you imagine if I, or other speakers came up before you with shoulders slumped, dragging
their feet and looking as though they really hadn’t slept well last night?
would your first reaction be?
of you would automatically think, this person isn’t going to be worth listening
to – I bet her talk will be as boring as she looks.
suppose you are going into a job interview and you haven’t done your homework. The
interviewer asks you a question related to how much you know about their
product line and you don’t have the right answer. You haven’t even googled
them. What do you suspect the interviewer will think? She will probably think, this guy isn’t
really interested in working for us, he didn’t even bother to find out about
will be embarrassed and might freeze during the next round of questions.
what do you do when you go to a job fair? What do you do when you come to
meetings designed to help you with your job search? Are you prepared?
a matter of fact, do you have business cards with you today?
you energetic and enthusiastic? Do you show by the way you look, walk, talk,
and offer information to others that you are on top of your game?
need to be on top of your game and
you need to reflect that in everything you do and everywhere you go. You never
know whom you might bump into just walking into Fry’s.
literature, your phone calls, your e-mails, and your personal presentations all
need to impress those with whom you are interacting. They need to grasp
immediately that you are the best possible candidate for the position you seek.
Because there is more supply than there
is demand. There are more people seeking positions here in Silicon Valley
than there are jobs to be given out. This is also true in many other parts of
I were a recruiter – or hiring manager – or employer, what would I want? I’d
want only A players.
want to know that the person I’m hiring will not only do a great job, but will
work well with others (does this sound like Kindergarten – sorry) and will stay
with my firm as long as I need him or her to stay.
this is such a youth oriented culture here in Silicon Valley, I’d also want to
see vim and vigor. Sure, if I am interviewing a twenty year old, I’d probably
prefer to see a little calmness and maturity. BUT, if I am interviewing a
mature person, I need to see some youthfulness.
today’s job market, employers want and
Tips to Being
that Most Desirable Candidate
start from the beginning of the process.
- Highly competent and experienced workers.
- A proven record of meeting and exceeding deadlines and
- A valuable and well-respected team player.
- Someone whose verbal and written skills are outstanding.
- A person whose personality inspires others to do their best.
- A willingness to do more for less – without grumbling about
- Loyalty and longevity (yes, even though they don’t
necessarily promise the same).
- Before you ever get to the interview you have to send a query letter (or e-mail) and a
- Maybe even before you do that – you do your research. Every hiring manager or recruiter is looking for
something slightly different.
- Here are a few things you need to learn before you start
o What is the company’s
product or service?
o Are they growing,
downsizing, or remaining stable?
o How does the department –
or group – you are interested in working with fit into the overall business?
§ Is it part of the core-competencies
§ A critical support
function (HR, IT, Marketing, Sales)
§ Or, something that might
be spun off, or discarded
o Whom will you be working
§ Personality/character of
§ His or her style of
§ What type of communication
style works best
§ Biases – needs and wants
o What specifically are they
looking for – and what do they really need?
- How do you do that research?
o Google the hiring manager
§ She might have written
articles you can read and thus get a sense of their style and beliefs
§ If you do, and you can
then refer to something you read during your interview with that person, you
will be ahead of the game
§ Everyone likes flattery –
especially if it feels genuine
o While there also look for
information about the department and the managers you might be working for, or
o Do an informational interview
with someone who has worked for or is currently working for the company – and
hopefully that department
you’d conducted your research and now you know a lot more than you did before. What
do you do next?
§ Incorporate some of what
you learned into your cover letter.
“I have long been an admirer of the reliability of the Intel
chip and would be honored to work designing components that utilize their
§ Make sure the style of
your letter is consistent with the cognitive style you’ve discovered
· A detailed person
wants some details
A theoretical or artistic style wants word-pictures
An A type wants quick facts only
Low-context people want short and sweet
High-context people want to have you get a little friendly
and personal (Me: Tell the story of Southern V.P. coming to New York – and of
French social lunch before dinner.)
§ Tailor your resume to the
specific job you seek
Don’t groan – you are on a computer now and revisions are
easy to create
- Let’s talk for a minute about resume writing:
o Your resume is a marketing
tool – not a data sheet
o In today’s world you can
have metadata in small fonts on the bottom which will be picked up by computers
scanning for specifics
o Do not use the same trite
expressions everyone else uses
o Don’t brag – prove your
points within the body of the text
o White space is good –
o It can be as long as it
needs to be – although less is more
§ It needs to be tightly
§ If you are very
experienced and that experience is relevant to what you are seeking – 2, 3 or
even more pages might be appropriate
o Bullet points and phrases
are good, full sentences are not necessary
o Do not mention that you
know how to walk and chew gum at the same time
o List important skills, not
that you’ve learned to type
- In short, your resume and your cover letter are the first
signs that you are an A player. Don’t be
The Phone Call - The Dreaded Phone Call
o Rehearse – what are you
going to say, keep it simple and short
o You are calling to make an
appointment – not to tell your life story
o Thank the person for
taking your call
o Ask for an appointment
o Ask if you need to bring
anything to the meeting, or send beforehand
o Thank again – and say
- Everything you’ve done thus far is so you can get the
interview -- here is where you will make or break your opportunity to get the
- Here, more than before is where you need to show energy,
enthusiasm and excitement – without looking like a cheerleader.
- You’ve done your homework, you know how you are going to
answer the tough questions, so here are just a few reminders:
o Ask questions that show
your interest in the job – not the benefits
§ By this I mean never ask
about vacations, health insurance, pension plans etc., until you have been made
an offer and you can use all of these items as negotiating tools before accepting
or rejecting the offer
o Don’t monopolize the
conversation, but don’t be a yes/no person only
o It’s a conversation – give
o Find opportunities to tell
stories about some of the extraordinary things you’ve done for prior employers
o Don’t waste time talking
about sports, or other non-essentials, but be sure to be positive if your