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Bisty Q.
Jul 22, 2008


The old thread was old, so I figured it was high time for a new one, which also provided me with a great way to get on my soapbox about careers.

This thread is about American practices. Who knows what the hell goes on elsewhere.

The best way to get a job is to know somebody. Network and get connections and you can ignore almost all of this.

Cover letters are simple. "I'm applying for your position of CHOCOLATE TEAPOT MAKER. I would be a good fit for this position because of my experience with SKILL #1 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION and SKILL #2 FROM JOB DESCRIPTION I gained at PRIOR EMPLOYER. In fact, I RELEVANT STATISTIC ABOUT A SKILL IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION THAT SOUNDS IMPRESSIVE. I am excited about this position with COMPANY NAME HERE because of TIDBIT FROM WEBSITE. I look forward to speaking with you."

Tell me what I need to know about making a good resume!
  • The one weird old tip that your doctor hates, discovered by a mom that will set you apart from anybody else: your resume is a showcase of your accomplishments, not a rehash of your experience. You need to sell, sell, sell how you stood out in every single job.
  • Numbers, metrics, and performance stats are your friend. "Sold over $30,000 worth of widgets to 294 separate accounts during December" vs. "Responsible for the sale of widgets for the Northeastern division" -- which one do you care about? Who cares if the best widget seller sold $1,000,000 worth of widgets? Nobody else knows that!
  • Your resume should be 1 page. 2 pages if you have extensive experience. Recruiters spend less than 30 seconds reading it. Nobody's going to be mad if it is longer but nobody's going to read it either.
  • Things that should never be on your resume, part 1: "References available on request"
  • Use lots of whitespace and a readable font. Don't make it 8 point Bullshit Micro to fit everything on one page. Cut material instead.
  • Start with a summary of qualifications and tailor it for every job you apply to. The recruiter/hiring manager will read this and should hear all sorts of bells go off, because you stuff it with keywords that are the same as in the job description. Easy peasy.
  • Things that should never be on your resume, part 2: any "Objective" statement
  • Make sure everything is spelled correctly and makes grammatical sense.
  • The resume is a sales document. You do not have to exhaustively list everywhere you have ever worked. Don't tell us about your time as Lead Swabbie at Captain D's 8 years ago if you're applying to be a phone system technician.
  • If you are applying for an office job, do not list that you are proficient with Microsoft Office, and are therefore part of the exclusive club known as "Everybody".
  • Unless this is your first job out of college, put your education at the end of the resume and emphasize it as little as possible. Do not include your GPA unless it is 3.5+.
  • DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use some dumb-rear end gimmick like colored paper or a bizarre landscape-vertical format or stuffing it into a Priority Mail envelope and mailing it with a glitterbomb or ....... The way you stand out in resume review is to have a good resume. Think for one second: do you really want to work somewhere where the main qualification for your peers is how gimmicky they could be with their application?
  • Things that should never be on your resume, part 3: anything that could be used to discriminate illegally against you: photograph, birthdate, SSN (!!), marital status, number of children, sexual orientation, etc. -- even in the names of clubs or organizations, if you can avoid it. Putting this information on your resume shows a level of naivete about the process and also enables scummy organizations to discriminate against you when they shouldn't be able to!

OMG they want to do a phone screen help omg i'm too excited to remember how to hit shift11111
A phone screen generally exists to make sure that you can communicate intelligibly in English and that you are not a complete idiot. Keep those things in mind and you will be fine. You may be asked some "situational-based" questions. These are easy to identify because they almost start with "Tell me about a time when...". These are trivial to answer if you remember to be a STAR (dead link removed). If you can't remember that gimmicky thing, just tell a complete story, from beginning to end, explaining what you needed to do, why you needed to do it, who was involved, what you specifically did (seriously, use "I" here - not "we", lots of hiring managers hate that because it makes it sound like the situation happened with you as a passive observer), and the outcome. Success or failure are okay, as long as you can show you learned from it and you had a good reason to fail.

