Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Real World Job-hunting

As mentioned last week, in the next series of posts we'll examine what specific companies are looking for in their employees. We'll give you some Faking Smart! hints ...then you apply for a job and tell us how it goes.

Today we take a look at one of our country's venerable old companies. IBM. Here's a blurb from their website:

We've identified the core competencies that provide the foundation for an employee's professional growth at IBM. These foundational competencies establish a common standard of excellence across IBM for all employees. The IBM Foundational Competencies are:

* Adaptability
* Client Focus
* Taking Ownership
* Communication
* Drive to Achieve
* Teamwork & Collaboration
* Creative Problem Solving
* Passion for the Business
* Trustworthiness

Your Faking Smart! tip: Yes, IBM may be one of the biggest and oldest companies around, but don't let that intimidate you. If you show IBM that its "foundational competencies" are part of your "foundational" personality, you've got this job in the bag! Along with your standard application throw in an essay to raise HR eyebrows, and address each of your "competencies" in a way they will never forget. Here's an example of what your essay might contain:

* Adaptability: Tell them about your vacation to Cancun last spring break and how quickly you adjusted to the change of climate.

* Client Focus: Do you wear glasses? If you don't you may want to get a pair. Glasses make you look 63% smarter, and mentioning this will earn an HR nod of approval.

* Taking Ownership: Tell them about the things you own. The more things, the better, in this case.

* Communication: Who do you talk to and how often is a topic you might want to bring up when you mention your "foundational competency" in communication. Remember, the more you talk the better, because you'll be doing a lot of it at IBM.

* Drive to Achieve: Do you drive to work every day? If so, tell them how long it takes for your commute ...and if you don't drive to work tell them about the food drive for charity you take part in annually.

* Teamwork & Collaboration: What sports are you involved in? Let them know your scoring average from last season (...and don't be afraid to bump up those totals slightly. Standard corporate exaggeration stands at around 23%.)

* Creative Problem Solving: NEVER admit you have any problems. If they press you during the interview tell them that you bite your nails.

* Passion for the Business: Get creative here and explain to them that the bigger the business is, the more passion you tend to have for it!

* Trustworthiness: Be honest. Write that you've never so much as stolen a post-it note from work. You may even want to bring up a story about returning your neighbor's lost dog or cat. Mentioning pets is a great way to gain emotional points.

So, there you have it. IBM here you come! Apply and tell us your story. We'll be eager to hear how well you did!


No comments: