evilcatbert knows all!

Bringing you the world from on high. As cats are curious, independent and sure they know everything, prepare to be enlightened.


I'm baaackkkkk....

The good news - I've been busy with recruiting and on-boarding new hires for our company. The bad news - my job here as employment guide and guru is far from over.
Here is a sampling of reasons for leaving your last job that shouldn't be included on or anywhere near your applications/resumes:
- I need more money (so think we all but don't put it in writing!)
- I didn't show up for work on a holiday (let the apologies begin ..)
- DUI (honest but TMI this early in the game)
- Negative, unorganized atmosphere (was it a bring-your-own party?)
- Lacrosse season started (not quite the work ethics employers prefer)
- I was discharged without a stated reason (really??)
- co-worker tried to fight me (and no one to turn to at all?)
- I did not like the job & the other employees are very lazy ('nough said)
- I broke both legs in June and didn't produce a doctor's excuse (think this through - if you have two broken legs & you can't show up to work for your boss to see what actually happened, it's really not that unreasonable for an employer to ask you to have your doctor's office fax in your excuse or have a family member drop it off if you can't make it to work.)
And my personal favorite?
- unhappy
A pen is a loaded weapon that can easily be used against you so please handle it with care when applying for jobs!


Back to Basic Training....

If you truly want an employer to take your job candidacy seriously:
- don't reference any other employers when submitting a resume (for example don't say you really want to work at Company Y when you're sending a resume to Company X).
- don't say you are looking for full-time work (even if true) when applying for a part-time position (even better explain why part-time work makes sense for you and/or your lifestyle)
- don't include an objective/cover letter that states you want a job in a different industry.
- don't include photos or other personal information such as age, sex, religion, race, etc.
- do include relevant direct job experience (if you've done it before, list that experience first)
- do tie your indirect experience back to what the employer needs (how what you did before demonstrates you can do a good job at what they need the candidate to do now).
- do explain to them how it makes sense to consider you for their opening (for example - if you are applying for a job in another state and you will be living there - say so - don't just send a resume with an out of state address on it). If your application doesn't make sense on the surface of it, you will not be considered for hire as the employer doesn't have the time to figure it out and won't spend any time asking when other applicants' applications seem to make more sense.
- do make it as easy for an employer to reach you if interested and call them back promptly when they are calling you for an interview - every minute that you let pass means they are calling another candidate for the job.
Bottom line: show the employer you want to work for them, that you have the skills they need and that you understand business by making it easy for the employer to hire you.


Is personal branding passé?

According to Wikipedia, "Personal branding, self-branding, self-positioning and all individual branding by whatever name, was first introduced in the 1980 book: "Positioning: The Battle for your Mind", by Al Ries and Jack Trout."
Because the terminalogy is 30 years old and has become jargon doesn't mean it isn't important to your job search or career advancement.
Pesonal branding means taking responsibility for figuring out what you're good at then positioning yourself to demonstrate in writing (cover letter & resume) and in person (interview) how what you're good at can be of use to the employer to whom you are trying to sell yourself.
Unfortunately, lot of current job seekers are under the mistaken impression that it is an employer's responsibility to discover how they should fit into the employer's organization. What a waste (of their time and your opportunity)!
An employer who is trying to fill an opening doesn't have the time to spend figuring out how your indirect experience might relate to the job they need filled yesterday. But if you can take the time to demonstrate how what you've done in the past and how you aproach work can be used to their advantage, you will separate yourself from the multitude of candidates who simply spray and pray.
When you treat job hunting like the lottery, you're limited to luck. When you treat it like a brand (by taking the time to know what you actually have of value to sell to an employer), you should soon start discovering which employers actually need what you have to offer and you'll stop "carrying coal to Newcastle" (where they have plenty already) and start carting it to Wisconsin in the winter where it's sorely needed.


The sound of your name....

