by Rick Gillis

Random Thoughts on Job Search: Women, Cash and Karma

Oct 21, 20146 mins
IT Jobs

A fresh take on some aspects of job search that you may not have considered.

Woman with light bulb coming out of head
Credit: Thinkstock

We all know the basic tenets of job search: create a compelling resume, nail the interview, and negotiate the salary you seek. In this post I thought I would ramble a little bit on some very important job search considerations that must take place prior to or along the way. Stay with me. This will be enlightening.

Reject the Noise!

No matter how bad employment/unemployment news might be this morning, no matter how good or bad the stock market ended the trading day yesterday and no matter how distressed you might be about landing that perfect job, always keep in mind that you are only looking for one job!

The unemployment rate could be 2 percent or 10 percent, no matter, somewhere someone is looking for you. Your job (no pun intended) is to make that connection.


To help you make that connection I have a best definition of “networking” for you. This is especially for those of you who are not comfortable with the concept of meeting and greeting people you have never seen before. Take these next three lines to heart, and the rest will take care of itself.  

“It’s not who you know. It’s not what you know. It’s who knows what you know that makes a career.”

Enough said!

Your Dream Job

This week I received my monthly newsletter from New York Times best-selling authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick. (Full disclosure: Elton wrote the introduction to my “JOB!” book.) This post was called How to Get a Dream Job, and I couldn’t agree with it more. Chester had lunch with a friend who had been out of work for a year and was considering NOT taking an offer because it did not meet all of his criteria. The punch line is that after politely listening to his friend, Chester let him have it. Take the job! MAKE it what you want it to be.

You may not recognize this fact but rarely does the perfect-fit candidate walk into an interview — and vice versa. The recruiter and hiring manager do their best to match the criteria desired but “close to” has always been an option in the world of hiring.

The company will work to make you a fit, and it is your responsibility to meet them half-way by working on becoming that perfect candidate.

(Sidebar: Plan on giving any job you ever take at least one year to learn the people, the culture and your position. My professional advice is to never leave a position until you have achieved at least one promotion. Promotions always look good on a resume submitted to your next employer.)

Social Media and Job Search

Social media requires preparation and forethought during job search. I’n not talking about removing those spring break pictures from your Facebook page. This is about prepping a blog, website, Twitter feed, Facebook page or set of YouTube videos (along with any other manner of social media you are using) to reflect who you are professionally. LinkedIn is mandatory and must be current and truly professional. (Hint: Start with a great head shot.)

With social media you are not looking for a job per se — you are looking for a person. It is no different that wandering into a career fair only this career fair happens to be global and you are competing against thousands of individuals who may be equally as talented as you. Further, it is said that 95 percent of all jobs DO NOT go to the most qualified person. Think about that; it’s all in the preparation and presentation.

More and more you will come across opportunities whereby you can submit a link to your LI profile in lieu of a resume. (I happen to think that is a cool thing!) Should you come across a tweet that you can respond to, you have no choice but to do so in 140 or fewer characters. By definition this means that you will be doing so with a link to somewhere. You really want that somewhere to be spot-on in terms of how you wish to be perceived by a potential employer. Now is the forethought aspect becoming clear?

A great Twitter feed requires posting over time. Same for Facebook and most other platforms that take days, weeks, months or even years to develop. Your LI profile is an ideal presentation format that you can prepare quickly, but is your page really buffed? Review some profiles that you admire and emulate them.

Video resumes are also a great way to send a link to a professional request. Just be certain that you are displaying what your AUDIENCE will find appealing and appropriate and not what you or your friends find entertaining.

The bottom line to all of this is that you have to be yourself. For the purpose of job search, try to be your best self.

A Couple of Questions

  1. Based on your resume, would you hire you?
  2. Based on your social media footprint, would you hire you?

To illustrate these points I always tell my audiences: 1) “You see your paycheck as payment for services rendered,” and 2) “Your employer sees your paycheck as their investment in you.” What happens to an underperforming investment? It gets dumped. So do people.

Karma! Really?

Like you, I heard the Satya Nadella gaffe and was astounded. Flabbergasted. Before the incident, I doubt 10 percent of the U.S. population could have even named the current CEO of Microsoft.

One of my personal soapboxes that I continually rail on is the disparity of male and female salaries. From my point of view, women do not ask often enough for a raise and rarely do women do much more than accept what is offered at the initial salary negotiation, which really impacts future negotiations. (This is not true of my female clients! We prep for exactly this eventuality. Hey, you can always use the original offer as a fall back position. Why not go for the $$?)

I wonder if Nadella is aware of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act President Obama signed into law in 2009? I don’t recall any mention of Karma in the statutes.