application http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/442/all en-US One genius little button that's saving me a whole bunch of time http://www.wisebread.com/one-genius-little-button-thats-saving-me-a-whole-bunch-of-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/one-genius-little-button-thats-saving-me-a-whole-bunch-of-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/61780671_1574a5db01.jpg" alt="Happy Brit button smiley flag" title="Happy Brit button smiley flag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="254" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many times do you click on a link to an article, video, image or anything else of interest and want to visit the homepage of that site? It happens to me all the time. Sometimes finding the homepage link is fairly easy, on other occasions it&#39;s buried. And then you have to go up to the address bar, delete all of the information before the domain name and hit enter. Well, not any more with the help of this &quot;bookmarklet.&quot;</p> <p>It is the brainchild of Billy Chasen, author of  <a href="http://anerroroccurredwhileprocessingthisdirective.com/2008/03/22/go-to-home/">[anerroroccurredwhileprocessingthisdirective].com</a> (nice and easy url Billy). Billy explains the simplicity behind his idea:</p> <blockquote><p><em>The best ideas come from finding something you do all the time, realize you do it, and then automate it.</em></p> <p><em>With me, I discovered that I frequently go to the base domain of a website by going to the URL, highlighting and deleting the junk on the end of the domain name and then pressing enter. I HATE doing it. I also have to do it when websites don’t link to their home page.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>As someone who does a lot of research online for Wisebread, and my job, I&#39;m coming up against this on a daily basis. Countless links lead to websites that I just want to know more about, but I end up having to spend valuable time editing the web address (which doesn&#39;t always work either, usually because I delete an extra letter or symbol by mistake). </p> <p>The &quot;bookmarklet&quot; Billy has devised uses a simple piece of code, that I don&#39;t pretend to understand, to get around all of that. To get this simple little button, <a href="http://anerroroccurredwhileprocessingthisdirective.com/2008/03/22/go-to-home/">visit Billy&#39;s site here</a> . You&#39;ll be greeted with the image below. Simply drag the &quot;go to home&quot; button to your bookmark bar, and hey presto, now you can get to the homepage of any site just by clicking it. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Go_to_Home_1220074418884.png" alt="go to home" title="go to home" width="500" height="168" /> </p> <p>It&#39;s already saved me a bunch of time this evening. And as we all know, time is money.If you have Firefox, you can also<a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/869"> try this little add-on</a> that basically navigates you up one level. Enjoy, and thanks Billy. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-genius-little-button-thats-saving-me-a-whole-bunch-of-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-have-a-sven-sandy-might-be-the-next-best-thing">Don&#039;t Have A Sven? Sandy Might Be the Next Best Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-quirky-search-tools-to-help-you-get-results">Three Quirky Search Tools to Help You Get Results</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-you-spend-money-to-save-time">How do you spend money to save time?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again">Quick Vista Hack to Get You Browsing at High-Speed Again</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Productivity Technology application bookmark browsing Internet research save time web Sat, 30 Aug 2008 05:38:39 +0000 Paul Michael 2384 at http://www.wisebread.com Deciding when to follow instructions http://www.wisebread.com/deciding-when-to-follow-instructions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/deciding-when-to-follow-instructions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fermentation-vat.jpg" alt="Fermentation vat" title="Fermentation Vat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>Anytime someone announces that they're looking to hire, there'll be instructions on how to apply--even if nothing more than a sign that says, &quot;Inquire within.&quot;&nbsp; Often, they'll want quite a bit more--resume, cover letter, samples, references, etc.&nbsp; There's a delicate dance involved in deciding just how completely to follow those instructions.&nbsp; Here are a few of the important steps.</p> <p>To begin with, it's important to remember that, whatever the instructions are, they exist for at least two reasons, only one of which is to gather the information the people doing the hiring think they need for deciding if you can do the work.&nbsp; There's another reason, that's at least as important.