A respected colleague of mine, Christine Kelly
points out that much thought should be devoted
before you send your application for a position
Every interaction with every representative is part
of their interview of you. Christine points out in the
screening interview or information interviews
act and present yourself professionally.
In all interactions, virtual, visual, oral and in writing,
your future employer is interested in what you have
to offer. In discussions, listen carefully to the questions
of what people are seeking to learn and respond to
their queries. However, remain positive and phrase
negatives in ways that show your creativity and ability
to progress and learn from failure.
Do practice interviews. Anticipate and write out
answers you can use. Ask for feedback from
Nearly 80% of the members of our graduate course in
Professional Development rank security or certainty as
a leading desire. Thus, a high percentage sense a higher
level of un-certainty.
I led a seminar recently on ‘Dealing with Uncertainty’ where
the attendees were asked what were they uncertain about.
Was it how to make good decisions, or
What should be their next career step, or
Should they stop with a MS, or
How to do a good job search, or
How long should they expect to stay at a job, when should
they move, how do you look for a position while working,
What do you do if your boss disagrees with you or
does not like you, or…
You might get the point. Then, I asked them to share
their uncertainty with others before asking them to
discuss what feelings do the uncertainty evoke?
Did they feel confused, or anxious, or frustrated, or
stuck (and not able to change or move), or making false
starts? The top three feelings they expressed were:
anxious, confused and frustrated.
We talked that many of their situations were created by
the circumstances that they were in influenced by outside
forces. They have relatively little control over these.
What they each have control over is how they individually
respond to the feelings that the circumstances evoke.
Those who felt confused might lack VISION. What are
their career objectives?
Have they done a S-W-O-T, strengths-weaknesses,
opportunities and threats analysis?
Do they participate in setting goals, performing a “gap
analysis” and design a personal development plan?
Do they have a Z Plan, a personal desired outcome
when everything comes out “jelly-side up”?
Those who felt anxious might lack the NECESSARY
SKILLS. Have they performed a personal self assessment?
Do they know soft and wise skills that they are expected
to display and will provide advantages? Do they know
how to manage and build personal self esteem?
Ref. Brian Tracy
Those who felt frustrated might not have developed and
used available RESOURCES. Have they mentors that
seem committed to them? Are they aware of legal
counsel of Al Sklover for employment issues? Are
they aware of the WRAP method (Widen options,
Reality check solutions, Attain distance/perspective
and Prepare to be wrong)
Working through these brought some clarity to dealing
with each person’s sense of uncertainty.
Thanks to Hari Narayanan for bringing the uncertainty
matrix to my attention.
A tremendously thought provoking question came from
an attendee at a recent workshop:
Dan,… “we met and talked last weekend at the University
of Pittsburgh during the “Job searching for chemical
professionals” workshop. I plan to graduate with an MS
in organic chemistry at the end of this semester and am
looking for jobs with small biotech and start-up companies.
You gave me good advice on how to follow the venture
capital money to find new jobs, and I was hoping to
follow up with you and get some more advice on how
and when to approach these opportunities.
My concern,” he continued in the email, “is about whom
I should contact, and when.“ He described what he has
learned about a company with growth plans from <10
to 15-25. “I don’t know how to contact anybody with the
“Should I send to VCs asking to be referred to any of
the upcoming positions?“
This may apply to a larger audience, so please let me
share the response.
TACTICS AND STRATEGIES
-checked ABs Linkedin profile. It needs to be refreshed. Add
more about his thesis topic, additional skills and a photo.
-strong pedigree for the field, has he spoken to their career
services/placement offices? Is he part of alumni groups?
-Suggestion: Find a “warm introduction” [rather than a “cold
contact” though someone connected to the firm] to each
opportunity. Does he know someone there or a previous
employee? Does his adviser (someone in his network) have
any connections? How about alumni from his group?
- some venture capitalists have websites and he ought to apply through
them directly. Recruiters often work for small firms.