Charles Aznavour's lyrics from a song called "The Sound of Your Name" explains and explores the power of a name.
"The sound of your name comes to me any hour
on wings of the wind, like the scent of a flower
how can I explain, it's impossible power
The sound of your name"
If you've ever called someone by the wrong name, you know the reaction can be anything from puzzlement (you talking to me?) to annoyance (sorry - I'm not Lisa) to anger (the least you can do is get my name right!).
So if names have power why use them carelessly? One of the oft repeated and easily preventable mistakes job applicants make is referring to another employer or another employer's openings when sending out covers and resumes. People, people, people - always double check your cover letters and resumes to make sure they actually reference the employer and job you are applying for before hitting send! Mistakes like this one can be fatal to you in any job search because
1) covers and resumes are a work product and if they're faulty it reflects badly on the sender.
2) they easily indicate that the applicant is repeatedly sending the same cover and resume to multiple employers rather than taking the time to match their qualifications to the employeer's actual job opening.
3) the sender didn't care enough to send the very best (yes, Hallmark, I'm "borrowing" your tagline!)
The negative reaction that happens when an employer receives a cover letter refering to someone else's company or someone else's job usually isn't communicated to you except by silence so the only way to avoid this mistake in the future is to audit, edit then send.


Because a picture paints a thousand words...

I'm noting an uptick in the number of photos job applicants are sending with their resumes. I suspect it's something applicants are doing to make their resumes stand out in this difficult economy but it's also something that makes evilcatbert's fur stand straight up when it happens. Why?
Is it because I was born before cameras with viewscreens on both side of the camera were even thought of? Not really though I must admit a preference for looking out at the world versus looking in a mirror. It's because a picture paints a thousand words and by default discloses lots more things that evilcatbert doesn't want to know about any job applicant prior to interviewing them - things like race, age, religion (you know that cross you're wearing in your favorite picture?), etc. I want to be able to consider you for a job solely on your listed qualifications. So unless you're applying for a position as a model or an actor which requires headshots with your resume, please don't send photos with your resume unless requested.
I truly want to know how qualified any job applicant is for the position before any consideration about how good they'll look doing it so please keep your photos on Flickr or Picasa and send your resume unadorned by any unnecessary accessories.


"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date..."

A job interview is like a first date - if you like what you see, you want more. If you're less than impressed, the date is over before it even starts. For politeness sake you might stick around and talk with the person for a short while but once you part company, you know you're not going spend any more time together - it's just not a good fit.
If you want to get to the second date/interview, pull out all the stops on the first one. Showing up on time is huge - the reason that "punctuality is the courtesy of kings" is because being late is rude to the person who is waiting for you. It gives them the impression that you think your time is more important than the person you've left waiting. While your friends may think waiting around for you is no big deal, an employer won't find this anywhere near as endearing. Wasting their time is the equivalent of wasting their money - there's no benefit to either party if you do so - especially this early in the game before you have anything of value on deposit with them.
Imagine your favorite actor invited you to meet them at a set time. Would you risk missing this once in a lifetime opportunity to see them by showing up late or would you plan to be early in order to avoid missing your big chance? Treat any job interview like that and I guarantee you'll never be late for one again.
BTW to my favorite Time Lord of all, David Tennant, feel free call me from the Tardis. I'll meet you anywhere, anytime, on time - I guarantee it!


"I love the smell of napalm in the morning..."

Last week I posted about applicants requesting feedback from employers about why they aren't getting interviews but then flame out when they receive them.
Even if you are disappointed with the information, take a cue from this classy lady (I'm including her name since she deserves the credit!) who received news that a position she'd hoped to interview for had been filled:
"I appreciate your consideration and your reply. If something were to open up again in the future please feel free to contact me if interested. Have a great day!"

