Our team met with the former Yahoo! CEO in London for a brief catch-up on resumes, motherhood and the best ways for dealing with bad press. Few would take on the challenge of walking a mile in Marissa Mayer’s shoes. After five years as CEO of the troubled Internet behemoth, she is now taking her superwoman cape off and moving on to the next big thing. Her achievements as CEO (during her leadership, Yahoo! became one of three digital companies with over 1 billion users globally) and personal sacrifices for the company’s well-being (she only took a total of eight days off for the birth of her first son) are numerous. Yet, it is safe to say that Mayer is leaving a troubled legacy behind. From spending over $1 billion on the acquisition of Tumblr, which she herself called “poetic”, to failing to disclose the large-scale security breach, which affected over 500 million Yahoo! users – Mayer has had her fair share of cringe-worthy moments. The Enhancv team was inspired by Mayer’s ferocious ambition and in August 2016 we created and published her resume. It was a crucial force in enabling more users around the world to learn about our platform. Mayer’s resume was liked over 40K+ times on LinkedIn, without any paid advertisements. And the Business Insider article covering the story received 300K+ reads. Today, Enhancv boasts over 250K+ registered users from over 150 countries worldwide. This is why we were particularly excited for the opportunity to meet Mayer and thank her in person for the unknowing contribution she had to Enhancv’s success. Imagine how proud we felt when her face lit up with recognition and amusement as we introduced ourselves. “I know you, you did a great job with my resume! I loved it”, she said. We also had the chance to ask Mayer a few questions, which we are happy to share with you. Get an exclusive peek into the thoughts of the First Lady of the Internet! What was the biggest challenge you tackled at Yahoo? Definitely, it was returning the company to its original 1990s culture. The Silicon Valley tendency to combine business and fun has its roots in the work environment created by Yahoo!’s founders – Jerry and David. The idea that the corporate culture and brand of an enterprise can have a meaning larger than the business itself has in my view been one of the key ingredients to Yahoo!’s early success. The challenge which I faced when I joined as CEO, was to reboot the original culture, while also encouraging Yahoo! employees to spend more time at the office and give that extra discretionary effort, which the company needed to pull through. You were the first Yahoo! CEO to promote maternity leave. Why then did you hide your pregnancy for six months and why didn’t you take a longer break from work following the birth of your children? For legal reasons – in the US maternity leave technically is a disability leave. If I took maternity leave, I would have had to appoint a temporary deputy, which would have been complicated and confusing for the board and shareholders. I also felt that Yahoo! needed me, needed a strong leader, who was present. What’s your strategy for dealing with bad press? I follow the advice a close friend gave me – I don’t read any news or articles about myself. One question, in particular, remains on everyone’s minds. Namely, what caused Yahoo!’s slow demise? As made obvious by the many achievements on Mayer’s resume, she was expected to over-deliver during her time at Yahoo!. Yet, the geek goddess was largely criticized for almost every decision she ever took, while in charge. It may be that expectation was set too high. When Mayer joined the company as CEO in 2012, Yahoo! employees made posters with her picture and the word “hope” underneath. These make-shift pieces of art were in a similar graphic style to the emblematic Barack Obama 2008 presidential campaign. The posters were hung all around Yahoo! headquarters. Newspapers all over the world were blasting headlines like “Google’s First Lady Jumps Ship to Yahoo!”. A good indication of her slim chances to steer the Yahoo! ship in the right direction may have been the short-lived careers of Mayer’s predecessors. She was the fourth CEO in four years. Her immediate predecessor was taken down after it was discovered that he had lied on his resume. Observers judged Mayer’s task of saving the poster-child company for the first era of the Internet as close to impossible. Google’s search algorithms had been performing better than Yahoo! employees categorizing the web by hand. Facebook was doing a better job of serving the communication needs of digital consumers than Yahoo! chatrooms. Apps had taken traffic away from desktop computers to mobile phones and Yahoo! was lagging behind. Regardless, Mayer’s name will grace the tech history books, while her life experience will inspire young women and girls the world over to dream big and aim high. Kudos, Marissa! Should you be looking for a job again, we will be waiting for you at www.enhancv.com.
How to identify, attract and keep talent via resumes. Last week, serial entrepreneur and marketing wiz Seth Godin announced on his blog that he is looking for talent. In particular, Seth is seeking people who are skilled, passionate and open to making change happen. The reason why he is embarking on this journey is simple: he wants to maintain a file of talented individuals, suited for the execution of the many projects Seth’s involved in. Yet, the way he is searching for talent has some room for improvement. This article will explain why the strategy Seth has employed to unearth human capital can be enhanced. But first, a bit about who Seth Godin is. For those who aren’t quite sure. Seth helped invent commercial e-mail (that’s not spam) as we know it today. That’s right. For every time your favorite newsletter finds its way to your inbox you have Seth to thank. In addition, he pretty much invented educational computer games for children. And he published 18 best-selling books. And founded Yoyodyne. And Squidoo. Impressed? So are we. Seth knows the nooks and crannies of digital marketing. He crafts each one of his blog posts as if it were his last. He also runs the world’s most selective MBA program – the altMBA. The guy could use an extra pair of hands, okay? We Enhancers couldn’t agree more with Seth’s idea for a treasure hunt. Even when they are not actively hiring, smart companies have to maintain a file of talented potential employees/contributors. Yet, what is the clever way to do this? Is there an optimal way to spot talent? To get to know the candidate as a professional and an individual? These were the questions that were running through the minds of Enhancv founders Volen, Georgi and Dimitar some three years ago. Helping people showcase their life’s work is Enhancv’s mission. Finding clever and efficient ways to do it is the company’s present. Yet, Seth appears to have missed the Enhancv revolution. In 2009, he wrote a blog entry titled ‘Why bother having a resume?’. In it, Seth argues that remarkable people should refrain from having resumes at all. Well, Seth. We beg to differ. We know that most resumes are boring and ineffective. That they only get 6 seconds of the reader’s attention and often take the form of a dull, 2-page list of job responsibilities. This is why we exist – to breathe life into resumes. We add the extra dose of sparkle and magic dust. How you may ask? First, Enhancv resumes are crafted to showcase the tangible summary of your work. Start with a verb, measure your accomplishments numerically, detail the skills you acquired on the job, provide a baseline for the measurement of your personal growth. These are just some of the recommendations provided by the automated Enhancv resume builder. No way to get it wrong. Second, Enhancv stimulates you to provide a prognosis of what you will do for your future employer, rather than a mere account of what you have done for your previous one. Third, having an online platform where you can store your resumes enables you to make each one contextual, concise and targeted. We discourage the spray and pray technique. Fourth and most important, Enhancv enables you to design an authentic personal brand. We trigger introspection. When you sit down to write your resume, you don’t usually think of the books, which have influenced your thinking; the strengths and talents, which make you a capable professional; or how a pie-chart of one day in your life would look like. The Enhancv resume nudges you to ask yourself the self-examining questions that make a good resume great. The traditional resume is dead, people. Long live the Enhancv kind. So here’s a quest for you, cherished reader. Help us convince Seth of the value behind meaningful, well-thought over resumes. Send him your Enhancv creation, showing you are neither average nor destined to wither in a corporate behemoth. In the meantime, you can draw some inspiration from the one we created on Seth’s behalf. Cheeky us. – Looking for more inspiration? Check out our resume examples section that got people hired at their dream jobs. Photo of Seth Godin by: MIMA Photos under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0