The Smashmouth Job Search Guide

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 4 years ago '11        #1
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STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26
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The Smashmouth Job Search Guide
 

 
Ok, so it's not as dramatic as all that but as someone who's worked since he was 16 and has held well over 30 jobs (no real direction in life until recently when I started my biz) I've seen every thing in the book as far as jobs go from frying fish at Long John Silvers to shelving VHS tapes at Blockbuster (for minimum wage) to working for the top entertainment search engines (CitySearch and YellowPages.com, respectively) to gaining security clearance when working with the Dept. of Education (upwards of $80K/yr). *Warning: some of the stuff listed wouldn't be looked at fondly by HR managers if they knew you were gaming the system but we all need to eat and I'd rather see my people bend the rules than catch a case on some dumb stuff*

I've seen cats asking for interview advice in here before so here's what I've done nearly word for word to get a job regardless of the industry and you might try it out for yourself to see if it works.

1. Resume

My resumes have always been stark--no fancy heading or lettering, never on any BS colored paper either.
visit this link http://www.squawkfox.com/ .. templates0.jpg

I have literally used a variation of that resume for the last 5 years or so, only difference is that I removed the objective section--that will help keep everything on one page, more important than impressing anyone with flowery language that equates to 'give me a job'. Trust me, they don't care.

As for cover letters, this is the exact one I use every single time without fail or variation (unless they ask for salary, which I'll throw in there somewhere too):

Dear Hiring Manager,

In today's customer service oriented society, timely, friendly, proactive service is sought to enhance future business growth. Customer loyalty is always impacted when you employ the right service professional to represent you when a.ssisting your valued customers.

My long-term experience in the service industry has taught me how to meet and exceed each customer's expectations with service that sells. I have a.ssisted all types of customers in all types of settings. I realize that acquiring and maintaining loyal repeat business as well as spreading the word of your business through these loyal patrons is of the utmost importance in every company. Positioning a company for better exposure and greater marketability is a task that I have performed with success many times.

It would be a pleasure to interview with you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Very Sincerely,

Ratchetto De La Ghetto (DO NOT include this, duh.)

If your resume is spotty (like mine was) limit the number of jobs to 3 with jobs you have a good relationship with. If you only have one or none, make some up (no more than 2) with local area phone numbers that either ring friends who'll cover for you or to local Google Voice numbers with the fake companies name in the greeting. I used my parent's real business as my first reference (no one wants to call your mom for a biased view on your work), a made up company with a reliable friend as the second and another temp job as the third. If you have a time gap between the last job you had and now, explain during the interview that you were taking care of an ill family member but now you're excited to get back in the job market.


2. Job searching

I have worked for companies directly and temp jobs, ultimately neither really matter because a check is a check. The first thing I did when I was looking for work was hit my city's community college. Reason is, a) it helps keep me focused on finding a gig instead of watching Youtube clips, b) they always had free internet access and c) most times they had a job board that had positions not posted online anywhere.

Go to Craigslist in your area and post your resume every day, at least 2-3 times a day. To keep spammers out of your inbox, set up a dummy account (like abcjobs2014@gmail.com) to catch whatever garbage comes back around. Also good for those ridiculous after reports from Monster and Careerbuilder. When you post, leave all contact info off it. The reason is 2 fold--spammers will sell your information and will call you if your number's on there too. The second reason is it is easier to weed out the spam emails because a genuine person will more than likely include a 'I didn't see any way to contact you directly' in the email.

Speaking of online job boards: Craigslist is #1 (because it's a higher quality concentrated search), CareerBuilder is #2 (because of the quick apply option saving you a ton of time) and Monster is #3 (decent search but overall spammy experience). I've used all of them at one point plus many others (Snagajob, Thingamajob, HotJobs, Indeed, etc.) and they never turned anything up so I would suggest concentrating your search through these three and hit them EVERY DAY if you can in the morning, afternoon and evening because new gigs pop up all the time. Remember; the only fulfillment you're looking for is in your stomach and the more resumes you send out, the more likely someone will hit you back for an interview.

3. Temp Agencies

Temporary Agencies can either be a quick come up or a major frustration depending on how you do it. Here's the right way: start by collecting a database of temp agencies in your area. Visit Google and search 'temporary agencies near me' or something similar and note how many you see and the locations. Grab their phone numbers. The big guys in temping are Robert Half & a.ssoc., Apple One, Volt and OfficeTeam but you'll find a bunch of smaller ones as well. If they're too far away to commute, don't mess with them because they almost always require you pre-interview before you interview with the real job.