Tell me the quick things I need to know about succeeding in an interview!
  • Dress up. Wear a suit if you are a guy or a nice dress/skirt set if you are a gal. Exception: If you are going for a job in tech/gaming/some other 'casual' industry wear a nice shirt that doesn't have anything screenprinted on it and some pants that don't have holes.
  • Give a firm handshake but don't try to crush the interviewer's hand.
  • Bring some loving questions. A good fallback question can always be "Tell me about a typical day for a chocolate teapot maker" or "What is the biggest challenge you've had to face and how did you overcome it?"
  • Another weird old tip for winning at interviews: when you are talking to the hiring manager (and only to that person), ask them this question: "What sets apart a truly outstanding chocolate teapot maker from just an OK one?" and really actively listen to the answer. Hiring managers LOVE that attitude and it shows that you want to kick rear end and make their lives easier.
  • Be nice (to everyone! I always ask the receptionist, security staff, and tour guides how the candidate treated them. Any rudeness there is an instant no), and be yourself. Also remember, you're interviewing them. You'll spend at least 40 hours a week there for a while, and you don't want it to be in a place you hate. Look around and get a sense of the vibe. If your gut tells you no, listen to it.
  • Look above in the phone screen bit for the STAR method tip and use it to answer the "Tell me about a time when..." questions. If you don't have a time when the thing they're asking about has happened, go back to school or any other similar time. Failing that, you can probably make one up. These kinds of questions are 99% bullshit and it isn't like they have any way of verifying what you say. Companies that use these questions think that they get more detail out of those types of questions so they use them.
More details: the interviewing thread!

How can I negotiate salary?
Don't name a number first. You can use something like "I realize that compensation is tricky to come up with exact values for, and I understand that there's a lot more that goes into an offer than salary. I'd like to hear what you're willing to offer and the details of the components of the package and then we can discuss specifics further." Sometimes recruiters will really press you to give them a number. In that case, calculate your total comp (see below) and say "In terms of total comp, I'd need something around [CURRENT TOTAL COMP]+30% to consider moving." You can negotiate the actual components of total comp later -- but you've set the bar high so that they don't lowball you on salary. You also can look on Glassdoor if you want some vague sort of idea about what people in the job are making. It's often wrong, but it's better than nothing.

Always negotiate. No matter what they end up giving you, just say "Hmm..." and wait. A bad negotiator will immediately throw out their second offer. A good one will let you stew, at which point you can say "It's a good offer, but I'll need to think about it/talk it over with the family (you can use this even if 'the family' is your cat, Mr. Bootsy) for a while." They'll give you a customary 24-48 hours -- the next day, you call back and say "I am excited about working for you, but I'd be a lot happier taking the job if you could bump the salary to (OFFER+15%) [or "up the PTO by a few days" or whatever would make you happy]." They'll probably balk and give you another offer that's still higher than what you got. See, no real negotiation involved at all. Just knowing the right magic words.

EXCEPTION: If they ask you bluntly "What do you want?" and you tell them for some reason, and they offer you something in that range - don't negotiate. You look like a cock - after all, you already gave away your position.

In general, you need to think of salary in terms of total compensation. Assign everything a dollar value, add it up, and figure out how that compares to your current situation. By everything I mean everything, bonus, 401(k) match, vacation days, health premiums, value of a gym membership, whatever.

If you are offered stock options or RSUs and the company does not have an active ticker symbol today, you should probably value your stock at $0 for terms of total comp comparison calculations. Realistically speaking, the odds that you will ever be able to convert those into actual money is infinitesimal. More info in this thread.

What are some other resources I might want to check out?
Federal Government career thread
Using LinkedIn tips/tricks thread
Career path advice/"Where to?" thread
An exhaustive thread on all the types of interviews, to help you get the stress out of your system
Ask A Manager, the best blog for this stuff.
Salary negotiation thread

What are exceptions to your rules above?
  • Startups/Technology Jobs -- your resume doesn't matter as long as you have enough buzzwords on it for the recruiter to send you along. From that point, the screenings are all very technical and as long as you know your poo poo technically, you will almost certainly get a job offer out of it. Technical companies do a bad job of caring about anything other than technical skill, so basically none of this thread applies to you.
  • Federal Government -- your resume should be a behemoth that is exhaustive about everything you've done and frankly it bores me just reading about it -- check the federal government thread linked above.
  • Academia -- you need a CV, and I don't have enough alcohol to ever think about those again. Ask your advisor. The entire academic job hunt process is complete bullshit, so be ready for that.
  • Retail/Call Centers (god help you) -- this is the only case where you have permission to physically show up there or to call and harrass people about your application. Both of these types of jobs get so many people in the door that unless you're on the top of their stack, you aren't getting considered. Also, neither of these types of jobs almost ever need resumes.

Should I use a resume review/writing service?
Probably not. If you aren't confident about your resume or don't know how to word your accomplishments or can't cut material, they can help. My personal opinion is that you don't need to waste the money otherwise.

When can I call the hiring manager and ask about my application?
About the fifth of never. If they're into you, they'll call you. See the exception above for retail/call centers.

What are your loving qualifications?
I'm a hiring manager and also have an advanced degree in a related field. I also have extremely relevant work experience I'd not care to tie to my SA name, but that helps give me insight into overall trends in hiring.

