My tips for finding a new job

Alright – let us first start with the good part – I managed to find a new job even in this job market ๐Ÿ™‚

The bad part – it took me close to 4 months (Feb – May) and countless interviews to finally land this job. True, I was being picky on the type and nature of the job – but there is no overlooking the fact that this is a tough economy and good jobs are just hard to come by.

Anyway, this post is not about the economy. Rather, this is about sharing some of my tips that I learned over the past few months and which I thought were quite relevant for finding a new job.ย  Most of these were very handy tools for me while job searching and the more tools you have, the better positioned you are in this economy.

So, here are some tips in no particular order:

(1). Update your LinkedIn profile – this is just no-brainer in today’s economy. It does not matter whether you are in technology or in manufacturing or in liberal arts, make sure you have a LinkedIn profile with your most recent experience updated. If possible, try to get a couple of recommendations from people who matter most. It is no secret that potential employers today do take a look at the candidate’s LinkedIn profile. Consider that to be your online resume.

(2). Keep your resume up-to date and crisp (if possible have a .doc and .txt format – even now, there is no consistency from employers!). In my interview experience, I rarely found employers talk about my experience past the 1st page. So, keep it short (2 pages) and keep it crisp. Highlight the skills that you think would be super essential for the job that you are applying. If you really want to, make multiple copies of the resume – one for every industry that you are applying for. For example, I had 1 resume for Mobile, 1 for Internet Advertising, 1 for Social, 1 for VoIP etc.

(3). Ditto for Cover Letters.

(4). If you have the time, then invest in having a web site to highlight your professional expertise. If you want to take the easy way out, then you could have a Blog where you could write about (professional) things that you are passionate about. Believe it or not, this had helped me in one of my interviews @ Yahoo! ๐Ÿ™‚

(5). Meet / talk to people outside your company – in other words, Network. I was always lax in doing this before – but my experiences this time have shown how valuable a tool this is. It is through many of my friends that I managed to get my foot into the door of many companies that would typically not even want to talk to me on just seeing my resume. Also – some of my ex-colleagues gave me valuable tips and insights into what was going on in the industry. In short – this helps!- also, the important thing is to maintain this trend even after you have found the job.This also helps you from becoming a frog-in-the-well and helps you to understand what is happening around you.

(6). Read about the companies / industries that matter to you most on a daily basis – this is super easy today with the growth of RSS readers. My morning coffee is incomplete without getting a dose of techmeme or techcrunch ๐Ÿ™‚ – it really shows in the interviews that you care not only about this company but also about the industry and are genuinely interested in the work that is going on. Talking about Techmeme, there is a good article in NYT about its usefulness – i cannot agree more.

(7). Most employers will give you the names of the interviewers before hand – so, it helps if you do a quick background info check about them (using LinkedIn of course). This helps you to get an idea of the type of questions that the interviewer is likely to ask – if it does not work out in that way, you can always steer the discussion to a topic that you think will reverberate with the interviewer … anything to earn brownie points!

(8). Don’t be late for interviews – if possible try to arrive ~ 15 minutes early. It gives you time to adjust to the surroundingsย  and also take a rest room break before you start off. The more your mind is at calm, the better your chances of doing well.

(9). At the end of the interview, make sure you know what the next steps are – typically the hiring manager will say that (s)he will follow up within a week’s time. If that does not happen, it is perfectly normal to follow up and ask about the status. This also shows to the employer that you are really interested in the job. Also, don’t forget to get the email address of each interviewer so that you could send a thank you email to each of them.

(10). Salary negotiations – well, that is a topic for a different post ๐Ÿ™‚ – but if you have reached this far, then you have done well in your interviews so far.ย  My only tip for Salary negotiations is neither appear too greedy nor too satisfied with is offered in the initially. Remember that it is an initial offer and employers expect that you would negotiate.

I am sure you all might have some other tips as well – feel free to add it to the comments section. Hope these are useful to all of you in some way or the other.

Good luck.

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Checked out of Yahoo! today

Today was my last working day @ Yahoo! (read this) – so, at the end of the day, I had to return my laptop, my RSA key and lastly my very own badge:

Bye – bye Yahoo! – thanks for the great times and lovely memories.