After you've gone through all of those in your area hit up Monster and Careerbuilder. Note those that post jobs you think you can get and add them to the list. Then, you call the entire list and ask to speak to a recruiter. Some will say you have to go online to fill out a general application before they can talk to you; others will ask you to send your resume via email. Hit the ones that just need a resume and come back to the application necessary ones if your leads dry up. Also, if they aren't sending your resume out for a SPECIFIC job, there's no reason to come in. It's a time suck and there are many who'll bullsh*t you just to have heads on file. Ask them explicitly if they have an opportunity available before visiting their office. If they say they can't get you in the system and out to jobs before you come in, go to the next one.

4. Phone Interviews Because there are so many people out of work and applying for jobs now, many places are opting for phone interviews first before bringing you in. While it is an extra step between you getting hired, it can work in your favor if you do it right. First thing to remember is because they can't see you, they have to feel you through the phone. That means speaking clearly with an upbeat manner and enunciating your words (since the majority of HR managers are older white women, using a Carlton like voice will drop their defenses fast). If you can, get up and walk around as that will get your juices flowing and help you breathe, calm down and sound like you aren't dining on ramen nightly.

Most of the time they will ask you about your previous duties; just reiterate what's on your resume. Then they will come at you with open-ended situational questions like 'what did you do when faced with a particularly difficult customer' or 'what's your definition of customer service'. Their aim is to gauge how well you can articulate yourself; in other words this is when they will make their decision on whether to bring you in for a real interview or not so SELL YOURSELF.

Here are some good phrases to throw into the mix (I damn near ran this down like a hook pass play each time) the caps signal emphasis:

"I build RAPPORT quickly..."
"I UNDERSTAND how people relate to one another..."
"I'm RESULTS oriented..."
"I'm a ROLE PLAYER that understands a POSITIVE TEAM ATMOSPHERE..."

Basically these terms all amount to the answer to the question they didn't ask but really only want to know the answer to: can you come in, learn the job and leave without k!lling anyone if we decide to fire you. Should you do well, you'll make it to the next and last step: the in-person interview.

5. In-Person Interview

Arrive there 15-30 minutes early in case they have you fill out an application and do prerequisite testing. If you see a receptionist there, introduce yourself to them specifically and ask his/her name. NEVER bring a paper resume with you because the majority of the people coming in for the position will. Just reply that you didn't have access to a printer and when the logic hits them, slide in there a 'besides, I'm a much better read than my resume' quip. Chances are they'll laugh at your cheekiness and you'll further implant yourself into their memory.

Remember that saying 'dress for the job you want; not the job you have'? Yeah, I found it bullsh*t too. Here's how you should really dress. Business casual in every interview. I had a white button down shirt with a black tie, black slacks and shoes that I wore every first interview and then a dark blue shirt I swapped out for second interview if need be. I did this purposely because in either shirt/tie combination I got positive feedback from interviewers with helped in building the 'buddy buddy' dynamic that pushed me in front of legitimately qualified people. This also created a 'middle-management' aura employers like. Dress too casually and they'll immediately label you slacker. Dress in high fashion suits and they'll think they can't afford you and you'll eventually quit to start your own business or take a higher paying corporate gig--a nekkid tie/shirt combination says that your entrepreneurial spirit is broken and you will gladly wear their yoke until you croak.

The question of 'where do you see yourself in 5 years' tends to come up and like the other open-ended questions they want to gauge your intelligence. Realistically no one knows what they'll be doing in 5 years except the joyous and the downtrodden and they already told the joyous cat in the Brooks Brothers suit that he was 'overqualified' as they showed him the way out. Look them straight in the eye and say 'I'd like to explore the possibilities here'; that question is their jab before the knockout punch of offering you well below what you should be making for the job and asking if that's alright. They want to see if that glint of rebellion flares up from recognizing being played. a.ssure them that's fine and they'll believe you to be so thirsty for a job that they can keep you at this range for many years to come.

When they ask if you have any questions, say this:

"I only have one. What is the skill set necessary to become the best employee possible?"

By indicating that you only have one question you are framing this one question to be important to you and poignant (as it comes across as more fully vested into the job than the person who doesn't need it). Because you came back at them with an open-ended question that isn't easy to explain they will consider you intelligent enough to perform the duties well (aka they're getting more for their money out of this mule).

