Friday, 5 August 2011

Newsletter Issue 205, August 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 205, August 2011

Hi guys,

We have a look at what some people consider "Extreme" Job Search to be, below.

Is Privatising ACC contrary to... anything? As we contracted out of our right to sue, can we privatise? Should we? 

Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

"Extreme" Job Search?

Patrick Kingsley of the UK's Guardian wrote an article in June entitled "How far would you go to get a job?".

He led off with the story of an Irishman, returned from his OE but unable to find work in Ireland, who used his life savings of €2000 to put up a giant billboard asking for a job - and is now a communications executive with Irish betting group Paddy Power. Kinglsey followed up with the tale of a UK comedy producer with a narrative CV which told 'his' story of how as a child he was the sole survivor of a plane crash in British Columbia, was rescued and raised by wolves before making it back to the UK as a late-teenager; and landed a TV job partly on the strength of it.

Kingsley went on to relate two other incidences; a UK jobseeker posted 200 poster-sized CVs around Hull (and was fined!), and a Viennese media student is persuading her followers to forward a Twitter hashtag "#Hire[name]" to aid her London advertising job search (securing four interviews thus far).

Interestingly, these 'extreme' ideas aren't really extreme. Job seekers have used suitable communication channels in order to reach their chosen audience; a billboard for a communications job; a spoof comedy CV to get a laugh; and viral social media to find a promotional opening. While random placing of posters would not be good PR; pasting to noticeboards near targeted places of employment would be.

With so much media saturation, all of us have a heighted awareness of what constitutes good branding, PR and promotion. The difference is that individuals are increasingly using corporate tactics and technology. Young job seekers have the expertise to make promo films, DVDs, desktop publishing, social media and the nous to use new technologies like QR codes; as well as the tech-savvy networks to have their actions go viral.

Kingsley suggested that this was "extreme job-hunting"; 'desperate' measures taken by graduates to make their job applications stand out from the crowd. However, Richard Bolles, of "What Color is my Parachute" fame, has always taken the line that when job hunting, we must appropriately stand out from the crowd.

When trying to stand out from the crowd, there are several considerations. They are:

  1. Know your audience & develop your 'campaign' to suit the audiences' point of view.
  2. Use a channel that will get your audience's attention. Channels include distributed marketing (social media - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, podcasts, blogs; print media - posters, billboards, flyers, CVs; film - DVD, YouTube, QR code links; in-person marketing - door to door selling, street theatre, walking sandwichboards) and direct marketing (harvesting network-contacts and emailing/mailing targeted offers to selected employers; research interviews; appointment & targeted presentations to a selected employer; specialist targeted CVs; or any distributed marketing channel targeted at a certain employer).
  3. Be yourself & show YOUR personality within your channel, so when the employer meets you, they don't get any surprises.
  4. Be simple, clear, & direct in your communication. Know your message; your brand; your unique selling-point; and what you want to say.
  5. Don’t lie or mislead.

Remember that you are aiming to get your prospective employer to take action. To do that, use the PR tool of AIDA (Morgan & Summers, 2005):

  • A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
  • I - Interest: raise customer interest by demonstrating features, advantages, and benefits.
  • D - Desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
  • A - Action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.

The techniques talked about here are not extreme. They are common sense when you are looking for work, and careful consideration and adoption of them will only improve your chances of getting your dream job.


Bolles, Richard N. (2011). What Color is Your Parachute? USA: Ten Speed Press

Kingsley, Patrick (2011, 17 July). How far would you go to get a job? UK: The Guardian. Retrieved 7 August 2011 from
Morgan, Melissa Johnson, & Summers, Jane (2005). Sports Marketing. Australia: Thomson

Privatising ACC contrary to...?

