Job Seekers’ Seminar on “Creating Your Great Elevator Pitch” on 12/3

13 11 2015

Hello Everyone,

There is a great Job Seekers’ seminar coming up on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

This seminar is sponsored by CSIX Connect, which is a terrrific job search and networking group for which I have a lot of admiration. CSIX’s founder, Hamid Saadat, was kind enough to share his job search expertise with the KIT List community on one of the TV programs I hosted, called “Get That Job!” If you’d like to see the YouTube video of the show, and hear Hamid’s sage advice along with another HR hiring expert, Tom Brouchoud, Head of Talent Acquisition at EMC and former Director of Global Talent at Sandisk. You can watch it at:

Please pass this information on to other friends who want to create an effective Elevator Pitch that will attract the right job to them!



CSIX logo
Job Seekers’ Seminar

Your Elevator Pitch: Making Your ’30-second Commercial’ Really Work for You!
Thursday, December 3, 2015
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Saratoga Federated Church
Richards Hall, located at 20390 Park Place
Saratoga, CA 95070

The cost to attend this meeting is $10 — cash only, no checks or credit cards. The fee covers program, lunch, tax, and tip.

RSVP at the CSIX Meetup site:

Dee Marik

Delores Marik Ph.D.

The Job Seekers’ seminar will be part of CSIX Connect’s regular weekly meeting. It will be presented by another great friend of mine, Delores (Dee) Marik Ph.D., with whom I had the pleasure of working when I was consulting at Hewlett-Packard. Dee now has her own coaching practice — and I can tell you from personal experience how great she is in career coaching and resume advice since she gave me excellent feedback on my own resume! You can find out more about Dee and her coaching work at

This seminar will focus on your Elevator Pitch, also known as “Your 30-second commercial.” Dee will discuss what an elevator pitch is, why you need one, and when you should use it, and how to make it work best. Plus, there will be an opportunity for you to create and practice your elevator pitch during the meeting.

The CSIX weekly meeting agenda is as follows:

10:00 – 10:30   Arrival of attendees, check-in, open networking
10:30 – 10:40
   Meeting starts, new member introductions
10:40 – 10:55
   Job leads, contact requests, announcements, etc.
10:55 – 11:10
   Open networking
11:10 – 12:00
   Speaker presentation
12:00 – 1:00
     Lunch and table networking

CSIX Connect is a Silicon Valley job searchers’ networking and support group that meets every Thursday at 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  If you are actively looking for a job, it’s a smart idea to join them on a regular basis!

For further information about CSIX Connect, including information about parking restrictions and future programs, please visit

Job Fair in San Jose next Wednesday, November 4th

30 10 2015

Hi Everyone,

I want to share news about job fairs, networking events, and other free career resources that are available in the greater Bay Area and beyond. If you hear of something, please email me and I will share it with our KIT List community!

It’s really worth it to go to job fairs, since I can speak from personal experience — I found a job myself early in my career at a job fair. Meeting the HR teams personally is a tremendous advantage. 20130711-153337.jpg

So, put on your best professional attire, print out a bunch of resumes, give yourself a positive pep talk for confidence building, put a smile on your face and…GO!!!

There are a series of job fairs coming up through HIREevent in San Jose (11/4), San Francisco (12/7), Modesto (11/17), and Sacramento (12/8). The full list can be found at

Here are the details for the San Jose job fair:

Silicon Valley HIREevent
Wednesday, November 4th
Noon – 4:00 PM
Biltmore Hotel
2151 Laurelwood Road
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Even if you think you may be too senior to go to some of these events, I always think it’s worth it to just get out and interact with new groups of people with whom you’d never have exposure. Also, the companies there have jobs all levels, so you just never know what might be the perfect fit for you!

If you aren’t an extroverted type of person (and even extroverts feel uncomfortable at these types of events, by the way!) grab a friend for mutual moral support and make the effort to go.

Half the advantage of doing this is simply getting out of the house. If you are in between opportunities, it’s always important to just…get…out!

Take advantage of the many opportunities for networking groups and professional organizations to get exposure to people in your particular field. It’s worth it to go to the lunch or dinner for your local professional business organization.

A different way to look at networking 

I firmly believe in the concept of what I call “Friendworking” since I am not fond of the word networking. Like most people, I feel uncomfortable with usual way of networking, even though most people would consider me an extrovert. In truth, everyone feels uncomfortable and awkward at these types of events, and I somehow felt that it seemed self-serving.

I found a way to turn it around in my own mind so that I could feel authentic and really tap into the true power of helping people. It creates this magical momentum that actually ends up attracting good things for yourself as well.

The idea of Friendworking is to go instead with an attitude of “I’m going to go there to help and connect others.” It puts you in a stronger role of a host, looking out for others and making THEM feel more comfortable, introducing them to other people at the event, and having a “What can I do to help YOU?” attitude. This actually changes your demeanor and body language, and you’ll actually feel more relaxed! I wrote more about it in a previous blog post:

Try out the concept of Friendworking yourself, and remember that even in a room full of strangers…that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet!

