Category Archives: Job

The Best of “What I Know about Getting a Job” eBook

Thanks to Penelope Trunk and Rich DeMatteo, there is a free eBook with job searching advice from human resource experts. You can get the free eBook here.

It’s a very quick read, but below are the highlights for me.

“Know your destination and pursue it with complete abandon.” ~Mark Stelzner (Inflexion Advisors and JobAngels)

“If your mom, spouse, best friend and dog can’t explain what you can do in 20 seconds, go back to the drawing board and figure out how to better communicate your employment value.” ~Lance Haun (

“Position your resume where all recruiters have free access to it…Create a Resume Profile page in lieu of a cover letter. A Resume Profile page is a keyword list a Recruiter can scan to understanding what you can offer…Position yourself to be “found,” and you will no longer be looking.” ~Jim Stroud (

“If you aren’t found in a Google search, you should be! Employers and recruiters Google candidates all the time.” ~Ben Eubanks

“There is a job with your name on it. Interested? Take control and don’t leave anything to chance. Engage your network and make it your job to get your name in front of the right people – not just one time, for one job – but all the time. You’ve got a story to tell and you are the only one who can make sure people hear it the way it needs to be heard.

You’ve tried? Let me guess. You like working with people and you work well as part of a team. Your weakness is perfectionism. You are organized, a hard worker, and a quick learner. You want the job more than anyone else. Sound familiar? It does to a hiring manager too. Hiring managers are seeking people who can get the job done and it’s not long before candidates look, and sound, very much the same.

Be different and be distinct. Leave the gimmicks behind. It all comes down to you.” ~Lisa Rosendahl

“Can I learn more about what you do over coffee…my treat?” ~Chris Ferdinand (EMC Coporation)

“Critical: figure out who you are, what makes you happy, and where you fit in. Corporate culture is real, and really important. Size counts: Do you want to work for a Fortune 500? A mid-size company? A startup? How do you define success? Answer these questions now, and you’ll be ahead of 70% of the population. Put in the hours and be honest with yourself. Once you’re on the treadmill, it can be very difficult to get off. What matters most to you? Work/life balance? Career advancement? Pick one.”~ Peter Clayton (Total-Picture Radio)

“If your career provides the income and flexibility to pursue your real passions, then you’re in brilliant shape.” ~Rich DeMatteo (HR Specialist)


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Advice from a Master Jedi Series – Part I: Practical Advice from Gary Latham

On March 25th, people in I/O psych and related fields/interests had the pleasure of meeting Gary Latham, a Master Jedi – he’s a big deal scientist-practitioner in the field of I/O psychology. Check out his CV here (which is longer than probably most of our theses).

Gary Latham at UWaterloo Psychology!

His claim to fame is his research in goal-setting theory (basically, anything you probably know about goal-setting probably has his name or Edwin Locke’s name associate with it). And although he did mention some of his research on goal-setting, what was most useful for us graduate students were his advice on becoming a consultant and also his advice on getting published.

Gary’s Practical Advice

1) Become a “Dr.”

Gary said that when he became a consultant at the age of 26, having a “Dr.” in front of his name carried the day. This idea was echoed by one consultant at the Sigma Assessment Systems Inc. She said that most of the time she has to give presentations to management or execs who are usually old men. And when you look young, having someone introduce you as, “Dr.” definitely carries weight.

2) Be bilingual.

You have to learn what managers want to hear when you’re trying to conduct a research project in their organization.

What a student would say, “I have a research idea.” or “I want to collect data.”

What Gary Latham, a savvy practitioner, would say, “I’ve got a solution to your problem.” or “I have a great project idea.”

Student: “We should randomize the people into different treatment conditions to ensure internal validity.”

Savvy practitioner: “We can’t do everyone at once, so why don’t we randomize? That idea just came to me!” or “If the manager selects who gets into which group, people would think there is favoritism. How about I randomize them?” or “I’ll select them so it’s fair.”

Student: “Can I record the data and publish it?”

Savvy practitioner: “You know what, I can get your company to ___. It’ll be so good that I’ll document it for free. You can charge me/get your money back if it doesn’t work.” or “I like you guys. I’ll even document this for free.”

3) Ask the right questions to get yourself a client.

Student: “Can I do research in your organization?”

Savvy practitioner: “Let’s go for coffee sometimes. I want to know more about your company. What’s driving you crazy these days? Who’s driving you nuts?”

Gary added that when you ask the latter questions, you seem to be asking open-ended questions but you should have specific answers in mind. For example, if you’re good at training, you want to hear your potential client complain about something that could be “solved” with training. Once they mention that, you pounce, “Oh, you know what, I can help you with that!” Deal!

4) Never show statistics. Always show graphs.

5) In the real world, practical significance wins over statistical significance.

An example of this was from one of his research findings. He was helping a company find ways to motivate employees and they were comparing giving employees more money versus giving them praises (and something else). What they found was that giving employees money was not statistically different from giving praises. However, from the organization’s point of view, giving praises is free! Guess which method got implemented?

6) To go far as a consultant and distinguish yourself quickly, you’ll have to find research intrinsically motivating.

Even when one goes into practice, Gary advises that one should still keep up with research, collaborate with academics in doing research in organizations, and present papers at SIOP. One of his PhD students got a consulting job but had a paper she could have presented at SIOP. He suggested that she did but she said she had no interest in doing so. He predicts that you probably won’t hear about her again.

7) Start schmoozing when you are about to come out into the market.

This one is both for consultants or hopeful assistant professors. If you schmooze too soon, big names won’t remember you because they meet too many people.

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Role Models for My Professional Wardrobe

This year, I have forsaken my Caribbean trip to save the money to buy a new, professional wardrobe. But, as much as I love cute dresses and floral prints, I don’t want to look like an intern or front-line officer; I want to look like a high-powered person who demands respect. According to Penelope Trunk’s mother, one should “Dress for the job above [one’s own]. No one will give you a promotion until they can imagine you in the higher position.”

Therefore, I hope to emulate the wonderful ladies listed in Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Ok, so they’re not only a step above my own (potential) job, but impression management matters, and with me already not looking my age (guess!), anything that would make me seem wise (not quite there yet) and knowledgeable (I would say so) helps.

What I noticed so far: their clothing are pretty conservative, but they have a pop of color or very bold jewelery.

But the difficult thing to consider is, “Do I actually want to look 40+?”

Anne Moore, Chairman and CEO, Time Inc. Time Warner

Note: All these women are 40+ but none of them don’t look their age. I suspect: their photos are touched up, they have the money to make them look younger, or youthful-looking people make it to the top.

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