JEAN'S BLOG. Best & Next Practices in: Executive Resumes, Personal Branding & Executive Job Search

Hot Job Search Tip from a Xmas Party Reveler

Posted by Jean Cummings

Dec 9, 2011 5:41:00 PM

Job Search Tip

I went to a holiday party last night with a lot of renewable/green/sustainability folks and had a talk with someone there about how she got her job. This is her story (paraphrased):

"I was laid off in 2008 early in the recession. I thought, 'No problem, I've always gotten jobs easily before.' I went ahead doing networking and watching my favorite job board, Idealist.org. Eventually I saw something on Idealist.org.  They had a great job posted for this organization (energy nonprofit where she works now), but my application went nowhere. Then, after a bad year of just not getting anything, I took some advice I'd read somewhere and got a volunteer job. Because my career goal was to work at a nonprofit, I identified four places I'd like to work, and I volunteered at one of them, the PEM Museum (highly regarded smaller museum). That was great because I got references from them that covered some of the time I'd been unemployed. I submitted the references here and was offered a part-time job. I took it and also accepted a fellowship I was offered at the museum. And then took another job so I was working three jobs. When a full-time option came up here I was able to grab it. So I love it here, and it's a great job."

What's the takeaway? VOLUNTEER! I've heard executive recruiters say they'd rather see some meaningful volunteer work on someone's resume than "Consulting." Recently tweeted about an article on CIO Magazine's site that listed "passion" as one of the key attributes companies are looking for in key IT hires. Passion for anything, not just IT, they said. So, in choosing a volunteer activity, go with one related to your field and/or your passion.

 

Cross-posted at Career Hub Blog

 

Went to a holiday party last night with a lot of renewable/green/sustainability folks and had a talk with someone there about how she got her job. This is her story (paraphrased):

"I was laid off in 2008 early in the recession. I thought, 'No problem, I've always gotten jobs easily before.' I went ahead doing networking and watching my favorite job board, Idealist.org. Eventually I saw something on Idealist.org  and they had a great job here (location of party), but my application went nowhere. Then, after a bad year of just not getting anything, I took some advice I read about and got a volunteer job. Because my career goal was to work at a nonprofit, I identified four places I'd like to work, and I volunteered at one of them, the PEM Museum (highly regarded smaller museum). That was great because I got references for the time I'd been unemployed. I submitted the references here (energy nonprofit where she works now) and was offered a part-time job. I took it and accepted a fellowship I was offered at the museum. And then took another job so I was working three jobs. When a full-time option came up here I was able to grab it. So I love it here, and it's a great job."

What's the takeaway? VOLUNTEER! I've heard executive recruiters say they'd rather see some meaningful volunteer work on someone's resume than "Consulting." Recently tweeted about an article on CIO Magazine's site that listed "passion" as one of the key attributes companies are looking for in key IT hires. Passion for anything, not just IT, they said. So, in choosing a volunteer activity, go with one related to your field and/or your passion.

 

Cross-posted at http://www.aresumefortoday.com/high-tech-resumes/

 

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Topics: job search, career management, Jobs, Get a Job, letters of recommendation

Are There Landmines in Your Recommendations? Job Search Warning!

Posted by Jean Cummings

Dec 10, 2010 8:31:00 AM

images gender

It happens to women a lot. It can also happen to men. You think someone's written a great recommendation for you. So many positive things are said, including: caring, collaborative, compassionate, good with people. But these turn out to be the very qualities that may put you out of the running.

Mikki Hebl's research (supported by the National Science Foundation) is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. She's found that the words used to describe women are different from the words to describe men. Men are described as leaders, assertive, ambitious, confident, bold etc. And the "male" characteristics are the preferred ones in hiring decisions.

Her research suggests that "gender norm stereotypes—and not necessarily the sex of applicants— can influence hireability ratings of applicants." So men can be victims of these stereotypes too. The research was done on hiring in university environments, particularly in science and engineering. I would guess that this dynamic would be even more true in private industry, particularly in technology and engineering.

Lively comments on the show segment ranged from: "Women should be more like men because 'male' traits lead to business success" to "The prevailing mythology of the white male in our culture is one of dominating other groups and progressively colonizing them (slavery, Native American subjugation)." I'm paraphrasing here.

My comment is: "Studies show that work gets done better if the leader has strong “communal” skills – the Lone Ranger isn’t the successful executive after all, despite the mythology around that and the words used to describe leaders. In fact, in a Harvard Business School article, it was reported that a study found that having a high 'emotional IQ' is a better predictor of CEO success than traditional high IQ."

This is a very loaded topic - one of the commenters said that our ability to be more communal as a species will ultimately determine our very survival.

In practical terms, if you want to get a job, ask your references to describe you in terms of your individual achievement and your qualities as a leader/manager, not in traditional female descriptors. At least until the culture changes!

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Topics: job search, career management, letters of recommendation, gender differences in hiring, sex discrimination

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