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Weekly Review #55: Sidestepping gatekeepers, poorly converting blondes, and the best blog post times

I sat down with the very smart Jim Lussier this week for job advice – he had some poignant takes on ingratiating myself to decision-makers rather than gatekeepers.
  • Present yourself as exploring options, not expressly looking for a job. Otherwise they’ll put you in a ‘job bucket’, and that gets emptied to recruiters
  • Use your questions to show your domain knowledge. Ask them about XYZ problems they’re facing and how they’re solving them, what other needs they have. What’s keeping them up at night? Where is the company headed?
  • Don’t present yourself as a hammer, ask them how to buy a hammer.
  • The more they feel like they’re giving advice and being helpful, the farther away you’re from HR. Get a referral to anybody outside of HR.
  • When they ask you about yourself, answer along with questions on how that could fit into a company.
  • Ask theoretically. It’s not about what you think, it’s asking them what their thoughts are. Should I present myself like this? Would you be open to letting me try to show you how I can help? It’s all about diplomacy.
  • Write up the interview failures you’ve had so far, lead with them when asking for advice.

You may be familiar with A/B testing in SaaS, when websites test out different configurations in order to find which layout makes you buy more. Apprently the person wearing the model underwear can affect conversions as well, so there should be no surprise that there’s a company that A/B tests lingerie models for you. Yikes. Turns out blondes don’t convert well…

Fun Stuff includes the Twisty Road Finder, which does what it says it does. Electric Objects is an advant garde idea – it’s a framed screen that can display your favorite internet picture, gif, or whatever tastefully in your home, rather like classic art. I love its rationale of ‘unlocking’ internet art.

Resources include CoSchedule (one of my new favorite blogs) with a big article on the best time to post blog articles – in general, looks like midmorning Monday and Tuesday are your best bets. Meanwhile, is an exhaustively compiled, artfully curated resource that looks helpful for every stage of the search. And Vero talks about why Airbnb does triggered email so well – its personalized, has friction free conversion, has similar listings, addresses concerns, and features micro calls to action.

Turns out Sandwich Video is behind half of the tech startup demo reels of the past few years – just look at their portfolio. It’s just a tad hilarious that the founder appears in each and every one – I’d compare him with Hitchcock or Tarantino except these things are 2 minutes long on average, so it comes off a bit arrogant, but he’s obviously doing well.