- Incidentally, J does have a website and if he has skills they
are seeking people with skills in cancer immunotherapies
[Again, a “warm introduction” can be an advantage, through a
referral or networking.]
- is he focused on a location? I can offer leads for some specific
areas…(SF, SD, Boston, NJ, TX…]
- is he presenting a poster at NOLA ACS or attending the career
fair? It is a huge upcoming opportunity.
- Brush up on presentation and interviewing skills simultaneously,
so when the next step happens, he is ready.”
Shirley offered some terrific advice:
“first,use Linkedin as a source.
does anyone at the company have a profile?
articles regarding VC will list appropriate individuals, who have
send an “invite” on Linkedin in a nice personalized note expressing
interest in their company and industry. Don’t ask for a job in an invite!
continue to constantly expand your network
second, explore local industry specific networking events through
Linkedin. I highly encourage this. Sign up for specific groups in
Linkedin, attend periodic [can be monthly] meetings, and find out
about start-ups, etc.
third, I recommend having business cards with them. Vista
(www.vistaprint.com) offers a cost-efffective product. A person
might list their specialization on the card, that can be handed out
at networking events.
job openings. Surprisingly, a number of companies use Craigslist,
Door64 and other unrelated sites. Check Forbes’ list of best
cities where biotech congregates.
campus counselors. Many times, these individuals can offer a
wealth of information.
Finally, pay attention to “consequential strangers”, who are people
you meet and have something valuable to offer.”
Having an organized, keyword-loaded, up-to-date
LinkedIn profile is essential these days in having
jobs find our interest in discussing employment and
Our profile also allows us a way to asynchronously
remain connected to former colleagues and associates
who may be
T targets for future opportunities
A alert partners with whom we work well
R role models
and consequential strangers .
At a recent meeting I introduced myself to a marketeer
and author who offered a pertinent workshop on LinkedIn.
He helped by pointing out where to organize and manage
important features –> the settings directory .
There are several default settings which change if you
move from the basic to a premium service package.
Your Linkedin network is composed of levels where
direct connections are first level. Your first levels’
connections who are not in your first level are your
second level, and so on. So with basic service your
connections cannot see your second level email
addresses. They are enabled if you have premium
Other features were described, that can be explored
further in the directory .
With computer searching we are all familiar with boolian
structures, yet more advanced information extraction
can be accomplished by understanding search algorithm
structures SEO and strategies incorporating keywords .
Keywords should be included in your Headline, Job titles,
Experience and Skills and Expertise sections
SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
Linkedin has several interesting tools that give opportunities
to reveal that you are a thought leader (answering questions)
and having people provide endorsements of your Skills
and Expertise. The latter are an interesting “ranking
1- Never open or accept a LinkedIn invitation unless you are
viewing the invitation through the LinkedIn “Inbox”.
2-Develop a discipline about accepting invitations. Someone
you know well– YES
Someone you agreed to network with based on association
or affiliation– YES
Someone who is a hub and can connect you with others
with whom you wish to connect– YES
Someone you do not know but may be associated with
someone in your network– maybe, but I tend to not
respond. Be careful about saying NO.
There is an informal etiquette to accepting or inviting
For mid-career and leadership level profiles let me point
to two profiles that are now part of my network.
technical manager with strong technical and scientific
high tech marketing executive with broad experience
So, I noticed that a fellow I worked with in a mock
interview had landed a nice position in a linkedin.com
As a result, I sent him a nice congratulations note and
asked what worked for him…
- Networking with consequential strangers
- interview preparation and practice
- mock interviewing
- persistence and patience
“Thanks! It was tough out there. 6 months and 100+
applications … with zero on-site interviews. and I was
… frustrated. that’s when I got an email from a friend in the
physics department asking if I would be interested in
applying for a job at [Fortune 100]. He had received an
email from a friend asking if he knew any organic chemists
that might be interested in a business role…
They received over 2000 applications, and had a traditional
selection process– telephone screen, on site interview.
