Safety First: Career Tips for Handling Sandy and other Hurricanes

October 29th, 2012 No comments

We had planned a post on scary interview questions in honor of Halloween, but it feels more pressing to talk about how to approach your career in a Frankenstorm as Sandy bears down on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Back in 2005, I spent two weeks with Hurricane Katrina survivors in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was three months after the storm, and many people who had lost their homes did not feel ready to return to work or seek new employment opportunities yet. In Maslow’s needs hierarchy of what we need to survive, fixing the roof over our heads often takes higher priority than a job or a paycheck.

While we won’t know the full extent of the damage for weeks, here are a few things we do know:

  1. It’s not worth risking your life to get to work when the roads and public transit systems are closed.
  2. In the midst of a big storm, safety and security trump deadlines.
  3. There will be high demand for hiring in the insurance and construction industries for months to come. (But if you choose to move to an area before seeking work in these fields, you need to make sure you can secure housing first — otherwise, you will be contributing to the problem instead of the solution.)

If you can read this and are in the path of the storm, help yourself survive first and worry about your job search later. But if you have two minutes, here are five quick tips courtesy of relief workers and job seekers who’ve been there:

  1. If you are currently employed, know and follow your company’s emergency contact plan. Maintain a list of multiple phones and e-mail addresses of people that you can contact after the storm: if your employer is an independent or local business that runs off of local service providers for phone and internet, you can expect downtime after the storm.
  2. Store electronic copies of your documents. Online storage providers or web-based services such as Google Documents will enable you to access your resume, recommendations, and other career-related information from anywhere-should you have need of it.
  3. Keep important identification and financial records together-and take it with you in a waterproof document holder. You need more than a driver’s license alone to establish identity at a new job.  Make sure you have the identification necessary to complete the I-9 Eligibility form required by all U.S. employers.
  4. Develop your own personal business continuity plan: if your phone or e-mail service is provided by a local business, have a back-up plan. The U.S. Portability number rule will allow you to transfer your landline number to a cell phone number-or to keep your cell phone number even if you move to a new area. This guide will show you how:…. If you don’t have one already, sign-up for a free e-mail account through providers such as Gmail, Yahoo! , or AOL and forward copies of your e-mail to your remote account.
  5. If you evacuate and have room, pack at least one professional outfit that fits you well-even if you don’t need it for interviewing, you will be glad you have it later if your personal belongings are affected by the storm.

Follow these steps and you’ll be better prepared to preserve your career-even in the face of the strongest obstacles. If your housing and employment situation is disrupted by the storm, breathe. Be reassured: people will be attentive to your professional needs after the storm even if the worst happens.

Stay dry, safe, and know that we’re thinking of you.

The StartWire Team

Be Confident Not Cocky: How to Stand Tall & Get the Job

October 2nd, 2012 No comments

One of the most frequent reasons you may get ruled out of consideration for a job has nothing to do with your skills or experience. It also has nothing to do with how qualified you are for the position. It’s about how you market yourself.

If you adapt the standard language often used to teach new job seekers how to write a cover letter, there’s a good chance you’ll be eliminated:

My experience with _________ makes me the perfect candidate for the job.

As you’ll see from my resume, my skills and past work experience exceed your qualifications and make me an ideal candidate for a position.

If you’ve been writing cover letters all your life, this may feel like a natural statement for you. After all, so many templates contain these phrases. But let’s look at it from the perspective of the hiring manager or prospective employer. How can you say you are my perfect match if you don’t know everyone that I’m looking at?

Imagine you are on a first date at a quiet restaurant. After you order your dessert, your date looks across the table and into your eyes and says, “let’s skip the preliminaries here. We have a lot in common. I think we should be exclusive. Let’s start seeing each other every day and start planning our lives together. Can you meet my family next weekend?” I don’t know about you, but I’d think I’d say something about making a quick trip to the restroom and seeing if there’s an exit door through the kitchen.

