employment, interviews, job hunting, job interviews, job search, resumes

How NOT To Blow Up Your Interview

You’ve gotten in the door so now you must sell yourself. Close the deal by demonstrating why you are the best choice to fill their needs.

Rich Ditieri, CEO of Startup Institute, wrote for Entrepreneur magazine about “The 10 Most Careless Interview Mistakes You Should Avoid.” Here’s his list and check link for details:

1) Not downloading the app [of that company]

2) Being negative

3) Actually, just telling them about yourself

4) Forgetting Google exists

5) Forgetting LinkedIn exists

6) Not speaking to your audience

7) Not preparing for the obvious

8) Going too fast

9) Not being yourself

10) Not understanding the next steps

A good start, but…there aren’t only 10 mistakes to avoid. In fact, here are MY additional 10 to help you:

11) Not managing your arrival time

Rehearse the route in advance—at the same time you’ll be going for real. Allow extra time for traffic delays, accidents, full parking lots, busy check-in desk, slow elevators, etc.

12) Not dressing properly

Dress one level better than the current employees. If they are business casual, then wear jacket & tie/pants suit or blouse & skirt; if they have jacket & tie, then wear a suit/dress or suit. AFTER you get hired, you can wear the jeans, shorts, and flip flops like everyone else.

13) Not maintaining eye contact

The interviewer should be concentrating on your answers, not thinking/questioning your interest, or ease to be distracted. Put on your game face and shut out everything else.

14) Not having a confident, professional handshake

The handshake is a lost art, given our current hugs, chest bumps, high-fives, and fist bumps. Practice with a friend or family members on pressure, duration, and number of shakes, until comfortable.

15) Not finding a common interest over which to bond

Find something that you have in common with the interviewer. Check their bio/profile on corporate website, LinkedIn, and Facebook. In their office, look for books on shelf, sports trophies, toys on desk, plaques on walls, photos of pets, anything to break the ice.

16) Not taking notes

When you sit down, take out a pad & pen so you look interested to write down any comments or notes—even if you doodle or never take any, you’ll look prepared.

17) Not having questions prepared

Show respect for, and an interest in the company by having a few questions ready about the company’s business/recent mentions in the news.

18) Not asking for the job

Don’t take anything for granted. Even high-profile politicians know to introduce themselves, shake hands and ask for your vote.

19) Not writing a thank you note to every person you met

Email is good, but handwritten is better. Send separate note to receptionist, administrative folks, H.R. people, and interviewers—everyone, since they will compare feedback about you.

20) Not following up on status weekly

If they give you ranges or specific dates for follow-up, be patient. If not, then it’s fair to email or call their office to check on process and reiterate your continued interest.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.

interview panel

employment, job hunting, job interviews, job search, resumes, Uncategorized

Your Future Is In The Cards

You’ll never get a job if you’re not memorable.

If you’re a student, homemaker, in the military, or unemployed…WHY do you need a card? Because you want to become a business professional, and business professionals have business cards.

Having a card to present while networking accomplishes many things:

  • It shows that you’re prepared. You’re not fumbling around for a pen and scrap of paper on which to scrawl your contact info.
  • It presents what YOU want to present—the methods to find you and how to find out more about you.
  • It demonstrates respect for the tradition of reciprocating the exchange of cards. Avoid that uncomfortable feeling of when someone gives you a gift and you don’t have one for them.

Now, that you’re convinced, don’t have a bad or ordinary card—have one that presents the best of you:

  1. Provide minimal information so is not cluttered and doesn’t confuse the reader. Name, one phone number, one email address, maybe mailing address, maybe Linked-In page (not Facebook), or personal website, if you have.
  2. Select a simple theme/colors/font that reflects your personality, yet looks professional; is easy to read; and can be read by card scanners.
  3. Give yourself a title: “Sales Consultant,” “Customer Service Specialist,” “Digital Marketer,” something memorable and realistic, not cutesy.
  4. Utilize the back of the card for a few lines of your accomplishments or qualifications: “Masters Degree in Education,” “Certified in C++,” “Proficient in Google Analytics.” Leave at least the top half of the card’s back empty so the person has space to write notes.

