Recruiting is not immune to the laws of evolution

I came across an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal online. The title, “No More Résumés, Say Some Firms”, caught my attention. No more résumés? How cool is that! Don’t get me wrong, I am satisfied with my résumé. In my opinion I have an impressive academic and professional record. However I find a cover or motivation letter together with a résumé an inadequate medium to promote oneself. To me the traditional application often feels like an exercise in summary writing and merely shows that I have made the effort to write the letter in such a way that catches the recruiter’s attention. After all a job application is comparable to a sales pitch. I want to convince the company to pay for the product “ME”! Continue reading

Confessions of a virgin

I have to confess that I am a virgin; an interview virgin. I have ten years of work experience and possess a rather impressive CV, even if I say so myself. However I have never been interviewed for a job. How did I manage that? In order to answer that I have to take you back to the year 1997.

It was June 1997; I was waiting to start my first Semester at the National University of Singapore in September. My majors were English Language and European Studies. That June, I met a really cute guy from Germany. He says it was love at first sight for him. It was love at second sight for me. As you can already guess, we fell in love and spent practically the whole of his holiday in Singapore together. When he had to leave, we decided to try a long distance relationship. Continue reading

The Quarterlife Crisis

Today I have found a name for what I have been going through the past couple of years. I am having a Quaterlife Crisis. Attaching a name to my condition is not important but we human beings are social creatures. We need and thrive in (offline and online) communities. Therefore it is reassuring that I am not alone. Also knowing what it is could be useful in effectively targeting all efforts in overcoming this condition.

Although it is not yet as widely recognised as Midlife crisis, there are people out there studying this phenomenon. One of whom is Dr. Oliver Robinson at the University of Greenwich in the UK. According to Dr. Robinson, the Quarterlife crisis affects those between the ages of 25 – 35. Continue reading

Single Consultant

I came across an interesting job offer on the internet. It is a position with a Match-making agency. They claim it is the No. 1 industry in the near future, where 50% of the households in major German cities would be singles. They mention becoming a certified Single Consultant in 2012 in the offer. I am not sure, if the applicant has to go through the certification process first or if the successful applicant would go through in-house certification. I wonder if I can be considered a suitable candidate for this position. I do have the necessary soft skills. However I have no experience whatsoever in being a single. Honestly! I met my husband when I was about 18. Before that I did not have a boyfriend, which is not unusual for an Indian girl. We have been together ever since. In fact this year we have been legally married for more than 11 years. (Our church wedding was about a year later because we had to safe up for it first.) I can sympathise but not empathise with the potential clients. On the other hand, I might be the perfect consultant because of my long lasting relationship. I guess that is why most people turn to a match-making or dating agency, right?

Honestly considering applying just out of curiosity. I can imagine this job being very interesting.

Feel Good Manager

I came across my dream job today. A company in Leipzig, Germany called Spreadshirt has created a position called “Feel Good Manager”. It seems as Ms. Stefanie Haeussler was employed for this position, there was only a vague idea of what this role entails. The job advert listed common qualities like good communication skills, creativity, work independently and a keen sense for people. Rather unusual requirement was extensive knowledge of the local bar and restaurant scene.

Basically a Feel Good Manager is in charge of creating a pleasant atmosphere for the employees of the company. Ms. Haeussler has a close relationship with the employees. She organises team events and other activities to reduce stress and create a close working community. She helps new employees to get to know other employees. If the new employee is not a local, she is the person to give insider tips and other assistance to help this person feel at home as quickly as possible.

Such a position would be the perfect job for me. It would appeal to my social sense as I love helping people in any way I can. I love organising events or dinners. My former colleagues and ex-MBA course mates would surely confirm that. Now I only have to convince a company that they need a Feel Good Manager too. 🙂

Reference

Stickel, J. (2012, January 04). startupcareer. Retrieved January 19, 2012, from http://www.startupcareer.de/9225/faces-was-macht-eigentlich-eine-feel-good-managerin/

J. O. B.

Today has been all about looking for J.O.B. (Just One Break).

Today started unlike the way the day ended yesterday. Before I called the HR department I tried uploading my documents onto the particular Online Application portal I mentioned yesterday. Everything went well on the first try.