Tell me some of your weaknesses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPeVlduKfyU
Don't do this. It isn't funny. Give a semi-plausible weakness that is at most tangential to the job and immediately explain how you are mitigating it. Applying to be a receptionist? "I'm pretty good at Word and PowerPoint but making macros in Excel that still takes me longer than I'd like it to. I'm taking a night class/reading a book/practicing to get better, though."

When can I 'follow up' on my application?

seacat posted:

*SOAPBOX ALERT*
There's a notion I keep seeing that "PERSISTENCE WILL GET YOU THE JOB" (translation: if you annoy them enough that means you are the best person for the job because you want it so much and they will hire you!), probably as a relic from the boomer areas where fantastic jobs with pensions and benefits grew on trees. That may true for some niche fields and a small amount of horribly managed companies. For the most part though those days are long, long over. Man, if an employer really wants call you or interview you or fly you out or (yay) offer you, they're generally not going to forget to do it and need a reminder, especially more than one.

Help me, I need something else!
Ask and I may edit these posts to provide more info if it is something that seems common enough. I could go on about any of this for a long time. If there's something you think is missing, comment!

Please don't post your resume in here asking for feedback, unless you promise you have followed everything above. 99% of resume feedback could be an index card with the stuff I posted on it.

Somebody fucked around with this message at 17:49 on Jun 24, 2016

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Bisty Q.
Jul 22, 2008


I'm kinda long-winded, so saving this post in case I decide to talk more or answer more questions later.

Eggplant Wizard
Jul 8, 2005


i loev catte


I like you.

How do I get a job being a chocolate teapot maker, or better yet, tester?

e: I guess we should emphasize that this thread is more for resume/application process stuff than the actual interviewing, since wehave a whole 'nother thread for that. So cover letters, finding jobs, etc. go here.

Transmogrifier
Dec 10, 2004


Systems at max!



Lipstick Apathy

When it comes to listing skills and your proficiency in them, how do you suggest discussing that? I'm going to be applying for web design/development jobs and I'm curious as to how to in depth I should be going. Does the standard "beginner, intermediate, advanced" listing work here, or should I lump my experiences into a single category? I have an old resume from when I was in Career Development (last year and they still push the Objectives on the resume thing) where I listed my Web Design related experience and simply listed what languages and programs I was familiar with without citing my actual skill level in them. Is it also better to list the individual programs, such as Adobe, or to, again, stick them in a lump to conserve space on a resume?

Edit: Also you talk about not adding additional fluff to a resume, but one thing I know that has been encouraged in the designer world is trying to add a bit of design fluff to your resume to help you stand out. Not necessarily anything bold and distracting, but certainly stepping out of the norm of what are considered standard resumes. They also encourage the use of infographs. Would any people out there who have experience be willing to chime in about that?

Transmogrifier fucked around with this message at 17:51 on Jun 9, 2013

corkskroo
Sep 10, 2004



Transmogrifier posted:

When it comes to listing skills and your proficiency in them, how do you suggest discussing that? I'm going to be applying for web design/development jobs and I'm curious as to how to in depth I should be going. Does the standard "beginner, intermediate, advanced" listing work here, or should I lump my experiences into a single category? I have an old resume from when I was in Career Development (last year and they still push the Objectives on the resume thing) where I listed my Web Design related experience and simply listed what languages and programs I was familiar with without citing my actual skill level in them. Is it also better to list the individual programs, such as Adobe, or to, again, stick them in a lump to conserve space on a resume?

Edit: Also you talk about not adding additional fluff to a resume, but one thing I know that has been encouraged in the designer world is trying to add a bit of design fluff to your resume to help you stand out. Not necessarily anything bold and distracting, but certainly stepping out of the norm of what are considered standard resumes. They also encourage the use of infographs. Would any people out there who have experience be willing to chime in about that?

Make it attractive and a reflection of your high aesthetics but don't go other the top. I've seen some overly designed resumes that were pretty but didn't help. I've seen some butt ugly ones that hurt the applicants chances. A tasteful one with some extra design pizzazz is probably the best balance. But then I did hire one guy with the ugliest drat resume imaginable (not for a design job) and he worked out amazingly well. Wish I could post some examples but, of course, that would be a terrible idea.

