Boomerang Kids, Jacks of All Trades, and the Nuances of Networking

Thanks for the many emails and calls that ask questions and want answers. Here are three that are representative of your more recent concerns. “I’m worried about my son. He’s a fine young man, a college graduate, nice looking, smart, and just a bit reserved. He’s not had any luck getting interviews and he’s getting down on himself. His dad and I encourage him, and have volunteered to make calls for him, but he doesn’t Continue reading →

Q&A: More Tips for Getting Hired

I’ve received so many requests for more of the “most common mistakes made by job seekers”, I thought I’d better throw a few more your way.  Here goes: You commit the granddaddy of all job hunting errors when you take yourself out of the running by time wasting, over-thinking, and under-selling. You waste time when you spend all your time planning your search and expend no time implementing it.  (These are the folks who spend Continue reading →

Q&A: Interviews, Thank You Notes and Being Smart Enough

Questions from readers: “I’ve just returned from what I’d call a mighty good interview. I’d like to improve my odds for getting an offer by writing a thank you note. Is that an old fashioned idea? If it still makes sense, what should I say? How long should it be? Should I send it by e-mail? Long- hand on nice stationery? Please respond as soon as possible. My future may hinge on what you suggest!” Continue reading →

Face Your Fear

I wrote a newspaper column about fear and the number it can play when you’re looking for a job.  Given the number of responses I received, it seems the subject hit a chord with a lot of readers.  With that in mind, let’s continue the conversation about those times when your concerns are greater than your perceived ability to do something about them. “I’m grossly overweight. Whenever I go to an interview I see the Continue reading →

Make it Sustainable

Q:  My job is gone and my company left with it. I can’t say I’m surprised. Disappointed? Oh, yes. But not surprised. I worked in a business that had been shrinking for years. I knew it. Most of us working here knew it. And most of us stuck around until they closed the doors. You might wonder why I’d do that, stick around to the bitter end. I didn’t know what else to do because Continue reading →

Questions about Job Search Strategies

Thanks for your great questions regarding job search strategies. Here are a few that represent what you’re asking:   Q: I’ve worked hard on my resume and have asked for feedback on it. Everyone has a different opinion about what it should say, what it should look like, etc.  What are the ‘rules’ so I can fix it and be done with it? A: Your goal is to produce a quick and easy to read, Continue reading →

Dealing With “Youngsters” (a.k.a. Your Manager)

“How do I deal with the fact that I’m smarter and more capable than the person hiring me?  This kid with a name tag that says, “Manager” probably has a fraction of my life experience, little to no work experience, looks like a nerd, dresses like a bum, and has the audacity to tell me that I’m not qualified!” With that attitude, don’t worry. You won’t have to deal with that person again and if Continue reading →

Door Openers for New Graduates

Q: I’m frustrated. I graduated college in May, thinking that my degree would open doors of opportunity. Well, it hasn’t. If a door opens, it shuts immediately because I don’t have the experience the companies are looking for. How am I supposed to have experience if I’ve just finished college? A: Many new graduates are sharing that same frustration. How can you get experience when you can’t get hired because you don’t have any experience? Continue reading →

Fresh Batch of Q&A

Here’s a fresh batch of questions that I’ve received from readers and I wanted to share them with you. Q: I consistently have great ideas, share them with my colleagues and no one shows any interest. Next thing I know, my manager sends out a memo praising the creativity of my co-worker and describes my idea! What can I do to start getting credit? A: You can have great ideas, fresh perspectives, and problem solving Continue reading →

More Quick Q&A

Thanks to your calls and emails I’ve readied a quick sampling of the questions you’ve been asking: Q: Which of the following should I be sure to include on my resume: gender, marital status, age, race, health, height, weight, and religion? A: Stay away from all of them. Q: We have a family crest which I am very proud to include on my stationery. I’d like to include it on my resume. A “good friend” Continue reading →

What Should I Include?

“I’m confused. What’s more important to include in a resume: an objective or a summary? Is it better to include references or say they’re available upon request? Is it smarter to name prominent people (I know a few) as my references or list people who really know me? It is wiser to include all my years of experience or just my best years?” No wonder you’re confused, you’re all options and no answers. Let’s sort Continue reading →

I Can’t Leave — Part 2

Last week’s column focused on an unhappy, conflicted employee who feels unappreciated and undervalued. She wants to quit her current job, hoping to get more of what she needs somewhere else and she’s afraid that if she leaves, she won’t succeed. She dislikes being invisible even as she stands in the shadows. She wants more pay and promotions yet is satisfied with a no-risk job in a low risk setting because it allows her to “not Continue reading →

More Questions from Readers

Q: I’ve heard that I’m supposed to send a thank you note after every interview. I think that’s nonsense. Interviewers don’t give me anything so why should I thank them? A: You’re not the only one who questions the notion of sending thank you letters to prospective employers, so this is a good opportunity to reframe the issue. The purpose of the letter is to move the interview process forward. Open with a “thank you for Continue reading →

More Q&A

Q: What’s the best way to answer the “tell me about yourself” question? Should I start with where I’m from? Where I went to school? Or what my work experience has been? A: Answer with how you can make a difference to the employer who’s sitting in front of you. . That’s what she wants to know. If she wants something more or something else she’ll promptly say so. Q: I get the feeling that Continue reading →

Questions from Readers

Thanks for your calls, emails, and the questions you’re asking. Here are a few examples: Q: I have a question about my resume. I’ve worked for many companies, held both hourly and salaried positions, volunteered for countless committees, and traveled to every state in the US. Because I’ve accomplished so much I can’t possibly include it all in a two- page resume. I figure it’ll take about five pages if I use small type. How Continue reading →

Who Needs a Career Coach?

Who benefits from career coaching? Employees and job seekers who are lost, confused, frustrated, and stuck; who’ve been downsized, merged and acquired; who have questions, want answers, and need direction. Are you a likely candidate? Here are some descriptors that might help you decide. “I’m lost. Where am I supposed to go with my career? I’m working but waking up to the fact that time’s passing and I don’t have anything to show for it.” Continue reading →


“I’m intimidating. I know it. I don’t like it. I’ve never known what to do about it. Believe me, I’ve tried. It’s my personality. My whole family’s like that. My mom’s direct and my father more so. My brothers and sisters are all competitive go-getters. We earned our stripes around the kitchen table. Every meal was a potluck of competing voices and spirited debates. We argued about everything you shouldn’t; from politics and religion, to Continue reading →

Question: How do I find a job after prison?

Q: “I’ve recently been released from prison and want to get back into my profession. I’ve been trying to re-hone my skills but given my felony record am I just spinning my wheels? What do I say when I’m asked about the lapse in my employment A:You’re not spinning your wheels, you will find employment, and you will have some real challenges ahead. Let’s start with the first hurdles to overcome, and go from there: Continue reading →

Question: What do I need to do in an interview?

Thanks for your calls and emails requesting information about the following topics related to job interviews. What are the best questions to ask on an interview? The ones that net the information you need to make a good decision. They’re the probing, open-ended questions that ask how, what, where, when, and why? They find what you ought to know and not always what you want to hear. They’re tough to ask and challenging to answer: Continue reading →