The goal is for the recipient to remember you weeks and months later. Receiving theirs is literally your “calling card” for following up after meeting. You want them to think of you when they have or know about a vacancy BEFORE it’s posted.

For $10, sites such as Vistaprint, will send you 500 professional business cards. You can design it, use a logo or photo if have one, use their templates, or let their experts design it.

You may make a good first impression, but a business card leaves a lasting impression.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.



employment, job hunting, job interviews, job search, resumes, Uncategorized

Are You Ready For Your Close-Up?

If you were a company hiring people, would you think it efficient and cost effective to scour the country and fly in, house, and feed candidates to interview?  That’s what we used to do.

Would you save money by filtering through resumes and then conduct phone interviews of the best applicants?  That’s what we used to do.

Now, companies are asking candidates to produce a video of themselves answering provided questions or just introducing themselves. I’m not sure why it took so long, since we’ve had video conferencing capabilities at Kinko’s since 1994, Skype since 2003, and FaceTime since 2010.

This is a paradigm shift—having a webcam, but not necessarily a resume?

An initiative called, “World Hiring Day,” was September 14, and 200 companies accepted videos from job hunters. (Wall Street Journal, 9/14/16, Page B5).

Companies have applicants download an app or link that explains their procedure and expectations. HireVue Inc., a firm that provides video interviewing software, said that it hosted nearly three million such videos last year, up from 13,000 five years ago. (Wall Street Journal, August 17, 2016, Page B6).

Do you still need a resume?  Absolutely.  Even, if not for them, you need it for you. It’s a chronology of titles, places, dates, and skills to quantify accomplishments, and stay organized when speaking.

Now, that companies can hear AND see you, you need your elevator speech to be confident, and your answers on-point without sounding rehearsed. Neatness counts, so you also need decent production values which means considering your location, lighting, background, ambient noise, attire (at least from the waist up), and proficiency to shoot and edit (if possible) your video.

Scanning videos for facial and other non-verbal cues adds more scrutiny to who you are. Reciting selections from your resume demonstrates what you’ve done and what you can do.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.


employment, job hunting, job interviews, job search, resumes

Hello, I Must Be Going: No Time for a Gold Watch

Your parents and grandparents likely had only a few jobs before settling in with a company until retirement.

Job-hopping used to be a bad thing. The thinking by a hiring manager was, “What’s wrong with this person who can’t keep a job?” and “How quickly will they leave me?”

Well, the times, they are a changin’. A Wall Street Journal article (7/27/16), “Job Hopping is Losing its Stigma,” cites 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings that workers aged 25-34 averaged three years at their employer, compared to 5.5 years for all employees over 25.

Why are younger workers leaving sooner? Because they can. Hiring managers in technology, finance, consumer/retail, business services, and health care, are becoming more accepting or more desperate to hire the right person—even if they’ve had only short-term experiences. Demand is making compromises for the supply.

From my managerial career, which has consisted of hiring several dozens of people, I’d say that you should stay in a job for at least three years. The company has gone to considerable expense to search for you, hire, and train you. Thirty-six months probably aren’t enough for you to get acclimated, learn your job, make contributions, prove yourself, and master it, before saying TTFN.

Groucho Marx said in Animal Crackers (1930), “Hello, I must be going, I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going. I’m glad I came, but just the same, I must be going.” That was long before the Age of Millennials.

Do what’s best for you, but before jumping ship…also consider how your current employer might speak about you later, and how your new employer might be skeptical of your commitment.

Be prepared to discuss what “loyalty” means to you. Give thought to answering the interviewer’s question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.


employment, job hunting, job search, resumes, Uncategorized

Reading Between the Lines of a Job Ad

When you read a house-for-sale ad, with practice, you can decode that “easy-care-yard” means small or already full of stones and cactus. “Great starter house,” means you should expect to spend a lot fixing it. We read the ad with skepticism.

When we see a job ad, we read it with eagerness. We want it to fit and be the perfect next gig. Blinded by the opportunity, we quickly scan the title, location, qualifications, requirements, and next steps.