</p> <h2>It's a test</h2> <p>Whether you're <strong>able</strong> and <strong>willing</strong> to follow instructions is an important thing for anyone to know before deciding to hire you.</p> <p>Just over a year ago, I decided to apply to write for Wise Bread.&nbsp; (There's a page here on the site with instructions on how to apply.&nbsp; I don't know if they're hiring right now, so I won't link to it, but the page is still up and it isn't hard to find.)&nbsp; I followed the instructions scrupulously, because I thought writing for Wise Bread would be cool, and I didn't want to sabotage my own application.&nbsp; As it happens, the admins at Wise Bread hired me.</p> <p>A year or two earlier, though, I'd applied for an assignment writing an article for a science fiction encyclopedia.&nbsp; There was the usual list of things that they wanted, several of which I blew off for various reasons.&nbsp; Not surprisingly, I didn't get the assignment.</p> <h2>Why not follow instructions?</h2> <p>There are plenty of bad reasons to ignore the instructions.&nbsp; I can only think of one good one:&nbsp; You only want the job if they're so desperate to hire you that they'll overlook your unwillingness to follow instructions.</p> <p>In essence, ignoring their instructions turns the test around:&nbsp; Now, you're testing them.</p> <p>You might think that knowing that they were desperate would give you an edge--in salary negotiations, for example--but I think you'd have a much bigger edge if you went at it the other way around:&nbsp; Follow instructions scrupulously, make the absolute best case that you're the person they want to hire, wait until they actually offer you the job, and <strong>then</strong> play hardball--on salary, or whatever terms and conditions matter to you.&nbsp; Once they've decided you're the number-one candidate you're in a much better position than if you've already got strikes against you for ignoring their instructions.</p> <h2>Bad reasons for ignoring instructions</h2> <p>So, why didn't I follow my own advice, when I applied for that write job a couple years ago?</p> <p>First, because I didn't have what they were looking for.&nbsp; In particular, I didn't have a resume for myself as a writer.</p> <p>Second, because what I did have wouldn't have made me look good.&nbsp; I could have sent my resume for myself as a software engineer, but almost everything on it was irrelevant for the position.</p> <p>Mainly, though, it was because I only wanted the job if I was their only good choice.&nbsp; I already had a full-time job, so I wasn't in a position to offer to write numerous articles--one or two would have been all I could handle.&nbsp; The one article I offered to write would have been fun to do, and it would have paid well, but it would have been a lot of work to do a good job.&nbsp; Basically, if they wanted me, even though I didn't provide exactly what they asked for, then I'd have been pleased to write that one article.&nbsp; Otherwise, they were better off getting someone else to do it.</p> <h2>Solutions</h2> <p>Here are a few bad reasons for ignoring instructions, with suggested alternate steps to take:</p> <h3>You don't have what they want (no resume, no references, no samples, etc.)</h3> <p>The solution in this case is to come up with something.&nbsp; If you don't have a resume, write one--a crappy resume may get you dinged, but no faster than not sending one if they asked for it.&nbsp; If you don't have references, find some--coworkers or classmates aren't as good as someone who's supervised you, but they're better than nothing.&nbsp; If you need samples, make some--again, crappy samples won't get you dinged any faster than no samples will (although, if you can't come up with good samples, maybe this isn't the job for you anyway).</p> <h3>You'd look like a terrible candidate (even though you're actually perfect for the job)</h3> <p>The solution in this case is a killer cover letter.&nbsp; Tempting as it may be to omit something that will make you look overqualified or underqualified or just wrong for the job, you're better off following instructions.&nbsp; For one thing, if you don't include all the stuff that's asked for, there's a pretty good chance that no one will even read your cover letter--some secretary or HR guy may well be going through the package with a checklist and automatically dinging anything that arrives incomplete.&nbsp; A cover letter that explains why you're the right choice (despite what they might think after seeing what they asked for) just might work.</p> <h3>You don't want the job that bad</h3> <p>The solution in this case is simply not to apply.&nbsp; It's easier for everyone:&nbsp; You don't have to go to the trouble of putting even a partial application together, and they don't have to spend the time to figure out that you didn't give them what they wanted.</p> <h3>You don't want to work for the sort of people who care about nitpicky details like that</h3> <p>This getting close to being a good reason.