Monday, January 31, 2011


Let's discuss for a minute your resume.  Of course there's the obvious things that you need to include...your name, contact information, dates of employment, company names, titles, computer skills (if necessary/applicable). All of these facts should be accurate and should depict your work history on one neat little piece of paper (unscented, unless your name is Elle Woods). Not 20 pages...ONE...MAYBE two...but as someone who is the queen of altering those margins (back in college, I could turn 100 words into a FIVE page paper), there are very few people out there who need to have a resume that's longer than one page. Those people are published, have 20+ years of experience (although they really only have to list the last 10 years which should be very easy to include on one page), A-list actors or juniors in college (purely because they have no clue).

Because the majority of the resumes I see are entry level and/or support staff, I prefer a bulleted, chronological resume to a paragraph, functional one. It's just easier to read and is usually what companies want. These bullets should be clear, concise tidbits about what you do/did at your job. If you're not currently at the job, make sure everything is in past tense. I don't like objectives/summaries as I think they are redundant...not to mention funny. "Experienced Executive Assistant with 10+ years of experience who brings passion, intelligence and amazing attention to detail to the table..." WELL OF COURSE YOU DO...what are you going to write, "Mediocre employee who often makes mistakes and calls in sick, is a MUST HIRE." Objectives often pigeon hole you as well. I can't tell you how many times candidates have written, "Strong assistant seeks office manager position at thriving company" in their objective and they're applying for a receptionist job!

And don't ASSUME potential employer KNOW what you do by your titles. When looking for an assistant, my clients want to see that you've planned 10-person meetings, coordinated domestic and international travel, ran personal errands and answered phones. They want to see if you've done PowerPoint presentations; handled expenses in excel; and processed 5000 piece mailings using mail merge. If you've dealt with office moves, build outs or the hiring and training of staff, list it. Everything else after this is GRAVY and should be included at the author's discretion.

And now we get to my favorite part of every resume...the SKILLS/INTERESTS/WHAT I DO WHEN I'M NOT WORKING AT MY SHITTY JOB section. I've seen everything from yoga and marathon runner to knitter, polar bear club member and pole dancing enthusiast. I recently met someone who listed TRUFFLES on their thought was while it's all well and good to eat them, professing a love of fungus is just WRONG. She quickly clarified she was talking about CHOCOLATE truffles, but STILL! I Heart Hanson, President of the Justin Beiber fan club and avid reality show viewer need not appear on your resume. Now I will put a caveat in here that sometimes these random things do catch the eye of some recruiters, but for the most part, they can turn someone away (especially if they too have an aversion to all things funghi related). One candidate listed blockbuster movies as a passion and the interviewer thought that was dumb because most blockbusters have little to no meaning, are not thought-provoking and rarely display any intelligent qualities and therefore served as a metaphor for the candidate.

I also hate when candidates list their 2.4 GPA as though it's impressive that you were a C student in college. If your GPA is lower than 3.3 (3.0 if I'm being generous) there's no need to list it. You also should only include language skills if you are fluent. Most companies will only hire candidates that can read, write and speak another language so if you can only count to 10 (like I can), don't list it as a skill.

Ultimately your resume is your book cover. And in this world, you are TOTALLY judged by it, so make it Oprah's book club worthy!

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


As far as I'm concerned, the term "working mom" is redundant. Whether you're in an office or at home, if you're lucky enough to be called "mommy" by anyone other then the dirty construction worker on the corner of 48th and 3rd, you work for a living...and one of those jobs is the hardest one of the planet.

Recently, I read something in Parenting magazine that caught my eye. The reader wrote in that she was the "only parent at work and colleagues complained behind her back about her responsibilities at home." The advice given was not to confront the naysayers, but rather find the office gossip and tell him/her how much overtime you're putting in. Tell him/her that they're fortunate because once they leave the office at 5, they can relax and take off their work hat. You, on the other hand, start your OTHER job the minute you walk into the house. You put in all these hours on nights and weekends to make up for what you're missing when you're at the office. But ultimately what matters is that we get our jobs done. Personally, I'd just tell my co-workers to go @&#%$! themselves and add laxatives to their coffee, but I guess for the sake of office politics, this advice is not bad either. Ultimately, you spend more time in an office than anywhere else, so it should be worth your while.