(Also, one thing I've noticed: For those applying for jobs through contractor agencies, sometimes the agency will just copy all the text off yours and paste it into a generic template that has their contact info instead of yours. If you're applying through an agency you might want to ask them if they're doing that before you get crazy with the design elements and waste your time.

chmods please
Apr 28, 2009

mess with the honk
you get the bonk


Lipstick Apathy

Bisty Q. posted:


What are exceptions to your rules above?
  • Startups/Technology Jobs -- your resume doesn't matter as long as you have enough buzzwords on it for the recruiter to send you along. From that point, the screenings are all very technical and as long as you know your poo poo technically, you will almost certainly get a job offer out of it. Technical companies do a bad job of caring about anything other than technical skill, so basically none of this thread applies to you.

Is this generally true of technology jobs at non-tech companies as well? I've seen mixed advice.

Bisty Q.
Jul 22, 2008


i barely GNU her! posted:

Is this generally true of technology jobs at non-tech companies as well? I've seen mixed advice.

If technology is not the company's main product, you should use the standard techniques. Only if you are applying to a company anyone off the street would classify as "a tech company" would the exception kick in.

corkskroo
Sep 10, 2004



Bisty Q. posted:

If technology is not the company's main product, you should use the standard techniques. Only if you are applying to a company anyone off the street would classify as "a tech company" would the exception kick in.

I didn't want to jump in here because I'm not an expert but this lines up with what I was thinking. If it's not a tech company and you're applying through the usual HR channels then you're lucky if the HR screener folks even know anything about the company's main business, let alone peripheral support departments.

Jet Ready Go
Nov 3, 2005

I thought I didn't qualify. I was considered, what was it... volatile, self-centered, and I don't play well with others.

Without getting into TOO much unnecessary detail.. my current job is asking me to do a lot of black hat / subversive stuff. Nothing overtly illegal but nothing that I can see helping my career or my reputation in my field of work. I am also not given anything in way of budget in order to properly do my job.

Is there a way to frame it so that any hiring managers will "understand" I am leaving because I am a good ethical guy rather than a guy who just appears to want to job jump at the drop of a hat? Without this job it appears I have a sizable 6 month gap between jobs.

To be clear though, I understand it's generally (or even never) a good idea to bad mouth your prior job... but if I get fired for not following orders I may have to explain myself in this way anyway.. Is there a polite way to hint your last job was unreasonable?

Also quitting isn't on the table. I need a job, just like most of you out there. I'll stick with this job as long as I have to, but I can already tell I will be regularly disciplined for issues out of my control.


To expand a little more aside from the owners, 90% of employees were with the small company for under a year and they've seen at least 40 employees cycle in and out inside a year.

FrozenVent
May 1, 2009

The Boeing 737-200QC is the undisputed workhorse of the skies.

Jet Ready Go posted:

To be clear though, I understand it's generally (or even never) a good idea to bad mouth your prior job... but if I get fired for not following orders I may have to explain myself in this way anyway.. Is there a polite way to hint your last job was unreasonable?

"I had a disagreement with management on a question of business ethics, and that's why I'm available" or something like that. If your employer gets caught, I'd also have an answer ready as to why you didn't go to the cops.

I'm not an expert on the hiring process by any mean, but this book helped me a lot with the interview process to get the job I currently have, and I've been recommending it to everybody I know who's interviewing.

Jet Ready Go
Nov 3, 2005

I thought I didn't qualify. I was considered, what was it... volatile, self-centered, and I don't play well with others.

FrozenVent posted:

"I had a disagreement with management on a question of business ethics, and that's why I'm available" or something like that. If your employer gets caught, I'd also have an answer ready as to why you didn't go to the cops.

I'm not an expert on the hiring process by any mean, but this book helped me a lot with the interview process to get the job I currently have, and I've been recommending it to everybody I know who's interviewing.

Oh thanks I'll look it up.

Yeah the company might just be in the red too.. but as far as I know they aren't doing anything illegal. So there's nothing I can report to the cops even if that were the case.

ScaryJen
Jan 27, 2008

Keepin' it classy.


College Slice

Bisty Q. posted:


Things that should never be on your resume, part 1: "References available on request"


I've gotten conflicting advice about whether saying this or listing my references is the way to go. Am I better off leaving them out entirely?

FrozenVent
May 1, 2009

The Boeing 737-200QC is the undisputed workhorse of the skies.

ScaryJen posted:

I've gotten conflicting advice about whether saying this or listing my references is the way to go. Am I better off leaving them out entirely?

Leave it all off. If they want references, they'll ask. Bring a sheet of paper with your references and your own name / contact info on it to the interview so you can hand it over if they ask, and always be ready to email them.

And obviously, talk to your references before hand. I completely randomly ran into an old boss - extremely well respected in the industry but a bit of a character - the day before my first in-person interview, and a quick chat with him explaining what the job was and why I wanted it and can I have your phone number? is probably half the reason I got the job.

