A recruiter might find you on the basis of your profile's keywords. To do that she really doesn't have to know much about the work you do. She might not even know the right topics to investigate when she speaks to you.
This means that you have to give her the information she needs to represent you properly to an employer. You have to educate her during the interview.
Founders of startups face the same challenge when they speak to reporters who don't understand their hi-tech products. So, let's compare some job hunting tips from Johanna Rothman and Rich Stone to the recommendations Caryn Marooney,Facebook's Head of Tech Communications has for startup CEOs.
As a founder, you know more about your topic than anyone in the world. If you’re talking to a reporter and you just answer their questions without telling them what’s important about your company, shame on you.
Brand image is your lump of clay and you have to go out there and make it into something beautiful. Respond to their questions, but then tell them what’s important in every answer, because they don’t know, or even how to ask.
For every line on your résumé, explain the value. If your build system automation work on a project saved three-person weeks every quarter, you would say something like this:
"Saved three person-weeks every quarter via automation by delivering scripts for the build system."
That’s still a little wimpy. As a first draft, that might be good enough... However, if you are refining your résumé, or you haven’t worked for too long, you want to craft each line on your résumé. How can you clarify this line to specify your value?
"Saved three person-weeks every quarter by automating scripts for our git-based build system. We transitioned from SVN to git and I automated the scripts."
Don’t let your experience look like a job description. I see a lot of “responsible for this” or “participated in that” bullets.
If you are hiring a QB for your football team, do you hire a QB who was responsible for calling plays, throwing passes and participated in running the offense? or do you hire one who scored 30 points per game, rushed for 100 yards, threw for 350 yards, had a 75% pass completion ratio over that last 3 seasons?
For my generation that moment, 50 years ago this coming Friday, was the fault line, our Pearl Harbor and 9/11 all rolled into one. There was the golden time before Kennedy was shot when all was possible — and there was the time after the assassination, when the world seemed a much darker and more uncertain place.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, was my hero. I worshipped the man like no other person I have known, before or since.
As the son of New Deal Democrats, I would have supported Kennedy no matter what, but my fierce support for the man was sealed by a personal encounter long before he defeated Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 presidential election.
During the Democratic primaries, Kennedy visited Nebraska. My grandfather, a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party, took me to hear him speak. After the speech, Kennedy was led to a room at the back and my grandfather was one of those invited to meet the candidate. When the time came, he pushed me ahead.
Kennedy shook my hand, patted my shoulder, looked me in the eye (in that way gifted politicians have of making you feel that you are the only person in the room who matters) and said he hoped I would vote for him when I was old enough.
Vote? That was not nearly enough. I would have run through fire for the man.
Journalist, Tom Wolfe, learned that it didn't pay to try and be buddy-buddy with the people he was interviewing. Here he is talking about interviewing people for his book about hippies, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Wolfe said that Kesey would often test visitors and try to determine who among them was a “weekend hippie” and who actually followed the hippie lifestyle.
“He would say, ‘All right, let’s everybody get naked and get on our bikes and go up Route 1,’ ” recalled Wolfe. “They did. This separated the hippies from the weekend hipsters very rapidly. I didn’t have to worry because I was in my three-piece suit with a big blue corduroy necktie and the idea that I was going to take any of this off for anybody was crazy.”
The suit, he said, functioned to differentiate him from the people he covered in his pieces — and made it clear to his subjects that he was not one of them.
“I have discovered that for me, it is much more effective to arrive in any situation as a man from Mars than to try and fit in,” he said. “When I first started out in journalism, I used to try and fit in. … I tried to fit into the scene. … I was depriving myself of the ability of some very obvious questions if I fit in. … After that, I gave it up. I would turn up always in a suit and just be the village information gatherer.”