I know it is said all the time, but still in 2012 so many people do not follow this very simple rule of thumb. Have I absolutely adored every single person I have ever worked with? Of course not! But I am friendly with and stay in touch with all. Check ins and networking with past coworkers and bosses are so important as you just never know what is down the road for you.
I have a very recent personal example on why leaving on good terms is so important. 8 months ago I left a role to go work for another company. It was a smaller company and I believed I could grow in my career more and make more money too. Unfortunately they shut down and I found myself out of a job 6 months later. I was lucky enough find another role and was not unemployed for very long. I started this week, and guess what? My previous boss from the company I resigned from starts next Monday! Luckily I didn’t feel I had a need to burn any bridges, but it is more than just about not burning bridges it is about leaving a good terms. My boss and all of my coworkers knew I respected them and enjoyed working with them and I was leaving because it was a chance I felt I needed to take. They know all this because I communicated it with them. I WANTED to leave on very good terms because I know that I have no idea what the future holds and I was right.
My other example comes from a good friend and shows the importance of not burning bridges. You know that person you thought was a slacker and had no work ethic at your job 10 years ago that you desperately wanted to tell off before you left the company? Believe it or not they could be working at the company you are interviewing with today and the company WILL ask them what they think of you and how you left things with them 10 years ago will be a huge deciding factor in how they respond. THIS actually happens. In the case of my friend the past co-worker was actually going to be the new boss. It was a really good thing he kept quiet when he left.
Another point to make is the industry you work in is smaller than you might think and you never know who is friends with who or who networks with each other. If you leave on bad terms, I promise you that is a rumor that will spread.
My suggestion is to look everyone in the eye, extend a hand and say “it was a pleasure working with you, let’s stay in touch” !
There is a myth about Recruiters that a large number of the population is walking around with! So many people think that the mere act of sending a recruiter your resume means they are now out there searching for a job for you. I wish this was true, I wish I could give people that kind of hope! The fact is, that Recruiters get jobs and we have to find people who fit. I want it to be you, I truly do, but sometimes it isn’t. I know you can learn it, I know you are trainable, I know you CAN DO anything! But unfortunately my hiring manager really wants someone who already knows it and has already done it.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is:
- I can be on the lookout for you.
- I can tell you what to change in your resume.
- I can advise you to make looking for a job a full-time job.
- Get on LinkedIn, get on Twitter, use you Network.
- Join groups on LinkedIn and start discussions, comment on other’s discussions basically get your name out there!
- Change your screen name to “John Doe email@example.com .NET Developer look for next opportunity”. I now know who you are, what you do, that you are interested in talking about opportunities, and how to get in touch with you.
- Check your junk e-mail everyday. You would be surprised how many job leads and recruiter e-mails are being sent to you and going directly to junk.
- Remember to edit your resume out on the boards once a month (if you don’t do this you will not come up in my searches) I sure wish I had known this when I was looking for work years ago!
- Put your phone number and e-mail address on your resume
- Check in with me once every couple of weeks by sending me an e-mail with your resume attached. Yes I know we are like “best friends” and I should remember exactly who you are and what you do and what you are looking to do next, but sometimes I don’t, I am sorry I know I am flawed, and I really, really want you to get your IDEAL role, so help me to do that!
OK I do not want this to be some meaningless rant, but I spend a lot….no really A LOT of time going through resumes with people. I tell them the good the bad and the ugly. I go line by line and tell them what to add, what to take out, what to reword and how to say some things better. I take pride in helping people with this.
SO…I must ask why don’t you listen to me? Why would you add 1 word into your resume and send it back to me asking if this is better?
A great resume can get you an interview! So a few things to remember:
- Do not use the same 4 bullet points under every job description copy and paste is never a good selling point!
