Archive for ‘Marketability’


The Resume is Alive and Getting More Lively

There has been a lot of recent talk of the resume being dead, hiring 2.0 and the newest whatever …….con-ver-blog-vid-podmetrical-seo’d… way to find your next career move.

It is time to set the record straight. The resume is not dead. The tendency to proclaim something dead might garner a little more attention with a dramatic headline, but as in life, things mostly adapt rather than die off.

The “old” resume used to be a piece of paper with an objective, describing the next job you desire, and a listing of companies you worked at along with some accomplishments for each position. It is more correct to say that the resume has evolved.

In general a resume is a summary of accomplishments. Reputation is derived from others acknowledgment of those accomplishments. So a resume is not really tied to the medium on which it is delivered.

If someone tells me about one of the attendees at a party, “he created the concept for public libraries, was an accomplished author, created a more efficient wood stove, invented the bifocal lens and was the ambassador to France“, I would say he has an impressive resume, even though I didn’t read this on paper or online.

Let’s consider the source of the resume is dead idea.

It is the SM (social media) folks flogging us with the standard,”it’s a conversation” “your blog is your resume” cat-o-ninetails. I sense more than a little self interest and sensationalism in declaring the resume is dead.

What has changed is the available tools and methods to drive attention to yourself and your acomplishments.

Certainly blogs are the easiest way to promote yourself. All you need are typing skills, command of your language and ideas that establish you as a contributor in your field. The search engines will find you and people (including recruiters) will visit your blog.

A blog post can certainly prompt contact from a recruiter. But don’t be distracted by the idea that all you need to do is write some posts that will attract organic recruiter search traffic. Ultimately, you will have to have a track record of accomplishments.

I agree that ideally, as Seth Godin points out, if you are remarkable at what you do, you dont need a resume. He did not say “the resume is dead” BTW. Remarkable people have a reputation that precedes them.

But it all circles back to accomplishments which create a reputation.

Certainly the traditional resume has evolved to include blogs, videos, podcasts, social networking profiles-such as Linkedin or Facebook, twitter and friendfeed accounts etc…

Compared to the static resume document of yore, there now are alot more ways to get internet juice to promote yourself with a resume enlivened with new media, but there is nothing worse than responding to a promotion and finding there is no substance to the promotional item.

Bottom line, a resume is what you have delivered in your career, whether it be code, sales dollars, cost savings or increased market share. No amount of social media promotion will over come lack luster accomplishment.

On a more practical note, a resume is for the hiring company and should demonstrate how you can do the job they are looking to fill. So, if you are reaching out to a company, make sure your resume is tailored to their specific task at hand, if you want to stand out.

Oh, and don’t forget to link to your lively self on your blog and LinkedIn profile.

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Career Traction

When managers review resumes, one of the key points they look for is traction. If there is a succession of moves after only one year for the last seven years, there is no traction. If the job titles or amount of responsibility don’t increase over time, there is no traction in the job history.

Traction equates to passion, commitment, willingness to learn and take on more responsibility. All attributes required by startups. Without traction, it is clear that the person is a 9 to 5er and not the caliber of employee desired by a startup or any performance oriented organization.


Mark Andreessen Knows what he is talking about

In a post on Career Development, Mark Andreessen hits the nail on the head.

Take Away Points

Grow your value in the market

Be aware and available for opportunity

Manage risk and reward


Career Trajectory

Careers have momentum and direction. We call this Career Trajectory. After launch, the goal is to break free of the atmosphere where there is no friction. You all know someone in your field that has enough career equity that they can get a job anytime and anywhere.

There are different stages of a career which can be plotted over time. Each stage has different risk factors and variables associated with the job search and the evaluation process. It is a viable approach for any career, but our specific focus is the goal of working for emerging technology companies and start ups. The missile launch analogy being that in the early stage you can effect the outcome much more than in the latter stages. At one point there is a critical window of opportunity to reach beyond the pull of gravity and have the best and most sought after companies seeking your employment. Once that window has passed, the probability of correcting course towards the higher goal is limited.

For example, experience has shown us that between 8 to 12 years is the “career defining” phase. Whatever you are doing at the end of this stage will probably be what you will continue to do. In other words, if you work at big fortune 100 software company and after 15 years decide to move to a start up, the probability is low that you can successfully make the transition. The risk may be too high for the company building their core team. Some reasonable questions from the hiring company would be, why haven’t you worked in a start up before?..can you thrive in a less structured environment, and so on. The point is not that senior people cannot change, it is that making a hire at $80K has less impact than the riskier $ 120K mistake. Also, making a drastic change of working for a start up is much harder once life has given you a big mortgage, college tuition savings and the other things that constrain life decisions.

So, be aware of the fact that significant change to keep your career on the right path is more easily made early on and that once the rocket is well on it’s way to Pluto you cannot easily turn it 180 degrees towards another destination.


Career Equity

The object of managing your career and your job search is to maximize Career Equity. Your value in the market place translates to the quantity and quality of positions available to you. The moves one makes effect Career Equity either positively or negatively.

The variables that effect Career Equity are the following:

A. Organizations you work for or have worked for.

There is a perceived quality associated with every company or organization.

The quality is measured by success, usually financial sometimes technical.

Due to the dilution factor, typically the quality of individuals at a large organization cannot be as high as a smaller one due to simple averages. Therefore, perceived quality is higher coming from a smaller successful company, especially as viewed by other smaller companies.

B. Individuals in your reference network.(opinions of you are formed in the workplace, business meetings, trade associations and interviews.) be mindful of the impressions you leave.

If you work with people better than you, you get better.

If you work with people of lesser abilities you sink to their level over time.

Known quality individuals increase career equity, ie.. my reference is James Gosling vs. a middle manager at DEC. You want the manager to think “I know your reference and respect his opinions”.

C. Accomplishments and Skills

The more current and leading edge your skill set, the more options you will have.

The most important criteria to a hiring manager is quantifiable accomplishments.

Smaller companies afford the opportunity for more impact on a product or accomplishment.

Focusing on Maximizing your Career Equity will produce a better caliber position and ultimately higher compensation.