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 →

Use Your Social Network

There’s nothing out there. I’ve searched every site on the internet and there’s zip. Nada. Nothing. That’s it. I’m done. He sat there in a heap. Head down, arms limp, fingers touching the floor, emotionally exhausted. I asked him if he was networking, getting the word out about what he does and how he benefits organizations where he works. Other than slowly shaking his head, he didn’t change positions, physically or mentally. There’s nothing out Continue reading →

Back to Basics: Resumes, References and Networking

Many job seekers start the hunt with a positive sense of urgency. You do all the right things, in the right order, and when weeks turn into months and nothing happens, you lose your way along with your energy.  If you’re bumping, slumping, and sputtering, it’s time to get back to basics. Resume: The longer it takes to find a job, the more you’re apt to tinker with your resume. If you’re trying to be Continue reading →

The Case for American Idol

Whoever says that today’s popular television programming isn’t educational, hasn’t been watching reality TV. Job seekers can learn plenty from watching these shows and noting the striking similarity between the would-be star’s chase for fame, fortune, and success and their own job search. Case in point: American Idol. Job seekers and Idol hunters begin the chase competing against legions of applicants, all varying in age, background, appearance, talent, discipline, goal focus, and character strength. Those Continue reading →

Job Fair – Yes or No?

Have you been wondering whether or not to attend job fairs? Well here are some reasons why I think you should: You’ll have an opportunity to speak with a variety of recruiters from a variety of companies that are looking for a variety of individuals who have the potential to meet their employment needs. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, to give answers, and to tell your story: what you’re looking for and why, Continue reading →

Take Time with References

References. Applicants and interviewers worry about them, don’t know how to choose them, to use them, to check them, and as a result, lose out on opportunity, insight, and information both could benefit from receiving. Job hunters need references, good references, because bad ones or those casually chosen can sink an opportunity like a rock. References should be chosen from the pool of individuals who have directly or indirectly supervised their work, and are willing to 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 →

Who You Gonna Call? Not a Recruiter

I need the name of a good recruiter. Who should I call? Recruiters aren’t for everyone. What’s your situation? Why would you like to engage their services? I’ve been out of work for a while, and I’m not real good at finding a job. I figure headhunters know the market better than I do, so I want to hire one to do the search for me. Can you tell me how much they charge, who’s Continue reading →

Fear, Take a Hike

I’m afraid I can’t compete against people with more experience than I have. I’m afraid to say that I’m looking for a job. We’re afraid of all sorts of things. In most cases we ignore or work around what we fear, like heights, snakes, spiders, and slippery slopes. Fear can be a good thing if it keeps us out of harm’s way. There are some fears we can’t ignore or work around, as in fears Continue reading →

Avoid These Bad Habits in Your Job Search

If you’ve been job searching for a while now and it’s getting old, you may have fallen into some bad habits. Rather than practice what doesn’t work, work on what does. Check your resume. If it’s grown from that neat one pager you started with, to a lengthy, wordy document you need a magnifying glass to read and patience to want to, streamline it. Go with a reverse chronological format because that’s what interviewers prefer. Continue reading →

Your Friends and Family Don’t Know You

Are you tired of how you look? Do you look like how you feel?  If so, your job search might be as lethargic as you are. It’s one thing to know it; it’s another to do something about it. If you need a wake-up call to get yourself in gear, consider today’s post just that.  Wake up. It’s time to get your attitude, your resume, and your interviewing techniques in shape for the Spring job 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 →

Do Not Do This in Your Interview. Just Don’t.

Here are more of those mistakes people make on interviews; mistakes you can easily avoid: Lack of self-awareness: This happens when you’re sitting in the reception area, waiting to interview, and make or receive calls on your cell… speaking more loudly than you might realize (or worse, realizing how loudly you’re speaking and doing it anyway). It happens when you bring food and beverages into the reception area (or worse, when you cart them into Continue reading →

Four Completely Avoidable Mistakes by Job Seekers

Job seekers, you, like the rest of us, are human (that was never in doubt) and like the rest of us, you can make mistakes. Here are some of the avoidable mistakes I see you making that not only trip you up, they cause your job search to take longer than necessary. You don’t know what you’re looking for and expect the interviewer to figure it out for you. They don’t. They won’t. Hear that Continue reading →

Get Out of Your Way, and Get the Job

Old habits can get in the way when you’re looking for work, especially if you’re used to people calling you instead of you calling them and when you’re expecting job offers to appear without doing the heavy lifting. Open-ended, ambiguous questions have a way of messing with your head if you prefer the kind with “yes” or “no” answers, and trusting yourself more than the wisdom of others can be a let down when they Continue reading →

Get Organized in 3 Easy Steps

If you’re among the  “organizationally challenged” you can understand the dilemma this job seeker finds himself: “I was excited. I had an interview. The first one I’d landed in over a month. I didn’t know how to find the company so I called their switchboard to get directions.  That was smart, right? Except my call somehow went through to the president of the company. He was very patient with me, even when I couldn’t find Continue reading →

Sharpen Your Communication Skills

Sharpen your writing and speaking skills folks, because the lights are on and they’re shining on you. With every resume, cover letter, telephone call, networking meeting and interview, you’re presenting your skills and abilities in the two ways most of us have learned to communicate; you’re either writing or talking. You better be good at both. A worried reader comments that, “Introverts like me don’t have a chance against extraverted competition.” Instead of focusing on your Continue reading →

It Takes All of You

When you’re conducting a job search you need to combine a variety of skills and abilities. Some you have, others you’ll want to learn. For example; you’ll want to think like a visionary, plan like a strategist, operate like a tactician, write like an advertiser, research and revise like an editor, persuade like a sales person, deliver like a distributor, and follow through for all you’re worth. Skip a step and you’re back to square Continue reading →

Sticky Interviews

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Health tell us that memorable stories, stories that stick, are simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and emotional. The Heath brothers may not have consciously applied that perspective to the art of interviewing, but its well worth the effort. An interview that works is memorable. It is complexity simplified; a conversation between equals that is grounded by unexpected clarity and purpose. It’s concrete; the speaker succinctly describing a learning experience in Continue reading →

Imagine Your Interview

I just got your message marked urgent. You have an interview tomorrow morning; you want to know what to do; and you want to know it now. For starters, relax. You’re so uptight you’re likely to shut down the interview along with the interviewer. Go for a walk, jog, or swim and think about how you want to be on that interview. Image your calm, cool, and collected self driving to the meeting, knowing where Continue reading →