(Added bonus that I get "You listed who as a reference? You're brave." every time I mention it to anyone who knows him.)

seacat
Dec 9, 2006


ScaryJen posted:

I've gotten conflicting advice about whether saying this or listing my references is the way to go. Am I better off leaving them out entirely?
Do not under any circumstances list your references on your resume. Reference-checking is one of the last stages of the hiring process. If you're a reference, do you really want your contact info plastered all over the place every time someone applies for a job?

"References available upon request" isn't an absolute red flag, but it's just so unnecessary. Of course you have references available upon request. I mean, what are you going to do if a potential employer wants to check references before making a final offer, "go gently caress yourself, my resume didn't say I had any"?

ScaryJen
Jan 27, 2008

Keepin' it classy.


College Slice

Thanks for the input! I figured as much, I just wanted some feedback from other people.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Bisty Q. posted:

[*] Your resume should be 1 page. 2 pages if you have extensive experience. Recruiters spend less than 30 seconds reading it. Nobody's going to be mad if it is longer but nobody's going to read it either.
Mind if I challenge this statement? Not every company is Google and gets hundreds of thousands of applications to weed through. I'm certain the recruiter for a smaller or medium-sized company that might struggle to find good talent will spend a few minutes reading a resume at the very least. Recruiting is pretty serious business to many companies, so why would they immediately put a 2-page resume in the shredder just out of spite?

That being said, I still agree that it's a good idea to make it as short as possible. Go over it a few times and cut cut cut what you can.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

If I send a resume to a company on the weekend (whether through an online application or e-mailing someone directly), how much of a risk do I run of having my application be lost to the void? I'm ignoring applying to jobs this week in the hopes of having my Master's thesis done by Friday, but I'm moving this weekend and starting Monday I'll be living where I'm living for the forseeable future, so I want to have a job there not too long after I move.

Basically do you think I should apply for jobs right now at the expense of other obligations, or do it this weekend when I might not be noticed as much, or wait until next week when I'll be idle but no closer to employment?

C-Euro fucked around with this message at 03:22 on Jun 12, 2013

Dr. Quarex
Apr 18, 2003

I'M A BIG DORK WHO POSTS TOO MUCH ABOUT CONVENTIONS LOOK AT THIS

TOVA TOVA TOVA


This is a great thread, and I am definitely going to make some adjustments to my résumé based on that original post!

That said, is there any way to get hired by a "normal" company when you have, oh, say, two master's degrees and are within a year of finishing your doctorate, and even temp agencies do not find you work anymore? Some people say to just list my master's degrees but leave off my doctoral program entirely, but then I have "mostly-unpaid freelance editor and researcher" as my only employment since 2008. That would not exactly inspire confidence in me if I were hiring for Random Job X.

Hopefully this will all be moot as I have applied for hundreds of academic and federal government jobs over the last several months (and obviously was glad to see both of them listed as exceptions in the post, haha), but if my upcoming semester university teaching gig ends and I still have nothing, I have no choice but to take whatever I can get (which, as I mentioned, is currently "nothing at all"). And I understand that supposedly call centers are easy employment, but all of the temp agencies I am signed up for work with call centers yet have given me nothing, not to mention that even my wife would rather see me on welfare than work at a call center.

Senor P.
Mar 27, 2006
I MUST TELL YOU HOW PEOPLE CARE ABOUT STUFF I DONT AND BE A COMPLETE CUNT ABOUT IT


Hey Bisty Q, not sure if this is something you could cover, but what do you have suggestions for internal(new assignments in the same company) applications vs. externals(new to company or have been away for a while...)?

Goky
Jan 11, 2005
Goky is like Goku only more kawaii ^____^

I got a job offer! I wish I would have read the part about "not coming back with a counter immediately". I responded a few hours later.

Anyways, after I gave them a counter-offer, they didn't respond for about 24 h. Once they did, it was just "Haven't made a decision yet, still thinking." Is this some sort of power move to freak me out? It's totally working. My request wasn't ridiculous (+10% from initial) but it did come after they bumped up the salary during our initial phone conversation (+4% from initial; I never verbally accepted the bump). I also tried to back it up with things and I reiterated that I really wanted to work there instead of just saying that I deserved more because I'm magical. Am I being unreasonable by asking for a slight bump after the initial slighter bump they already gave me? It seems like I'm nowhere near a level of craziness that would cause someone to rescind an offer, but this is my first choice (I have some other offers) so I'd rather not blow it.

Some other things:
1) the company is reputable and has won local business awards and stuff
2) it's a small start-up. there's no HR department, just talking directly to the president
3) I'm fresh out school, so what I made before is pretty irrelevant.