I always find it interesting when moms are ostracized, whispered about or suffer because they've chosen to stay active in the workforce. As a "two-job mom" myself, I remember having to deal with these cynics when I returned to my current workplace after owning my own recruiting firm for six years. While I have the "luxury" of only going into the city twice a week, as all of my candidates, clients, friends and family members will attest to, I'm ALWAYS working. But that didn't matter to my co-workers...even my girlfriend who's also a "two-job mom" gave me shit about not being in the office every day. "Did you meet my candidate, Sally Unemployed? Oh that's right, you're only here two days..." was her favorite line. It wasn't until I outperformed all of them (except one), that they finally shut their mouths.  Funny how the mommy works two days/week and manages to outperform all her co-workers...while raising two daughters (ages 4 1/2 and 16 months)...just another testament to how strong "two-job moms" really are!

Since I moved to the suburbs, a majority of my stay-at-home mom friends have asked me to help them find jobs.They feel like their brains are turning to mush and they need some interaction with the real world. I guess lunches, manicures and playing tennis can get boring after awhile.  And nothing frustrates me more than sitting at dinner with friends and having to hear about the latest sale at lululemon or that Bobby peed on the floor in the middle of the night and then fell asleep in it. I only have ONE friend who literally wanted her career to be a mom. She went to college PURELY to find a husband and future father to her children. And kudos to her for admitting it! But everyone else gave up their careers when they had their first child. And now that their youngest is in school full time, they are ready to head back to a job. Of course there's the stipulation of work/life balance, so if that's achievable, they'll be on the 7:15 express to employment.

The moral of this soliloquy is that moms are amazing human beings. Whether you choose to stay home or head to an office every day, there is no one on the planet who works harder than you (shout out to stay at home dads as well). So keep your chin up, buy your coffee in bulk and if all else fails, aquaphor makes a great lip gloss.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


As the Oscar nods were announced today, I tipped my hat that "The Social Network" received the accolades it so deserves. Facebook has singlehandedly changed the world, with 500,000,000 users and counting. As a 37 year old, I find Facebook to be a great networking tool as well as a fun window into my past life. I've reconnected with hundreds of old friends and am able to know about them without having to leave the comfort of my own home or spend hours on the phone "catching up." I know where they live, what they "like" and what their relationship status is. I see pictures of their kids, their girls' nights out and their family vacations. Pretty mundane I know, but that's because like me, most of my friends are beyond the days of fraternity parties, spring breaks, all night clubbing and impromptu trips to AC.  

However, a good majority of my candidates are NOT! For some reason, people ages 22-30, love to post pictures/status updates/wall postings about the crazy, sexy, sometimes illegal things they love to do. What they fail to realize is employers have a sneaky way of finding those pictures/postings and denying them employment because of it. I can't tell you how many times my clients have "googled" a candidate only to find them in a skirt that's too short, doing luge shots off of Miley Cyrus' ass. COME ON PEOPLE...if there's any chance of embarassment, then don't POST IT. It's one thing to BECOME the office slut...but no one's going to hire one! 

Looking for employment is a full time job and should be taken seriously. Please don't ask me to email you at or and neither Jay Z nor Lady Gaga should be on your voicemail (unless you ARE Jay Z or Lady Gaga). Multiple piercings should be removed and tattoos should be covered as much as possible. And please, WHATEVER you do, do NOT bring your chihuahua/maltese/yorkie to an interview. This will NEVER be acceptable (unless you're interviewing at a pet shop or shelter).  