Adios,

Thyaga

Moving on from Yahoo!

Last Friday, I gave my 2-week notice of resignation @ Yahoo! – it has been a fruitful 3.5 years at Yahoo!, where I have had the privilege of working with some of the smartest people I have ever met and launching products that I am incredibly proud of.

One of the best things of being a Product person in a company like Yahoo! is that the scale of adoption of products is not in thousands but in millions – so, you know VERY soon whether your product is a hit (e.g. Facebook Like) or needs some serious work (e.g. Google Buzz) . Also, since products are usually global in nature, one can also experience some unique situations where a product takes off in the US market but has very little or no traction in other markets (e.g. Y! Messenger in Europe) and vice-versa (e.g. Orkut in India/Brazil)

At Yahoo! Messenger, I have worked on some very interesting product features such as voice and video communications which I sincerely believe will shape the next wave of real-time communications in the future. In my new role at Cisco-Webex, I hope to extend my learning in the real-time communications space to the collaboration and conferencing space as well.

I am quite excited about this new opportunity at Cisco-Webex, also known as the Collaboration Software Group within Cisco. Communication, conferencing, collaboration and social over the cloud for enterprises is a fast-growing market. To understand more about Cisco’s collaboration cloud strategy, read this and this.

Although my last day of work @ Yahoo! is on May 28th, I am fairly certain that I will wear purple even after that. Before I take on my new gig, I am taking a couple of weeks off from work – I hope to unwind, listen to music, read some books, catch up on sleep (important :)), play with my little one – in summary, just chill during those 2 weeks.

The job-search / interview process was quite long and strenuous – I guess, the market is still not back to its best yet – add to it the countless people who are still in the market and looking for a job. For me, sleep in the last few months was indeed a luxury :). In the end, I would like to thank my countless friends/colleagues/ex-colleagues (you all know who you are) who have helped me in my job search in so many ways – I shall be incredibly grateful to you all.

Cheers,

Thyaga

Vote for the best IM client for 2009

Instant Messaging is now a part of everyday life – no matter where you stay or what you do, it is quite often that you are hooked on to one of the many IM clients available. Now is the chance to have your voice heard – vote for the best IM client for 2009 here.

Go Yahoo!

Cheers,

Thyaga

Apple’s iPhone 3G

As you can well imagine, i have been playing around with the iPhone 3G quite a bit over the past few days. No questions that the iPhone is definitely one of the most cherished electronics gadget i have ever bought / owned :). Having said that, here is my initial review of the phone:

(1). The touch screen is very cool – doesn’t take too much time to get used to. However, typing anything by “tapping” into the touch screen will take time, especially if you have thick fingers like me :).

(2). The native Application such as You Tube, Y! Weather, Y! Finance etc are great but they do not use your online settings. For example, I had created multiple portfolios created in Y! Finance but there is no way to import them into the native Application.

(3). Using 3G / Wi-Fi often consumes a lot of battery ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

(4). 3G is not fast at all places, but it is definitely better than having no connection ๐Ÿ™‚

(5). What makes the iPhone really cool are the APPs that can be downloaded into the phone – either FREE or paid. Some of the popular FREE APPs that I have tried are the Facebook (cool), LOOPT (did not work for me), YELP (good), WHERE (good) APPs.

Do you know of any good APPs that you have used? – e.g. IM, VOIP ?

More later,

Thyaga

Happy Diwali

Wish you and your family a very very HAPPY DIWALI. May your coming year be happy, successful and sparkling with lights.

To celebrate this occasion, Yahoo! Voice has a promotion going on right now – you can call India for 4.9 cents / min today (8th) and tomorrow (9th). More details on the promotion including exact timings are on the Promotion page

If you have not tried Yahoo! Voice, then this is a great time to try it out :).

If you have any feedback / comments / suggestions, please feel free to send it along to me – I would appreciate it.

HAPPY DIWALI !

— Thyaga

Vote for Y! Messenger for Webware 100 awards

Y! Messenger has been chosen as a finalise in the Communications category of the Webware 100 awards from CNET – HOORAY !!! ;-). You can vote here till June 11th.

— Thyaga