- If you consider yourself an expert in Excel do not simply list Excel on your resume, show how you use it
- If you have a list of skills and software broken out at the top of your resume, be sure to add it into the bullet points of your jobs as well, hiring managers like to see how and when you gained your experience and used these skills
- If you spent 3 months on a contract for one role and it has 15 bullet points and 8 years at a FTE role and it has 3 bullet points this raises a question mark, make sure you are adding real experience from all roles
- It is no longer important for a resume to fit on 1 page, but it should not be 12 pages either
- The top Objective – Almost Every single person writes a version of “Looking for a role where I can build on my past experiences. I am self-motivated and work well individually or in a team environment. I am looking for a company this is interested in efficiency and performance.” OK this is the header of your resume! The thing that is going to draw people in and sell you; and I am 3 sentences in and I still do not know what you do! How about a Summary of your career past and your goal for your next role. “I have 13 years of experience as a Business Analyst in both Finance and Healthcare industries. I have experience leading JAD sessions and creating BRDs and FRDs. My ability to listen to my clients needs and to ask the right questions enables me to document the requirements and to communicate their needs with the technical team. I am currently looking for a new Business Analyst role and am available to interview immediately. Honestly I just typed this off the top of my head and more can be added, but I think you get my point.
Most importantly don’t let me tell you all of this in a 1 on 1 meeting and then send me back a resume with the word Excel added under every job.
Networking Events are completely underutilized! I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to tell people Networking and Networking events are NOT ONLY for the unemployed. There are few people in this world that didn’t get to something they wanted without the help or knowledge of another person.
When you attend a Networking Event you never know who you will meet. And you never know how you might be able to help them or they might be able to help you! And the help I am referring to does not just have to be about a “need” you have today.
Create connection because you have no idea what you might need in the future!
For example at an event you meet “Joe” and through small talk you find out Joe is unemployed and looking for a new opportunity, but you might not have the right opportunity for him right now, but you also find out that he is making money working at his brother’s shop fixing and towing cars. Low and behold a couple of months down the line you need service and remember Joe and give a call, while there you are talking to his brother and find out his wife is a Project Manager looking for a new BA.
Stories like this actually happen every single day. Now you didn’t meet the PM at the event, and you couldn’t necessarily help the brother-in-law but showing up to the event and networking brought you to this business.
I honestly feel that you should make an effort to go to several events a month because you never know who you will meet and how you may be able to help each other out one day in the future!
Now I understand some of us are more shy than others. And that may be the reason you don’t like Networking events. I promise you if you can force yourself to go, there WILL BE someone who approaches you to talk. And with each conversation you will feel more comfortable and before you know it, it will be time to go home with a pocket full of new connections!
To be honest I have never written a Blog. I honestly didn’t know where to begin. So, in typical fashion I put it off and off and off, until finally I felt more like a slacker than someone who was just afraid to start. So I started to think about the fact that a great number of people probably procrastinate more because of the unknown than actual laziness just like me. So it brought me to the conclusion that I wanted to write about LinkedIn, because I am so often amazed by the fact that there are professionals that still do not use it! Then I thought maybe they are just putting it off because of the fear of the unknown! So let’s talk about it.
LinkedIn is NOT Facebook or MySpace. It is truly a professional Social Networking tool. You start by creating a profile for yourself and setting it up in the same way you would set up a resume, telling people about your past professional roles and what your accomplishments were. LinkedIn actually walks you through the whole process to don’t be afraid to get started. LinkedIn even goes and finds the people you know that already have accounts and suggests who you should connect with. It even gives you an option to request written references from people you have worked with in the past!
Once you have your profile set up you can begin to join groups that other people have created sharing your interests and backgrounds. Using a spin-off of the now common phrase there’s an App for that; trust me there is a group for that! Are you a BA in Charlotte, there’s a group for that! A JAVA Developer yup there is a group for that too. Are you a Recruiter – there’s a group for that or a job seeker yup that too. I think you are getting the point.
You can then use these groups and the network connections you make from them to socially network to get help with your current need. Are you looking for a Networking Event in your city to attend? You can find it on LinkedIn or ask group members ; someone will know! Is your neighbor’s 2nd cousin’s stepsister looking for work? You can post it out to your group to see if someone can help. Are you a recruiter with job openings? Post it on your profile and in groups and someone might know someone who will fit! Have a professional topic you would like to discuss with your peers? Start the discussion in your LinkedIn group and see how far it goes!
I think you are getting the point, but if you have any questions feel free to ask me here or on LinkedIn and I will be happy to answer or help you to the best of my ability! Now go create your profile and actually use LinkedIn to its full potential. Stop putting it off, you might actually enjoy it!
Hey! I think I just wrote my first BLOG!!!