I had a candidate come in who was extremely put together...attractive, well spoken, nice suit, excellent resume. A year out of school, she'd spent the past two years working as the receptionist for a law firm. What I would consider a "walking placement." We literally THREW her out the door to our client who LOVED her. Thirty-six hours later they come back to us and say they are passing. When pressured for a reason, they said they found "provocative pictures" of her online. Ten seconds later, my colleague and I are staring at said candidate in an outfit that can only be described as "bondage-like"...AS HER PROFILE PICTURE ON FACEBOOK!!! Talk about the rug not matching the shades. IN A MILLION YEARS...I never would've thought...But my client did, and needless to say, didn't offer her the position.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I think social media is an amazing tool as long as it's used appropriately. It's allowed people to reconnect with lost friends, loved ones and even parents. It's helped children get adopted; pets find homes and the unemployed find jobs. But like all vices, it can be abused. So remember, if you don't want your mother to see it, it shouldn't be posted on the internet. And when you start to look for a job, make sure that all you "T"s are crossed, your "I"s are dotted, and that you're wearing underwear in every picture.

Good night and happy job hunting,

The Job Yenta

Friday, January 21, 2011


In addition to my job as a recruiter, I am also a psychotherapist. Not licensed or anything, just by default. I spend HOURS on the phone with clients and candidates discussing why things aren't working out. Often times, this happens when I am in a public place and am trying to do something else (ALWAYS multitasking). So usually, people will hear only one side of the conversation and it usually goes something like this -

Hi...I'm good. And you?

small talk...then...

"Uh huh...I understand you wanted clear labels and she did opaque."

3-5 minutes of silence

"No...I can't blame you for being upset that your driver showed up 10 minutes late...all of the calendars should've been synced."

5 minutes of silence

"I don't think you're crazy AT all" (eyes roll). It's DEFINITELY not you (even though this is your FOURTH assistant in ONE year). You're the boss and either she does it the way you want it, or don't keep her."

10 minutes of silence

"Really? She TOLD you she was taking day off instead of asking you. No, I believe you..."

2 minutes of silence followed by a bunch of "uh huhs" and "yups."

"Not a problem. I will look for someone else. Like I always, say, there's a lid for every pot and she's just not your lid!"

And there you have it...basically this is why I can't stop biting my nails. The littlest thing can cause a deal to fall apart...I mean I do sell PEOPLE for a living. Everyone has an ego, an agenda or some warped idea of what it's going to be like working for a socialite/celebrity/high level executive as their assistant. I can't tell you the number of people who think being an assistant is "easy." But I can tell you FIRST HAND that other than being a mom, it's one of the more difficult professions (probably because it's like being a mom at the office). Having to check your power to think, reason or rationalize, along with your ego at the door is not for the weak or feeble minded. As someones assistant you have to be ready, willing and able to conform to their every whim. Sure, there are bosses out there who give COMPLETE autonomy and are wonderful to work for, but those are the minority.  All assistants need rhino thick skin, the ability to do 8,290,699 tasks at once, and know the answer to a question, three minutes before it's asked. It takes a special person to be able to completely manage another person's life, EXACTLY the way they want it. I'm talking window or aisle seat; blue folders with red labels vs. white folders with clear ones; coffee with two splendas and a splash of skim, NO FOAM; two black pens, one blue pen and yellow legal pad in the right corner of their desk...the devil's in the details and your boss has horns, a tail and a pitchfork!

I tip my hats to the career assistants who have devoted their lives to taking care of their bosses...making sure that they get to their meetings on time, their wives get flowers on valentines day and their coffee is on their desk, HOT, exactly the way they like it. This job is not for everyone...but for the chosen few who have conquered this beast, they are often rewarded handsomely. I know one assistant who upon returning to her boss after a brief hiatus, was given a $4M house in the Hamptons. Or another who drove her jaguar to work courtesy of her boss of 20 years. Huge cash bonuses, trips around the world and the best seats in the house are just some of the perks assistants receive. But those are rarities. Most just get their check every two weeks, a bonus at the end of the year and a thank you every now and then. Remember, it's work after all...if it was anything other than tedious and necessary, it'd be called something else.