&nbsp; After all, you don't want to work for the sort of jerk who'll ding your application because you deviated from the instructions in some inconsequential way. &nbsp;</p> <p>A specific case of this is when they're asking for something that you hesitate to provide to just anybody.&nbsp; For example, there was a period in the 1980s when a lot of fiction publishers wanted writers to submit their social security number on their manuscript.&nbsp; (They were going to need it to pay you if they accepted the piece, so it saved a step if the number was right there.)&nbsp; Other examples might be fingerprints, permission to do a credit check (or security check), documents like social security cards or passports, etc.&nbsp; Personally, I tend to hold back information like this from an initial application, figuring I can provide it later if they seem to be considering me seriously.&nbsp; If it knocks me out of even being considered for the job, I figure I still come out ahead by keeping my personal information a little more closely controlled.</p> <p>You need to be careful, though, not to lie to yourself--because (especially when following the instructions exactly would be difficult) it can be tempting to imagine that whatever deviation you want to make is somehow a test of their flexibility.</p> <p>The fact is, that there are better ways to <a href="/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome">check on their flexibility</a>.&nbsp; Probably best is just to ask about whatever it is that you're worried about:&nbsp; Ask the hiring manager and ask the people who would be your peers.&nbsp; If you can find any, ask some former employees if the place supported flexibility in that particular area. </p> <p>Just as with salary, the winning move is to put together a perfect application and let them make you an offer--<strong>then</strong> negotiate for the flexibility you want.&nbsp; You're in a much better position to win that negotiation after they've decided that they want you than you are when all they know about you is that you can't be bothered to do what they asked.</p> <p>In fact, that's most often the case.&nbsp; If you're at all serious about wanting the job, it just makes sense to follow the instructions.&nbsp; Then, if they show that they're serious about hiring you, you're in a position to negotiate for what you want.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deciding-when-to-follow-instructions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-interview-lessons-learned-from-horrible-interviews">Five Interview Lessons Learned from Horrible Interviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-interview-advice">What is Your Best Interview Advice?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income application career interview job negotiation negotiations Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:07:25 +0000 Philip Brewer 2340 at http://www.wisebread.com What is Your Best Interview Advice? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-interview-advice <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-your-best-interview-advice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/interview.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm personally horrible during interviews. I'm shy, humble, blush easily, and have a bad memory (I can never answer those &quot;Tell me a time when you...&quot;). Overall I think the interview process is ineffective and unrepresentative. But it's a required process.</p> <p>So what is your best advice to do a great interview? This could be anything from what to bring, what to wear, or how to answer a common question.</p> <p>Share your best interview advice in the comments section and get entered in a random drawing for $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!&nbsp; <strong>This drawing is over.&nbsp; Congrats to <a href="http://askamanager.blogspot.com/">Ask the Manager</a>, the winner of the drawing.&nbsp; Thank you to everyone who participated!</strong></p> <p>While I'm no good at interviews, my fellow Wise Bread bloggers are pretty savvy job hunters. Check out what they have to say:</p> <p><a href="/will-chen"><strong>Will Chen</strong></a></p> <p><img width="85" height="85" align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-4.jpg" />I like to ask interviewers what kind of reference material they read in their spare time to keep up with industry changes. This could be a particular trade magazine, newsletter, forum, website, etc. After the interview, I will check out their suggestions and make a good faith effort to soak up as much information as I can from these reference sources.</p> <p>When I write a follow up e-mail to the interviewer, I'll add a &quot;p.s.&quot; thanking him for the tip and mention one or two specific articles I found especially interesting.</p> <p>After doing this for a couple of interviews in the same field, I begin to get a great sense of what the top people in the business are reading to stay on top of the game. Pretty soon when my interviewer makes a reference recommendation I can tell him that I've already been following that publication for a long time.