It’s once again short answer Saturday: nine short answers to nine short questions. This week, we’ve got a recent grad who wants to wear her resume on a t-shirt to get attention, a coworker who walks away mid-conversation, and more.
Should I wear my resume on a t-shirt?
I’m a recent college graduate and have been actively job hunting for about 6 months. As the number of resumes I’ve sent out approaches 300, I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how I can stand out among the hundreds of other applicants I’m competing with. After Googling “creative ways to get hired,” I came across the idea of wearing a t-shirt with my resume on it. My dream job is to do PR in the racing industry. I’m attending two races in the coming months and I am contemplating doing this in order to get the attention of some race teams and potential hiring managers. Would you recommend wearing a resume t-shirt or does it come across as too desperate?
Really, really desperate.
That said, I’m not going to tell you that no one has gotten a job through gimmicks like that. Occasionally someone does. Just not the vast majority of the time.
But really, if you want to stand out, write a really great cover letter and have an awesome resume. And read this and this and this.
Can’t remember old manager’s name
I am applying for a new position via internet and it is asking for my previous supervisor. However, for the life of me, I cannot remember his last name and from what I understand he does not even work there anymore. I am wondering if it is ok just to put his first name or if I should call my former employer and ask them? Also can I leave it blank?
Don’t leave it blank; while it’s unlikely that you’d be rejected over that, you don’t want to give them any reason to discard your application. Take two minutes to call your old employer and ask for the guy’s last name.
My former boss was on my interviewing panel
Yesterday, I interviewed for a position very similar to my last job but on a manager level. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the lobby and saw my previous boss — he was sitting on the interview panel as an outside expert! Not only that, I used him as a reference for the job! He said that the other interviewers both knew and that they were ok with it. He and I have a good relationship and the interview went well. In several of their questions, I mentioned my previous position and my old boss would chime in to expound or corroborate what I had said. I am curious if this is a positive or negative thing for me as a candidate. How can the panel be really be objective when he knows me? Will the other interviewers feel like I got preferential treatment?
It’s a positive, believe me. Having someone who not only knows your work but used to manage you having a voice in the hiring process is a huge bonus (assuming he liked your work, which it sounds like he did).
Sending ideas after being rejected
I am waiting to hear if I got a job offer. I was inspired by this position more so than any other and even post-interview, I’ve been researching and listing ideas that would help expand their brand awareness. (I discussed some ideas during the interview as well but the more I think about the position, the more ideas come to me). I am optimistic about an offer but if they choose another candidate, would it be strange if I gracefully wished them well and send them my ideas anyway while letting them know that I’m disappointed I didn’t get the job but I was so inspired I continued to prepare in hopes of getting the offer? I want them to know this position would have been more than just a job for me and that I am serious about my work (the perk would also be that they question their final candidate choice).
There’s nothing gained by having them question their final choice, once an offer has been made and accepted. But there is potentially something to be gained by sending them those ideas now, before they’ve made their decision, when it can still have some influence (assuming the ideas and your presentation of them are strong).
Rude coworker walks away mid-conversation
I seem to be having an issue with a coworker. I’m not sure if it’s just an issue with my own perception, or if this is really a problem. Whenever we are having a conversation (regardless of whom generates it or what the topic is), this person seems to think that it’s okay to walk away in the middle of a conversation. Not in a “well, this conversation is over” or any manner thereof, but just in the middle of my piece of conversation, this person will simply walk away, with no notion of saying “excuse me” or “just a second.” I have been raised with the concept that that behavior is just plain rude. This person doesn’t seem to have ill feelings with anyone (myself included), but seems to feel that it’s okay to walk away from anyone they’re talking to. I’m not sure if this is something that should be addressed or not. I’m not the kind of person who likes or brings on drama in the workplace. There are a lot of things that I just “let go,” but if I’m in the middle of completing a task with this person and they decide walk away in the middle of it, I personally don’t think that’s acceptable. The person doesn’t come back either, they decide to lollygag elsewhere, so I’m not exactly sure if or how I should bring this up with this person.
How you respond to this really comes down to personal style, but honestly, if the conversation was work-related, I’d just call after the person, “Hey, can we finish up here?” And if it wasn’t work-related, I’d most likely say something like, “Ooooohhkay, I guess we’re done.” But then I think I’d stop having non-work-related conversations with this person anyway.
