Tag Archives: job search

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 →

So That’s What You Mean By Networking

He wanted to meet so we could discuss his job search. He said it wasn’t going anywhere and he needed help re-starting it. And, he said he just needed to vent. “Joyce, I’m not getting any replies to my resume. I must have sent out 300 copies and I haven’t gotten one nibble in response.  Please review it and tell me what’s missing.” He handed it to me, I glanced at it and told him, 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 →

Conquering Interview Jitters

Let’s settle those interview jitters. How can you keep yourself from worrying about the questions that interviewers are apt to ask? By remembering that you’re the specialist in information about you: your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, what you do best and what you do least well. What you say is of interest to interviewers, not because it’s right or wrong, but because it helps them determine if what you bring to the table 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 →

He Wants More

The caller wanted help with his job search. He said he had been at it for more than a year and couldn’t land anything that he wanted to accept. I asked him why he was looking for a job and all he could muster was why he was leaving one. I asked him what he does best and all he could tell me was what he does most. I asked him how he adds value Continue reading →

Try Again

If you’re willing to think through your answers and select the responses most likely to lead where you want to go, you can turn a potentially difficult interview into an honest, open exchange of relevant information. When you’re asked, “why were you fired?” don’t play victim or blame the person who fired you. Accept accountability for your role in the outcome and connect your strengths to what employers want and say they need. Why did Continue reading →


Job applicants seem to complain a lot when they describe how they feel they’re treated during and after their interviews. I thought it only fair to get some candid perspective from prospective employers and the applicant situations that bother them. Here are just a few: Our interview committee was so impressed with a job candidate we wanted to make him an offer on the spot. The hiring manager insisted that we check references first and Continue reading →

Tell Your Story

The interviewer asks you to describe your strengths. You respond by reciting a ready list of tidy, scouts-honor phrases. “I’m loyal, honest, hard-working….” Are you making points with the interviewer? Probably not. She’s heard the same or something similar from everyone she’s asked. Rather than parrot words that may be true but sound like the National Anthem of all Job Seekers, advance your candidacy. Describe your attributes in ways that demonstrate your understanding of what 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 →

For Moms and Dads

Moms, Dads, your grown kids are home for the holidays. Some of them are gainfully employed, making tons of money. They’re beautifully groomed, happy, healthy, generous, and kind to small animals. They’ve not only met your expectations, they’ve exceeded them. Others have returned home, not for the holidays, but for the duration. As kind, good, well groomed, respectful and generous they may (or may not) have been in the past, what’s been leeching out lately Continue reading →

Travel and Job Seeking

What does job search and foreign travel have in common? Having recently returned from a business trip abroad, I’m not only brimming with fresh perspective and chock full of new learning, I see connections I’d earlier have missed. The learning: Airline personnel, flight cancellations, impatient travelers. When the few are assigned the work of the many and there’s a critical intersection of the few, complicated by a critical interruption of the many, chaos reigns.  The Continue reading →

The Dream

You’re having a struggle. You’re trying to identify the career direction your life should take and despite your best efforts you can’t figure it out. You’ve sought advice from your best friend to your dad’s business partner; you’ve read self-help books, walked in the woods, read the want ads, and nothing’s helped. Then, one night, you have a dream… You’re standing in the great check-out line of life, and you’re handed a clip board and Continue reading →

Selling Yourself Like a House

If you were getting ready to selling your home, and to buy one, instead of leaving a job and looking for onea job, I bet you’d do whatever you could , that was affordable and within reason., to be successful. If you were buying a home, you’d do the same. You’d begin wby doing a ith a full house inspection, eyeballing the interior and exterior of your space to figure out what works and what Continue reading →

School is Starting

There’s something about the sights, smells, and start of fall and the school year that can get the kid in you revved up for what’s to come. You have to repress that urge to run out and buy a new lunch box, backpack and notebooks, because you’d look a little silly, given your age and station in life. If you’re a job seeker, your search can feel more like the first day of school in Continue reading →

Rude Behavior 2

Last week I described a job candidate I’ll call Sam, who was flabbergasted to find he’d been eliminated from competition because the interviewer viewed his behavior as unacceptable. This is Sam’s version of what happened: Sam had a busy morning and as a result, was late getting to his interview. When he arrived, the receptionist asked him to wait for an escort to Human Resources. Several minutes passed before he was accompanied to the interviewer’s Continue reading →

I Don’t Know What’s Wrong – 2

You can repeat your mistakes or learn from them. That’s up to you. Life’s lessons are many and varied. Some are easier to understand than others. When it comes to interviewing it’s hard to know what comment, question, response, smile, frown, or explanation got in the way of your winning first prize. There are too many X’s and Y’s, too many unknowns, and too little opportunity to find out what worked and what didn’t. To Continue reading →

I Don’t Know What’s Wrong

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I think I have a great looking resume and impressive experience; that I’m reasonably attractive, smart, and have an outgoing personality. I’ve mailed hundreds of resumes and haven’t had one interview! I’m frustrated and losing confidence. I’m enclosing my resume for your review. I need help so don’t hold back. I’ve looked it over and here’s what I see that’s working in your favor: You have an impressive Continue reading →