</p> <p><a href="/linsey-knerl"><strong>Linsey Knerl</strong></a></p> <p><img width="58" height="85" align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-148.jpg" />While I think it is amazing that it can take up to two months after sending your resume to be contacted for an interview, the decision to hire (or not) based on that interview can occur the same day. This often leaves candidates without enough time to get a traditional &quot;thank you&quot; note to the interviewer. If I don't do anything else after an interview, I always send an email of appreciation. If you don't have the email address of the interviewer, scour the internet, check Hoovers, or call his secretary and mention that you need it to send some additional information from the interview. Then do this immediately!</p> <p>Since punctuality, communication, and follow-up are necessary for doing any job successfully, this one step may give you enough of an edge to put you ahead of other candidates. And if nothing else, it gives the interviewer a quick and easy way to communicate with you if you don't hear back for a while and need to inquire about your candidate status.</p> <p><a href="/sarah-winfrey"><strong>Sarah Winfrey</strong></a></p> <p><img align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-9.jpg" />Talk to the interviewers like they're people. Having been on the interviewing side, I know that so many people try to sound the same, because they're all trying to sound like the person they think you want them to sound like. The problem is, they put you to sleep. They're boring. It's the people who talk to me like I'm a person, the people who seem to genuinely want to know how I'm doing and who respond when I genuinely want to know how they're doing who keep me engaged in the rest of the interview. These are often the same people who answer their interview questions not only from their schooling and professional experience but also from their lives.</p> <p>Now, there's a point where this can go too far. You don't want to share all about your personal life. But answering a question about how you deal with the unexpected by telling a story about your recent car accident and how you responded to unexpected complications might be better than telling yet ANOTHER story about a crashing computer at your last job, as long as you don't go into gory, ranting detail. Be interesting, not needy. Show that you can be focused and interesting at the same time.</p> <p><a href="/philip-brewer"><strong>Philip Brewer</strong></a></p> <p><img align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-203.jpg" />Have an answer to the question, &quot;What's your biggest weakness?&quot;</p> <p>Of course you don't tell them any actual weakness that you might have. Instead, pick one of your less ordinary characteristics that isn't really negative, but that you can put a negative spin on. Then provide that (the negative spin) as your weakness. But then immediately go ahead and give them the neutral (or positive) take on the same trait, saying that you're working on doing better that way.</p> <p>If you can't think of anything good, you can just make something up out of anything that you do well.</p> <p>For example, if you're good at anticipating customer needs, you could say, &quot;I guess my worst trait is that I sometimes jump to conclusions about what a customer is asking for. When I'm right it lets me provide really prompt service, but when I'm wrong it doesn't make for a good customer experience. I'm working on really listening to the customer.&quot;</p> <p><a href="/nora-dunn"><strong>Nora Dunn</strong></a></p> <p><img align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-290.jpg" />I guess my history as a professional actor comes in handy with the interview process, because my general way of preparing for an interview is to rehearse.</p> <p>I don't rehearse to spew out memorized formal-sounding and insincere answers to anticipated questions, so much as I just rehearse the whole process. I anticipate what the interviewer might ask, and practice what a response may be a few times. Before I pick up the phone to touch base with my potential employer, I make sure I know what I want to say so I don't stutter my way through the conversation.</p> <p>Through this rehearsal process, there is also something to be said for visualization. As I rehearse, things are going just the way I want them to in the interview. The more I see things going that way, the better the chances are that they'll end up being that smooth when it's showtime.</p> <p><strong><a href="/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> <br /> </strong></p> <p><img width="64" height="85" align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-95.jpg" />My best interview advice (besides mine, which is &quot;be yourself&quot; and is occasionally useful) comes from a recruiter friend.</p> <p>If the interviewer says, &quot;tell me about yourself,&quot; you should say</p> <p>&quot;Where should I start?