Starting Your Job Search
Reminder: Don’t get sucked into a place of complacency and think that a job will magically happen. People don’t generate nearly enough activity; don’t pin your expectations on one phone call response or one potential offer.
New Advice: Treat your job search as a project with deadlines and metrics and create a plan. At the deadlines, determine if you’ve met your goals/metrics and, if not, figure out why. You cannot stop until you have an offer in your hand.
Reminder: Recast your resume with keywords for what you want to be. Make sure it is understandable, granular, and accomplishment-oriented.
New Advice: When you are e-mailing contacts, attach your resume every time so they can easily remember you and your background.
Reminder: Don’t restate your resume. Cover letters can derail your application as much as they can help so keep them simple and grammatically correct.
New Advice: Cover letters may not be as important as you think. Create your opening, mention the most important part of your background and state that your resume is attached. Keep it short and spend your time on more productive activities.
Reminder: Reach out to the people you know and ask, “Can you give me some advice on how to meet additional people in my job search?” Put yourself in a position of being discovered.
New Advice: The alumni database is one of the best places to network. Once you apply for a job, connect with a Penn Stater within that company (preferably in the same department or in a similar position) and ask for advice on the position/application.
Thank You Notes (non-interview situations)
Reminder: Whenever you take up someone’s time, make sure to send the thank you note before you go to sleep that night. Keep it short – they’re busy too!
New Advice: When writing a thank you note, say something about a personal interaction you’ve had. It will help them remember who you are.
A final reminder: It’s a game of numbers. Don’t take the rejections personally and don’t get discouraged. Make sure to explore different avenues and thank the people who have taken the time to speak with you or help you on your search.
BACKGROUND – BARBARA BRIDENDOLPH:
Barbara Bridendolph is President and CEO of Crenshaw Associates, a New York-based boutique that provides career-long advisory services to senior executives, primarily C-levels and their direct reports. She became a Partner in the firm in 2001, was named President in 2004, and President and CEO in 2005.
Barb oversees the firm’s career consulting work and personally acts as an Executive Advisor. Since joining Crenshaw, she has worked with more than 150 Directors, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, GCs, Division Presidents and functional heads of Sales, Marketing, Corporate Development, Supply Chain and Finance. The industry sectors from which her clients have come include CPG, financial services, pharma, advertising, technology, and consulting/public accounting/law.
Prior to participating in the acquisition of Crenshaw Associates, Barb had her own consulting firm which advised senior executives on strategic marketing programs and alliances. This followed her tenure as President of Precision Marketing Associates, an advertising agency specializing in direct marketing. Earlier, Barb was SVP of Marketing at Carroll Reed, a specialty clothing retail/catalog company where she had P&L responsibility for catalog operations. She started her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble.
Barb received an MBA from Penn State and a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Special thank you to Susan Slopek, Class of 2011