15 AND 2

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I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with Pasha over the past couple of weeks and I have been impressed with her spirit of “git up and go” and her enthusiasm for exploring come-what-may. However, she is young and I have take the opportunity to warn her not to take her 15 seconds of fame [thank you Andy Warhol for that term] for granted because once one arrives at the point where media and others initiate the action, the clockhands immediately begin to sweep and the seconds tick away, and soon she will be running on empty with regard to others taking notice of her [they’ve already moved from the billboard]. What this means is that every person seeking a job is essentially competing to get 2 seconds of attention from a stranger, just as a billboard is on the side of the road. This is precisely why traditional resumes don’t work: When was the last time you stopped to look at a resume–words on a screen or ink on paper–with any real interest?

A billboard is big so it doesn’t need a lot of graphics to grab you. I have been lured numerous times to look up at one simply to see the word or the typeface. Big matters. Scale that down to a screen or a letter-sized sheet of paper and the words are about as enticing as a stain of spilled coffee. My point to Pasha and others who somehow manage to game the system to get it to glance up at them and their wants/needs/predicament/call-for-help is not squirrel that 15 seconds away, but to convert it as quickly and meaningfully as possible into something more long lasting. We’re all going to end up seeking the same 2 seconds, but some of us can get a better jump on it than others through creative hard work and innovative spirit. You can’t stop there.

Traditionally, a hand-signed (in blue ink) follow up letter after an interview would often separate those with true class and those who didn’t care enough to bother; often it was the follow up that clinched the 2nd interview and got one the chance to really sell him or her self as the best candidate. Follow up is even more critical today.

The score in the game today is determined how well you pitch yourself [heard of the elevator pitch?] and how well you deliver at the home plate: you don’t have to hit a home run, but you have to at least hit the ball. That means you have 3 chances to get 2 seconds. Don’t miss even one.


Written by 1stbioblogger

May 1, 2009 at 12:28 pm

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