&quot; to get an idea of the interviewer's interests.</p> <p>If the interviewer gives you a nice introduction, such as &quot;what are your career goals?&quot; or &quot;what is your biggest accomplishment?&quot; or even &quot;what have you been doing since college?&quot; you know how to narrow your response to fit the question.</p> <p>If the interviewer says, &quot;wherever you want to start,&quot; then you can pick a reasonable point (mostly likely it should be at least after college) and give a brief career summary.</p> <p>You could close (this section of the interview) with &quot;would you like me to go into more detail about 'xyz' time period?&quot;</p> <p><a href="/justin-ryan"><strong>Justin Ryan</strong></a></p> <p><img width="85" height="79" align="left" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/pictures/picture-186.jpg" />This is very timely, as I'm currently reviewing applications for new bloggers for First Wives World. My most basic piece of advice is: <strong>Follow instructions</strong>. If the advertisement asks for something specific, do exactly as it says. If you can't be bothered to do as they have asked, don't bother to apply, because you're sending a very strong message with your first communication. In the ad I placed for FWW bloggers, I gave specific instructions on how to apply. Quite unsurprisingly, about half of the people who responded didn't do as I asked, and they were elminated immediately. <br /> <br /> What the applicants didn't seem to realize is, I wrote the ad with specific requirements for two reasons: 1) There are certain things I need to know about the person in order to recommend them, and 2) I wanted to see if they could follow instructions. It was a test, and about half didn't pass.<br /> <br /> So, my advice is, the next time you see a very specific ad, do exactly what it says. The employer may very well be testing whether you know how to follow instructions, and will toss your applicaiton if you demonstrate you would rather do what you want than provide what he or she needs.<br /> <br /> Outside of that, I echo Sarah: Have something unique. The applications I remember are the ones who wrote really interesting stories in their sample posts.</p> <p>Share your best interview advice in the comments section and get entered in a random drawing for $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!</p> <p>Deadline to enter drawing is 9/22 midnight. Don't forget to enter your email address in the field provided and only one entry per person.</p> <p><strong>This drawing is over.&nbsp; Congrats to <a href="http://askamanager.blogspot.com/">Ask the Manager</a>, the winner of the drawing.&nbsp; Thank you to everyone who participated!</strong></p> <div align="center"><SCRIPT charset="utf-8" type="text/javascript" src="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_mfw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822/US/wisbre03-20/8001/2d9d9a15-a88c-4aa8-8e0b-1126b66d4706"> </SCRIPT> <NOSCRIPT><A HREF="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_mfw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fwisbre03-20%2F8001%2F2d9d9a15-a88c-4aa8-8e0b-1126b66d4706&Operation=NoScript">Amazon.com Widgets</A></NOSCRIPT></div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-interview-advice">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deciding-when-to-follow-instructions">Deciding when to follow instructions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-extreme-job-interview-tactics-that-worked">6 Extreme Job Interview Tactics That Worked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-write-a-resume-12-steps-to-your-next-job">How To Write A Resume: 12 Steps To Your Next Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bounce-back-from-job-rejection">4 Ways to Bounce Back From Job Rejection</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Job Hunting application career interview Mon, 17 Sep 2007 12:04:12 +0000 Lynn Truong 1167 at http://www.wisebread.com Job hunting: What is your dutch wife? http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-what-is-your-dutch-wife <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-hunting-what-is-your-dutch-wife" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bus-stop-statue.jpg" alt="Bus stop statue" title="Bus stop statue" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="319" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's note:&nbsp; If you recently lost your job, take a look at Wise Bread's collection of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">tips and resources for the recently laid off</a>.]</em></p> <p>When I was in college, I worked in the computer center. When my boss wanted to hire a new computer operator, he asked a couple of us to go over resumes. That experience, which gave me some insight into the way hiring managers look at applications, resumes, and potential employees, turned out to be more useful in my career than just about anything I learned in actual college classes. It also gave me a story I tell anyone who's applying for a job: The story of the dutch wife.