Today I had a second meeting with my job consultant. He was friendly and like the last time he did most of the talking again, constantly praising the work he has done. We went through some vacancies posted on the agency’s website and decided to apply for 2 positions. Just when I thought maybe my initial assessment of this person might have been wrong, he printed out a contract I had to sign. The contract stipulates that I have to apply for at least 5 positions in a month and send a report to the agency at the end of each month. I also have to apply within 3 days of receiving a suggestion from the agency. There was also a paragraph stating, if I broke the contract the agency is justified in reducing my unemployment benefit. He manually striked this paragraph out saying that this is not meant for me. Hope I never have to be in a position to find out otherwise.

Today I came across a job offer for a position that exactly described my last position (for another company of course). Unfortunately the position was in Prague. Too bad.

It was supposed to be 2

I wrote 2 cover letters today. Thanks to my husband for proofreading it for me. As usual both companies wanted applications to be submitted via their Online Application portals. One went fairly smoothly. Although I find it terribly frustrating having to enter all the details in the CV again in such portals. Anyway the second application did not end well. I am stuck on the most important page; uploading the cover letter and CV as attachments. Document type and size are compliant with the requirements and there is no error message. Unfortunately the application cannot be submitted without these documents. (I wouldn’t want to without them either) Got to give a call to the HR department tomorrow and hope that they will be able to help me.

The stars were right

Do you read your horoscope? I admit that I do read my horoscope on an almost daily basis. I wouldn’t say that I believe in it or look for guidance from the stars. I often find it amusing to read and forget it as soon as I have read it. However today was an exception. My Horoscope for today was as follows:
An intriguing new person on the scene is making a big deal out of all the things they’ve done and all the things they plan to do — but in reality, they are all talk. Do not expect big things from them, you’ll only be disappointed. The worst thing you could do would be to put your faith in them, because they are not capable of taking on that kind of pressure. It’s not wise to look for other people to solve problems for you, anyway — if you are looking for a savior, look in the mirror! (Astrology.com, 2012)
Now the interesting thing is that I did meet someone for the first time today. I would not describe him as intriguing but he is definitely an extrovert. Surprise, surprise! He did talk a lot about his plans for my future career. I have to add that I have been trying to get an appointment with this person since the end of October 2011. I even cried after a phone call with this person because I felt misunderstood and not taken seriously. All of a sudden, he can’t wait to find me a job. It has become a matter of utmost urgency that he couldn’t wait the 3 weeks till his next free appointment. Instead he will see me next week after the official consulting hours!!! Between October and December I was not part of his statistics as I was officially undergoing professional development. I have a sneaking feeling that I will be bombarded with unsuitable offers just to get me off his statistics.

Reference:
(2012, 01 05). Retrieved 01 05, 2012, from Astrology.com:                     http://www.astrology.com/horoscopes/details/2012-01-05/sagittarius-daily-extended

The perfect CV is actually a curse

Today I surfed on the internet to get some tips on how to write a cover letter, when I came across an article by the German journalist Harald Martenstein (Martenstein, 2009). It described the time when he was responsible for recruiting trainees. He mentioned a particular applicant; who had studied at Oxford and Harvard, had 2 PhDs, had completed work placements at the New York Times and Le Monde, spoke 5 languages fluently and was the runner-up at the National level in a sport that was not specified. (Obviously it is to protect the identity of the applicant.) Anyway both the recruiters in charge decided against him because he was obviously very qualified and would be able to find a job anywhere. (huh?) Just not at their paper. The reason he gave was that someone like this applicant was obviously very ambitious and would either become the Chief Editor within 10 years or if not infect the others with his sulky mood. In addition, reading that CV made H. Martenstein feel average, lazy, overpaid and lacking ambition. Apparently other recruiters must have thought the same of the applicant because he applied again for the same position a year later.

Unbelievable! Here I was thinking that a perfect CV is what recruiters were looking for. But it seems that an impeccable vita can be read as belonging to a person who is extremely driven in the negative sense. Therefore such applicants are deemed as having difficult characters and being potential mood killers. I wonder if this is a common perception among recruiters? Maybe I should count myself lucky that I do not have any outstanding sporting accomplishments to mention in my CV.

Reference:
1. Martenstein, H. (2009, 01  04). Retrieved 01 04, 2012, from ZEITmagazin: http://www.zeit.de/2010/01/Martenstein-01