interviewing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7465/all en-US 10 Things You Should Never Do During a Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-do-during-a-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-should-never-do-during-a-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_whispering_000072021719.jpg" alt="People learning what they should never do in a job interview" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Though the U.S. economy is alive and kicking again, the job market still feels a bit sluggish. If you've managed to land an interview, congratulations &mdash; you're doing something right. Build on that success by avoiding common interview blunders. Here are 10 things you should never do in an interview.</p> <h2>1. Don't Arrive Unprepared</h2> <p>Take time to learn about the company and the position you're applying for. Gathering a few basic facts shows motivation and will help you know what questions to ask later. Also, prepare by bringing along extra copies of your resume or CV; some interviewers may be pulled in at the last moment and appreciate your forethought.</p> <h2>2. Don't Show Up Late</h2> <p>No surprise here; don't show up late to a job interview. In fact, pad your schedule by 20&ndash;30 minutes just in case the train is running late or you can't find a parking spot. Arriving to an interview five to 10 minutes early is completely acceptable and gives you time to mentally prepare.</p> <h2>3. Don't Leave Your Phone On</h2> <p>If your phone rings during a job interview, you'd better hope there's an HR director on the other end of the line with a smokin' hot offer. Ringing cell phones and formal job interviews don't mix. As unnatural as it may feel, completely silence or turn your phone off during an interview (and remember, vibrating phones can still be heard and are still a distraction).</p> <h2>4. Don't Sit Down Before You're Invited</h2> <p>Sometimes small courtesies can make a big impression. It's good business etiquette to not sit down until you've been invited or shown to your seat.</p> <h2>5. Don't Slouch</h2> <p>It may sound terribly old-fashioned, but posture matters. Standing tall and sitting up straight not only conveys a sense of maturity and experience to others, it can boost your self confidence. If you're a chronic sloucher, improve your posture with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-and-keep-amazing-posture-by-doing-these-10-stretches-today">10 targeted stretching exercises</a>.</p> <h2>6. Don't Talk Trash</h2> <p>Be honest, but stay positive when it comes to discussing your previous or current employer. The world is smaller than most of us imagine and it's impossible to know the personal or professional connections your interviewer may have.</p> <h2>7. Don't Talk Money</h2> <p>Don't talk money unless you're asked, or an offer has been extended. A premature focus on money and benefits sends the wrong message to your potential employer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview?ref=seealso">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a>)</p> <h2>8. Don't Mumble</h2> <p>Hold your head up, speak clearly, and make eye contact. Employers shouldn't have to work to hear you and mumblers don't come across as capable, confident employees. Remember, good communication is a skill you can learn. If you've had trouble in the past, explore <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-people-to-listen-when-you-talk">ways to speak more effectively</a>.</p> <h2>9. Don't Up Talk</h2> <p>Up-talking is that annoying linguistic habit of phrasing statements as if they were questions (&quot;I really enjoy my current position, but I think I'm ready for something more challenging?&quot;). Up-talking implies you're unsure of what you're saying, need approval, and lack confidence. Sure, it seems like everyone is doing it, but up-talking is still the verbal equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.</p> <h2>10. Don't Skip the Questions</h2> <p>Your interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions about the role or the company. Don't be shy; be ready with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-you-should-ask-at-every-job-interview">set of essential interview questions</a>. Speaking up shows that you're interested and have been listening.</p> <p>In our hyper-casual world, paying attention to the details during an interview can help you stand out in all the right ways. Especially for those positions that require interacting with clients or the public, knowing how to navigate a formal interview with grace and refinement is its own unique qualification.</p> <p><em>What's the biggest mistake you've made in an interview? If you've been on the other side of the desk, what advice do you have for interviewees?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-do-during-a-job-interview">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/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job">Video Resumes and 5 Other Cool Tricks to Land the 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/10-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-become-more-hirable">10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable</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/how-to-sell-yourself-to-potential-employers">How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employers</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/this-is-how-you-get-a-new-job-this-year">This Is How You Get a New Job This Year</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/13-embarrassing-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-doesnt-talk-about">13 Embarrassing Mistakes Everyone Makes But Doesn&#039;t Talk About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting blunders etiquette getting hired interviewing Mistakes professionalism Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:01:32 +0000 Kentin Waits 1583916 at http://www.wisebread.com Video Resumes and 5 Other Cool Tricks to Land the Job http://www.wisebread.com/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000009153869.jpg" alt="Woman using video resume and cool tricks to land the job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, a regular resume may not be enough to get you noticed. Competition for good jobs is fierce, and for the top jobs, you'll be up against some very talented people. What will you do to get noticed? How far are you willing to go to get that interview?