It’s important to be confident in how you present your skills — and to feel confident that you can do the job. But just as you give any prospective partner time and space to get to know you, give that same opportunity to an employer or recruiter. Here’s an alternate way to frame your skills.

Throughout the application and interview process, demonstrate how your skills and past experience line up with the job.

Based on the position description, I understand you seek X, Y, and Z. I offer you ______, _______, and _____. Here’s an example of my ability to contribute. While working in a similar role at __________, the company was faced with a challenge in ________. I saw the opportunity to ____________, and we ___________. As a result, the company _______________.

Give a concrete example. Provide enough space for the employer to see how you can contribute to their efforts — and that you can work on a team without coming across as threatening or cocky. Chances are good that this will work in your favor.

Categories: Job Search Advice Tags:

The 5 Habits of Effective Job Seekers: They Use America’s #1 Job Search Organizer!

April 9th, 2012 No comments

We’re at the last part of our 5 part series on “The 5 Habits of Effective Job Seekers”!

The aim of this concluding part of our series is to tie together all the habits we’ve uncovered together in the past weeks. To refresh, the habits of effective job seekers are:

1) They Don’t Post and Pray

2) They Apply Early

3) They Get Referred

4) They Get Found

5) They Make Use of America’s #1 Job Search Organizer

Now that we know the habits necessary for effective job seekers, the important question to ponder is what then does StartWire do to help job seekers adopt and practice these habits (this is the StartWire blog after all!)?

StartWire does in fact offer solutions to these problems.  StartWire was built from ground up to make the process of job search more manageable, less stressful and, of course, more effective!  What this means is, for each of the habits that we’ve talked about, StartWire has resources in place to help you adopt the habits of an effective job seeker.  Some of you may not be aware of all that you can do with StartWire, so we wanted to take some time to highlight how StartWire can help you with these specific and effective habits. 

We’re more than just advice here at StartWire News – we’re constantly working to build and improve tools that can help you execute on the advice we give.

The Paperless Job Search: New StartWire Release Makes It Easy

July 13th, 2011 Comments off

Who wants to make time for spreadsheets or room for post-its in the summer? 

At StartWire, we think it should be as easy to keep track of your job search as it is to make plans for cook-outs and get-together with friends.

Our release today makes it easier to keep track of your job search with the following enhancements:

  • Better feedback from employers: Get e-mail or text updates on your job application status at over 2,500 companies (the list is growing) 
  • At-a-glance information on how old a job posting listing is — we give you information on how many days it’s been since you’ve applied as well as a gauge of how active the current position is.
  • The ability to store comments on job applications — or get automatic suggestions on where to apply based on your interests.

As always, StartWire allows you to track and keep records on any job you’ve applied to online. It’s free, private, and information is shared only with those of your trusted friends you want to be in the know on your job search.

You can set up a StartWire account here or by forwarding any e-mail confirmation message (you know the “don’t call us, we’ll call you message you get when you apply for a job) to 

Check it out, and drop us a line and let us know what you think!

Insider Q & A: Tiffany Peery on How to Get Hired at Intel (& Why Not to Mistake Your Recruiter for an Engineer)

June 29th, 2011 Comments off

Tiffany Peery is a Virtual Recruiting and Marketing Program Manager at Intel Corporation.  She has been doing engineering recruiting for more than 11 years and got her start at Intel in Portland.  She now works out of the Arizona office and has a specific focus on attracting Recent College Graduates and Interns to the organization.

We sat down and spoke with her for a Q & A on how hiring works at Intel. (You can also learn more by following her on Twitter.)

Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer. What positions do you hire for in addition to hardware engineering and manufacturing? Are there any other big areas you are hiring for right now? 

Software, software, software! Most people don’t know it, but Intel is the 5th largest software employer in the world. We have two major groups that do the bulk of our software hiring – Software and Services Group (SSG) and our Intel Architecture Group (IAG). They do some AWESOME/EXCITING work!

