JOB SEARCH TIP: When there’s an elephant in the living room—address employer their concerns head on.

7 Oct

You’ve gotten yourself an interview for a job you’re excited about, but you get a sense you might not be their “ideal” candidate. You may have a skill gap, or perhaps you don’t have experience in the industry.

Here’s an idea—address their potential concern head on.

If you go through the interview and they haven’t asked about “the elephant in the living room”, you might want to say something like: “You may have concerns about me being a candidate for this job. What are your concerns about me as a candidate for this job?”

And, of course, you will have practiced the answer to the elephant question, acknowledging you may be a different candidate but have the skills and experience that can make you a great fit.

I’m not the kind of person who likes to let an elephant get too comfortable in the living room. Address the potential concern head on, tell your story, and put your best foot forward.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

JOB SEARCH TIP: Are you “the greatest general”? Follow your dreams.

4 Oct

Mark Twain tells a story about a man who in life was a cobbler, but if he were a general would have been the greatest general of all time.

There’s nothing wrong with being a cobbler, but what if your dream is to be something else?

Your dream job may be out there.

You may need to spend time thinking about the elements of your dream job—your interests, your strengths, ideal work culture, ideal manager, salary and benefits— do this work.

Look, not everyone is going to find their dream job, but you’ll never find something you don’t search for.

Look for your dream job—it might be out there.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:  Y

JOB SEARCH TIP: Tell stories with happy endings.

3 Oct

I always wanted to be Indiana Jones, but like him I don’t much like snakes.

I liked that those movies delivered a happy ending, and as a job seeker you’ll need to tell stories with happy endings to prospective employers.

You’ll be often asked to tell those stories when they ask you a question that starts like “tell me about a time when…”

Those happy stories will need to have four parts:

1. What was the problem or challenge you faced?

2. What did you do?

3. What were the results you achieved?

4. What did you learn that you could apply here?

To get ready, write every story down, then learn them and practice telling them. You’ll need several, because maybe an interviewer wants the Star Wars story and not Indy Jones.

People like stories. Give them Indy and Yoda and snakes and light sabers and all.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: Managing the bias of being unemployed.

1 Oct

As if it wasn’t difficult enough to be unemployed, there is research which provides evidence there is a bias to hiring people who don’t have a job. (Here’s a link to one study:

Why the bias?

According the research and my personal experience, some employers see unemployment as a “scarlet letter”, where somehow your lack of a job is a reflection on your character. Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean that, but the bias will be something you will need to manage.

Some ideas to lessen the bias:

· If you can, make it less personal: “As you may know, several people were laid off because of the pandemic”.

· Get multiple references from former employers.

· Network with employees who work where you are interviewing and establish a level of rapport.

· And, of course, be prepared to tell your story of your accomplishments.

I wish there weren’t biases in the hiring process, but they exist. Control what you can and make your case.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips#jobsearchcoach #jobsearchhelp #jobsearchstrategies

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: Don’t forget to say thank you.

30 Sep

In your job search you will meet many people. Some of those contacts will be helpful, some won’t be particularly helpful, and some may be downright annoying.

Thank them all.

No exceptions.

If I have a mailing address I prefer go old school and write a note. It’s a nice touch and will differentiate you because most people won’t make the effort.

In absence of that you can also send something electronically. I’m posting below a free site created by my employer. I posted this yesterday, so forgive me if I’m sounding like a stuck record. It has several card options and is easy to use. You don’t have to use this site, but do something.

There is so much in your job search you can’t control, but this is something that is within your control.

Aside from being a smart thing to do it also happens to be, in my view, a kind and considerate thing to do.

And I think the world can always use a bit more of those qualities, don’t you?

#recognize #recognition #appreciate #appreciation #inspire #inspiration

JOB SEARCH TIP: Be like Mr. Spock. Tell the truth.

26 Sep

Yes, I’m a Trekkie. (Original Series, but Captain Picard).

You may recall that the three main characters each had different strengths, and along with his deep knowledge Mr. Spock was wired to tell the truth.

