The top reason I was found by the best employers even without Internet

When I was younger,  fresh out of University on the first month of my second job, I realized that the second job was not as good as the employer said to be. A voice deep inside told me that something was not right and the move to the second job was not a right one. While I wasn’t too happy about the job, a guy just called me up one day and said he wanted me to work for him and would like to meet me to discuss about the job opportunity. I was skeptical and I did not know that there was such a thing called “head hunting” back then. I thought every job was acquired by submit resume to some job advertisement on newspaper and I wasn’t sure if I should meet some stranger who just called me up on the phone. Anyway, I thought I was only on the first month of my job and I should stay put for a bit longer. Therefore I have politely rejected the guy’s telephone call.

Anyway, on the second month on the job I realize that I had to move before the probation ends so I called the guy up. To cut the long story short (cause I want to skip all the silly and navie things happened in the process to protect my personal brand here on the opens space of internet), I got hired by the guy and started a 4 years of the most happy job experience before I move back from Canada to Hong Kong to continue my career.

At that time, 30 years ago, how did a guy find me without Internet? Yes, the process was rather inefficient and required a lot more on chance and serendipity. However, it really underscore the importance of how one has seize the opportunity, when it presents itself, with an outstanding Resume.

A week on the new job, I asked my boss how did he find my telephone number to call me? He said he got my resume from a business partner whom I have applied for a job. He was chatting with his partner in his office about needing to find some civil engineer who possessed great computer skill. His partner, just so happened to have a deck of resumes on his desk, offer my boss to pick some from the deck. My boss immediate noticed my resume because I had a red triangle paper wrapper covering the corner staple on my resume. Yes, I was really fussy about look and feel of my resume down to the fonts I used on the very nice linen paper back then. I had spent so much effort in making sure the resume looked nice and good and it couldn’t be ruined by the ugly looking staple on the corner. So I wrapped it with a small piece of red paper to make it looking much like a legal document, which I thought meant “professionalism”.


And it’s that red triangle paper wrapper that got my boss attention and picked my resume out from the deck. And that wrapper also communicated to my boss my attention to details and my shameless gut to differentiate myself from the rest of the relative typical civil engineers.

Today, we have all the Social Media Network such as LinkedIn, Facebook and even your personal  Blog,  to allow our profile to be found by employers and recruiters. While the access is much easier, the look and feel of the resume would have been “standardized” to a typical LinkedIn Profile or Facebook Profile. The challenge to stand out from others, I believe, also increased quite a lot since we cannot use the little tricks of better paper or red corner wrapper. But on the positive side, there are, still, many ways to standout from the rest of the crowd with doing proper content on your social media accounts to brand yourself from even a deeper and more meaningful level than my little skin deep formatting tricks.

So please give it some thoughts on how to brand yourself for your next best job and do think careful what you should write on your social media accounts.


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