Anything many applicants are surprised to learn about working at Intel? For example, when we spoke to a Google recruiter recently, he shared with us that he’s hired applicants who did not have college degrees. 

I think people are often surprised by some of the perks of working for Intel. We don’t talk a lot about every benefit you get on day one. Most are familiar with our Sabbatical program, it is pretty fabulous. Did you know we have Onsite Health Centers and gyms, free fruit/beverages, discounts on technology and vacations, etc. though? That and much more!

Any bad assumption that you’ve seen job seekers make in applying for jobs?

Well, the number one bad assumption is that Intel is a strictly hardware company. I’ve had candidates shocked when I told them I was looking for a solid software engineer. Some just don’t realize we ROCK this space! They envision all of us sporting bunny suits or doing chip design. That’s just not the case (although we do <3 our hardware peeps!).

How does a candidate get your attention?

An amazing skill set/resume never hurts their chances. It does go beyond that though. I’m looking for someone that has passion and drive. Both at work and at play. I am drawn to the person that knows exactly what they want and isn’t afraid to go after it! 

What makes a great candidate beyond the experience and skills required for the job?

Innovation. I love the person that is constantly thinking about “what’s next”. At Intel, we’ve gone through some pretty major transformation over the years and it’s only just begun. The opportunities here are boundless. What we do changes the lives of millions across the world. I love to see people that are passionate about making a global impact! 

Do you have any “never do” tips for individuals in working with recruiters? 

This may sound like a no brainer, but try not to insult your recruiter. I’ve encountered people that have had “off days” and said things out of frustration, that maybe they later regret (or maybe they don’t). It’s hard to take that back though. Remember that sometimes your recruiter is your best hope for getting connected to the right opportunity. Vent to a friend instead. 

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

People always want to know how to get the most eyes on their resume at Intel. Yes, we get a lot of applications every day. So how do you stand out? My best advice is to remember recruiters aren’t always engineers. Make your resume “recruiter friendly” and buzz word rich. Also, get connected with people in the company! We love employee referrals. Find out who you know and start leaning on them! They get paid for referring and you get the job. Win/Win!

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Get connected with our recruiters today. We are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr… you name it. We LOVE the chance to talk to people about our opportunities and steer them in the right direction. Heck, if you aren’t actively looking today, that doesn’t mean a connection made now is a waste. I have people I met 5 years ago pinging me today to see what’s up at Intel. I love it!

Insider Q & A: Google Recruiter Jeff Moore on Why Not to Rule Yourself Out of the Job

June 13th, 2011 Comments off

Jeff Moore is a Lead Engineering Recruiter for Google and has over 10 years of recruitingexperience in the High Tech and Software Industries.  Jeff is currently responsible for recruiting world class engineers to join Google’s offices across the United States Eastern Region including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.  He is an active blogger with interests in social networking and mobile technology.

Google is the king of search engines, how do you find candidates?

We find candidates every way you can imagine — from programs, employee referrals, events, online applications. No stone unturned. We do look at people who have applied for jobs in the past and haven’t been a fit at the job they applied for. We do that all the time. We hire a lot of people who have interviewed before and didn’t get hired. A lot of companies miss out on good people by not going back.  We don’t.

How does a candidate get your attention?

Having a clean, clear crisp resume that shows off skills. File that one as obvious. Employee referrals and having done good work is important. A cool research project or a great internship. Those kind of things really jump off the page.

What does a good write-up on a project look like?

A good write-up explains what you did, how you did it, what skills you used. What the results show and the impact of your work on the company. Talk your potential hiring manager or recruiter through the project through cradle to grave – show the outcome that it made. That’s huge. We like to see results, as well as the why. We want to know how it worked.

What makes a great candidate beyond the tech skills?

The ability to communicate. We are very collaborative. You’ve got to be able to communicate, work outside your team, and communicate what you want to get done.