</p> <p>Well, if your answer is &quot;I'll do whatever it takes,&quot; you are already on the right path. Now, keep going. From video resumes to PR stunts and creative direct mail, here are some of the best ways to upgrade your resume from ordinary to extraordinary.</p> <h2>1. First, the Video Resume</h2> <p>One of the hottest new ways to land an interview is to make a video resume. Now, let's be clear. A video resume should never be used in place of an actual resume. At the end of the day, people want a quick and easy way to look over your skills, qualifications, and work history. Instead, think of the video resume as a trailer for the resume itself. You want to entice people into your work history, and say something about yourself in the process. How do you do that in a way that is appropriate for the job? Well, it all depends on what the job is, so here are a few tips:</p> <h3>Tailor Every Video Resume to the Job You Want</h3> <p>If you're applying to a very creative job, such as an advertising or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT1XYjZcmck">marketing position</a>, an acting job, a programmer, or something else inventive and fun, you really have to stand out. Be creative, imaginative, and resourceful. Add effects, get a VO done, or even create a mini-movie. If the job is a little more conservative, find ways to stand out without being too outrageous. You want to be noticed, but for the right reasons. This <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRHFEDyHIsc">video resume for Google</a> is a great example of what to do, and it has over 1.4 million hits.</p> <h3>Plan It Out Carefully</h3> <p>If you'll be on camera, figure out what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Will you need props? Will a change of clothing be required? Do you need to bring in a camera operator, or someone to help you film some of the more difficult scenes? Do you need a script, or a prompter? Some people find it easier to have cue cards at hand, just in case. The more preparation you do, the better the end result will be.</p> <h3>Rehearse &mdash; Then Rehearse Again</h3> <p>Unless you really want the video resume to look very amateurish (this could actually be a fun way to stand out, if it's done way over the top), then you need to do several practice runs. In most cases, this will cost you nothing but time. Try it, watch it, see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, go again. Rehearsing can be the difference between a good video resume, and an exceptional one.</p> <h2>2. Create Innovative Mailers</h2> <p>If you have ever received an unexpected gift or package in the mail, you'll know the excitement it can create. Even if you know it's coming, such as a package from Loot Crate or Birchbox, you can't wait to open it up and see what is revealed.</p> <p>This same feeling of mystery and surprise can be duplicated with a <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=creative+resume+mailer&amp;biw=1680&amp;bih=933&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIrL6nlqSJyAIVihaSCh0jyAaZ">creative resume mailer</a>. Many people who work in advertising, marketing, design, PR, and other very creative and visual fields will already know the benefits of this. Make no mistake, they can take time to create. This is not simply printing out a resume on a sheet of nice paper and mailing it off (or these days, e-mailing it).</p> <p>In the past, I have personally created and mailed out first aid kits, published a CliffsNotes booklet, assembled a pop-up book, used 3D art with glasses, and even stamped my information on aluminum. These are the lengths many people in my profession will go to to stand out. Now think about your own profession. What can you do to go above and beyond the norm?</p> <h2>3. Put Yourself on a Billboard</h2> <p>Want to go one step further than a mailer? Well, how about spending a little money to put your resume or website on a billboard? A guy called Bennett Olson lost his job in a casino, and figured a great way to get himself out there was to <a href="http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/05/11/guys-billboard-resume-gets-him-a-job/">rent a giant billboard</a> featuring his name and web address. This is a tactic that has been employed by several other big thinkers in recent years, including Adam Pacitti's <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279261/Adam-Pacitti-spent-500-billboard-begging-job-spends-pay-packet-say-thanks.html">billboard in London</a>, and Fed Brumwell's billboard outside of the Google offices. If you are willing to take a gamble, and have the courage to spend that kind of money (it can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars) it could really pay off.</p> <h2>4. Employ PR and Guerrilla Stunts</h2> <p>Feeling really adventurous? Then go beyond the billboard to a stunt that will not only attract the attention of future employers, but news outlets, bloggers, and other influencers. For instance, Liz Hickok, a Georgia resident, decided to put her <a href="http://www.wtvy.com/home/headlines/Ga_Woman_Displays_Resume_in_Christmas_Lights_136171803.html">resume up in Christmas lights</a> outside her home. It attracted a whole lot of attention, and many news stories were generated.</p> <p>John Kolbe created a contest, offering someone an <a href="http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/workinglife/tweeting-your-way-into-a-job/1025749">HD camcorder</a> if they helped him land a job. And at CareerBuilder, you can see some of the most <a href="http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?id=pr464&amp;sd=10%2f8%2f2008&amp;ed=12%2f31%2f2008">bizarre tactics</a> people have used to get hired, including free foot massages for a future employer, and adding your name to the menu of a popular restaurant. These stunts may not land you the job you were initially looking for, but they may get you an even better job with someone else.</p> <h2>5. Place Ads on Facebook</h2> <p>Facebook ads can be highly targeted, and very effective at reaching the people you want to speak to. If you have a particular job in mind, in a certain part of the country, you can run ads that will reach only those potential employers.