Tag Archives: advice

Articles for job seekers

No — I Won’t Supply My References Before The First Interview

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/31/no-i-wont-supply-my-references-before-the-first-interview/

I agree. I think this practice runs the risk of companies contacting references without the candidate preparing them for what to emphasize (always within their ability to ethically do so!), or even giving notice. References are job search treasure, and must be cherished and protected. It also has the potential to be a sneaky way for companies to gather other names of people to solicit for employment. And depending on how long you’ve been employed, you may want to customize the reference list you give depending on the interview and the directions taken while you were there.

And I’m only semi-cynical in predicting this, but at some point I can see health testing, even DNA testing… all as a condition of being considered for employment. DNA testing brings to mind this cartoon:

Job Search Humor Cartoon

https://davidhuntpe.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/job-search-humor-cartoon/

And yes, I have this gene.  (Some would doubtless opine a deplorable excess thereof…)

4 Behavioral Interview Questions That Reveal What a Job Candidate Is Really Like

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/4-behavioral-interview-questions-that-uncover-what-a-job-candidates-is-really-li.html

Insights from the interviewer’s playbook. Good stuff. Related:

5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate

http://blog.concordepersonnel.com/2011/08/5-non-traditional-interview-questions-that-can-help-you-select-the-best-candidate/

With respect to the fourth question specifically: while the question itself is quite legitimate and can lead to great insights, I believe the implicit assumption that if the candidate can’t think of anything then the candidate is assumed to be the one with the problem, is not legitimate. I call BS. There are, sadly, some very bad people in management out there (recall the “conventional wisdom” that people leave managers, not companies) – to de facto assume that problems always reside with the employee, and never with the person’s manager (or the company in general), is naïve. And another question, which I think is actually a very good one, so prepare:

How You Answer This Interview Question Reveals Your True Character

https://www.inc.com/betsy-mikel/1-interview-question-that-cuts-through-the-bs-to-reveal-someones-true-character.html

Anyone can “song and dance” their way through an interview and shine. This is a “penetrating” question and gets to a person’s character. I like it; one can train for skill, one can inspire and motivate for attitude… but one cannot implant ethics, integrity, or basic character (at best one can get someone to stick to the “letter of the law” out of fear of punishment, but GOOD behavior and GOOD character – that’s inherent in a person). And it’s actually a good question to ask of a hiring manager too!!

How A Story Database Will Make You More Persuasive

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2017/04/03/story-database/

Written for sales, but also vital for job seekers. Stories ENGAGE not just factually, but EMOTIONALLY. The trick is to get in front of someone – a human! – who is willing to have a conversation and listen to your stories… and also have the perception to jump to what your background and stories could do for them.

The tech that hiring managers are using to screen all of your social media posts

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/14/the-tech-that-hiring-managers-are-using-to-screen-all-of-your-social-media-posts.html

I wonder… this could be a good software for someone to purchase, and then have people pay to screen their SM presence. And I have to wonder – I don’t have a FB account. Does that affect me positively, or negatively? I do find this to be a “catch-22”: too much SM presence, and that’s bad, too much of the “wrong” content, that’s bad, not enough or even if you’re not on SM altogether, that’s bad too. In my first essay on this, I came up with a quote which I think very much applies to vetting people through their SM presence:

“Hiring managers and human resources people search the internet for indications about a candidate’s personality, character, opinions, and human failings – and then are shocked and horrified to discover candidates have personalities, characters, opinions, and human failings.”

Consulting Firms: Strike back & stir the pot

http://www.asktheheadhunter.com/10485/consulting-firms

Always good stuff from Nick Corcodilos! 

Networking Tips for Awkward People

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/networking-tips-awkward-people-jenny-hill-cplp-ctdp

Good overview thoughts. Especially if, like many technically-oriented people, you tend to not be comfortable in social settings.

7 Toxic Traits Of A Bad Employer

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-toxic-traits-bad-employer-j-t-o-donnell

I’ve said this before: if you have time, search on LinkedIn for people who used to work at the company, and see if they’ll answer some questions. Also, if you are a member of related professional societies, ask around. Companies develop reputations. And if you know some good recruiters in the space, they also can be a good place to get off-the-record scuttlebutt. (One recruiter I know told me about a company they’d FIRED as a client because of all the negative feedback about the company they’d received from potential candidates – one of whom actually said “I’d rather be homeless than work for that place.”) 