Don Rennie, a Wellington Lawyer, sent a letter to the editor of the Listener, which was published in the August 6th issue.
If, as recent opinion polls suggest, we end up with a National-led government for the next three years, the new administration will no doubt claim it has a mandate to privatise ACC and sell off other state assets.
The issue is whether private insurers, or any third party, should ever be given the responsibility of determining cover and delivering statutory entitlements to injured people who have lost their legal right to sue to recover damages for their injuries. As the law has always stated, that is the responsibility of the ACC.
The ACC is not insurance. It is a unique scheme in a common law legal environment where the right to sue to recover damages for personal injury suffered by accident has been abolished and replaced with a statutory system that gives every accident victim cover and statutory entitlements on proof of accidental injury. Cover and entitlements are not dependent on payment of a levy or premium. They cannot be "purchased" by employers for their employees, by self-employed people or by anybody else.
Insurance law is based on contract that states the circumstances under which cover is given, the entitlements available and the conditions applicable, which include the payment of (usually) an annual premium. Cover only applies if the premium is paid and runs for the period covered by the premium.
The ACC has a statutory duty to determine cover and deliver entitlements to accident victims. That duty should not be delegated to insurance companies or any other third party exposed to the business vicissitudes of the private sector. One need only look at recent experience in Australia with the Palmdale, Bishopsgate and HIH Insurance company failures and of AMI in New Zealand to see what can happen to claimants.
There can be no advantage to accident victims for whom the ACC scheme was established to allow the statutory cover and entitlements to be determined and delivered by private-sector organisations that are vulnerable to failure for commercial reasons, are in business for the purpose of making a profit and are not answerable to Parliament.
Mr Rennie makes an extremely valid point.
We Kiwis did indeed contract out of our right to sue in the case of accidents. We did so because companies with deep pockets could afford to keep claimants tied up in litigation until the claimants ran out of money to pursue matters, and were forced to give up. It so deeply offended our Kiwi sense of fair play that we determined to institute a government-run comprehensive accident and illness cover which would ensure all New Zealanders would be looked after from the cradle to the grave.
Unfortunately, when we rolled the accident portion of the scheme out, it proved so costly that we couldn't afford the illness part; and indeed still can't. Which does not alter the fact that by privatising the system yet again, we are going to end up with claims that are neither flesh nor fowl... and insurance at present is extremely pricey.
Something to keep firmly in mind coming up to election time.
  • Editor (6 August 2011). Letters to the Editor: Privatising ACC. NZ: The Listener (pp. 8-9).

Counting Rows in a Filtered Excel Sheet

If you have applied an autofilter in Excel, and want to know how many items you have returned on your filtered data, you can use the Subtotal function.
I tend to put my sum functions at the top of my data, so I can always see the sums, so I would insert the following into Row 1 (with my header row in row 2, and my data starting in row 3):
'xx' is the last numbered row in your data. The '2' at the beginning of the function is the operation we want to run on the visible cells. Operation 2 is Count. If you wanted to change this function to perform a sum or an average in the row, use 9 and 1 respectively.
Isn't that easy :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • QR, Quick Response code. A specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR readers; when you pass eg an iPhone over a QR code on a poster, it will run code on your phone. Perhaps download a film or music clip, enter you in a prize draw, or activate the process of sending you a free product sample.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl and Z:
  • Access, Excel, Explorer, Frontpage, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Windows, Word  "Undo last action (NB: some actions, like Shutdown, cannot be undone)" Ctrl & Z
  • Frontpage "Remove manual formatting " Ctrl & Shift & Z
  • IE "Display a list of zoom percentages" Alt & Z
  • Outlook "Clear formatting" Ctrl & Shift & Z
  • Outlook "Zoom" Alt & Z
  • Word "Go back to previous location while working" Alt & Ctrl & Z
  • Word "Reset Char" Ctrl & Shift & Z

Hot Linx
For the workplace just now considering reducing the management process, check out
HBR's Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople, based on 1,000 salesperson tests using the Big Five personality traits can be viewed at
Carol Kinsey Goman's latest insight into the Body Language of “Horrible Bosses” at
The March 2011 Gender Equity in the Workplace Summit, organised by AHRI and UN Women Australia, has published a report on their findings at It makes interesting reading.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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