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November 2012

Perhaps it is just me, but I have always felt that if I saw the crowds all doing the same thing, I would do something different to stand out - and often I would do the opposite. I’ve never been a fan of strict conformity. I think being a little bit at odds with and rejecting strict adherence to convention is at the heart of innovation. Especially in the professional environment, one might conclude there is less and less tolerance for non-conformity when it comes to processes. By the very nature of this blog, wouldn’t you know it, I come right back to leveling an indictment at currently accepted / dictated hiring practices you’re supposed to follow. I’m not suggesting anything radical, just different. When everyone else is introducing themselves with a mouse click, I suggest people introduce themselves with a

When you ask questions and apply deductive logic, a yes means “yes”, no means “no” and maybe means “no” at this moment. It may turn into a yes later but that doesn’t help you now, today. When you are interviewing for a job or you haven’t yet reached the interview process, and you’re still just looking for opportunities, it’s the same. If you need a job today a “yes” would be nice, “no” is a bummer and a “maybe” is just plain frustrating. I suggest you might get more traction by asking the same questions, regardless of what they are, with a little better forethought. There are five basic types of questions: Factual, Convergent, Divergent, Evaluative and Combination. But let’s simplify it and, for our purposes, I’m only concerned with close-ended questions and open-ended questions. Consciously knowing the difference and learning

To begin, after my last posting I received an email from someone taking issue with the sales analogy I am suggesting. Then they went on to proclaim their years of experience, but at the same time complained they’ve sent lots of emailed resumes and never received any replies so it must be the fault of the market. Frankly, the email and complaint proves my point that some people just can’t and won’t get it. I suggested if they take issue, they should continue to do what they’ve been doing and, perhaps, if they cross their fingers and wish hard enough, everything will work out for them. You see, I am tone deaf to whiners and, for the record, I’m not trying to appeal to everyone’s sensitivities, because when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one and

When you are searching for a job and interviewing make no mistake about it, you are selling a product and that product is you; your resume is your product literature and brochure. When you get your head around this concept you’ll see the hiring and interview process differently. What is a brochure supposed to do? It lists product features, what the product can do and the benefits that can result from obtaining and utilizing the product. But that is all a good resume is meant to do, to draw attention to the product for further consideration. A brochure by itself is rarely reason enough to attract a buyer and that’s where you come in. How you present yourself is about much more than what you wear to the interview. Too many people think a good resume and some luck is what

As a Veteran and on behalf of Veterans, in order to draw attention to the subject, I’ve intentionally posted this entry a few days after the fact. Veteran’s Day celebrates former service members, those who’ve already served and then returned home having hung up their uniforms and moved on with their lives. We celebrate current military members with Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day for those lost in war. On Veteran’s Day the glowing praise and concern in the media is as predictable as the date on a calendar. It’s nice but the following day it fades away until next year. It is an inescapable fact that more service members and their families are falling through the ever-widening cracks and to say they are being shortchanged is an understatement. Veterans are being left behind and forgotten with too many people

My last blog entry went a little long but it is an important issue and, as such, I would like to offer suggestions for how to overcome this hurdle, if you run into it. Let’s say you have the opportunity to interview for a position and you begin to sense, or they come right out and use the “O” word, to suggest you might not be considered further. Don’t get defensive or feel insulted, they are simply doing what they are accustomed to. We’re talking about trying to get people to adjust their processes to provide you the benefit of the doubt. Getting in their face or acting hurt won’t have any benefit for you except momentary satisfaction for telling someone off, who hasn’t done anything to deserve your wrath. Here are a few tips that may help you. Check either

With a sluggish economy, shrinking manufacturing, reduced staffing, not to mention half of all college grads can’t find employment, everyone’s competing over fewer jobs. Since the ‘90s middle management ranks have been decimated, manufacturing jobs are vanishing so it doesn’t take a mathematician to recognize there are more job applicants out there who are judged to be overqualified. Not only in the U.S., it is occurring in many other nations with depressed economies brimming with experienced workers, so why aren’t they given more serious consideration? Isn’t there an advantage and added-value to having workers who require less training and already possess valuable skills? Maybe, a weak hiring manager feels threatened by a more qualified job candidate, worried they’ll angle to replace their boss before long. Another reason could be an often correct assumption that an overqualified person will quickly grow

During this difficult economic period from which there is no end in sight, some people seek to gain an advantage over others competing for the same opportunities. In some cases they are turning to consultants and personalized services; some are seeking help from people calling themselves career coaches. In and of itself there is nothing wrong with this approach, if indeed someone you are putting your trust in can effectively assist. However, I notice many have nothing to truly offer their clients and are often psychologists (not to be confused with psychiatrists who are physician specialists). If you seek advice from a career counselor then, like any other specialist, you’d better qualify and check out their credentials and claims. It is possible that these career coaches haven’t an ounce of real world business experience and they are only creating another business

When I ask this question most people think in terms of resume preparation. Granted, the resume is an important component during your job search and interview process, but making it the primary focus of your preparation efforts is to considerably shortchange yourself. That piece of paper doesn’t speak, nor can it react and it doesn’t convey attitude, intent or interest – it’s a piece of paper. The current job market is more competitive than ever and it isn’t going to improve much any time soon, so if you want to maximize your chances of success, you must have more tricks up your sleeve and be better prepared than others who are applying for the same job(s). You need to make an effort to stand out and effectively demonstrate why you’re the best choice. You see, sometimes when the best candidate