That is when the real preparation work started. I worked on
things we talked about in the mock interview we had at the
ACS(Thanks!) I spent roughly a week ‘googling’ and thinking of
answers to every situational interview question that I could find.
When I received my interview schedule I researched and read
all that was published by my hiring committee. I learned as much
as I could about the company [from all sources]…
I nailed the day-long interview….I left there knowing I was going to
Sadly, a few weeks later, however, they called to say they hired a
candidate internally. I was crushed. The hiring manager did say
to keep in touch and that they really thought I was a strong candidate…
…I thought this was just fluff but I sent an email to the hiring manager
with updated contact info and asked for some feedback on my performance
but never really heard back.
A couple of months later, I got a call from the [company] hiring manager
asking me how my progress in grad school was coming/ I felt he
was just really nice and felt for me.
About a week later I got a call from the hiring manager’s boss (Global
manager) saying he just wanted to talk me a bit and let me know this
is ‘[the] real [deal].’
He said I really impressed a lot of people out there and he was going to
open up a new position for me that I’d be receiving an offer if I wanted
So many ups and downs throughout the job search, but the preparation
and hard work finally paid off. I can’t thank you enough for helping me
get through those first interview jitters. I most likely would not
have been as confident …. without your help. This wound up being the
perfect job opportunity for me!
Thank you again…”
Last week I had the pleasure to meet undergraduates
and then offer a program on “Wise Skills,” followed
by some exceptional mock interviews. After the
program at Niagara University, Professor R. Goacher
and I went over the MUD cards which presented
some of the questions the undergraduates had and
things they liked about the workshop.
Here are a couple of the questions.
1. What are some suggestions about how to calm
yourself in an interview and how to keep yourself
from fidgeting when you get nervous or don’t know
what to do with your hands?
This is a targeted question which hints at a generally
larger phobia that all people face– nervousness in
interviews and giving presentation. Some understand
from the get-go that it is normal to be nervous and
to manage it by several tactics. Two undergraduates
who took me to the class room actually saw me do
many of the things that prepared me to do well–
- 60/20 rule and know your first 2 minutes down pat
- use resources in the room– board, prepared hand-outs,
visual aids, both prepared in advance and created live
- relate to the audience and perform an “attention
switch”, where you are no longer thinking of yourself
but an actor making a case and seeking positive feedback
from the audience
- learn and develop the presentation skill of waiting,
taking pauses allowing you to think as you are delivering
and taking in audience nonverbal signals, Partnoy’s, “Wait”
is exemplary reading on this.
- know the audience
- prepare yourself by visiting the restroom before beginning
to make sure you are at your level best.
2. How can I approach someone in a networking situation?
I am young and feel that I don’t have much to offer. I don’t
want to come off as someone who needs a favor but can not
So, let me tell you what we did at Niagara. A new professor
and I went to lunch and she paid. We have jointly agreed,
yet informally, that I would be pleased and have the time to
act as a mentor. We chose our lunch items and then
proceeded to the check out where I briefly
chatted with the cashier who was there in her role for her
We got her name, the cashier learned mine and
we talked for a moment about weekend events. The new
professor then introduced herself and made a nice
Walking away, the professor commented, do you commonly
create small talk with many people, engage with and make
friendly chatter making them feel significant and present.
Yes, I responded– these are consequential strangers and
part of my network.
There are others. Several questions I have from the week
I will contact respected mentors and seek their thoughts
and advice. It is a way I keep in touch. Several former
students and colleagues will be asked the same questions
more for saying a quick hello.
Several of my competitors who professionally compete
for the same opportunities I will share what has happened
in my week of presentations. I do it even if I do not hear
back, in fact, not expecting anything in return. These are
tactics of a networker.
Then, I will at some future point contact people with whom
I work well.
Resources such as this blog are a continual refresher of
sharing well intentioned, focused on other people’s
betterment, not-personal-gain communication.
