Archive for the ‘Job Search Tips’ Category

Why Not to Say, “I’m Always Open to a New Job”

When I go out to recruit candidates directly who are not posting their resume, I often hear them answer me, “I’m always open to talking about a new job.”


So you are just endowed with hours upon hours to talk about random jobs in the universe that don’t meet any plan or purpose for your career?  So I guess when you come to work for my company, that you’ll always be looking for a new job, as well.

I'm Just a Squirrel, Trying to Get a Nut

I want to hear

What I want to hear from a candidate is, “Here is what I really want to do and be when I grow up. If an opportunity came along that helps me progress down that lane, then I’d love to know about it. Otherwise, I respect and enjoy the work I’m currently doing for my current employer.” Or something like that.

Quit Being a Slut

Imagine if you went up to a girl/guy in a bar and asked, “Are you available to have a drink with me?” and their answer was, “I’m always open to a free drink.” Get it? Sleazy. Gross. Not purposeful.

Have Direction

I want people with direction and purpose.  Know where you’re going, or any road will get you there.  Stop being the squirrel tying to get a nut.

Remember, “Money follows passion -not the other way around.”  Dan Siteman Garland, Host of “The Rise to the Top.”


How to Alienate a Recruiter

June 8, 2011 2 comments

REMINDER:  When looking for a job, focus on what you can do for your employer, not what they can do for you!  I received a hysterical email last night that was NOT a good example of this and thought I’d share.

Job Hunting Tips

CRITICAL: Must Wear Jeans?

Seriously….this candidate sent this to me.  Wow, I can’t wait to call him.  He clearly is focused on helping my company.  I can’t wait to get to know him.

Summary:  IT Manager looking to transition from a corporate environment to a jeans-casual environment

Currently, I have limited access to my personal cell phone and personal e-mail during the business day.  Hopefully, the following FAQ will answer your initial screening questions.

* Career Direction:  “Hands-on” Technical Management
* Northern VA Salary:  $125k+ with Full Benefits
* Salary History:  Confidential
* Relocation:  Anywhere in Virginia
* Work in DC or MD:  Only for a FS polygraph
* Citizenship:  U.S.
* Clearances:  TS/SCI with CI polygraph
* Best Contact Method:  E-mail

CRITICAL (Non-negotiable):
* W2 Salary (no 1099 or hourly, please)
* Good Benefits (Health, 401(k), PTO)
* Jeans-casual (Monday – Friday)
* Minimal Travel
* On-site Parking
* On-site access to Hotmail

If you would like to proceed to a phone interview, I am generally available after 5 p.m.  As a professional courtesy, I would request that (1) my personal cell number not be added to any files or databases, and (2) all recruiting-related calls occur after work.


I particularly love that he must wear jeans M-F and that it’s critical that he has Hotmail access.    It’s also handy that he gave instructions for how to pursue a phone interview….I mean who wouldn’t want to phone interview him?

Poor guy….

Photo:  Vivian Chen

Categories: Job Search Tips

Job Interviews: 5 Ways to Fail a Video Interview

Companies are starting to interview via Skype and other video tools like never before.  Here are things to avoide in a video interview to ensure a successful result.

Webcam Video Interviews

Webcam Video Interviews (photo by Raymond Fruseth Gangstad via Flickr/Creative Commons)

1.  Dress–  Just because you can work at home in bunny slippers doesn’t mean you should do the same for a video interview.  Dress just as you’d dress for a face to face meeting.  Dress your best.  Suits for men with white shirts and conservative professional dress for women.  You can always become more casual over time, but never are able to remove the image of the “My job sucks” tshirt you wore to the video interview.

2.  Environment-  You shouldn’t go into a face-to-face interview with your ringer on carring your 2 year old.  Same goes for video interviews.  Lock down the doors, turn off the ringers, clear the styrofoam cups off of your desk and be respectful. 

3.  Roaming Eyes–  The streaming video of yourself is distracting.  Prior to the meeting, get familiar with the software tool you’ll be using.  Roaming eyes during the interview say, “I’m not taking this seriously and I’m not that interested in your company.” Don’t do it.  Know your way around the software prior to the meeting by practicing with a friend, if it’s your first time.  Minimize the streaming video of YOU and only have the video of the person you’re meeting staring at you.

4.  Not Showing Serious Interest–  Nothing says, “I don’t care,” like NOT taking notes.  I’d raise up my pad on which I’m writing, shove it into the camera and say, “Pardon me, but I will take some notes during the meeting, if you’re ok with that.”  The interviewer will be delighted.

5.  Not Closing the Deal–   Remember, employers get most excited about people who seem the most interested.  If you want the next date you have to ask for it- Ask for the Face to Face Interview!  Ask for the meeting in a way that works for your personality.

I’d love to hear funny video interview experiences.  What other recommendations do you have for us?  Have you survived one?

Speed Up the Job Offer: Degree Verification Warnings

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Are you on the final path to an offer for that dream job?  Beware.  I’ve encountered a few candidates lately who are having a hard time getting their university to verify degrees and many employers these days will not allow you to start until your application (including academics) is verified.

