Cara Cutter

Help them help you



Following the tornado of cutbacks and downsizing that ripped through the Bay Area, the job market has finally regained its footing, which is great news for all kinds of people, from recent grads to employees unsatisfied with their current jobs. But you don’t have to go it alone.

We’ve asked some of the Bay Area’s experts on job searching — recruiters — to guide those seeking gainful employment. Since these are the people who sell job seekers to potential employers on a daily basis, we figure who better to provide valuable insight about landing that dream job (or dream income)?

Our panel of experts: Linda Carlton, president and CEO of FinanceStaff, a recruiting resource for accounting and finance professionals in Northern California; Daniel Morris, director of staffing at Trulia, a real estate search engine poised to double in size within the next year; and Madison Badertscher, an independent recruiter currently placing engineers and computer programmers in Silicon Valley.

And just in case you’re worried about how the recruiting industry affects local job seekers, keep in mind that the demand for skilled employees is so high — especially in fields such as engineering, finance, and graphic design — that recruiters are forced to look outside the Bay Area in order to find them. This means recruiters typically aren’t threatening local job seekers (though Morris points out there are certainly people who would disagree). Furthermore, recruiters say, the global perspective that international candidates tend to bring to Bay Area–based positions is often a weighty plus.

The general consensus is that the Bay Area job market is enjoying a renewed vigor. The jobs are out there and the conduits to them are many and varied. There is simply nothing to lose by taking advantage of the myriad recruiting resources available to you, whether you are just entering the workforce or still searching for the perfect job. So use this advice, and then go get ’em:


As you might’ve guessed, the Internet is a great place to start your search — and from the looks of top job boards such as,, and, all kinds of companies are hiring. But don’t hesitate to post your résumé online as well — contrary to the popular belief that you’ll just get lost in the shuffle, recruiters say this is the first place they look when trying to fill a position.

Carlton says she starts here because it’s where the most eager candidates tend to post their résumés. Morris agrees, pointing out that it’s the best place to cast a wide net.


Keep in mind, though, that your résumé is the only way you’re representing yourself on these job boards. So make sure you’ve put your best foot forward. Carlton recommends thinking of your résumé as an essay. Employers will make inferences from what they see, she says. Anything that could potentially look bad, such as a series of short-term jobs, should be given due explanation. Morris says previous successes should be quantified in a strong résumé. Sales accomplishments, for example, should be listed in quantifiable terms.

If you don’t have tons of experience, though, don’t fret. You might get just as far emphasizing how passionate you are about the potential job. Morris, for example, looks to staff Trulia with employees who have a history of doing more than is expected of them. And though Badertscher says education and relevant experience are important, she points out that credentials can be secondary to a strong willingness to learn.


Job applicants who know exactly where they want to work and what they want to do are often best off aligning themselves with in-house recruiters, who frequently develop close relationships with the hiring staff at their companies. These recruiters know the company culture, including what makes the hiring manager tick.

Applicants who have a range of ideas about what they would like to be doing or where they want to work should look for agency-based recruiters or independent recruiters, as both can help narrow the search.

Agency-based recruiters, such as Carlton, often work with companies that want to be presented with lots of candidates. They also help fill temporary jobs, which can be a great way for a job seeker to test a particular position, company, or industry before making a commitment.

But agency-based and independent recruiters have a bevy of tools to help job seekers identify what they want. For example, Carlton uses a range of personality profiling methods in order to aid applicants, including tests such as Myers-Briggs, Omni Profile, and Kathy Kolbe’s method of measuring how people like to apply themselves.


With so many companies looking to hire, recruiting itself has become a viable — but somewhat nebulous — career choice. There’s a particularly high demand for recruiters in the Bay Area, thanks to lower unemployment rates. But how does someone become a recruiter?

It’s certainly not an obvious path. Carlton says the best way is to get hired by one of the big national firms, receive some structured training from them, then go out on your own or join a smaller firm when the process becomes intuitive. "The great thing about being a recruiter is that you can do it anywhere," she says.

A wide range of backgrounds can lead to a lucrative career in recruiting. The important thing is getting the skills you need for the job. For example, Morris learned about generating leads and closing deals while working in sales at an Atlanta tech firm. Badertscher learned to be detail-oriented from her previous career in event planning. And Carlton first expressed her interest in talking to people about their careers as a high school guidance counselor — an interest she later supplemented with an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

"Recruiting is really a social science — the field can be lucrative, but it’s tough to succeed if money is your main motivation," Carlton says. "I love it when I can help someone find their dream job and help a client find the perfect person. That’s what it’s all about." *


300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, suite 210, Oakl.

(510) 465-6070


500 Treat, suite 200, SF




Superlist No. 825: Restaurants with DJs



It’s a fact: lousy music can spoil a dining experience. We’ve all been to the too-loud restaurant where talking over the cheap sound system quickly becomes a losing battle. And nobody goes back to the place that put the Lionel Ritchie Millennium Collection on loop, or the hole-in-the-wall with the wonderfully authentic foreign food and the borderline torturous background music. Avoid aural indigestion by trying one of the many restaurants that have gone to great lengths to ensure the ambiance is as pleasing to your ears as the food is to your taste buds. The best time to hear dinner’s new soundtrack is typically during the weekend; however, a few eateries serve DJs with midweek meals.

