A few posts ago, I answered a reader question about getting around lowest common denominator hiring practices. It’s a subject I’ve talked about before as well. I addressed the reader’s question mainly as it pertains to the front end of the hiring process. After that post, you might understand a strategy for not really dealing with recruiters and other low-knowledge screener types.
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But even if you secure the inside track to a conversation about a job instead of going through the tuple-focused HR machine, it’s still in your best interest to paint yourself in as advantageous a light as possible. I’m going to plant my tongue slightly in cheek and refer to this process for the rest of the post as “making yourself big.”
The phrase is intended to evoke imagery from the animal kingdom. Probably the most dramatic example of “make yourself big” is a puffer fish who, when threatened, balloons to many times its original size. But it’s pretty common throughout the animal kingdom from birds with ruffled feathers to cats with puffy Halloween tails. The animals react to adversity by creating the illusion (or reality, in the case of the puffer fish) of substantially more size.
When it comes to your how you display yourself to prospective employers, you want to make yourself big.
Before offering some specific tips on how to do this, I’ll speak to the general philosophy and the rules of the employer-candidate matchmaking came. And I mean that I’ll explain them in an honest, realpolitik sense. But prior to doing that, I’ll digress briefly into a realpolitik explanation of, well, US politics. Read More