Do you have any “never do” tips for individuals for working with recruiters?

I think the biggest one – to be honest  — is being shy when asking for questions, checking in, or asking about status. Don’t be shy if you want follow-up. A lot of people don’t do this. You should do this.

Any bad assumption that you’ve seen job seekers make in applying for jobs with Google?

People assume that they aren’t going to get into Google. The reputation is such that it is very hard to get into Google. And so some people don’t even try.

I didn’t go to a great school. I didn’t have an amazing GPA. But I work at Google. So could you.

Don’t take yourself out of the game by making assumption and choosing not to apply. I’ve hired people who don’t have college degrees.

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

Where is Google hiring?

The answer is everywhere. 2011 will be our biggest year in company history. There may be a role in your backyard.  Look for it.

Use it now – actionable – advice for job seekers:

Actively network. Network, network, network. Whether its with friends, colleagues, etc. It’s the networking that will help you find the job.

Like what you’ve read? Catch more of StartWire’s exclusive insider Q & A interviews as well as the lowdown on companies that are hiring through

Insider Q & A: Miles Parroco on Eventbrite and Hiring for Fast Growth Companies

June 10th, 2011 Comments off

At StartWire we’re passionate about helping people find work — and helping our users find out where the jobs are!   Recently, we wrote about job opportunities at Eventbrite, a company that gives you all the tools you need to bring people together and create an event. Projected to grow to 200 by the end of 2011, Eventbrite is hiring across the board. (We’ve registered up and attended plenty of events through Eventbrite so we thought it might be interesting to take a piece inside.)

We sent a shout-out to Eventbrite to learn more and sat down for a conversation with their Director ofRecruiting, Miles Parroco. As employee number 48 for Eventbrite has seen the company grow to 145 and secure $70M in funding.  He’s now busy hiring more people; check out their opportunities here!  

Miles has worked at enterprise-level companies and start-ups in the Silicon Valley since 2000. In 2004, he joined IronPort systems where he helped the company grow from 120 employees to 320 and a successful exit through a Cisco acquisition of $830M. In 2008, he joined Pure Digital Technologies (maker of the popular Flip Video Camera) and doubled the company from 70 employees to 135 before another successful exit (Cisco acquisition again for for $590M).

Eventbrite’s vision is that “Anyone can become an event organizer.” Are related skill sets—project management and operations must-have skills at Eventbrite?

We don’t deal in absolutes here. We are a big believer in finding individuals who can do the job and who can fit in with our small but growing family. We look for smart individuals who are flexible and who can learn it on the fly.  Being able to fit into the team culture and being able to be flexible are important.

We are growing fast, but we still have lunch together as a company every day. You have to be able to sit next to anybody any day of the week. The cultural fit is important. We place an emphasis on understanding that the candidate has the relevant skills set, and that then after that – it’s a cultural fit. Knowing how event management works is a plus, but it isn’t necessary. Are they accessible? Empowering? Open? Social? And humble? Those are things that we look for.

We started out 2010 with 30 employees, we have 144 employees now and we’re looking at being around 200 by the end of the year. Each and every individual we hire makes a huge impact. When I worked at CISCO we made a lot of hires. Every hire makes a difference, and there are high fives around the office when it gets done.

We are building a culture that people want to come to work and participate in.

Eventbrite features include integration with social media. Is the best candidate one who demonstrates that they understand this integration?

It depends on the particular position. If a job is for an engineer working on the back-end code, it’s helpful to understand the business. But the back-end coder doesn’t need to be a marketing specialist. It’s nice if they have an understanding of how it works.

We just recently brought on a marketing intern. That person is going to be solely focused on social media outreach. For that role, you need to understand the psyche behind social media and how that works.

What makes a great candidate beyond industry knowledge and experience? (Or what’s the hardest thing to find in a great candidate?)