In one movie it appeared that he lied, and when called out by one of this fellow Vulcan’s he said: “I didn’t lie. I implied.”

This sort of thing makes for good theater, but in the job search you don’t even want the hint you’ve implied something.

You want to tell the truth, all the time.

Full stop.

In some cases, being honest may put you in a bad light. For example, you may have a gap in your work experience. Aside from the fact that lots of folks do and it doesn’t in any way predict your ability to do a job, there might contrive a story about the work gap.

Tell the truth.

To be sure, you can explain yourself and highlight your skills and experiences in a way that helps them see your positives, but don’t fib about the experience.

Give how transparent things are these days the truth will probably come out anyway, so be up front with a hiring manager.

Tell your story, even the areas that may not seem as positive.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: To help you in your new job, learn from the mistakes of others.

26 Sep

The great comedian Groucho Marx said: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

To help you get off to a great start spend some time talking with your new colleagues and learning about the mistakes that others have made.

With one company I’ve worked with new employees would get into trouble if they were frequently late to meetings. In another company there were strict rules about safety that, if broken, would put you in hot water. And in another being less-than-attentive to a customer on the showroom floor would get you a pink slip.

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ll make your own mistakes when you start a new gig, but there’s no reason to make mistakes that others before you have made.

Groucho Marx was right—you don’t have enough time to make all those other mistakes. Listen and learn.

It’s a new day. Let’s make it a great one.

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free:

JOB SEARCH TIP: Bring value to networking contacts.

25 Sep

In describing relationships, Dr. Gale Muller said that “relationships should eventually be equal, but are never equal at any one time.”

When you are networking in search of a new job, you may feel the exchange is one-sided, where a networking contact is only helping you.

Although it may feel that way, that doesn’t mean you can’t add some value or be of help to your contact.


~ Perhaps you can offer information about a former employer or a contact of yours,

~ Maybe you can bring an article about an industry trend the contact hadn’t seen,

~ Or you make an introduction to a contact of yours that would be of value.

Be proactive. Show you are willing and able to reciprocate.

The exchange may not be perfectly equal, but you can make an effort that will be noticed.

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

“Peter, did you ask that question today?” A lesson from Peter Drucker.

23 Sep

When the great management consultant Peter Drucker was a child, each day at the breakfast table his father would ask: “Peter, do you have a question for the teacher today?”

Over time Peter realized his father was always going to ask, so he prepared each morning with something that was of interest to him and for which he would value the learning.

At the dinner table each evening his father would say: “Peter, did you ask that question to the teacher?”

Peter would say yes and then give the answer to his father, which then began a spirited discussion.

This training helped Peter to learn how to ask good questions, a job search (and life) skill that is exceptionally important and not often appreciated.

Make it a practice to ask someone a question every day, even if you don’t have Peter’s father to ask what you learned at dinner.

Listen. Learn. Ask more questions.

This mindset is important in the job search, and can also be applied to those who are currently working.

Ask questions. Be curious. Learn from the answers. And, like Mr. Drucker, thrive.

#jobhunting #careers #jobsearch

There are free training videos on the web site of my faith community:

Update your career priorities to align with your job search.

23 Sep

I talked to someone recently who was successful in a sales role that required quite a bit of travel. At one time he was fine with that, but he recent changes in his personal life made him question whether life on the road was still okay.

It turns out, the answer, right for him now, was no.

Our priorities will change, and because of that our career goals will change:

~ Perhaps you used to like working on your own, but would rather be part of a team…

~ Or you didn’t mind a commute, but would rather find a job closer to home…

~ Maybe you were okay with a compensation plan that was more variable, but would prefer something more consistent.

As you pursue your next role, make sure your priorities and what you would value in a job are aligned with your current thinking.

It’s a new day. Make it joyful and productive.

There are training videos on the web site of my faith community and a handout. This content is free: 

#career #careercoach #jobhuntingtips #jobhunting #careers #jobsearch #jobsearchtips#jobsearchcoach #jobsearchhelp