Thanks for any forthcoming input ahead of time.

Edit: They sent a new offer and accommodated my requests. Yay!

Goky fucked around with this message at 16:09 on Jun 12, 2013

GreenCard78
Apr 25, 2005

It's all in the game, yo.


What did you get two master's and a PhD in?

MrMidnight
Aug 2, 2006



Hey guys,

I've looked over another goon's resume forwards and backwards and followed the OP. It still seems too wordy to me but I can't decide how to cut it down some.

Could you experts take a crack at it and let me know what you think?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g8dkrzyog..._April2013.docx


Thanks!

Dr. Quarex
Apr 18, 2003

I'M A BIG DORK WHO POSTS TOO MUCH ABOUT CONVENTIONS LOOK AT THIS

TOVA TOVA TOVA


GreenCard78 posted:

What did you get two master's and a PhD in?
Apologies for not mentioning this, but they are not in any field where you magically get a job just by having a degree or anything--the masters are in two different but related social sciences, the doctorate will be in the same field as the second master's. Obviously I am hoping that I just get an academic or federal job and this is all irrelevant--but between academia being always-hard-and-just-getting-harder to get into and the government being prone to cancelling huge swaths of job postings, I am hoping to figure something better out for January when I am unemployed again.

My IT director friend says that every field he has ever worked in would never hire someone like me, no matter my skill level, because it would be obvious I am just biding my time until I get a job as a professor at which point I would quit my other job immediately, haha. Hard to argue with that, since the what-I-would-do part is actually true.

R2ICustomerSupport
Dec 12, 2004



MrMidnight posted:

Hey guys,

I've looked over another goon's resume forwards and backwards and followed the OP. It still seems too wordy to me but I can't decide how to cut it down some.

Could you experts take a crack at it and let me know what you think?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/g8dkrzyog..._April2013.docx


Thanks!

I did a VERY basic critique of the first job entry on your resume. Right now, you have a great deal of words here, but you aren't really communicating that much. You need to focus on details and specifics and use less ambiguous language. Hopefully you can see my comments on the first job and use the principles expressed in them to improve the content throughout. Hope this helps!

Goon Approved Resume and CV Writing Service
http://bit.ly/ForumsCritique
My service will get you job interviews!

MrMidnight
Aug 2, 2006



DustingDuvet posted:

I did a VERY basic critique of the first job entry on your resume. Right now, you have a great deal of words here, but you aren't really communicating that much. You need to focus on details and specifics and use less ambiguous language. Hopefully you can see my comments on the first job and use the principles expressed in them to improve the content throughout. Hope this helps!


This is perfect, thanks!

movax
Aug 30, 2008



Tell me about salary negotiation / stock options at an engineering start-up! I have the offer letter, so now I think it is time to talk about salary (compensation not mentioned at all during the interview process, was all technical). I should definitely be asking for more (it's a decent offer, but my cost of living will be going up since I'm moving to a far more expensive area), but the question is how much more. Off hand, the target number in my head would be around 19% more, but I would be good with around 12% as well. This article does a lot to bring things into perspective, just don't know how much applies to the start-up area.

Stock options are new to me though...should I be asking for more shares? It's 2k right now, 25% vesture after year 1, 6.25% each after afterward at a fixed price. What's in-the-money vs. out-the-money exactly?

Spanish Inquisition
Oct 26, 2006
LISTEN TO THIS SHITTY SONG BY MY SHITTY BAND! used tire.mp3


This is my first time applying for a somewhat "big girl" job, so my apologies if these questions are stupid.

If I am sending my resume in via email, should I attach the cover letter as a document, or use it as the body of my email?

Also, where so I get resume and cover letter layouts? I don't have Word, unfortunately. I'm using Open Office. Thanks!

Spanish Inquisition fucked around with this message at 18:19 on Jun 13, 2013

bort
Mar 13, 2003



movax posted:

Stock options are new to me though...should I be asking for more shares? It's 2k right now, 25% vesture after year 1, 6.25% each after afterward at a fixed price. What's in-the-money vs. out-the-money exactly?
Call options are the right to buy shares at the strike price. If the stock price is above the strike price, it's in the money.

So, let's pretend your strike price is $10 and the stock price is at 15, and it's a year after you started. You can now exercise 25% of your options to get 500 shares that are worth $7500 for $5000. You have a few ways you can do this:
  • Fork over $5K is the simplest, and you now own 500 shares at $15.
  • You can do what's called a "sell to cover" where you'll sell off $5000 of your $15/share stock and get the rest, e.g. sell 334 shares @ $15 to get $5010, and you'll now hold 166 shares at $15.
  • You can sell the whole thing and collect $2500, minus fees and such and you'll have to withhold/save for taxes.

