If you follow my blog you probably know that my true and dearest sister, Rianna, moved to NYC without a job or a place to live (only a one-way plane ticket) at the end of August.
Wanting to help her succeed and really not knowing how, I did what I thought best: I dedicated a blog post to her telling all of the internet how amazingly talented she is and that everyone should befriend her.
The outpouring of niceness from New York residents surprised both of us. Yes, people all over New York actually invited her to meetups, lunch dates, and one generous soul even let her crash a few nights on her couch. To all of you who helped, I am grateful (even though secretly I hate you because you made her want to stay there even more instead of giving up and coming home to me).
But on to the cool stuff. Did it really get her job? The answer is YES (quite unexpectedly)!
My side of the story…
Rianna went on an interview one early September morning (September 9th) for a part-time position with Glenmark Realty. I remember her calling me right after the interview excited about the possibility of “this New York thing” working out because she thought the interview went really well (one of the few times she’s said that), loved the company culture, and David said he would get back to her by the end of the day.
Flash forward to 4:00pm that afternoon and she had the job. In David’s words, “because of your sister, so go thank her!”
A few weeks into her new job I called her boss up and asked him to give me the dirty details on what went through his head. Why should she thank me? What did I do? I’m a curious person by nature.
David’s side of the story…
David doesn’t do all that hardcore calling references & doing deep searches stuff. He’s a typical busy New Yorker as the COO of a commercial realty firm in lower Manhattan. He’s got to find quality people to work with in as little time as possible, so he has to use his gut feelings.
The job doesn’t require too many skills except to be a good person to work with, so he googled Rianna’s name, found the blog post I wrote about her, scanned it over for a few minutes and just “thought it was very sweet.”
“And if she has a good sister, a good relationship with her sister, then she must be a good person, and I want to hire a good person” David explained. He just wants good people in the office because they spend more time there than they do at home sometimes. It’s important to work with good, human people. That’s all.
When I asked if he considered anything else, he said, “it was all pure gut, really.”
There were other candidates, sure, but when he googled them there was nothing that stood out that he really cared about, whereas with Rianna he got an immediate gut feeling about her: good character.
When asked if he was impressed with her go-getter attitude, he just said that he was “very impressed that she was reading How to Win Friends & Influence People,” which he noticed she carried with her to the interview. “It’s a corny title, so lots of people don’t take it seriously, but it’s a really influential book.”
In fact, David said he reads it every year. It’s that important. He’s read it more than any other book. So the fact that Rianna happened to walk into his office carrying that book was almost a sign. (Had she not been reading it on the train on the way to her interview and had it out at the interview she may have lost those extra brownie points. It’s the subtle things, sometimes: things you can’t predict or ask about a person, but you just notice.)
Has it worked out for him so far? So far so good. He says!
“Oh, and make sure you read that book next, too” were his last words to me. Oh I will now!
Moral of the Story…
OBVIOUSLY the moral of the story here is that you have to have a good relationship with you sister to get a job, right? Sort of. I think David’s point is that your character counts when seeking a job in a small office. It’s so hard to determine what a person is like from a short 30 minutes seated in a room together grilling them with questions. And when an employer is really busy they’re probably not going to go straight to Facebook to look you up. The easiest way to see if someone has an online presence is to Google them. It’s so easy. If someone Googles your name and nothing comes up, well then you could be anyone. There’s nothing to go off of except the interview. If your employer Googles your name and finds proof that you’re a real human being, with a real family, a real sister who thinks she’s amazing, it can only help. Now you’re not just a resume, you’re a real human being. And even better: you’re a good person with good character.
Moral of the story: BE REAL!
I’m curious if anyone else has any stories about employers finding personal information about a candidate that eventually helped them get that job. If you have any stories, please share them in the comments!