In contrast, I honestly can't recommend the "flame on" approach from another applicant on the same day (and who shall remain nameless) after he applied for a "female candidates only" position because he didn't feel our gender specific designation was either fair or legal. When notified he was not being selected because he didn't meet the qualifications, he sent the following:
"It is too bad that your company feels it best to discriminate from qualified candidates? Running a successful business means putting the best person in position to grow the bottom line. If you and your company feel only a woman can fill the "women" only position I hope that the sign "whites" only can come down from your politically incorrect position as well?
To coordinate you need to make sure that you get a single female in the office because a married one with children will always need to take care of kids and family first before the club. Just wanted to make sure the parameters are clear before I go and get a sex change to help you and your company succeed.
I really feel you are wrong in discriminating for the position like this and I hope your HR department looks into the EEO policies that you are breaking."

Since I'm head of the HR Department, I can assure this applicant that we know that EEO policies allow for a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) that acknowledges both sexes have the right not to have members of the opposite sex in areas such as locker rooms, rest rooms and shower areas when it is an essential function of a position.
While I can understand this job applicant's disappointment during his obviously unsuccessful job search, the negative effect of sending emails like this to any potential employer will last a lot longer than the momentary pleasure he might have had in sending it. So remember - what doesn't help can definitely hurt you.
In closing, this applicant stated in his resume to us that "I bring a humorous and light atmosphere to the work place"
I could tell this from his light and humorous email to me.


Speaking badly of the ex?

I know. I know. Ex-anythings are rarely spoken well of unless they are dead. And if you've left any of your previous jobs on less than your own terms, it's easy to dish the dis on ex-bosses, ex-companies, ex-co-workers, etc. But now's the time to apply another old adage you might have learned when you were a tiny tot - "if you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all."
Speaking badly of your previous employers during a job interview is the kiss of death. Why? Because employers identify with other employers. What you do unto one is a pretty good indication of what you will do to them so if you complain about your last boss, talk badly about a company you've worked for in the past and or comment about what lazy butts your coworkers tend to be, the game is over. It's the equivalent of hitting the eightball into the corner pocket during a game of pool - doesn't matter how well you played the rest of the game, you've just lost.
The solution? Focus on yourself (and this is the only time I'm giving you this piece of advice - normally doing so is counterproductive). Talk about what you have been able to accomplish in previous positions, give examples of what you have done to help your previous employers, focus on what value you can bring to them. So when you're heading out for an inteview check your negative opinions at the door and leave your baggage at home - you'll soar higher if you travel light.


Have you napalmed a bridge today?

I often read on HR related blogs and websites about applicants who are unhappy about the lack of feedback they receive when applying for open positions. It doesn't help the cause of applicant nation, however, when one of their own returns a courtesy email (which many claim they would be content to receive) with a snarky response. To tell you the truth, it doesn't help the applicant much either.
Case in point. I recently posted for a part-time night auditor (desk clerk) position. I received about 70+ emails out of which we interviewed seven candidates and hired one of them. While I'm not able to respond to everyone who applied due to the 70+ to 1 ratio, I do try (as time and workload allow) to let as many of them know as possible that the position has been filled so they can focus their attention on other potential jobs for themselves. While these update emails are often received in silence, an occasional applicant will stand out from the crowd.
The positive ones reply with a quick "thanks for letting me know." The negative ones just respond badly. In this case it was "Shouldnt of bothered after almost 3wks discard my info." His reward? Demotion to the penalty box of the internet; his email address is now registered on the blocked junk mail list.
While I can understand the frustration of unsuccessful job hunters, it's never a wise move to act out of that frustration. This candidate just expanded his no-hire status from a single job to an entire company. That's how the bridges burned today can continue to light the way to the unemployment line for a very long time to come.


Is keeping your word an event or a lifestyle....

I recently received an unexpected thank you card from an employee. Why? Because I told her I'd get back to her by the end of the day with an answer to her questions and I did.
Jane called me requesting information about her training pay, getting a locker assigned and help in accessing our payroll website shortly after she began work. Since I was in a the middle of a project when she called, I explained I needed a little time to get her the info she wanted and asked if it was okay to forward the information to her via email (because it was simplier for both of us to send the website instructions she needed in writing) by the end of the day.
I sent the email in the afternoon and within a few hours received an effusive email reply thanking me for my detailed and prompt response to her questions. While I appreciated her thanks, I was puzzled over its intensity; even more so when I received another hand written thank you note in the mail from her the following day.
Is follow through so unexpected these days that employees are surprised when they get it within their companies? If so, it makes me sad as one of of the few "entitlements" I strongly support in any workplace is the right of any employee to receive quick and accurate answers to their questions. If we expect employees to be accountable for their own performance, I hope we're regularly leading from the front of that pack.