On the way out, be a little loud, laugh and joke with the interviewer as you head back towards the front, especially if there are others there waiting to interview; this may help make them more flustered when going in and less memorable when compared to you. Also, if you can, ensure that the interviewer sees you say goodbye to the receptionist (and even go shake his/her hand if possible) as the HR manager and receptionist often compare notes afterwards. Being a good mention from the receptionist can't hurt.

If the interview went well you should hear back before the end of the day. If not wait until the day after the following day to follow up (although if they haven't called you yet chances are you didn't get it or something delayed the process). Don't send any sucker thank you notes, no one cares that much.

Hope y'all found this useful.


Last edited by STRIVERS LIFE; 04-08-2017 at 10:24 AM..
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59 comments for "The Smashmouth Job Search Guide"

 4 years ago '10        #2
Alphaomega 1 heat pts
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props. Well- written and gives actual advice. I appreciate the effort
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 4 years ago '06        #3
StillFree28 27 heat pts27
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That was a good read.
RoBCaSh gave props
 
 4 years ago '06        #4
Stupid Fresh 183 heat pts183
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dont bring a resume for an in person interview?

i dont know about that one..

i understand wanting to stand out.. but in that case you should have 3 copies of your resume where the rest of the people will have one
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 4 years ago '11        #5
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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 Stupid Fresh said:
dont bring a resume for an in person interview?

i dont know about that one..

i understand wanting to stand out.. but in that case you should have 3 copies of your resume where the rest of the people will have one
I understand why you'd think bringing a resume is important but in the grand scheme of things if they really need that resume they'll print a copy themselves. As a former HR generalist (I worked for Universal Studios hiring people for the park in Universal City) I never hired anyone that was a 'qualified' because being qualified means you already have an accurate accounting of what you're worth and when factoring in the profit margin looked for per person, qualified people cost too much. I say that to say this: a good job candidate for the majority of jobs are a mixture of slightly inept and spiritually broken. Those who might excel are viewed as threats to the status quo and that (and to a lesser degree woefully inadequate) is what you don't want to portray when getting a job.
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 4 years ago '06        #6
RAZAH CUTS 5835 heat pts5835
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real good read...
 4 years ago '10        #7
Pop-N-Fresh 19 heat pts19
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 rapgamerdotcom said:
I understand why you'd think bringing a resume is important but in the grand scheme of things if they really need that resume they'll print a copy themselves. As a former HR generalist (I worked for Universal Studios hiring people for the park in Universal City) I never hired anyone that was a 'qualified' because being qualified means you already have an accurate accounting of what you're worth and when factoring in the profit margin looked for per person, qualified people cost too much. I say that to say this: a good job candidate for the majority of jobs are a mixture of slightly inept and spiritually broken. Those who might excel are viewed as threats to the status quo and that (and to a lesser degree woefully inadequate) is what you don't want to portray when getting a job.
Thats a fukd up line of thought. Glad I never had to interview with anyone like you.


This was a well thought out article and overall good read. I actually read that issh. lol

Indeed.com compiles alot of job sites into one site. I go there often when looking for work.

The 1 question thing, I would go as far as to say you can never limit the number of questions asked. But try to be considerate of the interviewers time.
Just stay away from money. The "skillset" question is a dope addition tho. I actually use a variation of this question.


Last edited by Pop-N-Fresh; 07-30-2013 at 04:35 PM..
 4 years ago '11        #8
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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 Ars3n said:
Thats a fukd up line of thought. Glad I never had to interview with anyone like you.


This was a well thought out article and overall good read. I actually read that issh. lol

Indeed.com compiles alot of job sites into one site. I go there often when looking for work.

The 1 question thing, I would go as far as to say you can never limit the number of questions asked. But try to be considerate of the interviewers time.
Just stay away from money. The "skillset" question is a dope addition tho. I actually use a variation of this question.
Want to know the sad thing? That line of thinking is quickly becoming, if not already, the norm. And if you've ever interviewed anywhere you already have dealt with people like that Why? Because of the way employees are discussed in middle and upper management. This is the bread and butter of 'company culture'. Terms like 'human capital' and 'personnel' are commonplace when talking about hiring people and the number 1 rule in business in general is 'buy low, sell high'--translating that into our discussion would be 'pay low, promise high'.

Indeed might work for you; for me it never did and considering how many 'ghost' jobs there are out there (jobs listed that don't actually exist outside of data mining) on job boards in general, I find it easier to get a job when you have direct contact information that can be followed up on.