</p> <h2>What's in the books versus first-hand</h2> <p>I got a whole pile of resumes to read, and I had to squeeze reading them in between all the things I had to do for school. No resume got very much reading time.</p> <p>In the years since then, I've read plenty of books on job hunting, that all made the point that your resume has to let someone quickly see that you have the qualifications for the job. There was nothing quite like having to go through a stack of 50 resumes between classes to make that point sink in.</p> <p>One resume had been hand-written in pencil on yellow legal paper. The photocopy that I got was simply blank--I could tell that someone had photocopied lined writing paper, but I couldn't tell that the paper had any actual writing on it. Since I couldn't read it, I didn't consider it.</p> <p>The actual job was to do the things they didn't trust students with, such as putting the blank check paper in the printer. It wasn't going to be exciting work, and there wasn't much opportunity for advancement. So, I went right past resumes from highly skilled people--they were obviously not going to be happy in the job. There was nothing like sitting there with the resume of an experienced software professional in my hand and imaging him changing the paper in the printer, to bring home what &quot;overqualified&quot; meant.</p> <h2>The dutch wife</h2> <p>But that's not the end of the story. Remember that resume hand-written on legal paper? While I only had a photocopy, my boss had the original, which was legible. The guy who wrote it was actually a reasonable candidate--he'd been doing similar work at a bank in Holland. He was moving back to town and looking for a job. He happened to mention that, while living in Holland, he had gotten married to a woman there.</p> <p>For some reason my boss found the idea of the man having a dutch wife fascinating. He called the guy in for an interview, decided the guy was okay, and hired him. The guy was a reasonable choice--the bank he'd worked at used the same kind of computer, so he was as good a match as anybody we'd gotten a resume from. But that's not what got him hired--there were six or seven other people whose resumes were about as good. What got him hired was that he had a dutch wife.</p> <p>I tell this story to people looking for jobs to make two points.</p> <p>First, <strong>the job search process is utterly capricious</strong>. A hundred accidents can lose you a job: the copier wasn't working; a stack of resumes got mislaid or reviewed by an idiot; one of the other candidates had a dutch wife. There is nothing you can do about this, except use it as a way to keep your perspective on the whole thing. It's easy to take it personally when others around you seem to be having more success than you at job searching. Remembering how much of the process is pure happenstance can help a little.</p> <p>Second, <strong>make sure that you have a dutch wife</strong>. Not necessarily a literal dutch wife, but something that's a little odd or interesting. Something that a hiring manager might latch on to because he's genuinely interested, or at least use as a mental handle that lets him remember you--oh, yeah, the guy with the dutch wife. You might lose a few jobs that way, if the odd or interesting thing about you pushes someone's buttons in a bad way. But you'll lose a lot more for no reason at all, and plenty of others by simply not standing out.</p> <p>If you're highly qualified, experienced, and looking for a job in a hot field, then none of this makes a lot of difference. But if the position you're seeking is a bit of a stretch or you're a non-traditional candidate, or the field (or the economy) isn't growing, then it's very likely to come down to something like this. Blending in is only a winning strategy if they're going to hire everybody. Standing out by being the most qualified is best, but standing out for any reason at all can make the difference.</p> <p>[Note: I didn't find out until years later that the term &quot;dutch wife&quot; is also used to refer to a sex doll. I don't think that's what so fascinated my old boss--I think he was just genuinely interested in the notion that this guy had met a woman in Holland and married her--but I'm not sure.]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-hunting-what-is-your-dutch-wife">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-financial-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-fired">11 Financial Moves to Make the Moment You Get Fired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-a-plain-text-resume-to-apply-for-jobs-online">Why You Need a Plain Text Resume to Apply for Jobs Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome">Avoiding grass-is-always-greener syndrome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew">10 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income application interviewing jobs resume Fri, 24 Aug 2007 10:49:32 +0000 Philip Brewer 1041 at http://www.wisebread.com