I've met some amazing assistants during my ten years in the business...many of which I've placed in their jobs and still speak with today. They are the best there is and from them I've heard, seen and learned so much. So don't get me wrong...being an assistant can be tremendously just have to be the right person for the job. Because ultimately, there's a little micro-managing meshugana in all of us.

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Over the weekend, I went to Target and of course I was dressed to the nines...and by nines, I mean my pajamas. I figured...I'll run in, get a few things, run out...who could I possibly run into at 9am on a Sunday? Plenty of people...that's who. I got back in my car and just laughed to myself...I am a sweats-hair in a ponytail-no makeup kind of girl...always have been; always will be. I'm low maintenance and don't think I could be anything different. And both people that I ran into, know that's who I am and weren't fazed by my oscar winning outfit.

But when it comes to work and how I prepare my candidates, I fly by one rule - NEVER LET YOUR OUTFIT BE THE REASON YOU DON'T GET A JOB!!!! I can't tell you how many times candidates have lost out on great opportunities because they weren't dress appropriately. Red suits to uber-corporate companies; low cut shirts that were only meant for dark clubs; white see-through shirts with black bras...and the best was a candidate who went on a final interview at a fashion company and when complimented on her shirt, said, "Thank's from YOUR COMPETITOR." (She got the job but still...what was she thinking???) I can't stress enough how what you wear is as important as what it says on your resume. So here are the basics...follow these fool proof dress tips and you're a shoe in to at least get past hello:

1. Wear a neutral colored suit (black, navy, grey, beige). It should not be dirty or wrinkled and should fit relatively well. Nothing too tight. If you can't button it, that's ok, but you shouldn't look like you're busting out of it.

2. NO cleavage, camel toes or visible g-strings...VPL (visible panty lines) in general are a big NO NO!

3. DO NOT WEAR PERFUME. I've never had a client tell me that a candidate smelled good...the only feedback I've ever received was, "Her perfume was WAY TOO STRONG..." If the client can still smell you after you've left, chances are it will be the last time you see each other.

4. Your makeup should look like you're not wearing any. Interviews are not the time to try that new metallic blue eye shadow you saw in Vogue. Keep it simple. Some foundation/cover up, a little blush, a little mascara, a little lipstick/gloss. That's it. Clowns and drag queens need not apply! (This is in no way to imply that I don't like clowns or drag queens...I just don't have any openings for them right now so unless you're applying for one of those jobs, keep the makeup to a minimum).

5. Undergarments should remain just that...UNDER your garments. There's nothing worse then when a candidate picks up her bag off the floor and I get a beautiful view of her purple g-string. Make sure all skin is properly tucked away.

6.  Unless you're Mr. T, jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Additionally, it should be seen but NOT heard. Don't wear every bangle in your jewelry box and don't wear a million necklaces because it was also written about in Vogue (see #4).

7. Hide your tattoos and remove all piercings except cultural/religious ones, those that can't be seen and the traditional earring in each ear - preferably studs. If you choose to wear hoops, please make sure small animals CANNOT jump through them. Ideally keep them minimal, classy and about the size of a quarter or smaller.

8. Your hair should be styled and out of your face. If you tend to play with it, curl it around your finger or chew it, pull it back. A ponytail or barrette is ideal, or nicely tucked behind your ears will long as it stays there.

9. Your nails should be either manicured or free of polish. Chipped polish is a big no no. If you are a nail biter, as I have been for my entire life, try to get your hands in the best condition you can before the interview. I know asking you to stop biting before something that's probably causing you to bite in the first place is a tough request, but if you can stop biting for a day or two and take the time to file them, moisturize and apply a clear coat of polish, they will look perfectly presentable for your interview.