You can definitely ask more questions if you want to; that's just the baseline question I've always used for the reasons listed above. If you want to draw them in further, research the company a bit and sprinkle in the knowledge. People in hiring positions tend to be narcissistic so stroking their ego through acknowledgement of their master will ingratiate yourself in there further.
 4 years ago '11        #9
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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One more thing: if they ask you if you are interviewing anywhere else, ALWAYS SAY YES even if you aren't. No one wants a dead fish and by saying that another company is interested in your talents you have effectively put the fire under their a.ss to make a decision on you, especially if they're under pressure to fill that role. If they ask how far along are you any information about who they are, reply 'I don't feel comfortable touching on other opportunities, however, I am looking for the best fit that will be mutually beneficial.'

Most will drop it there but if they really want to probe, no reason not to reel them in. You could also say that you have interviewed elsewhere and while they were a solid company, the only thing they presented better than you was starting salary. This will spark their interest because companies always want to play into corporate espionage and find out information on rivals they may not have known before. They will more than likely follow up with 'how much are they offering you?'

Once they do this, the cards are face up on the table and you will know that throughout this entire process they've been lying to you about what they can pay you. A company that properly bases compensation on the metrics of the individual role won't even allow their HR managers the wiggle room to offer more and as such, they won't be 'professionally curious'.

When they ask 'how much' come back with 'a little more; I'm not hung up on the money but it does make a difference'. Don't give specifics because that can force their hand. You want to give them the idea that they're scooping you from under the thumb of their competitor. One of three things will happen next: they'll offer you more on the spot (which you should accept because this isn't a negotiation), wish you well in your endeavors (which means you probably didn't have the position anyway but finding out what the competition pays will get them a doggie treat) or say something like 'let me see what I can do/see if I can f!ght for more money for you/etc. and call you back' (which means they're trying to start up a waiting game on you and then return with an offer that's still a fraction of what they really could offer).

Bottom line is if they're talking money, you're almost in there.
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 4 years ago '10        #10
Pop-N-Fresh 19 heat pts19
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OK mr Dotcom, if thats your real name, how would someone market themselves effectively when they are qualified or overqualified for a position that they really want?

In other words, when interviewing with someone like yourself, how would that candidate get that job offer without appearing desperate, broken and downtrodden?
 4 years ago '11        #11
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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 Ars3n said:
OK mr Dotcom, if thats your real name, how would someone market themselves effectively when they are qualified or overqualified for a position that they really want?

In other words, when interviewing with someone like yourself, how would that candidate get that job offer without appearing desperate, broken and downtrodden?
Well, you're missing the point of the guide. This isn't for a 'career'-esque job; this is for the jobs that will keep a roof over your head and food on your plate only. If you're looking for a position to fulfill that life-long ambition, you're better off learning the trade, getting an entry level internship or position so you can be mentored into the role, nepotised in through college fraternal connections or grandfathered in through real familial means.
 4 years ago '05        #12
MATIX 
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your my hero
 07-31-2013, 07:19 PM         #13
Drone 
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How did you manage those 80 k jobs? Was it all about selling yourself and being great at an interview? For that manner any job over 50 k? Or is it about experience, gpa, or what college you?

Also how important is linkedin? Did you use it for any jobs?
 4 years ago '11        #14
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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 Darkdrone said:
How did you manage those 80 k jobs? Was it all about selling yourself and being great at an interview? For that manner any job over 50 k? Or is it about experience, gpa, or what college you?

Also how important is linkedin? Did you use it for any jobs?
Thanks for the questions.

For positions outside entry level you're looking at a couple different ways in:

1. Private recruiter - I'd posted my resume on Monster and a recruiter came to me with the opportunity. Once he'd emailed me about the position, I Googled competitive companies and cross-referenced what the basics of the job was and what it paid. Once I knew more about the jargon and duties, I called the recruiter directly and glossed over my resume with him while building rapport with him. When it came to money, I used my knowledge to give him a realistic basis for cranking the wages up and peak his client's interest. Because I acted bold during the entire process, I was rewarded.

2. Inside reference - For the govt. job I knew someone who was already in and had them present me for a branch in another state (I was planning to move anyway and this would help get me established there more quickly). I wowed the HR generalist via phone, came down and interviewed in person. Pretty simple.
 07-31-2013, 09:14 PM         #15
Drone 
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 rapgamerdotcom said:
Thanks for the questions.

