Monday, December 7, 2009

Job Search Experts - Whom Can You Trust?

Thousands and thousands of job search experts everywhere.

Search online and there is no shortage of job search wisdom.

But whom can you trust?

A job seeker forwarded an article to me entitled "Debunking 5 (Un)employment Myths" and asked for my thoughts.

Here are the five myths as presented by the writer:
Myth #1-The greater your qualifications, the better.
Myth #2-You should always "dress for success."
Myth #3-Most jobs are not advertised.
Myth #4-Send enough resumes and the phone will ring.
Myth #5-Once you have a job, it is best to "stay put."

The writer addresses each myth with a reality and a follow up strategy.

For a copy of the full article, please contact me at

As for my thoughts, I disagreed with most of his realities and questioned his strategies, BUT I appreciated how his advice provoked my thoughts and challenged my job search beliefs.

To decide if he was to be a trusted source, I looked for evidence of his credibility as an expert. An Internet search for the author resulted in finding copies of the article but nothing more about him.

And a website given for more information about the author,, remains "currently down for maintenance."

Soooo...the jury is still out.

As for job search advice, in general, ask questions of, and advice from, everyone. You never know who knows the right answer. And the right answer may not be the right answer for you, or the right answer at this time.

Take nothing as gospel, as the absolute truth. Try it out if you can, give it a chance, see if it works, and, if it does, or even if it doesn't, share your experiences with others.

So, whom do you trust?

Bottom line -- you start by trusting yourself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The ABCs of Job Search - Part 1

A is for Apply.

Apply to every job that you meet at least 1/2 of the requirements.
Apply to everywhere you want to work even if the company is not hiring; especially if the company is not hiring. They will be hiring some day and you will be at the front of the line; maybe there won't even be a line, just you.

B is for Build Connections.

Build connections to keep your application, your resume, you out of cold storage and moving on to the next step, to the interview and beyond.
Build new contacts and forge those contacts into connections to advise, to inform, to support and to refer you to other connections.

C is for Care.

Care about the job opening and act like it.
Care about the company and act like it.
Care about the people that work there and act like it.
Care about your network, your connections, your family, your friends and ACT like it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Should You Pay To Get a Job?

Simply put, NO!

You have two important factors to consider.

First, what exactly are you getting for your money?

Second, can you get it for less or perhaps even for free?

There are people out there in the wide, wide world who want your money, are not concerned about how they get it, and not interested in providing you anything of value, anything that would help you.

You may be confused. You may be discouraged. You might be desperate. You certainly are vulnerable. And there are predators who will take advantage of you.

What exactly are you getting for your money? Is it possible for someone to GIVE you a job? Of course, that is what employers/companies do. But why would some one or some company charge you for the job? They might charge you for expenses such as tools or licenses but be clear about the employment arrangement or contract before agreeing to anything.

Recently, an alledged employment service advertised immediate hiring for delivery and customer service jobs for anyone. Anyone who showed up at their office and paid $30 for a "uniform" which happened to be an oversized T-shirt with their company name on it. The job was delivering the same flyers that brought the people in to pay the $30 in the first place!! And many of these new employees never earned a penny.

Other employment services claim to provide jobs or leads for a fee, but none of these jobs or leads are exclusive to them. You can find these leads advertised all over the Internet or by simply contacting the companies directly.

What exactly are you paying for?

There are employment and career services that will teach you how to create a resume or create one for you for a fee. Even if they create one for you, you still have to provide all your background information. What exactly are you paying for?

And can you get these things for less or for free?

There are many ways to get a resume and look for jobs that cost only the time and effort you put into it. No fee.

Just get in touch with me and JVS at, on LinkedIn, at 248.233.4231 or check out our job bank at

And it's free!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is Time Off Really Time Off?

Taking it easy can be really, really hard!

I just returned to the office after a two week vacation.

My outgoing voice mail message said I was out of the office and although I extended the option to leave a message, I also directed callers to contact the main office number for immediate assistance.

I had three messages left over the two week period.

BUT, even though I had set my Outlook Out of the Office Assistant to say I was not available for two weeks, and not counting blocked spam messages, I had 897 emails in my inbox...

A friend has said that you really pay for your vacation with way more work once you return to your job.

How much time and effort are you investing in your job search right now?

Every day that you take time off when you could be working on finding leads, following up and through with your applications and resumes, and making contacts and forging connections is time added to your job search.

Little bits of work every day are solid investments in your job and career future.

Schedule regular daily tasks that are simple and doable instead of saving them up for big frantic flurries of activity.

When it comes to job search success, slow and steady does win the race.