9 Scary Reasons Overqualified Job Seekers are Rejected

https://jobmob.co.il/blog/reasons-overqualified-job-seekers-are-rejected/

Which only highlights the value of networking in and having conversations with decision-makers. Get to someone who can see beyond the scariness of someone “overqualified” to what you could do for them. And at the risk of shameless self-promotion, consider changing the rules of the game entirely with these thoughts:

The “O” Word 2

https://davidhuntpe.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/the-o-word-2/

Don’t Overshare: What Not to Say During a Job Interview

https://www.recruiter.com/i/dont-overshare-what-not-to-say-during-a-job-interview/

It used to be, with people building careers at one company over decades, that friendships formed with so much time spent with the same people for so long. (Aside: growing up, my parents would often hold dinner parties; guests were, very regularly, co-workers from either – sometimes both – of my parents’ places of work… even in my next-generation case, some of my still-close friends come from former employers). In interviews “back then”, personal details would come out in anticipation of that long-term relationship. That’s done and in-the-past these days. Today, always ask yourself if the details you are about to share really are their business (and, potentially, could be things held against you for employment purposes, or as potential “leverage” against you should you join).

The most important trait for a successful job search

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/most-important-trait-successful-job-search-bob-mcintosh-cprw-mbti

An absolutely key ingredient.

 

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I am a senior-level Mechanical Engineer with, primarily, a background in plastics where I started my career. I am seeking a full-time engineering role, ideally in medical devices or defense, from Burlington MA to Concord NH, as a:

  • Plastics Design Engineer / Project Engineer
  • New Product Introduction / Design-Manufacturing handoff
  • Cost Reduction “Tiger Team” Engineer
  • Manufacturing / Process Engineer

For those interested, you can see some target companies on my blog:

Target Companies

https://davidhuntpe.wordpress.com/target-companies

And please do look at my portfolio of things I’ve done, and topical (i.e., engineering / manufacturing) essays I’ve written:

Portfolio

https://davidhuntpe.wordpress.com/portfolio/

And lastly, I do urge you to “Pay it forward” yourself. I don’t NEED to post articles, job leads, etc. I WANT to do it because it’s a way to help people. Character matters. As I said in my essay:

The Hairs-Breadth Challenge

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hairs-breadth-challenge-david-hunt-pe

“Life is about helping people; if you aren’t elevating others, you’re diminishing yourself.”

Articles for job seekers

Please do keep in mind, I’m on a job search too.

  • Product Design Engineer (strength in plastics design, but I can do other things too)
  • New Product Introduction Engineer
  • Cost Reduction Engineer
  • Manufacturing / Process Engineer

North of Boston, MA, ideally in the medical devices or defense industries.

===

7 (Really Hard) Interview Questions You Must Answer Properly

http://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/7-intense-interview-questions-you-need-to-answer-correctly.html

There’s a fine line between penetrating questions and interrogations. In the best of all possible worlds, an interview should be a conversation. Not necessarily an easy one at all times, but a conversation nonetheless! If you’re being treated like a suspect, or you feel you’re having to prove – at every step – the veracity of what you say, then that’s a red flag about their culture.

Boomerslang: The Clues in Your Resume That Can Out You as an Older Applicant

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/boomerslang-clues-your-resume-can-out-you-older-daniel-baitch-ph-d-

Even if you can hide your age in a resume, they’ll know when you walk in the door. That happened to a person I know – they’d be all enthusiastic at his resume, and excited after the phone interview… and he described how, time after time, he’d go into a place that was gung-ho about his visit, and their faces would fall when they saw his white hair and wrinkles. More:

55, unemployed and faking normal: One woman’s story of barely scraping by

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/55-unemployed-faking-normal-one-womans-story-barely-scraping/

The comment that age discrimination starts at 35 YEARS OLD was frightening. We’re approaching a world where, at 40, you’re thrown on the trash heap. What a waste of capability and experience! Related:

The Recruiter Said ‘At Your Age, You’d Better Take What You Can Get’

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/03/23/the-recruiter-said-at-your-age-youd-better-take-what-you-can-get/

An open question: Do people who commit ageism truly believe that, when they get older, it won’t happen to them?

