on April 10, 2015 Comments Off on When a fancy resume, slick cover letter or mind-blowing credentials are not enough..
While going through my back-runs of my magazines, I came across this very insightful article in Inc magainze by Jason Fried (37signals and baseCamp fame).
In a nutshell, effort makes a big difference for Jason.
People who really want it don’t toss their whole portfolio at me; they pick relevant examples and explain the thinking behind them. They don’t speak in generalities about what makes them great; they speak specifically about how they would be a great addition to Basecamp
I really love how Jason thinks holistic and in a no-nonsense fashion when it comes to hiring. Finding great talent is hard. It is even harder for small companies like Basecamp.
on April 10, 2015 Comments Off on How excited are you about my company?
When I met Kara Johnson (name changed for privacy*) at a job fair, I was immediately impressed with her confidence and social skills. She ran an independent investment advice office for Edward Jones and was looking to hire salespeople/advisers.
She was upfront about the need to do a lot of sales even though the job title was “investment adviser”. She invited me in for a dinner and company introduction at a fancy restaurant if I was interested. Now, don’t jump to conclusions yet… this did not feel like a bait-and-switch at all.
However, when I reached out and got on the phone (mostly to score my free fancy dinner), she didn’t cave in right away. I was super-impressed at how she spent very little time (about 15 minutes) on the phone. First, explaining quickly what was expected of the role (mostly sales, during the first 6-9 months). Then she asked me to do research on the company itself and call her back if I was still interested:
What did Edwards Jones do?
How was it originally founded?
What were their values?
What was a typical role of an investment office?
Who was their competition etc..
It would have taken me 1-2 hours to prepare with all those answers and a fair bit of back-of-the-head thinking before I would be prepared to face her again. Long story short, I self-selected out of that role (and a shot at a free dinner) because of the time involved.
But my biggest takeaway is:
If you are a career-seeker, you should definitely research the company quite thoroughly before meeting anyone at that company formally or informally. I am proud that Edward Jones has figured that out from the employer side but you will not get that lucky from most of your prospective employers.