Archive for July, 2008

What you say vs. what others hear

July 29, 2008

As you work through life, and especially the job hunt, never forget that what you say may not be what others hear. Your message often has unintended side messages.

This article from the Wall Street Journal discusses how job candidates trash their chances of landing jobs by using overly informal communications.

After interviewing a college student in June, Tory Johnson thought she had found the qualified and enthusiastic intern she craved for her small recruiting firm. Then she received the candidate’s thank-you note, laced with words like “hiya” and “thanx,” along with three exclamation points and a smiley-face emoticon…. Workers in their 20s and younger are accustomed to online and cellphone messaging, and the abbreviated lingua franca that makes for quick exchanges, [David Holtzman] says. “It’s just natural for them. They don’t realize that it’s perceived to be disrespectful.”

Sometimes it’s not even the medium or the message, but when you send the message.

Executive recruiter Hal Reiter recently received … a thank you from a chief financial officer candidate sent by BlackBerry just minutes after the interview. “You don’t even have time to digest the meeting and you’re getting a thank-you note,” says Mr. Reiter, chairman and chief executive of Herbert Mines Associates, a New York-based search firm.

In this case, the very method of sending the communication told the recipient that it wasn’t worth much of the candidate’s time. The candidate was on his way somewhere else and dashed off a reply, as if he was getting an odious task off his checklist, rather than giving a respectful letter that matched the gravity of the communication.

It’s all about respect, and the ways that we can easily show our lack of respect or interest in others. Unintentional messages are messages none the less.

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How not to get a job: A continuing series

July 11, 2008

Penelope Trunk posted this in her Twitter timeline:

I set an interview for Monday. Candidate says he has kid stuff. I suggest Saturday night. He says Why don’t you have a date? No job for him.

Organized lowballing

July 7, 2008

Nick Corcodilos has an article about a new site called Dayak that “lets employers bid to see how cheaply they can hire talent.”:http://corcodilos.com/blog/54/on-the-edge-of-the-curve As he points out in the article, you get what you pay for.

I think “this page from the Dayak website”:http://www.dayak.com/index?type=howItWorks is all you need to know about them. That much cheesy stock photography is never a good sign.

Seriously, this is just bad news for everyone. When you’re treating people like eBay items, like interchangeable commodities, you’re going to hire the absolute most average people, or worse.