Have some fun with the process, go with an attitude of helping others, and see what happens!



It’s Worth it to Reply to Job Postings!

15 10 2015

The phrase Go For It in red text on a yellow sticky note posted on a green notice boardHi Everyone,

You don’t see the emails we get from people who’ve landed jobs from the KIT List, so I want to encourage you to keep up your efforts. It really is WORTH it!

In fact, with the new KIT List web site that’s in final development, I’ll have a Testimonials section where you can read quotes from our KIT List recruiters and employers who’ve hired great people — and from job seekers who’ve landed jobs that will help keep you inspired!

I know it can be discouraging when you’re in the job-search mode. I also hear many job seekers worry that their resumes go into a black hole when they reply to jobs on the web. On the big sites, that can be true.

With the KIT List, there’s a big difference:

  • Your email goes directly to the recruiter or hiring person who posted the job.
  • Since we purposely don’t market the KIT List, the people on the KIT List have been referred by another friend or colleague. This has kept the quality of the people on the list high as top people refer other talented people.
  • Since we’re smaller than the huge job boards, you’re not one of hundreds replying to a job and getting sorted via a software screening program, so your response will be seen by a real person.

For that reason, it’s also important to take the time to write even a brief cover note when you reply to a KIT List job.

Don’t Overlook the Power of a Good Cover Letter

Over the years, I’ve seen people blow their chance to make a good impression either by not including a cover note at all, or by writing the following:

  • “Is this job still open?” Of course it is, they just posted it!
  • “What’s the rate (or salary)?” Please don’t do that! Instead, show your interest and value to them first. Save the salary query until the interview, and better yet, let them bring it up!
  • “Here’s my resume”

Tips for Your Cover Letter

I’ve talked to many recruiters over the years, and even had them as panelists at KIT List events and on the KIT List TV Show. Some recruiters don’t really look at cover letters, but you’d be surprised that so many actually do! Don’t run the risk of getting weeded out by not having a cover letter when it’s a recruiter or hiring manager who DOES care about a cover letter.

Your cover letter can be brief, but these are a few things that you should include:

  • Something stating your interest in the role
  •  The actual job title since they are likely hiring for multiple roles
  • A few bullets from your experience that pertain to the key requirements listed in the job description
  • Make sure you do not have any typos or grammatical errors
  • Include a nice closing statement
  • Your name and a good number to reach you

Avoid These Other Common Mistakes

It’s also a mistake is to reply to a job for which you are not remotely a fit. You don’t have to be a perfect match with all the requirements, but some people get a bad reputation for replying to just any job. Stay on focus and you’ll be a stronger candidate.

Another mistake is that you get put off by a long list of requirements and you don’t feel like you’re an exact fit. Job descriptions can be unintentionally misleading if it’s been cut and pasted from many other job posts, or if the person writing it didn’t research it well with the hiring manager. I’ve asked recruiters and they said that if you’re a 75% to 80% match with the job requirements to GO FOR IT! Don’t disqualify yourself prematurely.

Don’t get disheartened during the job search process. You never know what effort will be the one that will connect you with the right job. Keep at it, make a great impression with a good cover letter, and we hope you find a job you love soon!

SGI Reunion next Wednesday, 9/23!

16 09 2015

Hi everyone,

You may already know that the genesis of the KIT List was my personal “keep in touch” email list of my friends at Silicon Graphics. Now Google resides in our cool headquarters. Wow, time goes fast!

Many SGIers are still on this list as they’ve moved to other companies. In fact, they’re the whole reason the KIT List turned from my personal email list to a job opportunities email list. It grew just by word-of-mouth to what I jokingly call “72,000 of my closest friends!”

I’d like to make sure we reach all SGI folks (employees and consultants like me!) so they know about this year’s reunion.

I’m sorry! This is not a KIT List event, it’s just for SGI present and past employees, consultants and contractors. But I’ll do a KIT List event on another date!20130719-134939.jpg

Wednesday, 9/23
The Patio
412 Emerson
Palo Alto
5:30 – 9:30 PM

Please RSVP so The Patio can staff up for the night:

Also, please help me by passing the word to other SGI folks so we don’t miss anyone!

Thanks so much,


Free Phone Interview Preparation for Women on 9/16

4 09 2015

Hello Everyone,

The Silicon Valley and Bay Area are quite robust with free and low-cost career and job resources.

One upcoming event is worth attending since so much of the job search process depends on successful phone interviews before you ever meet the team in person. It’s always a smart idea to keep those skills fresh, especially if it’s been a while since your last search, or to pick up some essential tips if you don’t feel you project your best over the phone.

