|By Shelly Palmer||
|August 17, 2014 09:19 PM EDT||
Maureen McDonnell could use a solid reference right about now.
Instead, the former first lady of Virginia is on trial for corruption alongside her husband, former Governor Bob McDonnell.
The two are accused of accepting gifts from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., a well-to-do businessman, in exchange for promoting Williams’ dietary supplement, Anatabloc.
Oh, and this one: Who had the worst week in Washington? Maureen McDonnell.
So many damaging testimonies Maureen could go without.
You know what?
Your own character witnesses – reference letters – also don’t do you any good.
You know why?
They are predictable and useless in your job search.
Let me explain.
The line below — or something similar — probably graces every one of your reference letters:
“I had the privilege of working with [YOUR NAME] and believe he/she is one of the most promising young people I have ever met.”
Sorry to break it to you, but other applicants have nearly identical reference letters. That’s because everyone writes cookie-cutter endorsements full of flowery compliments but lacking in specifics.
The employer, in turn, reads letter after letter that looks and sounds the same. The bottom line? You, the reference person and the employer go through the motions but no one benefits. The silly little game needs to stop, and here’s how it can:
Ask the reference person to tell an actual story about you.
No one cares about your work ethic unless they understand HOW you work hard. A short story about success on the job will impress an employer more than anything else.
In your request, include this line:
“In your letter, it would be great if you reference a moment or situation where I proved myself or demonstrated my work ethic. The more specific, the better.”
In fact, if you know the moment you want the person to discuss, flat out ask for it.
“For instance, you can write about the time I stayed at work until 11 pm to make sure we finished the project in time for the big presentation the next morning.”
Suddenly, your reference letter is no longer a forgettable piece of paper. It’s a powerful document which relays a memorable story about your track record.
“I had the privilege of working with [YOUR NAME] and believe she is one of the most promising young people I have ever met. In fact let me tell you a short story about her. The day before a big presentation…”
Big difference, right? (This is also why your cover letter should also include a personal anecdote.)
Not only will employers read the “short story” reference letter — as opposed to skimming a boring one in five seconds – but it might even push your application to the top. Remember: the other job seekers provided flavorless, colorless recommendations.
You jump off the page with a career snapshot that speaks volumes about your character.
It’s the kind of testimony Maureen McDonnell, persona non grata in Virginia, can only dream about.
It’s the kind you should have in your arsenal right now.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,682
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,299
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,944
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,436
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,269
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Oct. 23, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 843
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Oct. 23, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 9,644
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
Oct. 23, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 939
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 23, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 590
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
Oct. 23, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 988
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Oct. 23, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 10,957
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
Oct. 23, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,815
Today every business relies on software to drive the innovation necessary for a competitive edge in the Application Economy. This is why collaboration between development and operations, or DevOps, has become IT’s number one priority. Whether you are in Dev or Ops, understanding how to implement a DevOps strategy can deliver faster development cycles, improved software quality, reduced deployment times and overall better experiences for your customers.
Oct. 23, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 713
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
Oct. 23, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,034
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
Oct. 23, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,653