Don't bite the hand that feeds you ....

I think the employment relationship is like any other relationship in your life, you get out of it what you put into it. If you value it, you take care of it. If you don't, you generally lose it and usually you don't even realize you've lost it until it's over.
Where does it start to go wrong? In our own heads. When we think our companies should treat us better than they do, when we think we're not getting enough recognition or pay, when we believe we are not being treated fairly, we plant the seeds of our own unhappiness.
Employment, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, is a voluntary activity on both sides. Either party can walk away at any time (barring an employment contract or agreement). So wouldn't it be more effective to leave if we are so unhappy and can't make our employer treat us the way we think they should than it is to complain while still taking their money?
I've spent the last day assisting a manager who is dealing with an employee who can't seem to stop himself from talking to the company's customers in a negative way about how the company operates. The company recently made an operational change that was discussed and agreed to in advance with the employees involved (including this employee). The first day the change was implemented this employee, instead of trying to make sure the change worked for both himself and his employer or even just waiting to see what impact the change would have on him, immediately started "sharing" his negative thoughts with "his" customers, coworkers, and even in an inappropriate way with other company managers. His manager, in response to the problems he was creating for the company by involving customers & coworkers, sent him home to spend his time off thinking about whether he really wanted to work for this company. How will it end? Badly unless and until this employee figures out that if he can't be trusted to back his company up in public (he can discuss his concerns behind closed doors with the management staff), he will not be allowed back to work.
Today's lesson? Disloyalty to your employer hurts you more than it will ever hurt them. You'll be gone and they will still be standing. So if you are truly unable to restrain yourself from acting against and talking badly about your employer while onsite and on the clock, it's probably time to voluntarily change your job before the choice is no longer yours to make.


On the radio.....

I was listening to Charlie Sykes' program on WTMJ this morning. He read an email from an applicant interested in an internship who was outraged (and expressed it!) that the organization didn't return his email when he's waited an entire 24 hours for them to respond. The applicant stated how appalled he was by their lack of professionalism, how it cast doubt on whether he'd consider working for such a company, etc, etc. The topic for discussion was whether these types of emails are actually sent to employers and how would listeners handle them. The answer to the first part of the discussion is an emphatic yes. People not only write but submit outrageous emails to employers - it's a growing trend. One of my more notable recent ones was in response to an email I, as a courtesy, sent to an applicant letting him know why he would not be hearing from us any further:
John (name has been changed to protect the guilty!),
Just wrote you about this position being on hold and
asking if you would be interested later if it opens up.
Just read through your application more closely.
Since you are looking for full-time work (this is part time)
and this position pays substantially less than you are expecting,
it wouldn't be a good fit.

My less than courteous reply from the job applicant?
"Unfortunately you must have a fear of someone who has a masters degree and has excelled at a higher level than you will ever obtain. While it is true I am looking for full time due to state of economy I would accept part time for now. I only work for establishments that encourage people to excell to a new level obviously you are not one of those places."
The next time you wonder why an employer doesn't contact you (unless it's for an interview), remember this missive. I'm filing this one under the very large category of "no good deed goes unpunished."



