Thursday, February 11, 2010

Notes from 2/5/2010 OCA Meeting

Welcome to new member:
Robert Lowry is a freelance copywriter looking to make additional connections in the Seattle market. He has over 10 years of communications experience and a fairly nice web site to show his wares. Welcome Robert!

At last week's meeting, as usual, we talked about several nuances of the job search:
- During introductions, Bill noticed that several people mentioned that they were a "jack of all trades." His question to us: In today's market, where companies can be very specific in the skill sets they're looking for, is this something that can hinder your job search? Is it better to be a specialist? Our initial thoughts seemed to revolve around the size of the company with which you're interviewing. Obviously, at a smaller company, you're going to be called on to be more of a generalist - to add value in a wider variety of job functions. I also feel that you can leverage a wide background at a larger company. Having the knowledge and/or specific experience of several areas provides a better perspective of how to work with others in those areas.

- Donna made the suggestion that we dedicate part of each meeting to getting to know members in more depth. Since many of us are now recommending others for jobs, we should (obviously) be well aware of their experience and what they've accomplished, beyond the LinkedIn profile, resume, and 30-second elevator pitch.
Everyone agreed, so moving forward, we'll look to have short (15-min) presentations by 3 volunteers at each meeting.

- Beth attended a career seminar, where they discussed the age-old interview line: "So, tell me about yourself." The advice Beth received was to definitively tailor your answer to the company and the position:

1) provide a brief background: I'm a ___. I was most recently at ___, where I ___.
2) tell them why you're there: I'm excited about this position, because of a), b), and c).
3) ask them to explore further: What else would you like to know?

- The subject of the "Black List" came up, as ProLango's Paul Anderson was cited in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The article, titled
"How a Black Mark Can Derail a Job Search, discusses how company recruiters keep "do not hire" lists, and not only that, but they share between companies. Land on a list, and you may unknowingly have an uphill battle. The article gives a few suggestions on how to find out if you're on a list and how to make good by your name. However, any additional advice would be welcome as several folks in our meeting felt like they must be on some one's list.

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