One question: Does she do it to others too, or just to you? If just to you, is there any chance that you’re a capital-T Talker — longwinded to the point that this person doesn’t know how else to escape the conversation? (Not that that excuses it but it’s worth considering.)
Why did they hire me this time but not the other times I applied?
I just recently switched jobs to one of the Big 4 accounting firms from a regional firm. I applied to this same accounting firm, I believe 3-4 times in the last year, and now finally am in. I don’t believe I’ve changed my approach or packet too much, aside from tweaking little aspects of it. I guess my question would be:
1) Does an internal recommendation help? (3 of my applications went through internal referral, 1 Director, 1 Staff, and my succeess was through a staff) and does level matter?
2) How come it took me multiple tries to get into the company that finally hired me? (I don’t know if you can answer this one, honestly I don’t think I changed much of my resume/cv packet.)
Yes, an internal recommendation helps, and the level of the person making it matters (although a strong recommendation from a lower-level person can be more valuable than a tepid recommendation from a higher-level person, depending on various factors). And it probably took multiple tries because in the other rounds, there happened to be candidates who were stronger than you. Remember, not getting a job doesn’t mean that you weren’t qualified — it just means that you weren’t the only person who was qualified.
Is it too soon to apply for an internal transfer?
I’ve been with my company for five months. A position has opened up within the company that I feel I am much better suited for, doing something that I would enjoy more, and where the supervisor is much nicer. As much as I’d love to apply, I am afraid my current supervisor will be mad to hear that I would leave after such a short time. Am I out of line to apply so soon?
And there’s a good chance you’d be unsuccessful anyway, because (a) the other manager won’t have much confidence in your longevity if you’re leaving your current position so quickly, and (b) at many companies, managers in your current role need to approve an internal transfer before it can go through. The absolute most you could do is to tell the second manager that you’d love to work in that role “down the road, when I’ve been in my current position longer, since obviously I wouldn’t leave so soon after starting.” There’s a small chance that that could lead to a series of events that would land you in the role now, without you having reneged on your current commitment. (For instance, if this manager knows that your current manager wouldn’t be upset about losing you — not the greatest recommendation in and of itself, of course — and if she’s dying to have you for herself — also a big if — it’s possible she might orchestrate something behind the scenes.) But otherwise? No.
Should I thank the company owner for giving me a job?
I just received the best job I could have ever dreamed of (yes, I am serious). My question is, would it be wrong to thank the owner of the company for giving me this job? In the letter I feel I would want to convey that I am thanking him for this job, not because of any impact it may have in the future (I have nor will I ever be a brown-noser who is looking to suck his way to the top), but for what has already happened. I am new in the corporate world and I don’t want to seem cheesy or wrong but I am very appreciative of my new job. I did thank my immediate supervisor and he just blew it off and said whatever……we are happy to have you here. Any thoughts on this? I have just worked for other outfits and have never, ever been treated as well as I am here.
Don’t thank them for hiring you. Once you’ve been there for more than a few weeks, thank them for whatever it is that’s making you so thrilled to be there (aside from employment itself) — whether it’s the culture, or the generous retirement plan, or the general way they treat employees, or the work itself. Be specific. Most managers would love to hear something like that. But you don’t want to write them a thank-you note for hiring you, because you don’t want them to feel they did you a favor; this is a business arrangement, and they should hopefully feel that they’re benefitting from having you there as much as you’re benefitting from being there.
Political affiliation on a resume
Am I harming myself if my resume shows my political affiliation? Last year, I volunteered on a political campaign (part-time) for an entire year. I’d like to include my accomplishments in that position on my resume, but I’m not sure if I should actually name the campaign (which was the standard “CANDIDATE NAME 2010″) or just list it vaguely as “Congressional Campaign.” I don’t work in politics, so my first instinct is that it doesn’t matter. However, with the political climate being so heated recently, I’m wondering if I’m risking having my resume tossed because the hiring manager happens to vote differently than me. Thoughts?
Unless the campaign was for a particularly controversial/inflammatory politician, list it. Sure, some hiring managers might reject you for it, the same way they might reject you because they hate your school or your tie or the fact that you listed your hobbies as knitting and canoeing. But the majority won’t, and you can’t control for the ones who will, any more than you can control for any other random factor. (Plus, for every hiring manager who objects, an equal number will like it.) But if the politician is known for inspiring particularly heated dislike, go with the more generic listing.