While searching for the next SEO hero for DragonSearch, I received the most amazing cover letter ever:

Attached please find the resume that you have requested.  While adhering to the “rule” of a one page resume, I had to exclude most of my secondary school and university year’s employment.  I would be bummed if I didn’t get the chance to mention that in addition to the professional experience I have been lucky enough to enjoy after college that before those years I had the opportunity to work from the age of eleven as dishwasher, groundskeeper, and cook, at my parents’ restaurant and afterwards raise car-insurance and gas money as a farmhand, shipping clerk at a seedy warehouse, and nighttime pool hall cashier.  I grew up sitting on a barstool as my father’s side kick in bartender banter as he worked nights at the restaurant and later in my life negotiated with pool hustlers when they needed me to keep the pool hall open “just another hour” to win back what they were down.  I mention all this because I think those years form the basis for my  personality and work ethic– to let you know that my technical skills came after my people skills, and the fact that looking back, they were just plain fun life adventures and I never know how to include them in a resume.

Thank you again for the opportunity to meet on Friday.

Now, this was a person I would LOVE to have working here – at least that’s the sense I got from this cover letter.  We did meet, and it turns out that the writer wasn’t quite ready for a career change that would bring him to Kingston, NY – but we had a great meeting and conversation.

THEN, a couple of days later, I received the book The War of Art in the mail from the same person, with a nice note.  This came even though he wasn’t coming to work here, at least not in the immediate future.

I’ve had job applicants do this before.  One woman in particular sent us a package of chocolate truffles accompanying her message DECLINING our job offer!  Like the job applicant above, she lived further away, and wasn’t quite ready to make the leap.  But you can be sure that I will remember her, and that my association with her is positive.

#SOBCON Here I Come

Yesterday, I listened in on the #SOBCON Webinar, introducing some of the conference speakers.  You can catch the audio and powerpoint here.  Michael Port , author of Book Yourself Solid talked about self-promotion in a way that is about your passion for what you do.  He talked about the notion of identifying the top thinkers in your niche, and creating a schedule for reaching out to those people – not in a self promotional way.

Random gifts can have a real impact on people with whom you want to strengthen your relationship.  I remember the first time someone sent me a book out of the blue, simply because it dealt with a conversation we had had the week before. And like the chocolate sending job applicant, my remembrance is positive.

It doesn’t mean that we should be sending gifts to be people at random, for the sake of being remembered, or for the sake of having ourselves considered for some reason.  As I wrote in this post regarding the motivation for blogging that we need to do things because of bigger reasons.  Like caring. Or because it is our mission to spread knowledge.

The theme of the SOBCon Chicago 2011 is “The New Leadership and Loyalty Business”,  with Derek Halpern, Terry Starbucker, Liz Strauss, Chris Brogan and Chris Garrett.  This is a true all-star lineup.  I’ve got my tickets and hotel booked, and am looking forward to the event.  The way the event is structured, there is a limited audience (150 people) – and is much more participatory than typical conferences.