Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Laws of Khaki Revealed

On this Tidbit Tuesday, I'd like to begin with a great quote I found from Mary Pickford, that Hollywood legend who had a way with words: "You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down..."

As for some items I think you might find of interest:

* Tuck in your shirt and stand up straight: Many men seem to be confused about what to wear to work when the dress code is casual (why else would anyone think Crocs were OK??), but Esquire magazine does a terrific job in its latest issue to illuminate more males about what is appropriate. Advice ranges from the fact that you should never wear a beret, to the the idea that any man who wears a shirt with a saying on it "has neither the intelligence to form a cogent opinion nor the good sense to keep it to himself." This is the kind of article to tuck into your sock drawer and study every night before bedtime. An example: "There are worse things in the world than being known as the guy who always wears a blue button-down. Like being known as the guy who looks like he just rolled out of bed or the guy who always smells a little funny. If you're going to settle on a look, get it right."

*Sorry, I've got to wash my hair: Next time you ask a co-worker to hang out after work or on the weekend, don't take it personally if you get some lame excuse. Seems most of us would rather ditch the colleagues and hang out with people we well, don't work with. A new studyby the University of Michigan found that only 30 percent of employees have a close confidant at work, down from nearly half in 1985.
On average, U.S. workers spend time outside of work with less than half of the co-workers with whom they regularly interact on the job, compared to 74 percent for Polish workers and 78 percent for Indian workers.

*Make sure the spinach is out of your teeth: The growing popularity of video resumes, coupled with the desire to network directly with employers, has been put into a new product called VisualCV. The Web site allows job seekers to build online resumes with videos, work samples, reference letters and other media, in addition to the standard work and education information. Links to the pages can be sent to prospective employers and shared with firms that have pages on the site.

* I'd like dental, too: The presidential race has given voice to a lot of concerns in our country today, and one of the most prevalent has to be health insurance. Especially concerned are young people just entering the workforce, often with crushing student loan debt, who are worried about not being offered some kind of health insurance plan from an employer. That's backed up by a recent Robert Half International survey that found that benefits such as healthcare insurance are nearly as popular as salary for today’s job seekers. Thirty-seven percent of CFOs interviewed said offering higher compensation than competitors is the most effective incentive for attracting accounting professionals, while 33 percent of respondents cited benefits as the top draw, a 31-point increase from 2003.





Anonymous said...

Hello! I love a good quote to start the day, thanks.

I'm curious as to your take on the VisualCV product? It seems to me that many in the hiring industry hate video resumes, for many reasons, including because they open employers up to charges of discrimination. They also don't like having to take a lot of time to review a video resume when they really only have 7 seconds to spare!

It's almost as if tech people want to press these creative resume opportunities in hopes that they more they offer them, the more likely employers are going to want to see them.

Of course it makes sense for the resume to move to the next level, but it seems to me that it must be done in a way that meets criteria for the end users, not only in a way that allows the job seeker to demonsrate their life story.

It's like the resume itself - you don't write a resume to tell the employer what THEY can do for you. In the same way, I wouldn't advise sending one that served the job seekers' needs at the expense of the hiring party.

Miriam Salpeter
Keppie Careers - A Head Above the Rest

Anita said...

I agree completely that time-pressed hiring managers will not favor using these visual resumes which can take several seconds just to load. But, I do think that employers who rely on "looks" as an important criteria for a job might be willing to use them as another tool. And, with more employers concerned with the overall health of new hires (weight, age), might they use the visual resumes to weed out some applicants who might cost them more in potential health problems. (Yes, that's discriminatory, but it happens all the time.)
I think you're right on your other points as well, but you can never tell how many young applicants will be attracted to another medium that is so visual, as many of them have grown up using images and technology as a way to connect.
I think this will be interesting to see how these are going to play out....
Thanks for your comments!

Anonymous said...

Miriam, that's an interesting point. Sadly, though, discrimination happens all the time in hiring practices. I worked in recruting for awhile and was appalled at some of the reasons given for why certain candidates did not make the cut.

One way I can see virtual resumes making a big impact is in creative industries such as design. It's a great opportunity to combine your portfolio with you resume while showing off your graphic sensibilities.

Anita, I linked to this post in one of my posts about virtual CV's. Thanks for writing about it!

Anita said...

Thanks for joining the discussion. Sadly, it's still true that we judge people on the way they look, and scientific evidence backs that up. (Listen to my latest podcast and see previous blog postings on looks in the workplace). I do like the thought that these resumes could be used to view someone's talents, i.e. the design industry, instead of rating them on their looks. A great idea.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree...For creative industries, a technical (not paper) resume makes sense. I am working with a photographer now, and I can see how this product would be helpful for her if she didn't have her own online portfolio.

As for discrimination based on looks - of course it happens, but it would be nice if hiring managers couldn't screen people out based only on looks before they have an opportunity to evaluate them in person.

I blogged today (2/20) about a Nightline feature. They had a job coach help a long-haired man who was laid off from his tech job. One of the things she suggested was that he cut his hair. There was a huge uproar on the show's website that the hair wasn't important, etc. It's amazing how many people don't understand that, just because they WANT to look one way or another doesn't mean that it is going to be acceptable to the rest of the world.

Miriam Salpeter
Keppie Careers