More than 40% of each one of our daily routines
involves habits. Institutions either inculcate, take
advantage of or create new habits. Charles Duhigg
wrote a fascinating treatise on “The Power of Habit“
where he dissects their nature and influences and derived
the concept of habits that change other habits and
allow us to achieve other desired outcomes. He
called these “keystone habits.”
We reviewed in our seminar: networking conversations,
networking interviews and elevator speeches and wove
them into elements of a habit to develop in ourselves
the positive habit of a proactive form of networking with
members of our networks who are STARs
Alert partners with whom you work well
Reviewers and mentors
and consequential strangers. Then we practiced
conversation introductions, listening skills, exchanging
key information, nonverbal communications and
what to do next to make committed networking.
Two guest presenters revealed how they put these
“habits” into practice getting results, ie, interviews.
Then we talked about asynchronous, remote
networking and the importance of putting your
best foot forward in leading online platforms,
The substance being that committed networking needs
to be developed before you need it and therefore is
best regarded as a keystone habit.
Framing. It is not easy to figure out what
to do when the decision is all in our laps
about what we want to do with the skills
we have, the ambitions we aspire and the
experiences that have formed our memories.
In early days, decisions were made for us
on our behalf. Then, at a certain point each
of us have to dig deeply to figure out our
core beliefs and and personal values to
When our lives are upset by job loss, we
face a different reality. For some, identity
is lost. For others, self confidence is
diminished. For a few, either they are relieved
or they feel fortunate that they did not have
to make the decision.
In job search mode, frustration can set in
as time moves forward and it seems that
options are few and doors close quickly.
Four encouragements for each of us
1. stay with your job search and either
maintain your focus or develop a prioritized
2. shrug off negative comments or feelings,
yet learn from the truth. Apply the new
or refreshed learning.
3. touch people’s lives with care, love,
and respect. Ask for forgiveness.
4. network with consequential strangers.
Develop a communication model that
increases your data and information in-
flow and presents your contacts and
mentors with transparency and updates.
What helps is a personal assessment of
not only your personal values, but also your
beliefs. Listening to Detlof von Winterfeldt who
describes a model of good decision-making
beliefs x values = decisions
Beliefs are molded into us throughout
our life and re-molded through positive
reinforcement. Beliefs result from our
actions or decisions, when we judge a
Values are revealed when you feel life
is good and you are satisfied and content.
That means that your values will change
throughout your life. [When I was young,
having a nice car, home, adventure and
resources seemed valuable. In middle
age, having good health, a satisfying
family life with a caring, loving spouse
and enough resources not to want are
meaningful.] So it is important to keep
in touch with your personal values.
A common question many recent grads ask came in an
“I’ve been trying to make as many connections as I can.
Although, I’m finding that most of my references have
connections in academia and since I would prefer working
in a government research lab or in industry compared to
academia, they have not been able to help so much in
Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make
connections in these areas of employment?”
- Join and participate in professional organizations
- Attend meetings and engage in conversation and information
interviews with attendees and speakers
- Determine where graduates from your group, department and
school have ended up. Contact them.
- Expand your personal network, include ‘consequential
strangers,’ and people who know people ‘go to the second
tier in your network’
- Search in Blog,nesacs.org may also provide ideas for you
Social media searching
Consequential strangers and being prepared
Go outside field of concentration
Relocation factors in tight economy
- Use LinkedIn.com to explore particular people.
The topic of using social media in a job search
is common with several firm offering to provide
advice and services for you. This is in addition
to the social web sites Facebook, LinkedIn,
Twitter, even ACS Network offering to be
“your tool of choice” for finding openings.
It might be worth first pointing out that job
seekers have different purposes at different
phases in their job search of their goal of landing
Far be it for me to suggest one “best” source
for all purposes. It might be wiser to understand
that before pursuing top firms on your list, you
have two parallel activities– (1a) determining your
musts, wants and restrictions and (1b) gathering
information about companies and industries.
