Jag Venugopal's Blog

June 26, 2012

The ‘Objectives’ section on a resume

Filed under: Business — Jag @ 6:30 am

To borrow a phrase from Junior Soprano — An entire forest in the pacific northwest has probably given its life for the cause of the objectives section on resumes. To no end whatsoever.

When someone’s looking for a job, there’s only one objective they have — to land a job that pays well, and where they have the opportunity to succeed. The rest is all fluff; both the applicant and hiring manager know it. Yet, egged on by ignorant authors of resume writing books, applicants continue to fill an entire paragraph with cliches.

For the love of God, please don’t state an objective at all. I know what your objective is. I don’t want to read “to leverage, maximize, and further develop my skills and work ethic and leadership skills into a mutually rewarding relationship where I play a senior IT role for the success of the organization in an intensely competitive marketplace”.

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June 6, 2012

Never forget the radio station WII FM

Filed under: Project Management — Jag @ 6:33 am
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I get countless calls each week, that all go the same way: “My name is so and so, and I want to talk to you about such and such…”

In precisely 100% of instances, these communications have been summarily deleted. I never take a cold call.

I feel sad for the person that’s trying to make a sale, knowing that they will meet with similar rejection in every call they make. How could they do better? I have three suggestions:

First, clearly answer the question “What’s in it for me?”. If you cannot answer it, don’t bother. If, on the other hand, you’ve somehow come up with an answer I like, then your pitch becomes a lot more persuasive.

Second — do your communications resemble brochures, or do they actually give me some small nuggets of information that are immediately actionable? If you want to talk about BI, first provide some BI related information that I actually care about. Then, segue to your company and your product. You don’t need to serve up a big tome… a few tidbits of useful knowledge conveyed in a newsletter will motivate me enough to read more, and actually understand what you’re trying to say.

Third, don’t offer bribes. Two companies proposed to give me Red Sox tickets in exchange for considering whatever they were selling. Countless others send me all manner of tchotchkes. You’re wasting your time and money. I will never accept a gift from a vendor. Ever. Tchotchkes like pens and pencils with your logo on it get gifted to the first kid I can find. Money wasted for you.

Ultimately, Dale Carnegie said it best: “Bait the hook to suit the fish”.

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