Unlike my enthusiastic approval of a badly needed offensive lineman for the Pack in the lst round of the draft, the jury is definitely still out on our #2 pick (Mike Neal - defensive tackle). Not a need pick and defintely not listed under Gil Brandt's top 100 yet taken at the 56th pick of the draft. Other websites had him listed as low as the 168th spot - hardly a value pick. Add to the equation that our next pick cost us the entire 4th round to select (Safety Morgan Burnett - gave up 2 picks to move to 71st pick from the 86th slot) and I really wonder what's up. Why not take Burnett at the 56th pick and wait a round or two to draft Neal? TT must really believe in this guy but he believed in Justin Harrell (another reach) too and look what that got him - an expensive benchwarmer who's consistently hurt.
Burnett might be a good addition but when I read he likes to blow people up rather than tackle them, I have to wonder if he isn't just Atari the sequel. Unless this guy learns to use the arms God gave him to tackle with, he will not outplay Mr. Bigby for the starting spot.
Of the late round picks, I liked the Newhouse selection only because I saw his relative (cousin?) Robert Newhouse play like a demon for Dallas. If he brings the same family pedigree to GB, I'll view the late round selections as a success.
Lessions to be learned from this? Just the realization that recruiting talent in any organization is as much art as science. It's not just ability that determines whether you are selected by a company, it's also dependent on who is hiring you, what the company culture is and their perception of your potential in moving the organization forward. If you've ever been passed over for what seems a perfect job for you or been selected for a job only to find out that your strengths are not a good fit in that position, you soon understand that the recruiting process is far from perfect. But right now, like the draft, it's the only process we have to pick talent and we often aren't able to truly realize who our star performers are until long after the selection process ends.


Welcome to the NFL Mr. Bulaga!

Lots of happy Packer fans today as our first pick was not only a need pick but a value pick at offensive tackle. Bryan Bulaga was rated anywhere from a mid-teen to a top ten pick in many 2010 mock drafts. A tier one player according to Gil Brandt (one of the most credible guys I know of when it comes to evaluating talent) and a Big Ten lineman to boot makes evilcatbert a believer in his ability to play with the big boys. Now let's lock up an outside linebacker who can play both like and opposite of Clay Matthews and tonight's draft will be just as joyous!


The most wonderful time of the year ....

It's NFL draft day - the biggest, baddest recruiting day of them all! I'm doing my Snoopy dance of happiness and waiting for that clock to start running. Offensive lineman aren't the glamour boys of the league but we (meaning Aaron Rodgers actually) can't survive the game without them - find us a tackle, Ted - our old ones are breaking down! Outside linerbacker? Some good ones should still be on the board when we arrive fashionably late for the first round. Cornerbacks? We got the Woodman (Charles "The Man" Woodson can lay you out!) and Al's working his way back to us so some rookie will have a lot to live up to. Safety? Are you hearing footsteps Atari? You gotta keep ahead of the competition cuz it's coming. Stay tuned football fanatics. We'll know when we hit pick #23. Go Pack!


A time to remember what really matters...

I spent last evening at the home of one of our employees who's mother passed away just before Easter at age 82. It was her memorial service on 4/14/10. What impressed me most about this occasion was how Robin's "work family" was able to support her during this very difficult time. Coworkers prepared food, brought drinks, played host/ess and comforted the bereaved in whatever way they could. Whether it was members of her immediate department or managers/coworkers from other departments, there was a steady stream of support for her during what had to be a terrible, terrible day - saying her final goodbye to her mom.
The most important thing I did yesterday was spending time with Robin, her brother and my co-workers. While we enjoy having others with us during the good times, it's the ones who stand with us in the darkness that carry us forward and whom we carry with us throughout our lives.


Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night & day it's Cinderelly....

I recently posted a job opening which included (I thought) clear instructions as to how to apply for the job opening:
"To apply please forward your resume (including the following: name of employer, position held, dates of employment) through this website or you can apply in person from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays."
My first response was "Iam interested can u please email me a application."
The second was "i can give you my resume in person. Reach me at 414-xxx-xxxx leave a voicemail if i dont pick up."
Their first mistake? Ignoring simple application/resume instructions. Second mistake? Asking the employer for more of an effort than they're willing to put in themselves. Third mistake? Not realizing they were making the first two mistakes.
Part of the reason employers provide specific application procedures is because we want to find out if the person interested in that job can follow simple instructions. When those instructions are ignored, it tells us a lot about that job candidate. It also tells us alot about job candidates when they not only ignore our instructions but feel quite comfortable in telling us how they'd prefer we handle it.
Employers who receive lots of applications for each opening do not have the time or resources to handle your special requests. If you want special favors, ask your family or friends (or fairy godmother!). If you want a job, the shoe is on the other foot, Cinderella - it's your responsibility to make sure evilcatbert gets what she wants or you'll be stuck at home while everyone else is having a ball at work.