Do they meet our brand tenets – accessible, empowering, open, social and humble? Are they passionate? If a software engineer isn’t passionate about our end-product and taking over the ticketing world, they need to passionate about writing clean code. You need passion for how your role relates to our business or our products. Better yet, is to be passionate about it all. Loving the end product, loving the environment. We want people who want to be here.

Do you have any “never do” tips for individuals in working with recruiters?

Never show for a phone screen without taking the time to know what we do. Take the time to research the company, our co-founders – what we do, how we do it. You are really shorting yourself if you don’t do your due diligence.

Any bad assumptions that you’ve seen job seekers make in applying for jobs with Eventbrite?

Occasionally, people aren’t humble enough. People say “I meet all the criteria for the job.” A lot of candidates have come in from our process and people have walked away saying “That’s the smartest person we’ve interviewed for this job but they come out of the interview saying ‘let’s not hire them.’ We like to see people who feel like they have something to learn from us, too.  I’m not going to ask you to rewire yourself.  You want people who can sell themselves, but people who can be themselves, too.

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

What are your growth plans?

We just got $50M in funding. We don’t know how that will affect our hiring plan yet. But we’ve continued on the trajectory of doubling hires per year…we expect to be at 200 by the end of the year. We are trying to build not only a great project but a great program. People can feel the energy of a healthy and happy work environment. We pay people to do their job. Hopefully that is a sign of a company that values employees. We are a technology company, so we are looking to grow on the engineering side of things in particular.

But we are also looking for  sales and marketing candidates. And we are  growing both domestically and abroad. We have two jobs available in London, Customer Service and Event Evangelism. We are expanding. This is a very solid business, with a solid business plan. We’re disrupting the way ticket has been done from small events that are self-organized to a Black Eyed Peas concert with 50,000 attendees. We continue to grow. The goal in 2010 was to double what we had done – from $100 million in gross ticket sales to $200 million in gross ticket sales. We did it, now we’re on track to double it again.

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Be passionate about what you’re doing. Have some passion for what you do or the company you are getting behind. Enjoy what you are doing or supporting. If you can’t you are in the wrong place.

Now Hiring In NYC: Four Young Companies Generating Big Buzz

June 6th, 2011 Comments off

Are Manhattan streets to be paved with Gold?

Maybe not but discount but glam fashion company Gilt Groupe is gunning to be huge, with a recent valuation of a billion dollars. We see jobs across the board at Gilt Groupe in New York, Portland, and Dublin. Like many tech start-ups, they are in hot pursuit of engineers. Their carrot: the opportunity to give to commands to robots who work in operations. You can see the listings here.

Gilt Groupe is being lead by Silicon Valley insider and former DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan; a smaller start-up that’s getting attention and funding love from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is NY-based interactive ad firm, Spongecell. The wires are above with info on Spongecell funding today; we anticipate more job listings to follow.

Other companies poised to hire in coming weeks in New York as we see it:

Lightower Fiber helps companies stay connected, Service2Media designs and deploys apps across platforms. Both companies are in the process of opening New York offices. (We predict openings for sales and engineering gigs.)

Not up for the work culture of a start-up but want a gig in NYC? Check out Citi; they’ve got over 800 listings with an estimated salary of $80K and above!

Categories: Employment Buzz Tags: , ,

Insider Q & A: Ryan Healy on Career Myths & Realities of Millennials

May 25th, 2011 Comments off

Ryan Healy is the Co-Founder and COO of Brazen Careerist. He has been recognized as one of thecountry’s top Human Resource thought leaders by World at Work and Accenture, and has been featured as a workplace expert for the young workforce, appearing as a spokesperson for the new generation of workers on 60 Minutes and PBS Nightly News.

We asked him to tell us more.

Tell us about Brazen Careerist and your concept of networking roulette?

Brazen is a career management site for for high achieving young professionals.

We work with people just about to graduate from college to people in their early thirties. We specialize in offering live, online events for networking (Network Roulette) and for finding a job (Virtual Recruiting Events)..