Out of the money just means that your stock is below the strike price, which means they're worthless (you never want to pay $10 for an $8 stock, right?). And note the last point in the previous paragraph: just because they're "in the money" doesn't mean you make money. You have to cover fees and taxes.

edit: simplistic strategy: if you think the stock is going to skyrocket, sit on the options as long as you can. If you think it'll go mostly up but it might go down, and you're gonna hold it, sell to cover. If you think it's as high as it's gonna go, exercise and sell the whole thing (and put it in a better investment).

edit2: I'd ask for more salary before I'd ask for more options unless I thought I was working at some new Apple/Google/etc. Assume options are worth nothing until there's serious evidence otherwise.

bort fucked around with this message at 19:45 on Jun 13, 2013

movax
Aug 30, 2008



bort posted:

Call options are the right to buy shares at the strike price. If the stock price is above the strike price, it's in the money.

So, let's pretend your strike price is $10 and the stock price is at 15, and it's a year after you started. You can now exercise 25% of your options to get 500 shares that are worth $7500 for $5000. You have a few ways you can do this:
  • Fork over $5K is the simplest, and you now own 500 shares at $15.
  • You can do what's called a "sell to cover" where you'll sell off $5000 of your $15/share stock and get the rest, e.g. sell 334 shares @ $15 to get $5010, and you'll now hold 166 shares at $15.
  • You can sell the whole thing and collect $2500, minus fees and such and you'll have to withhold/save for taxes.

Out of the money just means that your stock is below the strike price, which means they're worthless (you never want to pay $10 for an $8 stock, right?). And note the last point in the previous paragraph: just because they're "in the money" doesn't mean you make money. You have to cover fees and taxes.

edit: simplistic strategy: if you think the stock is going to skyrocket, sit on the options as long as you can. If you think it'll go mostly up but it might go down, and you're gonna hold it, sell to cover. If you think it's as high as it's gonna go, exercise and sell the whole thing (and put it in a better investment).

edit2: I'd ask for more salary before I'd ask for more options unless I thought I was working at some new Apple/Google/etc. Assume options are worth nothing until there's serious evidence otherwise.

This firm has the chance to go crazy huge in the long term (maybe a decade or so) so I think I will definitely want to acquire and sit on as many shares as possible. That said, I think my priority would be salary->options->PTO in terms of negotiating. It was suggested in another thread to inquire about the total number of outstanding diluted shares available to get some idea of what chunk I am getting.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Never count on stock to be worth poo poo. I never did. My stock paid out over the years, not a life changing amount but I paid some bills and bought some toys and a small down payment on a house.

I work with quite a few folks who were promised the loving MOON in stock options and they never were in the money on them. They all wish they would have focused more on cash compensation than gambling about stock. (see Motive Inc IPO)

Personally that vesting schedule is poo poo for a start up. You should be looking at 25% for the first year and then monthly vest through year 4 with 100% vesting at month 48.

When you say startup, what exactly are you talking about? Like 15 to 20 employees sitting on couches in SF? Or cashflow positive VC backed company with many employees?

COUNTIN THE BILLIES
Jan 8, 2006

by Ion Helmet


I got asked this today: Are there any questions you wished I asked?

I wasn't sure how to respond.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



skipdogg posted:

Never count on stock to be worth poo poo. I never did. My stock paid out over the years, not a life changing amount but I paid some bills and bought some toys and a small down payment on a house.

I work with quite a few folks who were promised the loving MOON in stock options and they never were in the money on them. They all wish they would have focused more on cash compensation than gambling about stock. (see Motive Inc IPO)

Personally that vesting schedule is poo poo for a start up. You should be looking at 25% for the first year and then monthly vest through year 4 with 100% vesting at month 48.

When you say startup, what exactly are you talking about? Like 15 to 20 employees sitting on couches in SF? Or cashflow positive VC backed company with many employees?

20 employees backed (publicly) by ex & current Google, Microsoft, etc CEOs and VPs. I might have mistyped though, the offer says I'm fully vested at the four year mark (probably got the percentage wrong). I think I will focus on cash compensation primarily then and keep the options where they are at.

hitension
Feb 14, 2005


Hey guys, I learned Chinese so that I can write shame in another language


Spanish Inquisition posted:

This is my first time applying for a somewhat "big girl" job, so my apologies if these questions are stupid.

If I am sending my resume in via email, should I attach the cover letter as a document, or use it as the body of my email?

Also, where so I get resume and cover letter layouts? I don't have Word, unfortunately. I'm using Open Office. Thanks!

