Thank you to Jenna Goudreau for including me in Wednesday’s ForbesWoman column which examines the use of flirting as a business tool. In the article, I get a chance to play “good cop, bad copy” with Nicole Williams, author of Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success.
Here is an excerpt from Forbes.com:
“It’s a touchier topic from the male perspective,” weighs in Shawn Graham, author of Courting Your Career: Match Yourself with the Perfect Job. He believes this strategy can be risky because the success of flirtation largely depends on how it’s received. Most women, or men for that matter, don’t want to express literal romantic interest or be seen as the “office flirt.” So it involves subtlety. “Platonic flirtation can be a great way to build relationships and rapport with coworkers,” Graham concludes.
Published July 2, 2010
branding , entrepreneurship , job search tips , marketing , networking
Tags: Brainshark, Careers, David Hauser, entrepreneurship, Google Job Experiment, Grasshopper.com, Holland-Mark Digital, HubSpot, Jay Wilder, job search advice, Kipp Bodnar, MassChallenge, Mike Troiano
Marketing is marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business trying to attract and retain customers or an eager job seeker trying to capture the attention of potential employers. Your ultimate success or failure will depend on your ability to position yourself (or your product if you’re a business) that addresses a problem people will pay you to solve.
Last week, I had a chance to be a fly on the wall at “Building Buzz Around Your Brand,” an event hosted by Grasshopper.com and MassChallenge at the Microsoft New England Development Center on the campus of MIT. Beyond enjoying the cool digs, attendees also learned marketing tips from folks from Brainshark (an entrepreneurial company with more than 150 employees), Holland-Mark (an advertising agency that boasts an average of approximately 37 minutes per visit to their website), HubSpot (an inbound marketing software provider whose blog gets more than 250,000 hits per day), and Grasshopper.com (a company that provides a mix of products and services to entrepreneurs–oh, and they are also responsible for this really cool video). Each speaker shared his perspective on brand building with the more than 100 people who were in attendance–a diverse audience which included recent MBA graduates seeking employment, entrepreneurs hoping to bootstrap a startup, folks who are gainfully employed in the marketing space.
Which marketing tips can help you build a buzz and stand out from the thousands of other job seekers you’ll likely be competing against ala the Google Job Experiment?
A lot of career experts share tips on getting past gatekeepers to get to the CEO or other senior executives who can influence whether or not you get an interview or are ultimately hired. Although they all have their subtle nuances, most involve strategizing the timing of your call, asking the administrative assistant to verify the spelling of the person’s name as a way of getting his or her mailing address, or even writing “Personal and Confidential” on the outside of your envelope to ensure the executive you are trying to contact will actually read your resume and cover letter. Although these outdated strategies might work 1 in 50 times, based on everything I hear when speaking with hiring companies, there’s a better chance it could hurt your candidacy than help it.
Technology has changed the way we can access hiring companies. Gone are the days of picking up the phone and calling a company in response to a job posting in your local newspaper. Today, you’re forced to navigate a labyrinth of call trees that would require the skills of a seasoned private investigator. And that’s assuming you can even find a number to call on their website.
The increase in Web traffic also means companies are inundated with applications like never before. One company I spoke with said they received 100,000 applications last year. Let that number sink in for a few seconds…100,000. If even 5% of applicants tried to call the CEO, that would equate to 5,000 calls. I don’t know about you, but somewhere around the 500th call, I would probably be more than a little cranky. After all, when they’re not responding to your calls, they actually have to run a company.
Instead of going straight to the top, start small. If you’re about to graduate from college or you only have a few years of full-time work experience and you want to get noticed, identify contacts in junior-level positions that can help you navigate the application process. Because they aren’t as far removed from finding a job straight out of college, if you slip up they are more likely to be forgiving because they can better relate to the challenges you’re facing. Plus, many college recruiting teams are comprised with junior alumni from your college or university. If you push them to the side in your attempts to connect with someone more senior within the organization, you could be shooting yourself in the foot.
20 articles from 20 career experts. Advice ranging from how to effectively organize your job search from Jason Alba, CEO and creator of JibberJobber.com, to how young leaders can leverage volunteer experiences to catapult their careers by Emily Bennington, author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m one of the 20 experts featured in Launch Pad: Your Career Search Strategy Guide (Volume 2). But that’s not why I’m writing a review. Rather, Meghan and Chris Perry did a great job of compiling perspectives from a broad range of career experts—something you’d be hard pressed to find in other job search titles currently on the market.
Maybe it’s because 99.9% of all LinkedIn invitations I receive include the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” generic email, but I have to say my favorite article has to be “5 Guidelines for LinkedIn Invitations”—a must read for anyone with an internet connection who is serious about managing his or her professional network.
If you have or will check out any of the titles in the Launch Pad series, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.