Friday, March 6, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Acumen Fund, Social Media, and Recruiting

Acumen Fund is looking for a Business Development Manager. Rather than go the usual route of getting the word out about this position, the took an interesting approach both in the advertisement of the position and in the application. Sasha Dichter, the Director of Business Development at Acumen Fund, used his blog, Squidoo, and Seth Godin's blog to advertise the position. 13,000 viewed the post on his blog alone. In addition to the usual resume and cover letter request, Sasha also requested that applicants create a Squidoo Len (webpage) and answer a series of questions in ~250 words each to get at the heart of what the applicants believe and how they express themselves.

There are so many business applications to this recruitment and application method, and I will discuss those in my column. For the purposes of this post, I wanted to explain why the incredible response to Sasha's post gives me great hope for our future. Acumen Fund is dedicated to investing in projects that focus on providing critical services in the developing world. It's a very intriguing hybrid model of nonprofit and venture capital. The position requires people who can put on a nonprofit and for-profit thinking cap; someone who can think both analytically and conceptually, and express themselves in engaging prose.

Not only is this degree of interest in a position at Acumen Fund a win for those who believe they can do well by doing good, it is also a great victory for storytellers and the skill of writing in general. Many people in the world of business think in bullet points on Powerpoint slides. They have forgotten how to create meaningful, compelling prose. The many people who applied for the Acumen Fund show that expressive writing is not dead at all -- it is still alive and well, and garnering great interest among business people.

For people like me who are interested in having one foot in the for-profit and nonprofit world, who wants to analyze numbers and then build out the narrative that those numbers create, it is so exciting to know that there are many others out there with this same interest. My sincere thanks to Seth Godin and Acumen Fund for providing this example and instilling us all with hope!

The photo above can be found at


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Christa said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment. I love hearing what people think of my ideas and writing and always welcome any and all feedback!

Have a good day,