Network roulette is like speed dating for professionals online. You are matched with someone else for a five minute conversation, then you decide if you want to add them to your network and follow up. It’s important because it actually allows you to build a network of peers who can later help you do things like find a job, find a sales lead, or introduce you to a potential client. 

We also do virtual recruiting events that allow professionals to chat live with recruiters who are hiring right now. We’re working with more than 40 companies, and have already helped dozens of people find jobs and internships through these events in the past couple of months. 

All of our online events are a great way to engage with people in a live environment online, which I believe is the future of social media.

Your networking community is geared towards the Under 30 crowd, what are the myths and realities on career prospects after college?

Myths: You are going to graduate from college and immediately find a job that you love and that is fulfilling.

Realities:  It takes a while. It’s okay to shop around and try different things before you find what you love doing. Also, it’s ok if what you love doing changes after a few years. It’s easy to get stuck if you just think your interests are going to stay the same.

In your opinion, are there any common misunderstandings between Gen Y employees and Gen X or Boomer managers? If yes, share one – as well as a quick way this can be avoided.

Gen Y loves to be part of a team, in almost everything they are doing. Typical entry level work often involves solo tasks, but Gen Y doesn’t just want to be in a box; they like to be a part of things.  Managers need to make sure that their young employees have a healthy mix of team work and solo tasks.

What strengths do millennials bring to employers that are frequently overlooked?

Millennials are natural multitaskers.  Sure, this can be a distraction sometimes, but because we’ve grown up with technology at our fingertips we know how to do a lot of different tasks, and can contribute in multiple roles.  Employers need to understand how to use this to their advantage, and not worry about limiting the scope of work for their new hires.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish you had known in college about managing your career?

You can find something that you love but you have to work hard at it.

You can break into that career you want, whatever it is, but it’s not easy. You need to figure out how the industry you want to be in works from early age. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, you need to find out how to look at your business idea, create a hypothesis, test it, and verify your results.  Then you need to understand how to raise angel funding, etc. Figure out how to get your foot in the door, then work your butt off to get to the place you want to be.

Are there any questions that I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question and what’s your answer?

What’s the best way to make yourself stand out to an employer?

Have a blog. It’s the single best way to stand out. Show people what you are thinking and what ideas you have. Show your personality, what you do, and how you do it. A blog does that better than anything else. It doesn’t have to be purely professional; it does have to be something that wouldn’t get you in trouble.

Actionable advice to move forward (in 150 characters or less)

Start a blog. Go to networking events. Join Brazen. Prepare to work hard.

About StartWire: StartWire closes the application black hole by providing job seekers with free, automatic status updates on job applications from thousands of employers

Categories: Employment Buzz Tags: , , ,

Five of the Best Places to Work in Boston — All Hiring Big

May 13th, 2011 Comments off

Recently the Boston Business Journal announced the winners of their annual list of the 75 best places to work in Boston. They’ll be celebrating with the chosen few — and announcing the rankings of winners — on June 9. We like champagne, but we like to see jobs even better.

Here are five of “best largest employers” nominees, all of whom have over 50 job postings:

  • Accenture (When consulting firms hire, good sign of uptick in economy) | Jobs
  • Digitas (Don’t open this link in your office) | Jobs
  • Harvard Pilgrim (J.D. Powers top ranked health plans for New England) | Jobs
  • Microsoft (Over 100 sales, engineering & education jobs) | Jobs
  • VistaPrint (Who doesn’t like free business cards?) | Jobs

If you choose to apply to any of these places, congratulate them on their “Best Places to Work” mention; just don’t start a conversation by mentioning the employee perk you have to have for your next job!

And to stay really on top of your game, also keep a look out for up-and-comers. For example, you may also want to check out DPS Biometrics, an Irish based engineering firm that provides services to biotech and pharma companies. They opened doors in Framingham, MA this week—and have plans to hire 100 over the next two years.