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Good article on 11 Startup Skills You Won’t Learn in School

Article in Inc. by Young Entrepreneur Council  @YEC

 

Name Consistency During Your Job Search

Some people have been gifted with a beautifully intricate set of names that weave a unique, historic, personal tapestry. Family surnames, parental names, christening names, nicknames, etc., may all be part of who you are in the convention of your originating ethnicity and language. For the purposes of professional networking and applying for new jobs in the U.S., however, a complex name can be challenging for even the most motivated recruiting sleuth.

Search engines, networking sites, and widely used resume parsing systems process names differently, but always attempt to simplify a person to a first and last name. Employers interested in talking with you about your job application will additionally look for your online profiles and accounts in the attempt to differentiate you within their stack of applicants: With multiple names they will struggle to find the dots to connect you across LinkedIn, Meetup, GitHub, Facebook, and other sites which help to create a fuller picture of you. They may erroneously match the new grad LinkedIn profile to you, and rule you out of the running for a role requiring 5+ years of experience, for example.  If multiple people at one company are coordinating and conducting interviews, they may struggle to find your contact information and resume in their system fast enough to make a scheduled call to you on time.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of a recruiter or hiring manager.  Say your full name is Charles Vijayaragavan Gomez Zhao. In college they called you Charlie, and at home mom uses Vijayagaravan. Your email is Charlie.Go@gmail.com, and you sign your email message to me as “Thanks – Vijay”.  Meantime, on the resume you submitted, you put your full name in the header or footer of your resume (Charles Vijayaragavan Gomez Zhao), but the top body of your resume has “Vijay Gomez” as the primary name.  My system may have parsed you as Vijay Gomez, but more likely it picked up the header first and named you Charles Zhao.  Your email to me requesting more information does not match anyone I have in my system. If a colleague approaches me and asks if his buddy “Chuck” is scheduled for an interview, I may have no idea who he is talking about.  The time delay caused could mean we don’t get you to, or through, our interview process efficiently enough to land the job, or at all.

Don’t lose your unique identity in everyday life by changing your name altogether, and definitely teach your colleagues to pronounce your name of choice correctly once you have joined the team, but for professional records, and online profiles which factor with growing frequency into filtering and hiring decisions, make sure your name is consistent and is easy for the typical interview coordinator to find and remember. You may discover that you are much more professionally in demand than you thought, and start getting more call backs!

New Grads: “Want a Job? Get an Internship First!”

Interesting short podcast from American Pulic Media – Marketplace on Education.
http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/education/want-job-get-internship-first#.UTvCX_ebaBo.email

This story emphasizes the heightened Importance of internships in today’s job market to bridge the gap between your college degree and your first job. Hiring managers are far more likely to consider new grads with experience working with others, collaborating on a team, and solving real problems. Experiential learning is weighed more heavily by some than grades and college name. Hiring managers are increasingly finding that even those exiting a good school with a “practical” degree struggle without the real-life test-drive of teaming, communication, and collaboration.

Employers claim that colleges are doing a fair to poor job today of preparing successful employees. I have to wonder of some of this disappointment is exacerbated by our societal shift toward texting as a primary form of communication. SO much critical work is still best shared and communicated by phone and in person, in my experience.

Employers’ advice: Work on interviewing skills and study up on the organization and industry you are applying to. A degree alone with good grades from a good school should be accompanied by an internship to show your “practical” side. Solid writing and communication skills, adaptability, teaming, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities are the gold standard.

As a recruiter, I know that internships also frequently turn into job opportunities after graduation, and will start your career networking and reference connections.

If you are a college student majoring in computer science, math, or information systems interested in an internship, do contact me for an opportunity in San Francisco / Bay Area!

Job Skills and Job Opening Mismatch: What’s Your Major?

Marilyn Geewax, NPR’s Senior Business Editor, stated today on a TV news program that 30% of our unemployment today was due to a skills mismatch with available job openings. This mismatch, and the void of job training (or pursuit of that training), are key issues today.

In my specific industry view as a technical recruiter focused heavily on software development, I am always surprised by how few of U.S. students seriously pursue computer science as a major: Especially women, as CS is such a great salary equalizer. You cannot fake passion for CS, but if you have not explored it as an option, you may be seriously selling yourself short!

I can place a CS major, straight out of school with a bachelor’s degree from a top school in CS (Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Cornell, UCLA, USC, CalTech, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, etc.), in a job starting between $80k and 90k (sometimes more) with full benefits. Much of my day recruiting for senior engineers is spent talking with people from India, China, Russia, and other countries who have known this for a while and are happy to fill the demand here in California and other US states. Silicon Valley is now one of the greatest melting pots of people and ideas you will ever see.

There are plenty of kids playing on ipods, pocketing Android phones, gaming, doing homework assignments on GoogleDocs, using search engines for school research projects, Skyping with their friends, etc. How about learning some Objective-C, Java, Android programming, UI development, Lucene, and other technologies underlying all of those great things?