This event is being conducted free-of-charge by the experts at CareerGenerations in a unique spot in Palo Alto called Deborah’s Palm Women’s Center.

The details are below and feel free to share this with other women who’d benefit from this free training!



Free Phone Interview TYoung businesswoman outside on phone with digital tablet in handraining for Women

Wednesday, Sept. 16

5:30 – 7:00pm

Deborah’s Palm Women’s Center 

555 Lytton Avenue

Palo Alto, CA  94301

Parking is available behind the house (cross streets are Webster & Cowper) at 555 Everett Court.

Employers are starting the interview process with the often challenging “phone screen.” Come and find out how you can best prepare yourself for these meetings so you can move on in the interview process as smoothly and quickly as possible!

The session is free, but pre-registration is required. Light refreshments provided.

Join this fun, interactive session where you’ll learn how to leverage your strengths, distinguish yourself, and be more comfortable during phone interviews.

No cost. Pre-registration is required.

Please note this session is for women only.

To Register, please click here. 

If you have problems with the link, below is the full URL:

About Deborah’s Palm:
Deborah’s Palm is a non-profit organization offering all women a place to unwind, connect with others, discover new options, and restore a sense of well-being. In a warm and welcoming environment, women can find encouragement and support via professional counseling, access to resources, activities, classes, mentoring and community service projects.

Meeting this Saturday: “Getting a Job in the Digital Age: The Anti-Advice Talk” by Noted Anthropologist

12 05 2015

Hi Everyone,

There’s a great event coming up this Saturday by our friends with the Career Actions Network, which is a remarkable organization through MPPC (Menlo Park Presbyterian Church), that provides free services to help get people connected into jobs.

Presented by an anthropologist, Ilana Gershon, who was a visiting professor at Stanford, this is relevant information to those who want to change jobs (not only people who lost their jobs, but also the employed 50% who want to change jobs).

As a visiting professor at Stanford, Ilana spent last year researching job transition in Silicon Valley. She collaborated with the Career Actions Network while she was doing her research, and she is currently on their Advisory Board.

This is worth attending. Pass
the word and bring a friend!



MPPC Career Actions Meeting 5/16:
“Getting a Job in the Digital Age: The Anti-Advice Talk” by Noted Anthropologist

New Attendees pre-register here (its free):

Saturday, May 16

ODCMV Fellowship Hall at 1667 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View, CA


9:30am: Coffee/networking

9:55am Topic: Getting a Job in the Digital Age: The Anti-Advice Talk

Guest Speaker: Ilana Gershon

About the presentation:

What do you need to do to get a job in this digital age? Do you need a LinkedIn profile? Are hiring managers looking for your personal brand? Ilana Gershon is an anthropology professor at Indiana University who thought asking job seekers, hiring managers, recruiters and HR how hiring works might shed some insights into what is actually going on in contemporary US as hiring and the nature of work changes. She did a year of fieldwork in the Bay Area, trying to figure out what has changed about hiring since the 1980s. Find out what an anthropologist has to say about hiring these days.

About the speaker:

Ilana Gershon is a cultural anthropologist at Indiana University interested in how new media transforms highly-charged social tasks, such as breaking up or hiring in the United States. She has written about how people use new media to end romantic relationships in The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media. Her current research addresses how new media shapes hiring in post-recession U.S. companies.

In May or June, she will have a new edited collection of imagined career advice for real jobs around the world. If you want to know how to be a professional wrestler in Mexico or a magician in Paris, pick up a copy of A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs (Cornell University Press, 2015).

100 Scholarships for Girls to attend Summer STEM Program free. Deadline 4/1/15

27 03 2015

Hello Everyone,

At a great event I attended last night, Women of Influence, hosted by Tech In Motion, I heard from an impressive panel of women start-up founders and CEOs on a host of topics. But one that was clear is the vital need to encourage young girls to explore and feel confident in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

I also heard about a special program by ID Tech and that is providing 100 scholarships to young girls to attend the STEM Summer Program free of charge (at various locations nationwide).

NOTE: The deadline is 4/1 to apply!
Please see the details below.

Please help spread the word and share this with friends and parents of young girls and teens!

Thank you all,


20150327-161017.jpg100 Scholarships for Girls to Attend Summer STEM Program free

Application deadline 4/1/15

Girls can apply for a scholarship at

The world needs more girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). That’s why iD Tech has partnered with to give 100 girls scholarships to attend iD Tech Camps — free!

At this weeklong summer program, students ages 7-17 create mobile apps, design video games, mod with Minecraft, build robots, code with C++ and Java, produce movies, and more.

Programs are held at over 100 campuses nationwide.

In addition to iD Tech Camps for girls and boys ages 7-17, we also offer all-girls programs for ages 10-15, half-day camps for aspiring innovators ages 6-9, and 2-week, pre-college academies for teens ages 13-18.


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