It’s been 21 years since I graduated, so I wouldn’t be shocked that there was some sort of data integrity issue at my university.  Here are some steps you should take immediately.

But I Graduated!  Photo by ilovefremont2001via Creative Commons/Flickr

But I Graduated! Photo by ilovefremont2001via Creative Commons/Flickr

1.  If you never received your paper degree, follow up on this immediately.  This is often an indication that something was wrong with records (either theirs or yours) at that time.

2.  Find out what organization your university is using to handle degree verification with employers.  Contact that organization immediately and ensure that they have proper

3.  Order a fresh copy of your transcript to ensure that it’s correct, per YOUR records.  Keep it on hand.  Employers are big on accuracy these days!

Don’t wait until you’ve applied for your dream job for this to become an issue that you need to solve reactively.  I’m telling ya, recruiters are skeptical at that point.

Interview Tips: Getting Directions

December 22, 2010 7 comments

Just had a random interaction with my father-in-law that made me think of a piece of advice.

I just sent out a note to my nearby family asking if they woukd like to meet for dinner. I sent a link to the proposed restaurant, complete with menu, photos, address and phone number.

Guess his response. You guessed it, “Where is this place?”

I guess the address and google map just didn’t do it for him. This is a major difference between people 40 something and people 70 something, however I suddenly had flashbacks. Flashbacks to candidates asking me for directions to the interview when I have taken the time to post our address and detailed directions on our web site.

So, let me get this straight.  You are trying to impress me.  You want a job.  You are trying to prove that you are resourceful.  So right out of the gate, you want me to spend 5 minutes giving you detailed directions.  WRONGO, Bucky.  Your interview will be cancelled as soon as I have 30 minutes to come up with an excuse.  #fail

If you are dealing with potential customers, employers or friends, don’t ask them for directions.  Google Maps or any map site will create easy directions for you.

Google Maps


Let me know YOUR favorite map software or resource for directions!  Also, I’d love any “directions” horror stories.

The Tardy Social Network

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

I am the recuiter for our company. I get invitations on LinkedIn all day from people currently seeking career opportunities.

Wanna know which ones I pay most attention to? The ones NOT currently looking. There. I said it.

Why on Earth don’t people understand this basic rule. Ready?
Build your network now. Befor you need it. Otherwise it feels needy amd dirty.

The goal of a network is to help EACH OTHER. Only working to build your network after you need it says, ” I need all of you to stop and focus on me. Who cares that I have done absolutely mothing to help YOU in the last X number of days, years or decades.”

Build a network and GIVE to it.  You have some expertise that people care about. Someday you will get to reap the benefits and receive.

Categories: Job Search Tips

LinkedIn Job Searching Tips- Part 2

August 13, 2010 1 comment

LinkedIn Job Search Tips Part 2

I recently published a blog entry LinkedIn Job Searching Tips if you’re on a career search.  Here is the second set of recommendations.  Get to work.  It’s your network.

  • Join some Groups and get in on discussions!   Many of the Groups now have job boards, as well.  These are free to the employer, so you will see different jobs than what you see on the paid jobs listing. 


  • Ask a question, answer questions. The LinkedIn Answers feature is an opportunity to give and receive value with your network on a more frequent basis than introductions.  Social media is about helping people get business done and can lead to some great relationships. 


  • Update your status.  Talk about things for which you want to be known.  If you are looking for a position as a cost accountant, maybe send out a link to an article that would interest CFOs. 



  • Make your Profile on LinkedIN publicly searchable via Google and other engines:  A well crafted LinkedIn profile can by all means make a great business card. By default, your profile is hidden and won’t appear in Google searches unless you change its settings. That means that only LinkedIn members can view your details and not the entire world.  Recruiters use Google, so you should definitely edit this.
  • Add substance to your Summary. This is your personal elevator pitch. Update your profile regularly!  This sends a message to your contacts and keeps you and your company in front of them. 
    • First login to LinkedIn
    • Then open the My Profile tab
    • Now hit Edit My Public Profile (on the right)
    • Check all items you’d like to make public.  I recommend sharing anything professional. 
    • Hit Save Change. Your Linked profile is now public.
  • Add website links, activities, interests and awards. Nobody will brag about you except YOU.  Do it.   You should list your company web site (check with your marketing department to see what key words to use for the hyperlink, your blog, if you have one, and maybe a URL of a favorite blog of yours- your company would be very happy for you to link to them).


  • Rinse and Repeat.  Every time you do “something” on LinkedIn, it creates a status update that all of your connections will see.  This is a great way to keep your name in front of them without calling and saying, “Don’t forget that I’m looking for a career move!”  Adding some connections each day is better than adding 500 in one day.  It will spread out the activity and keep you in front of your contacts.


Remember, the best time to build your network is when you are working and you have live fresh reasons to connect with prospects, vendors, colleagues, etc.   But, if you haven’t done a good job of that and now need to network for a position, don’t delay.  Make building your network something you do regularly.  It’s that vital.

If you’ve followed these instructions and some of the navigation has changed, please make a comment and I’ll correct!  They are changing this stuff pretty regularly!