Many of my friends from college are now graduating, and are starting the job hunt. Many of them come to me asking for jobs, and I give them this sound advice.
1) Learn How To Be Unemployed
I can not stress this point enough. I see so many people looking for jobs, and I ask, “so what do you do?”. If they are in their 40-60s, they usually respond with something along the lines of: Well I did data entry and used excel to build reporting. I laugh at them, because those jobs are being automated by people like me. Rarely do companies need data entry and reporting people, and they are usually the first ones to go with cutbacks. It is time to find something else to do.
When I ask people what they do with their time, they usually respond with, “well I am sending out resumes all day”, and I respect that, but do not tell me that you finished watching every season of Games of Thrones in two weeks. That is not how to be unemployed. When you are unemployed, you do not have the luxury of watching TV or playing video games. That is reserved for people who have jobs. Your time should be put towards learning a new skill, and expanding your palette. When I was in college and jobless, I learned 4 new programming languages, including objective-c, which I used for developing iPhone apps. I also learned enough Photoshop to get an entry level designer job. I read sales and self-help books to learn how to be a better person. Those are the type of jobs that are readily available. Stop playing video games, watching TV, and start reading a book.
tl;dr: Pick up a book and learn a new skill
2) Your Resume
Your resume should be a projection of yourself; Be creative and take risks. I recently updated my resume to include pictures and graphs. Very risky if I was applying for a for a conservative company, but smart workplaces will know talent when they see it. You should be proud and confident in your resume. You should be so confident, that if I critique that little piece of paper, you should tell me to flip off. During the interview at my current workplace, my boss criticized my resume for not showing all of my skills, but I explained to him why every word on my resume is the way it is for a reason, and he loved every word of my explanation. Your resume is like a weapon, the stronger your confidence in it, the more deadly it is.
3) The Interview
Interviewing itself is an art, and everybody believes you should do something or the other. Some people are naturally talented in that department, for the rest of us, here are some “canned” answers to some questions that get asked.
Question: How much are you looking for in regards to salary
Correct Answer: Well, with all of the jobs and responsibilities the job entails, how much do you think the job is worth?
This might seem like a cop-out answer, but it is actually the correct one. Every employer has a number in their head on what they want to pay the employee. Never answer with a number (if possible) because that limits your opportunity. Let’s be honest, your time is currently worth 0, so any job at all is worth it.
Question: What is your greatest weakness?
Correct Answer: My greatest weakness is that I have not had the opportunity to work with a company with the scalability of this one.
Ah, the age old shark question. Most people say, “I work too hard”, and if you said that, I would not hire you. I don’t want overworked people. I want people who can have fun, and can live stress free on the weekends, and they come back refreshed on Monday. There is not one interviewer that will hate that answer. The key words in this answer are “I have not had the opportunity”. The reasoning for the next part can be anything. If it is a small or large business, and you have never worked in either one, replace scalability with either “large” or “small”.
Question: Do you have any questions for us
Correct Answer: Yes!
Be excited to ask questions, it shows interest in the company. You should always ask at least 3 questions, and have follow up questions that depend on their answers. The following should be at least 2 of your 3 questions.
What is your corporate culture like?
This question gives them an opportunity to sell to you on the company. Make them work hard for them to hire you, not the other way around. If the interviewer has felt like he has spent so much energy trying to pursaude you to join their company, they will want to hire you.
What do YOU [the interviewer] think about the company
Make sure you emphasize the YOU. This question does not get asked a lot, but it shows interest on a personal level. Usually interviewers aren’t ready for this question, but if you were to ask it, then they will be overjoyed to tell you about all the cool stuff their company does, again, trying to sell you on the company.
4) Be Current
The morning before the interview, read the Wall Street Journal and other educated publications, and make sure you have an opinion on every article you read. That way, in the interview, you can reference these articles that are still fresh in your mind. The interviewer will be impressed that you keep up with current trends, but don’t think for a second he won’t have follow up questions on the events. That is why you should always have an opinion on the issue. It shows that you at least somewhat understand what is going on in the world.
5) The Dont’s
Here are a couple of dont’s that I have experienced.
1) At the interview, DO NOT WEAR CASUAL.
I don’t know if it was his ego that let him wear jeans to an interview, but we had a guy interview who wore the most casual attire I have ever seen. Even if it is a follow up interivew, and the whole company wears business casual, you do not wear jeans until you are hired.
2) When someone asks what you want to do, don’t say “It doesn’t Matter as long as I get X and Y”
Welp, see ya later then. Companies want passionate employees. Do not EVER tell anybody that you want to do something other than marketing, finance, accounting, engineering, ballerina dancing, etc.
DONT: I want a job with benefits that plays at least 40k.
DONT: I want an office job with benefits, I don’t really care what I do.
DONT: Doesn’t matter, as long as it pays and I don’t have to travel.
3) Don’t show up 20 minutes early or 1 minute late
5-10 minutes before an interview is the perfect timing. It shows that you can show up on time, but also manage your time properly. What I usually do is come 30 minutes early, but stay in my car, reading the news for the day, to stay current.
After watching Apple’s WWDC keynote speech, I became motivated to write a blog post detailing my projects for the Summer of 2012. Unlike the previous summers, which focused on computer/mobile software, this summer will be different. I have lost all interest in computer programming as a hobby, because for the most part, it has become work. This summer, I am focusing 100% of my outside work effort on two main projects and a “hobby project”; None of which will force me behind a desk once I get home from spending 8 hours a day on a computer. Let’s just get to it.
Project #1: Business Blog
While to many, this blog is about computer programming and its tutorials, it is not named chrisalvares.com for nothing. As my interest shift past programming, so will my blog. I will start writing more about social networks and my experiments with them. Facebook and Twitter engineering have peaked my interests and I hope to impress people with some of the data I have been collecting. I am also going to be writing posts about every aspect of business, including sales, recruiting (including getting hired), finance, and future trends. I am really excited about this.
Project #2: Untitled
Ok, sorry, I can’t say much of this project. This project will be my baby for the summer. I hope it is a success. I have done a lot of ballsy stuff in my life, including getting in trouble with the Irish Government over a video game I created, but if I complete this project in a way where I see it as a success, I will look back on it as my most life changing thing I have ever done.
Last year, I got a pretty sweet car, and it peaked my interest in automobiles, so I plan on doing some stuff with it. I haven’t figured out what just yet, the car is almost perfect the way it is already, but I will think of something.
So I finally started doing some web development on my new iMac running OSX Lion, and I was a little shocked to see that Coda had not implemented the awesome fullscreen feature. The feature is one of my favorites for lion, and I really wanted to use it for Coda. I looked into it, and I found a way using Coda’s plugin API to enable it.
Introducing the Coda Fullscreen Plugin.
To get it to work, you have to open a project or a file. There must be a coda editable window open. (This is the only way I have access of the current Window)
To exit full screen mode, use the menu bar at the top, there is a blue button on the right hand corner of the screen.
As many of you know, Cerebro is no longer being supported. It has been broken for a while, and with Apple providing a better solution for free, there is no reason for me to keep developing Cerebro.
Please use Apple’s find my phone feature.