June 5, 2007
“Don’t Send a Resume” is a book by Jeffrey Fox with some great insights on how to go about getting your dream job. I’m going to paste a review from Amazon that I found to be a good summary of the talking points. The author of the review, Donald Mitchell, has a great blog as well. Clicking on the text below will take you to his blog.
Mr. Fox challenges the conventional wisdom in useful ways in this provocative set of 44 mini essays on getting a terrific job. He argues that you should think of getting a job as “marketing and selling of yourself.” He provides the primary metaphor to marketing, and gives you an outline of what to do. He encourages you to get even more ideas by reading books about marketing, having made the translation to this environment and issue. The material is clear and easy-to-execute, and following this advice will probably increase your chances of getting the best job you are qualified to do.
Mr. Fox isn’t against resumes, he just wants to change the way they are used. Rather than lead with a general purpose resume, he wants you to customize a resume for each opportunity after having met someone in the company. “You are a product.” “You are not a robot, but you will be purchsed as if you were a robotic assembly machine.” As such, he wants you to fit the specifications precisely, in a way that you cannot do until you have more information.
He encourages you to stand out, even if that means being a litle outrageous. He tells stories about getting a creative job in an advertising agency by sending a fish as a message and a wind-up toy to get into business school.
He also suggests looking for jobs where others don’t look — with venture capitalists, small companies, in China and Cuba, accountants and lawyers who handle family companies, bankruptcy trustees and lawyers, and commercial loan officers.
I thought the advice was generally pretty good. The boldness advice should be tempered to match the type of organization and work you want to do. You don’t want to seem out of character for what that person likes. Also, the economic benefits of your working with the company should be conservatively stated in the context of how that companies values such benefits. That point wasn’t made clear.
After you finish reading this book, I also suggest that you think about whether you should start-up a new organization with a team of people who have complementary skills. That’s another place where most people don’t look.
So in my search for the bestest gosh-darn place to work in Houston, I’ve come across some mighty cool companies. The first of these I’d like to profile is APQC.
People, HOW DID I NOT know about them until today? What rock was I living under the last 3 years in H-town? I consider myself pretty versed in business acumen. Just me saying acumen means I’m pretty smart. And cool. But APQC and its staff could blow my acumen out of the water any day of the week. Just check out their knowledge base for starters:
Yeah. Tell me about it. It frickin’ rocks. I read a lot of business books and such, but this is some seriously cool schmazz.
Oh, and they have a blog and everything too. I just posted a comment on a recent blog post over there about.. uh.. blogging. And somewhere the blog police just got in their blog squad car to come tell me I used derivatives of the word blog too many times in a paragraph. Anyone know a good hideout in H-town?
10. A round of golf. I stink but I love to golf, so you’d win and I could boost your ego. Also, you’re super rad.
9. A drink. Or not. While I don’t drink, I’m all about buying a drink for a future boss in the hopes that a few brain cells get killed before I say “You da man now, dawg!“
8. A Bugatti Veyron. Well, actually, that’s supposed to file under “10 ‘I Can’t Buy You’s But I Want to So Gimme A Job”. Fair ’nuff?
7. Some catchy, zany office supply item with your company logo and my name on it, with my future job title. The job title sounds very important and is wholly awesome.
6. A kitten. We’ve all seen posts online that the poor kitten is going to be shot if somebody doesn’t give someone what they want. Hint hint. (But watch out, they fight back.)
5. Lunch at Fogo de Chao. Lemme tell you, if you haven’t had Brazilian churrasco, you haven’t lived. Trust me on this one. Mmm… meat.
4. ‘Stros tix. I’ve heard that more cush jobs have been handed out in the 7th inning stretch than all other innings combined. I don’t know what that means, no. It just sounded statistic-y and I’m short on statistics for this list. And truthiness.
3. A man-icure. If you’re a lady (and I hope you are, because boss-lady is more fun to say than boss-man), you’ll see I’m not afraid to have my cuticles mangled and don’t cry under pressure (sniffle). It’s that or tix to the gun show. Take your pick. (whispers: gun show)
1. A singing telegram. While you may not hire me, I guarantee you will never forget me. And that means I win. Insert maniacal laugh here. Or a maniacal singing telegram.
News at 11.