10. Do your research. If you are interviewing with an investment bank, chances are you will need to wear a skirt suit, stockings and closed toe shoes. Creative companies tend to be a little bit more lenient when it comes to your outfit. However, I would still air on the side of conservative. No one has ever lost out because they were dressed too corporate.

MEN (your preparation is definitely much easier)
1. see #1 above

2. Be clean shaven. That means shave the MORNING of your interview and be sure to avoid razor burn. I've interviewed men who've made me uncomfortable because it looked like their razor burn was excruitiatingly painful.

3. See #3 above except exchange COLOGNE for PERFUME!

4. Comb your hair and don't use too much product. Too much gel only looks good on Gordon Gekko, Pat Riley and The Situation.

5. DON'T SMOKE BEFORE AN INTERVIEW...Ladies - this goes for you too! I cannot say it enough times. No one will hire an ashtray and while I personally don't think you should EVER smoke, if you must, do it AFTER the interview.

6. Pinky rings should be left at home. Nuff said!

7. see #7 above (minus the part about the hoops)

8. Make sure your shoes are polished...or at the very least NOT scuffed. And they should be appropriate for an interview. Unless it's a blizzard, any shoe that you'd wear to shovel snow, watch a sporting event or to play a sport is not appropriate for an interview.

9. see #9 above

10. I feel you should always wear a suit as you don't have as many options as women do. However, if you are interviewing at a creative company and feel a suit would not be appropriate, slacks and a nice button down work (although chest hair should NOT be seen)...tie is optional. Jeans, flip flops, shorts or tank tops are NEVER acceptable.

I will say one more thing before signing off. Many of you who are just out of school or currently unemployed should NOT feel the need to spend money on interview clothes. A firm handshake, good eye contact and a great smile will get you further than anything else.

I remember in the movie, "Pursuit of Happyness," the interviewer asked Christopher Gardner (Will Smith), "What would you say if a man walked in here with no shirt, and I hired him? What would you say?" To which Christoper replied, "He must have had on some really nice pants."

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Friday, January 14, 2011


So I'm in the AT&T store today and as I'm waiting for my information to be transferred from my old phone to my new phone, another customer walks in. The guy behind the counter recognizes him, and tells him that the merchandise he ordered is not in yet but that he would call him when it came in. The customer said thank you and as he turned to walk out, the salesman said, "'re in the music business right?" And right away, I think...OY VEY...that's ballsy!!! So the customer says, with quite a long pause, "Yes..."
The salesman proceeds to tell him that he's about to release his first video and he's gone viral and has this that and the other and would he mind listening to some of his stuff? So the customer looks at him and asks what genre he's in...and the sales guy says RAP...which was the LAST area of music I would've guessed he performed. He then proceeds to play a piece of his was fine, but I don't think he's the next Eminem. So the customer is courteous, listens and right before he leaves gives the salesman his email address, both personal AND business. This was right after he told him that while he USED to do A&R for Columbia, he now produces and develops shows for MTV and he would do what he could.
I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I would have NEVER asked a random person to listen to my music. Especially if it sounded like a mix between my rabbi and William Hung. But I guess that's why I'm blogging and recruiting and Justin Beiber is on the cover of Vanity Fair :(  But this guy probably thought, "what've I got to lose?"
It instantly made me think of all the candidates that come and see me who have been out of work for weeks, months, even years. They show up at my office, tell me their tale of woe and then if I don't respond to every email or send them out on an interview immediately, I'm an asshole and they write a bad review about me on Yelp. I once received an email from a candidate wishing that I, along with the rest of the employees I worked with, contracted herpes. And this was in response to a request to update her personal information for our database.
I’ve posted the contents below...VERBATIM...please take a moment to note her wonderful grammar and ability to spell...I definitely missed out on my commission with this one...(I saved it in a folder appropriately named, "Crazy Applicants"...I knew it would come in handy some day).
Oh. my. god.

i just want to say thanks.... for shit.  I *never* heard from you assholes ONCE!  I now am maoking about $80K per year and loving it.  Just so you idiots (and you and your staff are...) will know, some people go through hard times when they move to a new city, especially one like NYC.  They come to you because you (lie) say you can help them find a job. 

