Stephen Harris' JobStuff, a blog for Your career

Stephen Harris, your humble blogger
Welcome to JobStuff
Your Career Transition Blog

Welcome to Job-Stuff. I hope the information and musing here are helpful in your journey through the "Transition-Zone". Please also check out the "Zero To Network Blog", since Business Networking is a major weapon in your job seeking arsenal.

First and foremost, I have walked in your shoes. I had a senior level position at a Fortune 500 company and felt my career was invincible. In prior years, I merely wrote my resume, called a headhunter and posted my job on Monster. And the hiring executives came a callin!

When I was asked to step into the "transition" zone, I dreamt of double dipping on my severance package. Reality: Over a year later, with my severance a distant memory, I finally found a great job.

During my transition, I started a contract services company and also became an Executive Recruiter (aka HeadHunter). I learned a lot about myself during this chapter. And - oh the mistakes I made - which I will share with you here. I believe it is important to laugh at yourself, your mistakes and share them with others, so that you don't make the same ones (I am sure you will make your own, which is how we learn).

I hope you find Job-Stuff Blog helpful in your career transition. Stephen Harris

SPH Associates, Online Marketing Agency

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FastCompany Blog


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Thursday, January 26
Resume Blasting: the story continues

Well readers, it seems my email address is back on the resume blaster spam list (or a purchased email list). Ok it's bad enough if you are out of work and have to resort to resume blast spamming, but alteast write a decent cover letter.

Both letters I received today did not even offer a opening salutation. Here is a snippet of one letter.

I am writing in reference to any executive search opportunities your firm is conducting with:

  • IT Application and/or Infrastructure companies
  • Emerging technology companies e.g. Biometrics, wireless communications, mission critical networks
  • Defense and/ or Government contracting companies

Please find a copy of my resume pasted and attached for your review. In summary...

First of all, any executive reading this has very little time to figure out how you might fit in their organization (forget the fact that my company does none of the above!). 99.99% of all executives reading this email will delete it before they get past the snippet I have included in this blog.

Readers, remeber when  writing a letter to an executive, do so in a manner that is professional, personalized and focuses on the needs of the target company. Tell me, the busy executive, what YOU can do for ME - and do this within the first two sentences, and I just might read more. Don't ask the executive to figure out if "any" executive level positions are available that may fit my background.

Another example that I received had the same generic approach:

I currently serve as COO and Board member of the xxth fastest growing, publicly traded technology company in the country/second fastest growing in xxxx  ("DeLoitte Fast 500") as well as simultaneously leading several varied crisis/turn around engagements as CRO, COO or interim CFO (these activities allow me to maintain my "independent" status as a director)Previously I've functioned very successfully in the role of CEO in varied manufacturing, distribution and service businesses. I have extensive multi unit, International, M&A, public market and private equity experience.

Unfortunately, another poorly written, impersonal cover letter. What more can I say; don't use these services! If they are helping job seekers to write letters to executives, they are doing a disservice.

Please, don't spend your money on such services. And when writing to a professional recruiter or executive, create a strong compelling cover letter. It will pay dividends that go in your pocket. Because with these spam services, the only one that is profiting is the spammers - in my humble view.

Posted at Thursday, January 26, 2006 by sph001


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