Q. I saw a YOU ASKED question about an interviewee who was asked for her Facebook page and to friend the potential employer. I didn't get to read all of your answer - did you advise HOW to handle this situation? It would be great to know what to say when in this position.
Thanks for writing. I'm not familiar with that particular question but if a potential employer, recruiter or hiring manager asks to "friend" you on FB - DO NOT DO IT!!! It's okay to get connected through LinkedIn as a professional network but do not fall into the trap of friending a potential employer, boss or even co-worker since they are clearly NOT your friend. If asked, tell them that you have a FB page reserved for friends and family only and do not include employers or prospective employers in that group. Tell them you'd be happy to get connected through LinkedIn however and offer to send them an invite.
Q. I see many ads where the employer states the rate and the hours and then states it is a "contract" position. Isn't this illegal, especially if the position has a direct supervisor? Obviously, if I mention that this should be an EMPLOYER position in an interview, I would be overlooked for the position, so what is the best way to handle this?
As for your second question, it is not illegal to state whether a position is "contract" vs. "full time" or to state what the hours or rate of pay is for the position. It does not matter whether the position has a supervisor overseeing the job as that does not qualify an illegal business practice. IF the employer is trying to substitute a contractor for a full time position to avoid paying benefits, etc., then yes there could be a perception of a discriminatory hiring practice unless there is a legitimate business reason for hiring a contractor over someone full time, i.e., the job is seasonal, it's for a project basis, etc.
Q. Do companies tend to hire only sales people with related sales experience in the entertainment industry or will they consider hiring people with no direct commercial or advertising sales experience?
In my experience, depending on the level of sales position you are applying for, hiring professionals will usually require direct sales experience related to the industry. If you have general sales experience and are applying for an entry level position, most companies would be willing to pay to train you on the products and services the company is offering. Generally and if the company is seeking to hire more experienced sales people, they will want the prospective candidates to have direct industry related experience. It's not that a good sales person can't sell anything. I believe that sales is such a relationship driven business and is based on the quality and quantity of your relationships, that's it essential to develop a good client base in order to succeed in the position. Developing your relationships whether they are clients or prospects can help you leverage your ability to move up and over to more challenging sales opportunities if you are in the market.
Q. How do I convey, on a resume, that my skills are transferable to a new position?
Depending on what your skills are and what profession you are either in or are looking to move into, will determine how transferable your skills are. Obviously if you are a nurse and are looking to move into entertainment as a writer or producer, it's going to be a stretch. Unless of course you are looking to write for "House" you might be able to spin it. Generally, if you have finance, marketing, business development or sales skills you can easily find a way to market yourself so that you can apply for jobs that are delivering results in very quantitative ways. Every company is looking for someone who can 1) increase revenue; 2) drive results; or 3) manage expenses. If you can find ways to highlight your ability to do anyone of those things in the skills you possess then you have found a way to market and transfer your skills appropriately. Citing specific examples in what you did to increase revenue, drive distribution, market share or product development and to streamline and cut over-head and expenses will allow you to position yourself in a desirable way that no company, regardless of the level of position you are applying for, will want to turn away. Most skills are transferable it's how you manage to spin what you did and find a commonality that any employer would see you as an asset regardless of your title.
Q. How does one become a consultant, and what is the most efficient way of letting people know of your expertise?
The term "consultant" use to be code for "unemployed" or "in-transition." Now with unemployment still at an all time high, more and more senior level executives are finding consulting a desired and often times lucrative career choice. To become a consultant you have to have an expertise in a particular area that sets you apart from the rest. Consultants typically will have in excess of 15 years work experience and would have worked for many companies both public and private and will possess a proven track record in delivering results within a specific period of time. Most consultants create a website and have a bio, much like a press release, outlining the companies they've provided services to and the types of quantitative results they have delivered. Building your LinkedIn profile with SEO friendly terms will also help drive visibility and networking your expertise to the industry you are serving. Whether you are a marketing, programming or business executive you can promote your expertise by serving on boards and in speaking on panels in order to promote and advertise your expertise and availability for hire.. The term consultant does not hold the negative connotation it once did and more and more experienced executives are opting for roles which allow them to use their expertise directly and to develop a list of competitive clients that only serves to make them more marketable. Being a consultant does not mean you are unemployed and can't find work. Choosing to be a consultant allows you to be more flexible in your work assignments, pick and choose the people you would like to work for and gives you the freedom to work at the rate you feel you deserve. Being a consultant is good work if you can get it!