I don't think the questions are stupid, but PLEASE drop the phrase "big girl job". The Ask a Manager blog does a better job explaining why it is bad than I ever could:

http://www.askamanager.org/2013/05/...g-girl-job.html

I usually stuck the cover letter as the body of the e-mail AND attached the doc file to the e-mail. Some people are old school and like to print out your resume/cover letter so having the file is handy; however it's nice to open an e-mail and immediately read what you want to read instead of having to click another thing and wait for a file to download.

Gonktastic
Jan 18, 2007



Thanks so much for this thread, I had an interview yesterday and between this and the Interview thread, I feel I knocked it out of the park. I was prepared for a small role-play segment, which may have taken me by surprise if it hadn't been mentioned there, and I thought deeply enough about "What is your greatest weakness" question that after I responded the interviewer said "I'm pretty sure that's actually called brilliant" which was just all sorts of fantastic.

My question is probably one that has never come up before in the history of ever. Is there a tactful way to negotiate a salary down? I have an income cap to qualify for financial aid for grad school for the rest of 2013 year, and I'm already partially there. I don't think that this new job will push me over the cap, but should it be a surprisingly generous offer, is it even possible to say "I appreciate that, I have a unique situation, could I work for less?" It feels wrong, and that I may be screwing someone else out of earnings (the interviewee that showed up after me was a casual friend in the field), but I really would love to have the position. It's great experience with the possibility of fantastic connections in my industry. Should I go over my gross income cap by even a dollar, I am disqualified for financial aid of many times the income I can earn. Any advice?

Dead Pressed
Nov 11, 2009

by Cowcaster


That is an interesting situation. Maybe it would be wise to try and negotiate benefits in lieu of money. Maybe extra vacation or 401k matching.

Dr. Quarex
Apr 18, 2003

I'M A BIG DORK WHO POSTS TOO MUCH ABOUT CONVENTIONS LOOK AT THIS

TOVA TOVA TOVA


hitension posted:

I don't think the questions are stupid, but PLEASE drop the phrase "big girl job". The Ask a Manager blog does a better job explaining why it is bad than I ever could:
I am literally stunned that someone would use a phrase like that in a cover letter. Literally stunned. I am unable to move or speak or type.

movax
Aug 30, 2008



How much is "too much" to ask increase-wise during salary negotiation? Let's say I ask for 20% to get my desired target of around 15%, is that madness?

FrozenVent
May 1, 2009

The Boeing 737-200QC is the undisputed workhorse of the skies.

movax posted:

How much is "too much" to ask increase-wise during salary negotiation? Let's say I ask for 20% to get my desired target of around 15%, is that madness?

Can you back it up with concrete achievements and an increase in duties and responsibilities? 15% is a huge, huge, huge increase unless you haven't been adjusted for a few years. It's usually single-digit percentage a year.

Seriously I'm renegotiating my yearly contract this fall and I'm expecting 5%. That's with greatly increased responsibility compared to the job description I was hired on for. I'm going to ask for 10% because I have no problems walking away if they laugh in my face, and even I would think 20% would be too much to ask for.

Babylon the Bright
Feb 22, 2011

by Y Kant Ozma Post


I found a listing I really want and think I'm very well qualified for on a local job hunting website. They ask for applicants to mail or e-mail them the required information. Generally, when I'm really interested in an online listing, I like to respond by fax, but they don't list a fax number. The job site I'm using censors the e-mail address and requires me to use their online application system, which butchers the formatting of my resume. I could mail it, but the business is close enough that it's just as convenient for me to simply stop in and hand it to the HR person. Would calling them, asking for a convenient time, and then handing my information in make me stand out in a good way or make me seem like an annoying special snowflake who wont follow simple directions? Also, the listing doesn't specifically ask for references, but I'm sure they'll want them because its a job that involves childcare, should I include my references, call and ask if they'd like them, or just wait till they ask for them at the interview?

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movax
Aug 30, 2008



FrozenVent posted:

Can you back it up with concrete achievements and an increase in duties and responsibilities? 15% is a huge, huge, huge increase unless you haven't been adjusted for a few years. It's usually single-digit percentage a year.

Seriously I'm renegotiating my yearly contract this fall and I'm expecting 5%. That's with greatly increased responsibility compared to the job description I was hired on for. I'm going to ask for 10% because I have no problems walking away if they laugh in my face, and even I would think 20% would be too much to ask for.

Hmm, this is for an entirely new job, not my current one. Looking back at it, that is pretty insane, I think I will reword using "cost of living bump" or something like that, and see what they come back with.

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