3 Reasons Baby Boomers Are Getting Fired

http://www.inc.com/jt-odonnell/3-reasons-baby-boomers-are-getting-fired.html

In the details, there’s some good advice here. In the grand scheme, however, I think J.T. O’Donnell is full of it in this essay (she’s done a lot of other, very good, ones). IMHO the single biggest objection companies have to older workers is NOT “tech savvy” or “higher salary” or anything else typically cited… but rather the strength of character of older workers to:

  1. Not sign on to the latest frenzied craze; life experience teaches that this is often a lemmings-off-the-cliff scenario. Experience breeds an ability to resist drinking the faddish Kool-Aid but, instead, say “Let’s take a serious and considered look at this, not scurry like ants that have had a wet lollipop dropped on the nest”. 
  2. Having a brain and a spine, and a willingness to NOT accede to insane demands on time. Crisis OT is one thing – no white collar professional objects to that. But when, to get your regular job done, it is necessary to spend 60 (or even more) hours a week at work, and to be expected to be accessible 24/7, older people push back.

 Side anecdote: A friend of mine from a former employer had his boss send him a meeting request for Monday morning at 8 AM… that prior Sunday afternoon. Had my friend not logged in to check, he’d have missed it.

Also, don’t forget the dreaded THREAT TO THE HIRING MANAGER’S CHAIR.

3 Common Negotiation Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandradickinson/2017/02/16/3-common-negotiation-pitfalls-and-how-to-avoid-them/

I read this and think of the scene from “Devil’s Advocate”… “Are we negotiating?” “Always!”

Answer to Interview Question: “Have You Ever Been Fired?”

https://www.interviewsuccessformula.com/interview-questions-and-answers/answer-to-interview-question-have-you-ever-been-fired.php

The trick, IMHO, is not to song-and-dance, or worse, lie, but to give them enough to answer the question without uncovering the rabbit hole for them to pursue. That never ends well.

Long-Term Unemployed? 5 Options to Fill that “Employment Gap”

https://www.job-hunt.org/recruiters/filling-employment-gaps.shtml

The trick can be getting contract work too. And… a quote: “Remember, in this economy, it is not uncommon to hit a bump in the road during your career. How you handle it is what makes the difference going forward.” >> While I agree with all this, in my opinion there is still a huge “empathy gap” for people who are in the situation on the part of people who – purportedly – value EQ. Mentioned at the end of the article:

Overcoming the “Unemployed Bias” https://www.job-hunt.org/recruiters/overcoming-bias-unemployed.shtml

My one objection to this: Cranking up the confidence can lead to being perceived as arrogant. Where’s the window on that? One person’s confidence is another’s arrogance; one person’s low key is another’s passivity. And so on.

10 Powerful Headhunter Interview Tips That Will Help You Land the Job http://www.youtern.com/thesavvyintern/index.php/2017/03/15/headhunter-interview-tips-land-job/

Questions you may be asked!

The Cover Letter Formula That Skyrocketed My Interviews From 0% to 55% http://www.payscale.com/career-news/2017/02/cover-letter-formula

Worth reading, but I don’t think it’s something that can be reduced to a formula.

The last remaining human skill

http://40pluscareerguru.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/the-last-remaining-human-skill.html

Excellent point. And those that help people are better off than those that just absorb.

The best kept networking secret for jobseekers

https://www.forwardmotioncareers.com/the-best-kept-networking-secret-for-jobseekers/

Everyone out there is networking (if they’re paying attention). The trick is to network in places and in ways that sets you apart.

 

Resume question…

I’m still on a job search.  Sigh.  (My not-exhaustive list of target companies/industries.)

I’m revamping my resume and want to add hotlinks to the Word document so that people can click on them and get directed to items on my portfolio.

My question is this.  How to capture the hotlink.  I can:

  1. Have the bullet for my accomplishment bullet points be a special icon that looks like a link.
  2. Embed the hotlink in the text of the bullet point.
  3. Add an “link” icon, or the work Link, at the end of the bullet point.

What do you think?