Thursday, June 17, 2010

#HireFriday: Update

I am so happy to see the work that is going on around me. Recruiters are busy again. Jobseekers are more hopeful. I am more hopeful. And I am busy with new projects and new customers (yay!).

In the midst of all this, I took a few minutes a couple of weeks ago to participate in the #hirefriday Twitter movement. I offered to meet with a jobseeker who wants to relocate to the Seattle area. It is my mission in life to know every recruiter in Seattle, so I'm certain I can help.

We met in person at my favorite counter-culture coffee shop. He wore a suit and tie. The first thing I told him was to ditch the tie. We don't do ties in Seattle. (I know -- conventional wisdom is that you should dress up for interviews. You should. But in Seattle dressing up means looking like a Banana Republic mannequin. Ties scream amateur.) Then he told me about his skills and his experience, which were impressive. He has worked for large, complex organizations. He has worked in Asia. He speaks four languages. He returned to school to get his MBA.

Somebody, somewhere, told him to downplay his experience. Since he was an unknown, he would have a hard time getting into prestigious Seattle companies, so he should try to get his foot in the door in a coordinator or junior analyst role.

Bullsh*t.

I told him to rework his resume. Highlight his expertise. Being conversant in Mandarin and being fluent may be different, but his obvious facility for language and understanding cultures makes him an asset to companies. He has skills that 99.9% of the other applicants don't have. I told him to stop going to job fairs and increase his LinkedIn network by 400%. I told him to target companies, and then target jobs within those companies and that together, we would get him in.

I can do this, because I don't have a fancy corporate recruiting job. I can advocate for one candidate. It feels good.

Sharks, be warned. I have a referral for you.

7 comments:

  1. Sometimes I look like JCrew threw up on me and I wonder where I went wrong in life. #sad #true

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  2. Under the surface, this is a very powerful post. I can't tell you how many job seekers have told me they've been instructed to dumb themselves down. Straight up, I've also heard the same. "If you don't look, walk, and talk like a cow, people may fear you don't follow the herd."

    To quote you, Carmen: Bullsh*t.

    Great post, seriously. And kudos for giving back - it's a big deal :)

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  3. I found your blog on Linked In. I like your style. Bravo!

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  4. I found your blog on Linked In as well, bookmarked, I will be back!

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  5. Interesting read, especially about the tie...de rigueur in most countries
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