A froggie went a courtin' .......

When asking someone out, do you usually just jump in and start telling them what a great date you are without any clue as to what they might be looking for or what they might want? How's that working for you?
As a peruser of many cover letters/emails accompanying resumes, I'm a bit taken aback by the number of job seekers who devote their entire covers to what THEY are looking for, how talented THEY are and why THEY deserve an interview for the job opening I posted without once referring it back to anything I asked for in my job posting.
Yipes, people, don't I deserve dinner before bed? What happened to old fashioned wooing? When I have something you want, wouldn't it make more sense for you to show that you value what I have instead of indicating in your cover letter that you wouldn't mind "hitting that."
When a cover letter clearly indicates the letter is all about the job seeker, it's a real turn-off and I move quickly on to the next applicant who treats me better. They tell me I work for a great company, they want to be part of my team, they have skills that could be valuable to me based on what I posted, etc. It's romance versus sex so if you want the best chance of staying in the game, write a love letter to the employer and forego the "I want your sex" missive. It may seem great in a song but doesn't play well in the work place. If you can't write a cover that's focused on what the employer wants and not about yourself, then you are truly better off without one. All a bad cover does for you is overshadow your resume.


What's in a name?

Apparently not much any more.  In the past few years I've noticed an unusual phenomenon concerning people's names and their lack of reponse to how they would like to be addressed.  When, out of courtesy, I ask an Andrew how he'd like to be called (Andrew being the obvious choice but maybe he'd like Andy or Drew), I'm starting to to be met with a shoulder shrug and/or "it doesn't matter."  And it's happening often enough that I'm sensing a pattern.  Since when don't names matter?
While I readily acknowledge we start out in life being named by someone else, at some point in our early development we assume charge of our own names  - Catherine becomes Katy, Michael remains Michael (not Mike or Mick), etc.  If we really dislike the name we were called at birth, we have the option of changing it either legally or by insisting others call us by the name of our choice.  Our names reflect how we perceive ourselves and are part of our identity.  So when I meet someone who indicates by word and/or deed that what they are called doesn't matter, I can't help but feel I've fallen down the rabbit hole.  
Why don't they know what they want to be called?  Are they afraid that by asserting their preference for a specific name they'll be labeled confrontational and difficult to get along with?  Is consensus really that important to them or do they really have so little attachment to their own names that it truly doesn't matter what they are called?
I'll admit -  I'm baffled and uncomfortable when encountering this situation.  I really don't want the responsibility of naming anyone since the last people who did that were their parents and look how much they had to do to get their child where they are today.  So remember when you're applying for a job the first thing you should decide on isn't what pay you want, what time off you prefer or even what type of work you'd really like to do - it's to figure out for yourself how you want to be addressed.  It's the first question you'll be asked in the workplace and the last chance you'll have to firmly establish your autonomy before being asked to give some of it up in return for a wage.


On Brewers baseball....

I love it when applicants surprise me on their applications.  The start of the new baseball season reminded me of a recent job candidate's reason for leaving his sports bar job in fall of 2009:
"The baseball season tragically ended for the Brewers in October."
If you're going to offer commentary on your job application, make it witty!
Well spoken, Chris J. Bender.  I hope this season ends a little later for all of us.
Update FYI - Chris was offered a position on 3/30/10 and accepted it.


On the road to Damascus ....

