Some readers have sent me additional tips and advice that I would like to pass along, and I will add just a few words about resumes.
Revisiting Interviewing the Interviewer
A friend of mine who knows much more about the financial side of things than I do sent me some additional information. I can’t say it any better, so I quote verbatim:
“Regarding ‘interviewing the interviewer,’ one valuable resource that I think is neglected is quarterly and annual financial statements. Those documents are 99% blah-blah-blah, granted. And you certainly do NOT want to quiz the interviewer on the health of the corporate books.
“But there are always a couple of key pages in the filings about risks and competition. That is a gold mine for an interviewee, particularly one with no other connection to the company. It can tell you how the company perceives its market position and its competitive strengths and vulnerabilities. Even if the company you are interviewing with is privately held, you should know the market well enough to be able to find a couple of similar-sized competitors who do have public 10Ks and 10Qs available for you to analyze.
“The information has to be used judiciously, of course. The point is to come into the interview with a reasonable grasp of the market landscape and the position of this particular company within it to be able to articulate how you fit, not to provoke a debate about strategy (except for C-level positions, I guess).”
More about LinkedIn
One of my readers called attention to something I have been noticing myself. People on LinkedIn are not only publicizing their company’s activities, but are also creating “micro-blogs” that provide short comments about (and links to) interesting articles. This is a valuable service – and it also marks the person posting as energetic, well-informed, and ready to share.
My friendly blog-reader puts it this way: “The message is if you are good at what you do, don’t be shy; I am interested in helping you find a place working with me or with someone who is working for me, and I certainly do not want to see someone very talented working for my competitor!”
Remember that employees often have access to internal job boards or information about jobs that have not yet been advertised. LinkedIn allows controlled connections and keeps you out of spam-filter limbo, where you can easily get caught if you try to write to a former colleague directly at work.
Try Seasonal and Temporary Employment
One of the smartest things I read when I was first starting out is that you should open up your mind and try everything. A friend of mine took a seasonal job at a call center five years ago, and is still working for the company (and is no longer on the phones).
The Six-Second Resume
I have been reading about the “six-second resume” lately. You can find out more by googling the term, but I believe the original study was done by a job service called TheLadders. The service discovered that recruiters reading resumes spend approximately six seconds scanning each one. They even include an eye-tracking study. That’s the resume you spent six days on. This study suggests several ideas to me:
- Create a comprehensive resume, which you can use to create shorter resumes that are tailored to specific jobs.
- Think about your reader and ask yourself – what would I learn from this resume?
- Use as few words as you can – the clock is ticking
- Try to find impressive facts and figures to include. If you were in customer service, how many customers did you work with on an average day? If you were in marketing and organized a webinar, how many people attended and how many sales leads resulted?