Big-name residents such as Tom Thump lay down the tracks at Frisson (244 Jackson, SF. 415-956-3004,, the quintessential meals and wheels of steel restaurant. With the main dining room’s circular layout and warm colors, the new American cuisine’s premium quality, and the neosoul, jazz-infused electronic audio, Frisson has the right chemistry.

Many DJs spin into the wee hours of the morning, but Levende Lounge (1710 Mission, SF. 415-864-5585, DJs don’t hit the decks until breakfast. Live electronic music, a self-service Bloody Mary bar, and a build-your-own Benedict menu option reinvent Sunday brunch. Levende strives to bring up-and-coming local talent as well as internationally recognized names to the table.

Residents Sabrina and Benji set the mood for the stunning, floor-to-ceiling bay view and noteworthy fusion of California and pan-Asian cuisine at Butterfly (Pier 33, Embarcadero, SF. 415-864-8999,

Eastside West (3154 Fillmore, SF. 415-885-4000, creates a live music feel by putting resident DJ Morgan on a small stage. Its American regional menu features home-style favorites such as macaroni and cheese and buttermilk fried chicken. The mix usually includes Top 40 hits, so you may find yourself humming along between bites.

Head to North Beach’s Impala (501 Broadway, SF. 415-982-5299,, where you’ll instantly be transported south of the border. Here the tequila goes down as smooth as the tunes, which residents D-Tek and Zhaldee often infuse with a Latin flair.

If it weren’t for the flatware and delicious rolls in front of you, you’d swear Mas Sake (2030 Lombard, SF. 415-440-1505, were a nightclub. Resident DJs Kimani, Solarz, Booker, and Chris Fox keep the mashups pumping all dinner long.

Lose yourself in the hypnotizing tunes, jungle decor, and flavorful Thai food at Lingba Lounge (1469 18th St., SF. 415-647-6469,

Hit up Poleng Lounge (1751 Fulton, SF. 415-441-1710, on a Friday or Saturday night if a little hip-hop, a dash of soul, and some Asian fusion cuisine sounds like a recipe for a good time.

DJ Adrian keeps things mellow at Mecca (2029 Market, SF. 415-621-7000, on Thursdays and Fridays with old-school electronica from the ’70s and ’80s.

As you might expect, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack (18 Virginia, SF. 415-206-2086) serves pasta dishes galore, but there’s a little something extra on the menu on Fridays and Saturdays: rotating DJs who spin everything from oldies to new wave and punk — but never house music.

At Nihon (1779 Folsom, SF. 415-552-4400,, DJ Gray spins house and lounge while diners enjoy sushi and other Japanese fare.

Sushi Groove South (1516 Folsom, SF. 415-503-1950) is another chic sushi spot where resident DJs spin nightly.

DJs Michael Anthony, B-Smiley, Didge Kelli, and Drunken Monkey make the dinner-in-bed experience at Supperclub (657 Harrison, SF. 415-348-0900, all the more cozy by channeling chill ambient and other funky forms of electronica through the sound system.

DJs only spin in the lounge at Sutra Restaurant and Lounge (100 Brannan, SF. 415-593-5900,, where Asian fusion and downtempo are on the platters. *

Valentine’s Day shopping guide

Valentine’s Day can be a sneaky, if not downright dangerous, holiday. It has a way of rushing you on the 12th, taking you down in the tackle on the 13th, and — if you fail to deliver the gifty goods — knocking you out on the 14th. Fortunately for you, you’re still in the 7-day-advance safety zone, with enough time to perfect your game plan. To help you avoid an embarrassing fumble, we’ve scoured SF’s best gift and novelty stores for some guaranteed-to-please gift ideas. So read carefully and choose wisely, and when the big day comes, you could be well on your way to scoring.

The Classics

Church Street Flowers
This floral boutique is no stranger to the Guardian’s Best of the Bay Issue, as it has taken the title five out of the past six years. You can’t go wrong with the old red rose standby, with its universal message of true love. But if you want to get a bit more creative and/or specific, ask the staff for their recommendations. (For example, try red-tipped yellow roses, which mean the giver is falling in love, or a red and white bouquet, which is a symbol of unity.) The shop does deliver, so there’s no excuse for allowing your paramour to leave work envious or empty-handed.
212 Church St, SF. (415) 553-7762,

Bittersweet, the Chocolate Café
Buying your Valentine’s gifts at Bittersweet doesn’t only benefit your V-Day date; it gives you a chance to indulge in some of the shop’s sinful creations while you’re there. Check out the vast array of Belgian, Swiss, Dutch, or Italian chocolates, bound to appeal to the international lover – er, chocolate lover — in your life. (And for folks who are solo and sad about it this Valentine’s Day, try one of Bittersweet’s rich hot chocolates to fill the void.)
2123 Fillmore St, SF. (415) 346-8715,