Human Beings (as much as we might not like to admit it) really are creatures of habit.  As a result, what we do on a regular basis speaks volumes about how we will behave in the near future. That's why banks want to view your credit history (your buying and paying habits) before giving you a loan.  That's why schools want to check your high school grades before accepting you into college.  And it's also very much why employers developed the "past performance predicts future behavior" mentality which requires job seekers (you) to provide resumes and job histories in order for employers (them) to predict how you will handle the job they currently have open based on how you've handled your jobs in the past.
Unfair you cry!  Can't people change, you ask?  Absolutely.  But in most cases, it's only when something truly significant happens in our lives that we can force ourselves to the hard work of dropping our inefficient old habits in favor of acquiring more effective new ones:  getting married (or even getting divorced) can spur us to lose weight, battling a serious illness encourages us to exercise more and reduce stress in our lives, while having a child can be a tremendous incentive to grow up
As a result, unless and until a person has a "Road to Damascus" experience (getting knocked on your butt - hard enough to change your world view), it's assumed we will continue to do what we've done before.  So if on further review your own job history has blemishes, an employer will be a lot more open to giving you a "second chance" if you're able to tell them what happened to you on your own "Road to Damacus" that caused (or is causing) you to rethink how you've done your job in the past in favor of doing it better in the future.


Game, Set, No Match.....

What the job applicant sees for our job posting:

Clerical position
Pays:  $9 to $10/hr.

What was received in response to above posting:

Forklift/Warehouse Experience
Position Desired:  Full-time
Salary Desired:  $13/hr.

What does evilcatbert see?  Someone without the experience we requested for this job emails us that he wants more money than we are willing to pay and expects benefits that this position doesn't include. 
Even if you don't think I mean what I say, I will always listen to what you tell me and the meaning in this case is very clear - this applicant would not be happy in the job I actually have so he needs to find the job he actually wants somewhere else.  
Job postings are not like Amazon wishlists (full of a lot of stuff we'd all like to have but don't really expect to get).  So do yourself a favor by reading them carefully and respecting what they tell you if you truly want to be taken seriously by people on the other end of your too often unanswered emails.


Cell Phone Conundrum

Have you noticed that the more prevalent cell phones are, the less they are being used for their original purpose - communicating with other people?  Once upon a time phones were actually used to convey important but disappointing news like "I'm going to be late for my shift today,"  "I'm going to have to postpone/cancel our interview."  "I'm not coming in today - sorry." 
But the forces of darkness have somehow subverted this mission.  Now their ability to take pictures, run apps, explore the net, as well as download music, podcasts and books have overwhelmed cell phone users to the point of paralysis.  It's no wonder they can't remember to call their employers - they barely call their friends. Cell phones may have made life more entertaining but unfortunately the people in our lives have assumed less significance.
I can't help but wonder if ET would have ever called home if he'd had a cell phone.


Another one bites the dust ...

Their reason for leaving their last position?
"I do not like the job and the other employees are very lazy." 
The truth shall indeed set you free - from the job you are trying to get.  Stick to the facts, grasshopper, opinions do not belong on your job application.


Quote for the Day

If you tell me your last boss had a bad attitude, I promise not to hire you.


Care & Feeding of the Catberts in your Life

Let the unsolicited advice begin!

My three simple rules for job seekers are 1) Don't make me work harder than you do to figure out why I should hire you (if I ask for a dog and you're a cat, it's not a good fit unless you can demonstrate to me why a cat might have the skills I need to fill this job). 2) Find a way to make me laugh (but not by overreaching and telling me you're Superman and can do everything - heard that one a bit too many times before to laugh about it now). 3) Listen to what I'm telling you I need - I really do mean what I say in my job ads or postings. If you were reading a personal ad and I clearly said I only date blondes, would you call me up to argue with me about not liking dark hair or would you do the smart thing and dye your hair? I want the blonde - even a fake one. At least it tells me your trying! Good luck in your job search - I know how hard it can be.

Personal aside: Happy 80 + 1 to my lovely mother whose b'day was yesterday. Love you!