For positions outside entry level you're looking at a couple different ways in:

1. Private recruiter - I'd posted my resume on Monster and a recruiter came to me with the opportunity. Once he'd emailed me about the position, I Googled competitive companies and cross-referenced what the basics of the job was and what it paid. Once I knew more about the jargon and duties, I called the recruiter directly and glossed over my resume with him while building rapport with him. When it came to money, I used my knowledge to give him a realistic basis for cranking the wages up and peak his client's interest. Because I acted bold during the entire process, I was rewarded.

2. Inside reference - For the govt. job I knew someone who was already in and had them present me for a branch in another state (I was planning to move anyway and this would help get me established there more quickly). I wowed the HR generalist via phone, came down and interviewed in person. Pretty simple.
So you recommend job hunting by using monster and craiglist correct? So how was the job opportunities there? With this global recession would you mind telling us how long it took you to get an answer from a recruiter?

Also how important is being liked by the interviewers? Is it all about what you know and how you articulate your answers on questions? Or is it how well you play with the conversation and input a joke here and there?

Lastly you said you got a range of jobs. You mind telling us which ones where hard to apply to in that the qualifications were past what you had and instead your great interview skills to get the job?

Thanks for your answers bro.
 4 years ago '11        #16
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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Q: So you recommend job hunting by using monster and craiglist correct? So how was the job opportunities there? With this global recession would you mind telling us how long it took you to get an answer from a recruiter?

A: Craigslist was the go-to because you're dealing directly with companies looking to hire. Not to say there weren't ghost jobs on there but with access to a direct email address (like ) you have a place to start the follow up process. I would send the resume first, hit the website for the company to check where it's located, call them and ask for the HR department (and specific names if I had them). From there I could go with a 'Hi Susan, I wanted to follow up on the resume I sent over...'

Monster was good because you could apply for several jobs quickly and finding a job is ultimately a numbers game. It would usually be a day or two from when I submitted the resume that I got first contact.

Q: Also how important is being liked by the interviewers? Is it all about what you know and how you articulate your answers on questions? Or is it how well you play with the conversation and input a joke here and there?

A: Interviews are little more than popularity contests. If you know someone who can tip the scale for you at a company, by all means tell them to do it. In the interview, take accounting of what type of person the interviewer is (do they have crayon pictures from their kids up, Star Wars figurines,etc.) and use that to your advantage. Slide in a joke if it feels tense and go with the flow.

Q: Lastly you said you got a range of jobs. You mind telling us which ones where hard to apply to in that the qualifications were past what you had and instead your great interview skills to get the job?

A: The govt. job would've been difficult to get because of the extensive background and security clearance needed had I not used my connect as a reference. Companies don't care about the employees; they care about the bottom line: cheap, capable labor. Show them you can be that and they'll hire you.

Thanks for your questions bro.
 08-01-2013, 11:35 AM         #17
Drone 
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Got a couple more questions bro.

Business cards yay or nay? Carry them around and pass it out to recruiters?

Also say you learned skills on your own like learning programming languages, would it be relevant to bring it up in an interview?
 4 years ago '11        #18
STRIVERS LIFE 26 heat pts26 OP
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Got a couple more questions bro.

Q: Business cards yay or nay? Carry them around and pass it out to recruiters?

A: I don't see the point of business cards unless you own a business.


Q: Also say you learned skills on your own like learning programming languages, would it be relevant to bring it up in an interview?

A: Sure, if there's a direct correlation between the job and that skill.
 4 years ago '05        #19
pnoi89 11 heat pts11
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 rapgamerdotcom said:
Got a couple more questions bro.

Q: Business cards yay or nay? Carry them around and pass it out to recruiters?

A: I don't see the point of business cards unless you own a business.


Q: Also say you learned skills on your own like learning programming languages, would it be relevant to bring it up in an interview?

A: Sure, if there's a direct correlation between the job and that skill.
I'll weigh-in on this.

I saw it as a benefit during college and during my job search when I went to symposiums, career fairs, etc. I believe it's an affordable and cheap networking tool to pass your info around when you don't have any resumes to hand off.

I don't own a business, but I always carry my business cards with me whenever speaking to vendors and other folks in the industry... always. You'd be surprised the benefit when your name is in their Outlook contacts.
 4 years ago '05        #20
Based_One 79 heat pts79
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Good read thanks for the advice getting back on the job hunt soon just told my department is closing on Oct 28th.
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