</p> <p>Job-Hunt lists four success stories of the <a href="http://www.job-hunt.org/social-networking/facebook-job-search/facebook-ad-job-success-stories.shtml">Facebook ads strategy</a>, and the results were impressive. For instance, Sam Solomon spent just $150 on his Facebook ads, targeting specific industries that he wanted to work in. He received five interviews, 18 email follow-ups, and got two blog posts written about his idea. For some of us, $150 may be a lot to spend, but for those kinds of opportunities, is it really too much?</p> <h2>6. Try Cold Calling</h2> <p>We live in a world dominated by emails, text messages, tweets, blogs, and other impersonal forms of communication. The idea of simply calling someone to ask for an interview, out of the blue, may seem bizarre at first, but if you think about it, it's a fantastic way to cut through the clutter.</p> <p>Other people are sending the CEOs resumes and emails. But what if you bypass that, and find a way to talk to them person to person? Of course, you need to have something important to say, rather than simply &quot;Hey, can I have an interview?&quot; So, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">do some research on the company</a>. See what they have been invested in lately. What problems have they faced? What challenges are they trying to overcome? If you can offer insights, solutions, or ideas on those subjects, you might be worth listening to over a face-to-face meeting. And that is the end goal.</p> <p><em>Did you try anything unconventional to land a job?</em></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/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job">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/10-things-you-should-never-do-during-a-job-interview">10 Things You Should Never Do During a Job Interview</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-hard-truths-about-getting-hired-that-you-dont-want-to-believe">10 Hard Truths About Getting Hired That You Don&#039;t Want to Believe</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/10-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-become-more-hirable">10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Become More Hirable</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-things-you-must-learn-about-the-company-before-your-job-interview">5 Things You Must Learn About the Company Before Your Job Interview</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/how-to-sell-yourself-to-potential-employers">How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting clever hiring tricks creative employment getting hired interviewing video resumes Tue, 06 Oct 2015 09:00:38 +0000 Paul Michael 1576303 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ace Your Next Job Interview http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ace-your-next-job-interview <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ace-your-next-job-interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006915883Small-1.jpg" alt="Ace Your Next Job Interview" title="Ace Your Next Job Interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on acing your next job interview, signs you've taken frugality too far, and unexpected tax deductions.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/onthejob/archive/10-tips-to-ace-your-next-job-interview.html?si=1">10 Tips to Ace Your Next Job Interview</a> &mdash; Stand out at your next job interview by asking the interviewer at the end of the interview. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/being-frugal-10-signs-youve-taken-it-too-far">Being Frugal - 10 Signs You've Taken It Too Far</a> &mdash; If your life revolves around your wallet, you've taken frugality too far. [Little House in the Valley]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bnet.com/blog/businesstips/5-unexpected-tax-deductions/10752?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bnet%2Fbusinesstips+%28BNET+Business+Hacks%29">5 Unexpected Tax Deductions</a> &mdash; If you have a service dog or a guard dog for your company, you can deduct the cost of his or her food. [BNET]</p> <p><a href="http://passivepanda.com/how-email?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PassivePanda+%28Passive+Panda%29">How to email important people (5 tips you need to know)</a> &mdash; Next time you are emailing someone important, be sure to keep your email brief. [Passive Panda]</p> <p><a href="http://www.beatingbroke.com/10-common-money-traps-to-avoid/">10 Common Money Traps to Avoid</a> &mdash; Avoid purchasing extended warranties. Most of the time, you won't need them, making they are a huge money trap! [Beating Broke]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://thecollegeinvestor.com/870/gimme-back-my-hour-time-saving-tips-for-daylight-savings-time/">Gimme Back My Hour! Time Saving Tips for Daylight Savings Time!</a> &mdash; Are you wishing you could get that hour back that you lost during the daylight savings time change? If so, get that hour back by utilizing your DVR. [The College Investor]</p> <p><a href="http://doablefinance.com/how-to-start-your-next-project/">How to Start Your Next Project</a> &mdash; Are you starting a new project? If so, be sure to make sure you have adequate support in place to get the project done before you take responsibility for the project. [Doable Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/34-house-staging-tips/#more-1696">34 House Staging Tips</a> &mdash; Are you trying to sell your house? Make sure it is staged for potential buyers by decluttering. [Sustainable Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.takeasmartstep.com/learn-how-to-get-more-time-for-what-you-want/">Learn How to Get More Time for What you Want</a> &mdash; Make sure you have time to do what you want to do by eliminating time drainers that aren't in line with your priorities. [Smart Step, Inc]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/03/15/should-we-become-named-guardians-for-several-children/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">Should We Become Named Guardians for Several Children?</a> &mdash; If a friend asks if they can name you as guardians of their children should something happen to them, be sure to consider whether or not you would be able to be a good parent to the kids before you commit to anything. