Resume/Job Search Question #1001
March 4, 2014 10:59 AM   Subscribe

In May, I will be graduating with a master's degree in applied anthropology. I'll be meeting a potential employer this week (possibly tomorrow) at a 3-day long design/innovation bootcamp. How and when do I broach the subject of employment and ask to send him my resume? Bonus job search questions abound!

I am in my last semester of grad school in an applied anthropology program where I've had the opportunity to work on a broad range of team-based projects for various communities/agencies. The majority of my experiences have been in applied social research (research design, surveys, interviews, systematic observation, qual/quant analysis, etc). I've also spent the last year as an intern at a local housing nonprofit through a fellowship program. Most of my work has been in community development—think anthropology-meets-urban-planning—but the skills I've developed through these projects are, I believe, pretty flexible to other fields including design anthropology and consulting (although my LinkedIn profile heavily focuses on community development as this has been my primary career interest).

I've found a small consulting firm in town who I would really, really like to work for. I know for a fact that they are keen on taking on anthropologists/ethnographers since two of my colleagues work for them as paid interns. One of these colleagues encouraged me to register for a 3-day design/innovation bootcamp (which starts tomorrow) as a way to meet the co-founder of the firm who is also one of the facilitators for the workshop. Before registering for the workshop, I'd been planning on emailing them to express interest—rather than listing open positions, their website invites you to "impress" them by sending your resume/cover letter. I am hoping that my experience/availability might make me eligible for a full-time position. The co-founder/facilitator in question also happens to be the person in charge of hiring.

Onto my questions:

1. How and when do I approach this person about my interest in working for him? When we meet? On the last day of the workshop? AFTER the workshop? Does the answer change depending on whether or not I'm on his team? Can you tell I'm an over-thinker?

2. Does it matter that my LinkedIn profile differs from my resume in terms of my career goals? All of my skills and experience are the same, but I (of course) tailored the language on my resume to fit for-profit consulting work. Should I make my LinkedIn profile more general to suit a broader range of jobs?

3. General guidelines about how I can make myself stand out, especially in the community development, nonprofit, or consulting fields would be greatly appreciated. I can answer questions about or link to my resume/LinkedIn but didn't want to self-promote in my question.

I feel like I'm leaving a lot out, but I didn't want this to get too long. Let me know if I left out any key details, and thanks in advance for the advice!
posted by a.steele to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1. You will have three days to assess the situation, suss the guy out and see how he operates. You may not even want to approach him at the workshop, you may want to contact him after, via email, when you won't be putting him on the spot. If he's the personable sort, you can broach the subject over a beer. After doing all that social scients, I would HOPE you would have developed a feel for these things!

2. Your Linkedin needs to read like the best advertisement for the job of your dreams. So if you need to tweak it to include more relevant information, then do that.

You may want to wait to submit your resume until AFTER the workshop. That way you can latch onto their lingo, buzzwords and get a peak a their mission statement, which you will sprinkle liberally into your resume.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2014

This sounds like a great opportunity, and I really think it may not matter too much which approach you pick. I would ask your colleagues who know the hiring manager for their opinion. My personal inclination would have been contacting him BEFORE the workshop. This is probably the best way to stand out during the workshop - you'd be on his radar before he even shows up, and he'd mentally put you in the "jobseeker" category instead of the "one of the many students" category. However, since the thing starts tomorrow, there's a chance that he might not see your email until after you've met, which is a bit awkward.

So, with that in mind, I think I'd go with an in-person, "Hi, so happy to meet you, I've heard such great things about FIRM from COLLEAGUES". And then be awesome all day, and follow up with an email with your resume that evening.

Good luck!
posted by chocotaco at 11:20 AM on March 4, 2014

1. If it comes up naturally in conversation go for it. Otherwise, afterwards via email / phone is fine too.

2. Interesting question. I've always kept my LI profile completely backwards focused. It's just a list of jobs and accomplishments at those jobs. It's not my online resume so I don't have any goals or objectives listed there.

3. I've always felt you stand out in a one-on-one or small group situation by the quality of the questions you ask. Instead of telling them how smart, focused, informed you are, show them by asking insightful questions.

Good luck!
posted by COD at 11:39 AM on March 4, 2014

I would wait until after to send the resume... it is a great follow-up a week later to drop an email "great to meet you, here is my resume...". Focus on making an impression and taking a good read of the co-founder as Ruthless Bunny says. Mention your connections inside the office.

Do your research before hand - ask your colleagues about the inner workings, company culture and what kind of role they are looking to fill. Then do your best to demonstrate these qualities in the workshop. Don't say that you have them, show that you have them. If they're looking for analytical skills, make comments synthesizing ideas. If they want math skills, give a lot of statistical comments. And so on.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:40 AM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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