Once you get a handle on your personal assessment
and what is available, then for most, there is a need
to narrow down your search to (2) identify where you
might focus your effort. A divided effort can yield
limited results or take longer. Being able to focus on
a few target companies or institutions will help you
There are many routes to obtaining information and
among them are the social media tools. I liked some
of Mark’s comments in Applicant blog comparing
the use of social media on this subject. Then, once
your targets are identified you are served well by (3) creating
strategies to introduce yourself and your desire to work
at them. There is no single approach for doing this.
Although social media may help, networking, identifying
current employees who can refer your resume and
interest to hiring authorities and creating an “introduction
opportunity” will be important for job seekers. No
single route works for all.
Persistence, rather than which is the “right way,” is
often the best advice.
Job postings will show up on many sites. But, as we know,
most jobs are not formally posted. They are in the “hidden
As we move closer to the interview stage both formal
connections and informal connections can prove helpful
for job seekers. (4) In anticipation of screening interviews,
learning about new products, recent news, and positive
(or negative) outlooks are timely. Finding consequential
strangers and secondary network connections who can
offer advice or a good word help, too.
I have recommended tools like LinkedIn.com to (5) inform
“on-site interviewers” about the people with whom they
will interview at companies.
Blogs and other tools can be helpful for (6) learning about
insiders’ views and rumors about company changes
that are not formally public knowledge or are
buried. (I know this was the case at a company
I previously worked for.)
We mentioned seven specific areas in a job search.
Popular and common social media seem to provide
value for several of them. It is helpful then for the
job seeker to have a purpose in mind when using
these social media. For some purposes, their value
might not be high.
It it an interesting world we live in. There are
consequential strangers, unanticipated consequences,
and surprises when something comes to mind
When we are job seeking it seems like none
of these come. In fact, we should seek and
That said, by an unanticipated path I have been
asked to be a reference for an individual. Now
being a reference I need to be able to respond
intelligently to questions like:
1. Given a skeleton job description, do I think
the candidate can perform well?
- give rationale why
2. What do I feel are important strengths and
areas for improvement? Having said that what
unique behaviors does (s)he have that the interview
might not have revealed?
3. How does the person work under pressure?
Give me an example to reveal the person’s behavior.
4. Has the person behaved ethically and respectfully
in all situations?
If not, what coaching would be a benefit.
More often, a reference will mention no shortcomings.
Nonetheless, this is an opportunity for the reference
to mention areas where coaching can be fruitful in
a win-win way. international business, business
plan writing, true managing and leading.
Several questions that references should be prepared
to respond to. It is the job applicant’s responsibility to
help the reference have specific background. Randy
Hanson has suggested an appropriate list.
Hanson also lists some reference watch-outs.
I feel differently about providing the list with
the resume. Although I agree references are not
part of a resume, (1) there is value in supplying the
list of references for technical hiring. It provides
helpful information if the hiring manager knows
There is a “cost” to pay if you list current managers
I also suggest that we need to (2) list the relationship
of the reference to you for each reference on the
Although the best practices for finding jobs
should be used anytime, they make a mark
when done well in tough economic times.
Here is a nice story. A recent grad, graduating
in the top half of her class, competed with all her
classmates for few positions all in the same
location. (In this case, LA.) She did a series of
best practices that has landed her several
screening interviews and three on-site interviews.
She upgraded her wardrobe to help her present
a mature, professional appearance and performed
some mock interviews– telephone and on site.
She had her resume reviewed by several career
consultants and the placement office at her school.
She aimed not for perfection but for better ways
of making her case. She already had an
undergraduate degree and sought a position in a
She had benchmarked her position for expected
salary and benefits with a national organization.
NEAR TERM STATUS
She has been screened in three, interviewed two
facilities and received one offer already. One
more interview to go.
The offer from the first facility provides the
benchmark for the other two to compare to
for decision and negotiating.
