Three Little Words — Keep Them Out of Your Interview

June 8th, 2014

I personally interview all my clients before I write a resume. And I’m often saddened by the way they present themselves as they describe to me their strengths and accomplishments. Too many job seekers lack a positive attitude and the self-esteem needed to sell themselves to the next employer.

If I can keep them from using three little words during the interview process, I am confident that they can be much more successful in landing the job. What are they?




“I was just the administrative assistant at my last company.”

“I completed the project on time and under budget, but it didn’t seem to please the customer.”

“I am only proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel.”

Now, read the sentences without those words (and connected phrases) and see how much more impressive the individuals sound.

hands over mouth

Tell your story with confidence and achievement. No one cares what didn’t happen, what you didn’t do nor what you haven’t yet tried.

Please, please talk to your strengths. Brag about the positive; bury the negative. You have been chosen for the interview because you

have offered the necessary qualifications. Sell them.



Image courtesy of stockimages /



ATS – Applicant Tracking Systems

March 2nd, 2014

I just finished an informative teleseminar on ATS and feel very confident that I have been effectively applying key word strategy to help my clients obtain the all-important interview. A resume will never achieve 100% match, but customization is important. Here is an article that provides some basic tips for using ATS.

ATS capabilities are expanding, however, making it even more important to read the job announcement and match your resume to the requirements of the position. This includes hard skills, soft skills and location.



What goes into the hiring decision?

January 29th, 2014

I read a blog today by a businessperson who won’t hire people with poor grammar. This got me thinking.

We worry so much about the skills needed for the job, but do we put enough thought into other deciding factors. Discrimination aside, will you be evaluated on your appearance, your grammar, your body language at the interview. You bet.

Be sure to come dressed appropriately for an interview. You’ll never be wrong to over dress a bit. Of course you’re nervous, but try to shake it off a bit and show some interest and enthusiasm during your interview.

And something that I put at high consideration, especially for a customer-facing position, is how you talk. Is your grammar correct or have you fallen into the trendy styles of speech? Work on it. Practice your interviewing techniques with someone in the know.

If the job qualifications were just about the skill sets, they wouldn’t need to talk to you at all.

Job Search Mistakes — Not You, I Hope — Part III

August 11th, 2013

Alison Green, writing for US News and World Report - – “8 Errors You Must Stop Making in Your Job Search” makes some very great points and addresses a couple of issues I haven’t heard many experts articulate.

Her number 3.  Scrimping on the cover letter. I took a survey of HR recruiters not too long ago about this very topic. Most of the responses said they didn’t read cover letters UNLESS they needed a tipping point. Here’s the thing, you’ll never be eliminated from the running because you did write a good cover letter; you might be dismissed because you didn’t.big pen little man

Job Search Mistakes — Not You, I Hope – Part II

August 9th, 2013

Alison Green, writing for US News and World Report - – “8 Errors You Must Stop Making in Your Job Search” makes some very great points and addresses a couple of issues I haven’t heard many experts articulate.

Here’s my take on #2: Stressing out over elements of your job applications that really don’t matter.Alison Green

I remember the discussion on avoidance tactics from Psychology 101 in college. Oh heavens, of course we want to make a good impression, but I see too many people spending too much time on the small stuff and avoiding the important activities — such as networking and interview practice. In most professions, the small stuff isn’t a big concern for recruiters — it’s more about “Can you do the job? And do it well?” Don’t use the details to hold you back from a successful job search.


Job Search Mistakes — Not You, I Hope!

August 8th, 2013

Alison Green, writing for US News and World Report - – “8 Errors You Must Stop Making in Your Job Search” makes some very great points and addresses a couple of issues I haven’t heard many experts articulate.

I think I’ll address each one separately in the next 8 days.

#1. Trying to read into every word or action from your interviewer.

In essence, she’s saying “Relax.” Sure you want to present yourself in the most professional manner, but the interviewer is a human being the same as you. We’ll never know his / her inner agenda fully. And there is always a bit of personal bias involved. If you do your best, it will be recognized eventually. You’ll close the right opportunity when the fit is right — and not every job you apply for is going to be the right fit.

10 Most Over-used Buzz Word on LinkedIn

July 9th, 2013

The “Undercover Recruiter” just reported the most over-used buzz words on LinkedIn for 2012. How effective and compelling is YOUR LinkedIn profile. The summary section is the place where you want to sell yourself, show your value — and your personality. There’s nothing really wrong with using these words, but you don’t want to depend on them to make your case. images

You can tell them you’re creative, but wouldn’t it be better to show them with an example of your creativity and the subsequent impact?

What does “effective” really mean? We all may have a different concept of that word, so show me how you are effective.

And you can be “responsible” for many things, but do you follow through? Do you make a difference?

Describe to me about how you resolved a problem; what did you organize or analyze? And what was the result?

When I read a LinkedIn profile, I want to learn about the real person behind the profile. How does yours stand up?

Here’s the top 10 overused buzzwords on LinkedIn profiles in the United States in 2012:

Extensive experience
Track record
Problem solving


Jobseeker: Why didn’t they hire you? You were perfect for that job!

July 4th, 2013

Your resume is great — why, it got you to the interview. The job was a perfect fit. You matched every one of the job requirements. And you know you could work circles around any other candidate in that role.

But they didn’t hire you.

Why? It could be anything, but you might want to take a long hard look at your own behavior before you start blaming age, sex or over qualification.

This list of reasons people don’t get hired seems obvious to most of us. But, sometimes,  it only takes one slip to turn away the interviewer and lose the opportunity.

This is why it is so important to practice, practice, practice before any interview. Choose someone who knows the target industry and will be brutally honest with you. To quote Sports Agent David Falk: “Blunt is beautiful.”

21 Reasons Candidates Don't Get Hired

21 Reasons Candidates Don’t Get Hired


With summer, comes time to prepare well for your jobsearch.

June 25th, 2013

Let the relaxing days of summertime, give you the time to prepare well for your job MP900385351search. Develop a plan and follow through. This article from Monster will help you develop a workable plan.


Your job search and LinkedIn — how can you get better connected?

June 16th, 2013

MP900316779I can’t say enough about the importance of social media — specifically LinkedIn — to your job search. The more connections you have, the better the networking. You’ve got 3,000 lifetime invitations — use them. 500+ connections should get you going.

This article might be helpful.



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