Think buying jewelry has to mean DeBeers and dollar signs? Think again. This little Noe Valley treasure is the perfect alternative for buying unusual (and affordable) amorous adornments. Here, you’ll undoubtedly find the owner, Guatemalan-born Gilbertina Guarini, painstakingly stringing together her latest one-of-a-kind design while perched behind the counter-cum-workspace. And since Guarini’s nature-themed pieces that are not only beautiful themselves, but are beautifully showcased by color and gemstone, visiting this Valentine haven is as easy on the eyes as it is on your wallet.
3961 24th St, SF. (415) 206-0704

Carol Doda’s Champagne and Lace Lingerie Boutique
San Francisco icon, the Condor’s own Carol Doda, has the perfect the recipe for a steamy Valentine’s date: a bottle of bubbly and a little lace number from her Union street boutique. You might have to go elsewhere for the champagne, but this is your one-stop-shop for intimate wear – for him and for her. And don’t worry if your date isn’t on the Don’t-Eat-Diet: the pinup queen’s specialty is still those bodacious plus sizes.
1850 Union St, SF. (415) 776-6900

Distinctive and Deviant

Does your honey already own a gemstone in every color of the gay pride rainbow? Or does your lover only wear jewelry that could double as sailing rope? Either way, if it’s jewelry you want, but convention you don’t, try making some yourself at Beadissimo, the holy grail of bead stores. The beads and stringing options come in every shape, size and color. The workstation in the back boasts every beading tool the savvy professional could want. And if you’re a clumsy novice, there’s a dexterous, young staff just waiting to help you figure out what to do with all this bounty. (Workshops also are offered year round.)
1051 Valencia St, SF. (415) 282-2323,

If off-the-shelf art supplies simply won’t cut it for your creative-type cuddle partner, try shopping at Flax. The place is so comprehensive, assistants are only familiar with the supplies in their specific section. But this 69-year-old establishment is a serious art store, so if all you need is some construction paper and doilies, don’t bother. If you want artsy options and creative ideas about how to use them, though, check out the store and then visit their detailed Website.
1699 Market St, SF. (800) 343-3529,

Lo-Fi Customs
For Valentines who like it when you to turn up the heat, panties screen-printed with “Property of (your name here)” and embossed with a ghost flame logo may be the perfect gift – and this shop, co-founded by a motorcycle-messenger-turned-artist, is the perfect place to get them. Feel free to be as raunchy, risqué, or ridiculous as you want – there’s nothing the Lo-Fi staff won’t write on a T-shirt. Too busy getting last-minute dinner reservations to stop by the store? You can place an order by phone or online, too.
69A Duboce Ave, SF. (415) 861-0500,

Good Vibrations
This isn’t the retail version of the innocent Beach Boys’ classic. Think of it more as the adult version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, where pleasure comes not from candy but, well, from coming. This is a world of pure, uncensored imagination, where there’s a fix for every adult Candyman’s fetish. (The edible cherry pasties chocolate body pens and peppermint nipples are scrumdiddlyumptious.) A gift from here may well be your golden ticket.
603 Valencia St, SF. (415) 522-5460; 1620 Polk Street, SF. (415) 345-0400,

Ferry Plaza
If you think dining out on Valentine’s Day is just such a cliché, or you simply forgot to make reservations, consider the delights of a gourmet, home-cooked dinner. Even if you’re no Wolfgang Puck, Ferry Plaza and the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Markets will provide the ingredients and the inspiration for a still-better-than-Shake-n-Bake meal. And if the specialty groceries here can’t make a chef out of you, fall back on the staples — great seafood, cheese, breads, wine, berries, and chocolate — where all you need to do is provide serving plates. (The Fish Company’s prawns are right from the boat and the farm fresh produce is trucked in daily. Yum!)
One Ferry Building at Embarcadero at Market, SF. (415) 693-0996,

About Face and Body Day Spa
With the drudgery of tax season just around the corner, you can kill two birds with one stone (express V-Day love and prevent T-Day meltdowns) by pampering your lover with a gift certificate from the East Bay’s favorite day spa. With customizable massages and aromatherapy add-ons, this gift guarantees a major return on your investment. (Special service packages and discounts on walk-in waxing also are available.)
3190 College Ave, Berk. (510) 428-2600

American Conservatory Theater
Keep the drama on stage this Valentine’s with tickets to opening night of A.C.T.’s newest show, Hedda Gabler, directed by Richard E.T. White. Called the “female Hamlet,” Hedda Gabler is a woman whose married life (unlike yours, of course) is rife with controversy. She is either a murderous infidel or idealistic heroine, and the implications of her actions have struck a chord with audiences for over a century. Get tickets online, by phone, or at the box office, and remind your sweetie how good you two really do have it.
405 Geary St, SF. (415) 749-2228,