WHAT SETS HER APART
1. She shared what she learned about resumes,
career portfolio (or file), and interviewing with
2. She networked with CONSEQUENTIAL
STRANGERS to introduce herself and let
them know she was looking. She provided
her latest version of her resume (it has
changed since that version.) with a cover letter
to an indirect contact who only indicated that
the documents were passed on.
3. She set up a visit to what she viewed as a
“reach” institution and spoke with human
resource personnel. The manager was very
impressed that she had a professional file
and a neat professional appearance. Within
a week, she was called back for an interview.
There were no ads, no online sites to find out
about the position. The manager said the first
class impression sold her. The manager also
said, ads bring in hundreds of resumes, job fairs
bring in dozens of resumes. When you are
looking for few positions, it is nice when a
“purple squirrel” falls into your lap.
4. In the first institution interview, she was
professionally outfitted and prepared. (On time,
portfolio with extra resumes, folder with items
to review and take notes, etc.) She was
interviewed by an upbeat, enthusiastic duo
who clearly knew the kind of person they
wanted to hire. What separated this interviewee
was keeping answers short, telling stories
for each of many behavioral based questions,
and having on target questions to ask.
(See examples of questions in the comments.)
The following day they surprised her by
inviting her to the second phase of the
interview. A third phase consisting of practical
test quizzes showing solid fundamentals was
to be filled out within a week.
She was called giving an exciting offer the
day after the online test was completed.
So, things happened in rapid sequence.
5. For each of the interactions, she gathered
the names and contact information and sent
appropriate “thank you notes.”
In following comments, you can see some of
the behavioral based questions she was asked.
It is incumbent on each job seeker to narrow
the search and use all means to introduce
yourself as a person who belongs on the
Sizing up a changing job market in challenging times
is not easy. Different sources, Internet sites and people
seem to initially be good for narrow topics and areas.
So when a multi-use tool like the ACS Clearinghouse
and career fair happens, people reveal things they
don’t expect they would. One of revelation is that
some honestly appear desperate, when they intend
to be proactive. Proactive is working with
consequential strangers, solid follow through,
applying for positions for which you qualify,
being flexible and having big picture understanding
of the hiring process.
Network with consequential strangers
It seems like job seekers are not aware of consequential
strangers who are difference makers’ (see also 2 , 3 )
in finding opportunities.
Beware of appearing desperate
A number of people are in temporary roles or
part time or in roles that have limited horizons.
Career consultants’ hearts go out to them. Their
actions and body language speak more to being
desperate, rather than being proactive.
Follow through with attitude and actions
These members initiate conversations, send
emails and share their resumes with the hope
that a job description exists that “has their name
on it.” Too often their body language appeals
for help. When suggestions are offered that
repeat what they have done or seems out of their
“comfort zones,” they ‘drop the ball’ or delay
their follow-up. Often times, this turns off people
who make the suggestions.
It also appears that back-up plans should
be energized. Holding out too long places
us out of employment for too long, without
using our skills and developing new ones.
Apply for positions for which you qualify
(Ask first before sending in your resume.)
All too often, people apply for positions that
they do not fit closely enough.
Employee referrals are a plus
It is a little used insight that if current employees
submit your resume for you, it is placed on top
of the resume pile. Also, if you take the initiative
to visit the firm with your cover letter, resume
and portfolio of documents in a professional
portfolio, it can be looked at quickly since it
does not have to be scanned, reviewed and
printed out. Your physical presence as a
young capable go-getter holds you in good
stead, as well.
People seem to not use their network effectively.
That means volunteering and helping others,
referring openings to others who might be qualified,
or accepting roles where they can demonstrate
their skills. 4
Don’t be surprised that the skills and experiences
desired by many are different now compared to a
year ago. Have you kept your finger on the pulse
what skills are being sought? Have you adapted?
Speak to people, tune into blogs that follow
specific industries, learn about people who
are getting interviews or job offers.
A habit that we all do and endorse is networking.
Increased use of the Internet seems to enhance
networking that can lead to learning about openings
and help us in our jobs and our job searches.