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ace-your-next-job-interview">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-3"> <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/10-things-you-should-never-do-during-a-job-interview">10 Things You Should Never Do During a Job Interview</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/video-resumes-and-5-other-cool-tricks-to-land-the-job">Video Resumes and 5 Other Cool Tricks to Land the Job</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/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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/9-careers-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-experience-to-start">9 Careers You Don&#039;t Need a Ton of Experience to Start</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/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting best money tips interviewing Wed, 16 Mar 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 505521 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-4"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-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/flashback-friday-62-ways-introverts-tend-to-win-at-life">Flashback Friday: 62 Ways Introverts Tend to Win at Life</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 Avoiding grass-is-always-greener syndrome http://www.wisebread.com/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/green-grass.jpg" alt="Greener grass" title="Greener grass" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="129" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For a worker down in the cube farm, it's easy to see the dysfunction of your own company, and to imagine that almost anyplace else would be better.</p> <p>I don't have any data to back this up except my own personal experience, but I've worked at enough companies and seen enough others up close that I'm willing to go out on a limb here: All companies are dysfunctional. The thing is, they're all dysfunctional in different ways. This means that it's possible to pick an employer whose dysfunctions are ones that will bug you less. The key is to understand what it is that's really bugging you, and then to check for those particular dysfunctions at the new company.</p> <p>The first part is easy to describe, although it may be hard to get the perspective to do a good job. All you need to do is:</p> <ul> <li>Analyze the dysfunctional aspects of your work that bug you.</li> <li>Think about them.</li> </ul> <p>The &quot;thinking&quot; stage here is not about coming up with ways to fix things at your current employer--let's give you credit for having made those efforts long ago. The reason to think about them is to come up with questions to ask at a potential new company to see if they're dysfunctional in the ways that you've already learned are a problem for you. (You don't need to find out if they're dysfunctional in other ways: they are. But maybe they're dysfunctional in ways that, although they may bug other people, you'll be able to just shrug off as no big deal.)</p> <p>If you're interviewing with people who will be your peers, you don't even have to be especially subtle. They don't want to have to work with some new-hire who turns grumpy and grouchy as soon as he or she starts, so if there's something that would make you grumpy or grouchy, ask about it. In the thinking stage above, you've come up with polite ways to get the information you want.</p> <p>You don't need to ask, &quot;Is the manager a insecure fool who cares more about face-time than actually getting the work done?&quot; But you can ask, &quot;What measures does the boss seem to use when evaluating performance.&quot; Your potential peers will very likely clue you in.</p> <p>You don't need to ask, &quot;Is the manager a psycho who yells at anyone who suggests that doing things differently might be better?&quot; But you can ask, &quot;Is process-improvement an important goal here?&quot;</p> <p>It's always good to toss out a few general questions that can elicit warnings. &quot;Tell me about the culture here,&quot; is worth trying. Ask about how different departments work together. If there are multiple sites, ask about how they work together. Any general questions about how things are done give people a chance to warn you about the things that bug them, giving you the information you need to decide if those things will bug you.</p> <p>If your only chance to interview is with the boss, it gets a little harder, but only a little. Your boss is no more interested in hiring someone who will be miserable there than your peers are. Find ways to ask the questions such that asking won't ruin your chances if the answer is what you're hoping it is. Neutral questions, such as &quot;What are a couple of things you do to promote teamwork among your employees?&quot; are usually safe. Even better are questions that give the boss a chance to praise their working environment. You'll find out what the boss thinks are plusses, without needing to mention things that might be minuses for you.</p> <p>When a potential boss or coworker doesn't have a good answer, it's always possible that simply asking will shoot down your chances--but that isn't so bad if you'd just have been miserable at the new place anyway.</p> <p>I've known too many people who have gone from job to job to job, always leaving because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job" title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">they were unhappy</a>, but always finding themselves at a new job that also made them unhappy, simply because they didn't take the time to get clear in their head what it was about their job that made them unhappy and then check whether the new place would be better.</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/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome">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-5"> <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/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">12 Times You&#039;re Better Off Without a Promotion</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/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</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/job-hunting-what-is-your-dutch-wife">Job hunting: What is your dutch wife?</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/flashback-friday-62-ways-introverts-tend-to-win-at-life">Flashback Friday: 62 Ways Introverts Tend to Win at Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income careers changing jobs dysfunctional companies interviewing jobs Wed, 08 Aug 2007 10:31:03 +0000 Philip Brewer 969 at http://www.wisebread.com