My co-workers and I laugh at you behind your back.  Others have even stared a hilarious website about your "company" and forwarded me it.  What a hoot!  God, you people are depressing, untalented and obviously could not find "real" jobs for yourselves.... you all work at "Jennifer" with your wanna-be hipster staff (what a bunch of poseurs!! uggghhhhhhh.)  -- by the way, what a shitty and cheap and ugly website. NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO CLIENTS!!


I was once working 3 jobs and sleeping about 5 hours a night to afford my rent here.  I came to you on a much needed day off to speak with you and show you my resume.  I graduated a top-tier Private University with a GREAT GPA.  I was in a Sorority, played a college-level sport and had WONDERFUL references.  WHICH YOU NEVER EVEN CONTACTED.  Now, 6 months and absolutely no contact later, you send me a MASS MAILING!! asking me for my resume info????  You are all such low-class bottom feeders.  Your office and entire staff reeks of implied (laughable) bourgeoisie.

I hope you all get herpes.  (oh shit... most of your staff probably already does!) yuck!  stay away from me.  please NEVER email me again with your spam, you self righteous losers.  Oh, and check your website background.  You can't even afford to fix it?  it looks like shit.  It doesn't replicate and you can see where it repeats itself.  a tip from me.  I cannot wait until you fix it -- I am *sure* you will.  Just like you will contact all your "clients" (your companies don't even take employees from you, do they??   poor babies!  no wonder!  you suck! -- every job interview I went on I was awarded the job at hand AND most of them were in the 65K - 70K field.  You talk a big game but don't deliver.  I think some of your clients should know that, too....  (and I am sure they already do.)

Most Sincerely,


the one you "said" you would keep in contact with but never even sent an update... the one with the great resume.  I don't even think you could review it with me in your office because over the phone you told me you had a hard copy but then accidentally "lost..  uhhhh i think? uhhh i think my email is broken --boy hits computer--- ummmmmm...  can you uhhhh  send it again later?? ummmmmm.  hmmmm?  sure i had it here a second ago?."  how utterly un-professional.  I sent you another and never heard back. I called and was told I would receive an update, but you never even contact references (a prominent NYC Cosmetic Dentist, a top-notch Pharmacist, a major of a city in NJ, and the dean of my University - besides the other great bosses and co-workers I worked along side with.  I have also have a tested Genius level IQ.)  You don;t do your job.  I GUESS YOU LOST MY COMMISSION!!  boo hoo!  what a reflection on you.

i have wasted enough of my time responding.  I am so glad I have so many friends and co-workers in this town.  I hope your numbers don;t drop.  hee hee hee.  (I think they will!) just a hint.......   GOOD LUCK!! 

Amazing right? With all those great references from cosmetic dentists and pharmacists, it's a wonder I couldn't find her a job! Especially since she has a GENIUS level IQ (in all areas except grammar and spelling) MY LOSS!

 I get this ALL THE TIME...not as harsh...or as eloquent...but people love to place blame. Especially desperate people. But what's so essential to remember, is you are your BEST sales tool. I'm just a pawn in your big game of chess. If people approached their job search with the same attitude as that guy at the AT&T store, they probably would spend less time looking for a job and more time working at one. Recruiters are just part of the process. And yes, I have placed hundreds of people at amazing companies, many of which I still keep in touch with to this day, but unfortunately the majority of people that walk through my door, I can't place. However, I tell all of my candidates the following:
  1. Be Prepared
  2. Be Presentable
  3. Be Positive
  4. Persistence BEATS resistance
And tell everyone you know, including that random guy/girl who walks into your store/restaurant or sits down next to you on the train, that you're looking for a job and could they help.
Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Nothing excites me more than when I meet a FABULOUS candidate...and I did today. Actually, I had met her a few years ago and she's even better now. She was energetic, put together and has a solid background. Her resume is an easy sell and I know she's even better in person. It's amazing that after 10 years and more than 10,000+ candidates, I still get excited when I meet someone phenomenal. We had a conversation about working for someone difficult, which she does and LOVES (yes, some are great AND crazy) and she told me about how she performs "verbal judo" when her boss is brow beating one of her co-workers. I compare it to Keanu Reeves in "Speed" when he slid under the bus to diffuse the bomb. Regardless of what her boss is yelling about, she walks up to her and says, "I'm sorry you feel that way..." and basically all her boss hears is, "Sorry, wha, wha, wha..." and is on to the next. She just needs to believe she's right and the whole reason she started screaming in the first place becomes unimportant.

