Do You Look Good Enough to Hire?

A newspaper story recently told how 50-somethings and 60-somethings were going under the knife, etc. in order to look better as they competed for jobs with folks who didn’t have droopy eyelids or crooked, stained teeth.

There have likely been hundreds of studies about how attractiveness can contribute to your marketability and/or promotability. Similar stories and studies exist about taller people. But what do you think?

Will a 62-year-old suddenly wrest a potential job away from a 39-year-old because the 62-year-old suddenly looks like he is only 52? Will the smile of a 59-year-old who is fresh out of braces be better equipped to land a job than say, your typical 34-year-old?

You are right…there are too many variables to consider and make blanket statements. Perhaps the 39-year-old above was slightly overweight, very average looking, but had a more well-defined technical skill to peddle to a potential employer.

Maybe the 34-year-old above lost out to the 59-year-old because the older woman has 20 more years of industry contacts, thus helping her land the sales manager job.

Who knows? So, why are people, according to the article, doing all these cosmetic procedures? In a word: Packaging.

In my extensive career of hiring and placing people though, it is never just one thing that makes a person hireable or not hireable. They may be the best geek in the world for a techie job but the other techies who would have to work with him decided the guy is an arrogant jerk who they don’t want to spend most of their waking hours with.

Maybe someone is a smooth, good-looking, well-connected, persuasive, sales type person but they are just too disorganized to manage or build a territory.

In summary, it takes the total package. So if you want to do something to your physical presence in order to help you compete out there, go for it!

Just be sure you don’t have “blind sides” which sabotage your newly white, straight teeth or firm eyelids. Perhaps your forehead is now wrinkle-free but you resume shows you were the class treasurer of the your senior class of 1969. Not helpful when you compete for jobs with people who are your kids’ ages!

Think “total package” my friends. How does your total package look?

America’s Job Coach talks about packaging and first impressions in the YouTube video called “The Twittervator Speech.” The TwitterVator Speech is a blend of your Unique Selling Proposition, an elevator pitch, and a social media tool status update bar. Learn more about YOURS here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN7n0X8PzgI . Good common sense!

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics & The Heisman Trophy

The hype of the Heisman Trophy is now starting to fade. Congratulations to Mark Ingram, Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide for his impressive win. The statistics which won Ingram the honor: In the 2009 season, Ingram rushed for 1,542 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also obtained 322 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns. He will add more stats during the big BCS Rose Bowl game against Texas.

But I hear you saying, “Hey Dude, This blog isn’t about football.” And you are right.

This blog is about job hunting, and in essence, the Heisman race (the award for the “best college football player in America”) IS a form of job hunt (or at least a “title” hunt–“Heisman Trophy Winner”). So here is what job hunters can learn from college football: The use of statistics.

Statistics help us measure who did what on the football field. Which teams won which games. Which players achieved what statistics. Which stats were noteworthy enough to win players awards like the Heisman (or the Outland or the Lombardi — way to go, Ndamukong Suh!).

Again, I hear you say: “What does that have to do with me? I’m a 50-something job seeker or career reinventor and I haven’t played football for 30-plus years (or maybe ‘never’)!”

It has everything to do with you. I was just evaluating a client’s resume. She did an excellent job of building out the infrastructure of her resume. She is a project manager who did NOT just write “managed projects, coordinated people, tracked milestones,” etc.

THAT kind of drivel won’t win anyone the Heisman Trophy of work. No, this client, with little help from me added STRONG statistics to her sales document (a resume as you know IS a sales document).

I saw how she “increased productivity of a 20 person team by 27% on a 2 man-year project in the DoD sector.” I saw how she “Coordinated 4 disparate development teams from different but related projects and rolled them into one 12-person team; modified the milestones, and reduced a 1,500 man-hour project to successful implementation in under 900 hours.”

No, these stats are not as exciting as Mark Ingram’s 246 yard game against South Carolina, but to this resume guru, and to her, a Project Management guru, this IS fascinating stuff!

Think about it… Is your resume a warmed over job description? Or can you describe some actual statistics that you accomplished in your work? And I don’t want to hear how your job doesn’t really “involve” statistics. Even if you are a humble fast food worker, you could say: “Pleasantly served an average of 112 patrons per lunch hour with a 98% satisfaction rate.”

McDonalds or Burger King would be impressed if they met a teenager who either a) knew or, b) could make up such statistics. What does it show? It shows you know work, business, and Heisman Trophy winning are all about ONE thing: Results. If you are not adding to a employer’s results, what good are you?

That is blunt sounding but the intent here is to shake you into a new awareness (I almost slipped and said “paradigm” –close one!).

If a fast food employee can use “lies, damn lies and statistics” as the old adage says, certainly you, a professional can come up with some tangible, measurable way you helped your employer or your team.

Of course I am not advocating any deception. This post’s headline is simply to get your attention and because I love that old saw about statistics.

So, DON’T lie, but start today to track your stats so you can MEASURE your accomplishments. This shows potential employers that you know what is important to them. Statistics worked for Mark Ingram!

Here’s hoping you gain a lot of yards on your job search this week and in this holiday season!

Please remember to comment here about your job search victories, challenges, and even statistics!

Season’s Greetings to all and to all a good night!

America’s Job Coach
www.americasjobcoach.com
Author: Laid Off & Loving It For 2010