In the past we have mentioned the importance
of consequential strangers in networking. These
are the people who we do not know well but
can provide significant information, introductions
or insights in our job search.
If we understand the structure of the Internet,
how it is comprised and how its components
interact, that is, we could better network with and
on the Internet to achieve goals. 2
Albert-Lazslo Barabasi’s book, “Linked,” offers
many useful insights, sort of the engineering
diagram, to help understand and use the
Internet. 3 4 [There is also a field of marketing
based on geodemographics that takes this
networking to another level.]
Why is the Internet patterned like an
exponential distribution with a few web-sites
growing faster and much larger than many
smaller sites? Barabasi in a second book
Bursts explains that limited time resource
and attention spans creates spans of activity
and inactivity that lead to a personal ordering
that yields focusing on fewer, richer sites. The
author extrapolates much further that these
bursts, or bursting, seems to govern human
Bursting arises from prioritizing and organizing
our tasks and actions. We don’t randomly do things.
In fact we either have patterns or we set a priority
order that makes all the difference.
PG and I met at a couple of meetings this year.
She has completed her Ph.D. and defense and
seeks a position in environmental or green
chemistry in industry. From our conversations and
some correspondence, she seems to have the
behaviors and personable skills that will fit in a
number of organizations.
Recently she reached out to me for a connection
to one of the firms looking for environmental
chemists at the SF national meeting.
Although we have met, we are not closely linked
in each other’s networks. Some refer to people
outside your network span as “weak links“. Some
refer to people who you don’t necessarily think of
first when you seek information or contacts to a
person or a reference, yet these “consequential
strangers” will willingly share information or
contacts in their network to work for you.
So, I explored linkedin and identified a dozen
jobs and twenty people. To me, there was at least
one of each of interest for PG. I pointed out what
I did in an email. She then explored linkedin and
came up with several “hits”.
Also, I reached out to a cluster and found that,
while they would not link and interact with me,
they would choose to interact with PG, given the
In recent versions of networking theory weak links
show up as critical elements. They are outside
our normal every day network. 1 2
The lessons are:
1. use consequential strangers or weak links
2. understand some network elements prefer to
be selective and choose to be one-way. It is your
job to find a way to get the information to
This weekend I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with
UH and he remarked that one of the new things he learned
is about the different people he should have in his
He was familiar with people in his “direct” network. He
indicated that he had not identified people who (1) his
direct network knows nor (2) consequential strangers
In reply to my question: who represents his network?
He indicated that his advisor is more than willing to
offer and write a strong recommendation. I then
asked have you (UH) asked him (UH’s adviser) if he
knows people who you can call? No. This is how
we entered into the discussion about the three layers
of people’s networks.
A second new item related to a telephone interview
he was invited to participate. The conversation
elicited that it was being conducted with a former
graduate of his department. How fortunate!
Develop small talk topics by finding out when and
with whom he graduated and some of the common
people they both know. Find him in LinkedIn.com
and learn of his accomplishments.
[We also covered: Learn about details, recent
news and recent business results of the company.
Have good questions to ask as part of the
telephone interview. Job description? Be
prepared for the telephone interview 1 2 3 ]
The third new item involved UH needing to
formulate STARI stories for responses to
question noting key elements that pertained
to the key performance attributes he can bring
to the company.
STARI = situation, task, actions, results and
We all hear about using our networks to
find opportunities. The expansion of social
networking does not need much description.
The interesting notion of “consequential
strangers” should also be introduced to us.
These are the people who bring regularity,
information and novelty into our lives but are
not part of the inner core of our relationships.
M. Blau and K. Fingerman’s book describes
it as the people who seem not to matter but
really do. For the action oriented person,
who does not want go into detailed explanations
take a look the book’s 2 appendices to help
you analyze your “social convoy” and determine
your rewarding interactions. Refer to a
blog on the topic to self explore in a quick
Interestingly, this concept is quite useful for
managing all ages and stages of our lives.
Liked it very much and will explore it
in detail myself.