I always ask candidates if they would be willing to work for someone difficult, as many of my clients are going to make you earn your money in more ways then one. So when a candidate asks me to define "difficult", I know they've been through a box of tissues (or 100). If you need a definition, you probably haven't worked for someone who is. But for those of you wondering what I'm talking about, herein lies the top 10 things my definition of "difficult" bosses have asked/said/done to their assistants:

1. Peel gum off the bottom of their shoe
2. Ripped a multi-line phone out of the wall and threw it at them (and she wasn't working for Naomi Campbell)
3. "What do you have to smile're a stupid, %$#^*$* assistant!!!"
4. Made them follow them around the office while they dumped different employee's desks...for fun
5. Called them at 3am to book a massage in a half an Jamaica
6. Not allow the color red in the office and threaten to fire them if he sees it
7. Told them on a Friday night at 9pm that the office needed to be painted Black by Monday morning...and if you couldn't find an available painter, then do it yourself (I don't need to tell you who did it right?)
8. Asked why the elevator was taking too long and wanted an answer...from the building engineer
9. Asked them to find a direct flight to Oakland, CA on an airline that doesn't fly there. Then once they get there (through San Francisco of course), and proceed to the Oakland airport for their return trip, asked why there was no flight home
10. Had them run out in the middle of the night to get antibiotics to treat an STD before they had to go home to their spouse

The list goes on!!! My job has truly shown me the meaning of difficult. My favorite is when a candidate comes in and says, "Oh, I can work for difficult. My boss expects things the same day he asks for them." I'm thinking, "Honey, so does my four year old..."

So how does one sell difficult especially when the candidate is not like the wonderful one I saw today (and most aren't) and isn't a glutton for punishment? With a little something called COMBAT PAY. You see, as far as I'm concerned there are three types of assistants:

#1. The one looking for growth. They are usually a year or two out of school and looking to get their foot in the door but don't want to be an assistant forever

#2. The one looking for quality of life. Money is not as important as working 9-5

#3. The money motivated one. They don't care WHAT you ask/do/want, or how many hours they have to work to achieve it (which usually means 24/7) they'll do it, as long as you pay them as much money as possible. In other words...COMBAT PAY!

It's one of my FAVORITE terms in the business. Combat pay is what these crazy executives/celebrities/socialites pay to get what's behind door #3 (see above). And you have to sign a confidentiality agreement so you can't tell anyone what they did (or you did) to earn that money. Now don't get me far as I know, there's nothing illegal or sexual being done to earn that money, but after that, all's fair. Just last month, I placed someone as an executive personal assistant at a salary of $180,000...PLUS BONUS!!! That's right...$180,000 to be an ASSISTANT!!!! But trust me...she's earning EVERY penny!

So this post is dedicated to my favorite candidate of the she made me smile, completely understands what I do, what she needs to do and has the confidence and background to accomplish it!

