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Pop culture references & job search

Here is a fun, informative article from a colleague in Atlanta that I wanted to share with you regarding your job search. Here is good career coaching advice for 2014 and your career change…

Pop culture references & job search

By Matt Tovrog, associate partner of Bell Oaks

OK, I’lll admit it. If I have a choice between reading a book on business leadership and watching a rerun of “Seinfeld” that I?ve seen a dozen times, I often opt for “Seinfeld.” I?m a self-admitted entertainment fanatic and enjoy it all – movies, TV, books, sports, etc.

As an executive recruiter, I engage with candidates who are looking to advance their careers and clients who seek my help to attract and hire top talent for their organization. Professionals need advice on achieving a better position, and I do my best to provide that. Clients look for guidance on how to attract “A players” who aren?t necessarily looking at job boards. I often draw on real life success stories including other candidates and clients I have worked with, and even my own career to prove a point.

Recently, I was watching the movie, “Swingers.” It was the scene where Jon Favreu?s character, Mike, calls a woman 11 times in a row. He gets her answering machine and leaves a message every time (warning: foul language at 2:19 mark). It is painful to watch, but there is a nugget of wisdom in that scene. I immediately thought this would be a great example of how candidates should not follow up with prospective employers. Instead, they should send an email expressing their interest in a position and wait three business days. Calling and leaving multiple messages only displays desperation and can jeopardize the chances of another interview. In Mike?s case in “Swingers,” the woman picked up the 12th phone call and chewed him out.

It dawned on me that there had to be other examples via the entertainment world relevant to the job search. Here are eight pop culture examples that provide lessons that can be applied to job search and hiring, after which are real life takeaways and action items. I realize some of these are greatly exaggerated (it is Hollywood after all!), but my hope is these unintentional moments of wisdom through pop culture provide some fresh ideas for job seekers and job holders alike.

  • Cosmo Kramer becomes a ball-boy (at the 3:00 mark): “It?s ball boy, not ball man.”
    Age bias is one of the most common objections candidates face in the marketplace. They are either under qualified or overqualified and I maintain that the only way to overcome this obstacle is to get in front of the hiring manager. Had Kramer submitted his “résumé,” he would have been immediately dismissed due to his age, but instead Kramer got in front of the decision makers and let his actions do the talking. With today?s technology and information access, hiring managers can be readily identified through keyword searches on LinkedIn, company web sites and other research tools. I recommend identifying these individuals and seeking a way to connect with them in person rather than hoping a résumé somehow reaches their desk.

You can download the full article here

Hallie Crawford
Atlanta Career Coach

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.