Apr 16

Matt Waters run deep

Hats off to Matthew O. Waters of Doylestown, Pa. Matt read my blog about the dearth of hand-writtenLetter
letters from Gen X and Gen Y job seekers and, yes Virginia, sent me a lengthy, handwritten note with his resume.

Good for you, Matt. You’ve not only differentiated yourself, you’ve gotten a blog written about your iconoclastic ways.

Matt’s a University of Vermont graduate who’s seen me speak and visited Peppercom’s office in Manhattan. That arguably gives him an advantage over, say, your average Drew University student. But, Matt took his game to a new level by writing to me about himself, his grandfather and his desire to work for Peppercom. His approach would have been commonplace in 1978. In 2008, it’s downright revolutionary.

So, Matt, rest assured I will not only forward your materials to the appropriate people, I will also guarantee an interview if you can make your way to the Big Apple. After that, though, it’s up to you.

It’s nice to know people like Matthew O. Waters do exist. They do listen. And, they do do the right things to differentiate themselves and begin building their own brands. It’s enough to make a jaded, middle-aged blogger stop and smell the roses.

Feb 28

Responsiveness 101

What do communications students from Marist College, Northeastern, the University of Vermont, the1_2
College of Charleston and the PRSSA share in common?

Almost all have failed to follow-up with me after being urged to post comments on my blog, submit a writing sample for my edits or just plain ask for my help in networking.

I’ll bet I’ve lectured before 500 or more college students in the past year alone. And, I’d guess that less than two percent have leveraged the ‘meetings’ to connect with me. These are the same kids who, in conversation with me, voice serious fears about successfully entering the workforce.

I’ve discussed the students’ lack of aggressiveness and follow up with search consultant par excellence, Bill Heyman. He agrees that, while the latest generation of college kids, live, eat and breathe all things digital, they lack either the competitive drive or intellectual wherewithal to connect, network and differentiate themselves as thought leaders.

I’m sure sociologists could have a field day with the various reasons why this is happening. But, in my mind, it comes down to two factors: my generation of parents has spoiled the current one, most of whom expect the business world to beat a path to their door. Second, the Web has become a virtual crutch of sorts enabling kids to avoid direct confrontation.

Regardless of the causes, we’re left with a group of kids who desperately want jobs, but seem reluctant or unwilling to roll up their sleeves and do it what it takes to succeed. File it all under the term ‘sense of entitlement.’