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

THE WORKING YEARS as someone who's been recruiting for 10 years (g-d help me), I've finally decided to put all my thoughts, rants, raves and issues down on "paper" to share with the rest of the world. At this point, I've seen AND heard it least when it comes to job hunting. And my colleagues and I have always said we should write a maybe that's what this blog will turn chance to write my memoir. Speaking of memoir...I had a candidate JUST the other day tell me that she was penning her memoir and that was why she had so many temp assignments on her resume...she's all of 30. I was thinking, "Honey, unless you're Drew Barrymore who went to rehab at 9, or Lindsay Lohan, who might not make it to 30, what could you possibly write in your memoir?" Needless to say, my client wasn't interested in meeting her so she could include them in chapter eight, "THE WORKING YEARS."

Seriously...what I think potential job hunters cease to realize is that I'm a RECRUITER...not a MAGICIAN. And I'm working for you for you better bring SOMETHING to the table. A job a year since you graduated 5 years ago; temping for 5 years (unless you're an actor) without a permanent offer; no corporate experience and you want a salary of $50, need Anne Sullivan...not me! Companies are paying me to find them someone specific. If you went to buy a Porsche and I tried to sell you a Honda, you'd laugh in my face and think I was either deaf or stupid. It works the same way with the clients I recruit for. They want what they want and they are not going to pay my fees unless I give it to them. It's nothing personal. It's just business. But here's what you can do to help the process (not to mention yourself)...

1. Check (and triple check) your resume for typos. You get ONE shot to make a first make sure it's a good one.

2. Dress professionally. Recruiters want to know that when you go on an interview, you are going to look professional. Showing up at my office in any or with any of the following is unacceptable:
  • clothes that are too tight
  • sweats
  • chipped nail polish 
  • dirty clothes 
  • ripped, folded or wrinkled resumes
  • friends/relatives/significant others/pets
3. Have realistic expectations. Telling me you are currently making $15/hr and then saying you won't leave for less than $55,000/year might sound like you're putting your foot down...but all it's going to get you is a firm handshake and a "don't call us, we'll call you." Know what someone with your experience is earning and remember that this is a COMPANY'S MARKET...meaning there are more people looking for jobs than there are people who are hiring. Be realistic, humble and flexible. Remember, it's in my best interest to get you the most money possible as that's what my fee is based on, but I'm the expert...I know what the client will and won't pay for what you are bringing to the table so WORK WITH ME!

4. Be gracious and responsive. If I ask you to make revisions on your resume and send it to me asap, don't expect me/or wait for me to follow up. Go home, make the changes and send it. Otherwise, why come to my office and waste both of our times. My job is to help you get this job. Not talk to hear myself think. So if I'm giving FREE advice, take it and run with it!

5. Stay in touch. I meet between 15-30 people a WEEK...that's over 100 people a month. At this point, I have trouble remembering what day it is, so if you want me to keep you at the FOREFRONT of my ever deteriorating mind, stay in touch. I ask all of my candidates to email me once a week to check in. You know how many do it...MAYBE 10%...If I ask, once again, DO IT! Opportunities arise EVERY day...and if you're the right person for  a job that comes in a month after I met you, chances are there are 100 other people I might consider...but if you email me that same day, you'll be the FIRST person I think of (if you fit the specs of course-see Porsche v. Honda).

6. Have a SENSE OF URGENCY. If I call/email/text you that I have an interview for you...respond AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Companies want people that are interested and excited about the opportunities they have to offer. They don't want to wait DAYS to confirm interviews. If you come to see me and I tell you about an oppportunity on the spot, know that I'm working at warp speed to get that client to see you. If you hear from me, chances are they've bitten and want to bring you in...and isn't that the reason you came to see me in the first place...MY G-D...with modern technology, where the hell could you be that you can't reach out and let me know your availability. I'm not asking for blood people...just a few hours of your time to help YOU get a JOB!!!!

Ok, I'm starting to get excited and I need to go to sleep soon. So consider this my first Dear Abby meets MAD magazine entry. I'll share the craziest stories, congratulate the successes and of course offer as much advice and direction as I can so as to help those in the never ending search for their "dream job."

Good night and happy job hunting,
The Job Yenta