask them is to have the describe their work culture, it gives you great insight about the organization and how they manage, and better yet, how they perceive things to be.
    • I like to show up to a place at least a half hour early.  I spend time in the parking lot or the lobby observing people, trying to get an idea if people are happy where they work and what kind of people I maybe working with.  Not to mention, the extra time is a great buffer in case of traffic and allows you a bit more of prep time to go over those outlines.  Report you are there 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time, you don’t want to be too early and throw them off and you don’t want to show that you cut things close.
    • Always accept water, you may just need it during the middle of that interview.
    • End the interview by asking them in one form or fashion if there is any reason why they wouldn’t hire you from everything that was discussed or on your resume.  This gives you a chance to save face and clear up any concerns they may have.
  • OK, that’s about all I could come up with in about 15 minutes.  Sorry for the lack of other posts and not being more entertaining today.
  • Grace
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