An article by Hannah Morgan in U.S. News & World Report, details what to look for, and I agree with them.

I would add:

1) Read the ad with optimism, the FIRST TIME. If convinced that this could be something positive, then READ IT AGAIN as “The Devil’s Advocate.” Dissect every line to decode what they really want, and if you really have it.

2) Try this trick…copy & paste the entire job description into a Word Cloud to see what the most important keywords are TO THEM. Then, copy & paste your entire resume into a Word Cloud to see what YOUR KEYWORDS are. If similarly prominent, great. If not, you can change your resume to reflect what they’re looking for, or recognize this as a red flag and move on to the next ad.

It’s easy to be overly optimistic and mail or email out letters and resumes applying for everything. Yes, it’s a “numbers game,” and you’ve got to send out more to get more responses, but your time is valuable, so be selective. You must craft each letter and each resume to each specific job, or you are wasting your time.

Companies have vacancies to fill. They have the power to hire, but THEY NEED YOU more than you need them.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com .



employment, job hunting, job interviews, job search, resumes

Old School: Please and Thank You


It used to be common courtesy to politely ask for something, and then to give thanks when receiving it. Over time, this courtesy has become less common.

Despite the advanced technology, lack of parenting, or erosion of social skills, humans have not yet evolved from wanting to be appreciated.

Your resume is to get you an interview, and your cover letter should conclude by nicely asking to meet.

The most overlooked tool is the Thank You note. When you’ve gotten far enough into the process to actually have an interview, congrats, but don’t stop there!

There’s an often quoted 2012 survey by The Ladders, whereby, 75% of interviewers said that receiving a thank you note from a candidate affected their decision. However, only 21% send them sometimes, and 10% never do!

I’ve hired a lot of people, and receiving a thank you email or handwritten note has always made a difference. Not only did that person now get another opportunity to be top-of-mind, but also they got a follow-up chance to impress me.

There are thousands of free thank you notes online to sample, but show your personality and your genuine interest in THEM.

1) Keep it short. This is not for you to re-hash your cover letter or attach your resume. Three paragraphs (Nice meeting you…reminder of you with what got their attention…and then showing your passion for the job) are all you need.

2) No mistakes. Don’t implode after getting this far. Have others read it before sending. Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and that your name and contact email/phone is legible. Be sure to have the correct spelling of their name.

3) Send it soon. Email it within 24 hours, but not as soon as you get home since it may look desperate. If mailing it, do it right away since it will take 2-4 days to be delivered. Send one to each person with whom you met. Trust me, they compare notes about YOU.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.

employment, job hunting, job search, resumes

What’s Your Headline?

Newspapers have them. So do magazines, ads, even stories on the nightly news.

A headline highlights and introduces what is to follow. Based on the headline, the viewer may read it or bail out (turn the page, change the channel, etc.).

The headline in your resume is the opening paragraph, just under your name and contact information.

Here’s what you should be asking yourself:

Do I need one? Should it be an “Objective”? Should it be a “Summary”?

And, here are the answers:

Yes, No, Yes.

You can’t assume that the reader or Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) has seen the cover letter. Many cover letters are overlooked, lost or discarded, so the resume has to stand on its own—and it’s too abrupt of an opening to have your name & address, and then go right into Education or Experience.

An “Objective” is old school and a waste of space. The “objective” is to get an interview for the job [for which you’re applying]. The company knows that.

Instead, give the reader a “tease” about what’s important without having to dig into the resume. Use the opportunity to promote yourself with one paragraph, summarizing a few key skills, a quantifiable accomplishment, and your passion to be part of that company/industry. What degree do you have? Bi-lingual? Traveled or worked in other countries? An award winner? Maybe namedrop a well-known company or competitor for whom you’ve worked.

That’s it, two sentences, no more. You want to get and keep their attention so that they keep reading.

Then, and here’s the key…make sure that you’ve demonstrated those highlights down below. There’s nothing worse than a headline that promises something and then never delivers.

Give yourself a strong, credible headline to hook the reader and not let them bail out.

Learn how to be more marketable at BestOfYouResumes.com.

Extra Extra