Meet and mix with hundreds of business contacts! Join us at the JVS Business Connnections event on Wednesday, October 21st. Register by clicking on the event flyer at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Being the Ideal Candidate, part 2

Seven good tips about successful job seeker and worker behaviors.
  1. Focus on accomplishment. Be known as the person who gets things done. Solve problems, don't dwell on them. Help other job seekers. Provide Answers on LinkedIn to be recognized as an expert.
  2. Develop a reputation to be proud of. Keep an eye on your image. Be someone YOU would admire.
  3. Be trustworthy. Be the person who can keep a secret, isn't a gossip, and can be counted on in all situations. Pay attention when you listen and behave like you are paying attention. Empathize with others and show your empathy.
  4. When you give your word, keep it. Underpromise and overdeliver.
  5. Be on time. Be where you are supposed to be when you are expected to be there. Respect the schedules of others. Let them know you know how busy they are and how precious is their time.
  6. Don't complain. No one cares, and they have problems of their own. Solve problems, don't dwell on them. Share good news with everyone and be selective with whom you burden with the bad news.
  7. Don't brag. It's obnoxious and it alienates others. Arrogance is the number one reason why people get fired or don't get hired. Trying to manipulate or influence others without considering them is the first step to failure.

Adapted from "Larry's Employee Handbook" as written in It's Called Work for a Reason.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are You the Ideal Candidate?

"Who you ARE speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are your actions as a job seeker telling employers what they want to hear?
Do you complain about no one returning your phone calls or emails? Or are you patient, but persistent?

How are you looking for a job?
Are you waiting around for something to happen? Or are you following up and finding ways to make and keep in contact with companies?

What actions are you taking to find employment?
Do you rely on others to do things for you? Or are you taking the initiative and doing as much as you can for yourself?

How are you behaving when and after you apply to a job opening?
When you get discouraged and frustrated, do you gripe or take it out on others? Or are you the kind of employee who handles pressure well?

Ask yourself if you are you doing the things that the perfect, the best, employee would do.
If you want the job, while you are looking, you must behave every day in every way possible like an employee they would want.

Do you know, do you understand, how the ideal candidate should behave?

Having all the required and preferred knowledge and experience to do a job means nothing if you don't act the part. If you don't behave like the right kind of person for the job, then you won't get the offer. Employers hire the right person, not necessarily the most qualified.

Learn about the job. Ask for a job description. Research the company. Talk to people who work for the company or people who have a similar job in another company.

Then make a behavioral profile of the ideal candidate. How would the best employee take on a project? What are the top personality characteristics of the successful worker in that position? How would the desired candidate handle problems like difficult customers?

Then make a list of at least five of those characteristics that you would want to demonstrate. And create opportunities in your job search process to show them who you are.

For example, if you have identified that politeness is a top quality for success in that job, then behave in a considerate and courteous way. Acknowledge busy schedules and heavy work loads. Ask when would they have a moment or two to spare. Make your schedule convenient for them. Speak precisely and slowly, and repeat your name and phone number so your voice mail messages can be understood clearly.

Bottom line:
Would you hire you?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Red Button

Help Wanted.
Red Button Pusher.
Must be ready, willing and able to push a red button.
Red button pushing experience preferred, but not required.

Hello, I am Bill. I am here to interview for the Red Button Pusher job.

Hello, Bill. I am Mary. Nice to meet you. Have you any experience pushing a red button? Red button experience is not required, but we would prefer if you had some experience with pushing a red button.

Well, Mary, I have a PhD in button design and technology. I have five years experience in the design, implementation, operation, maintenance, and quality evaluation of buttons. I have published several studies on the ergonomic application of buttons in a wide variety of industrial, military and medical applications. I have increased the effectiveness of button pushing for seven different businesses resulting in production improvements of an average of 47%. And after an analysis of your button pushing operation, I have determined that you will increase your profits by 17% if you change the color of the button from red to green.

That is very impressive, Bill. But you are way overqualified for the job. You probably want to be paid much more than we can afford and you would be bored very quickly with the red button pushing job. So thank you, Bill, but no thank you. Have a nice day.

But, Mary, wait, I really need this job! I am more than ready, willing and able to push the red button and I will work for nothing just to show you how hard working I am. Please! I just want a chance to get my foot in the door.

Sorry, Bill. Good luck.

So…was Bill being “honest” or maybe a little arrogant? If you tell them all about yourself without considering what they want or what is most important to them, then is it not all about you and not about them?

You be the judge.

No, wait, they already passed a verdict. You lost.

First and foremost, give them what THEY want…nothing more, nothing less.
You can always do more once you have landed the job.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting Started

So something happened. So you lost your job. So now what?

You are tired. It hurt. It's scary. You don't want to think about it.

What about tomorrow?

Maybe it's time to take that break. That break you earned, you really deserve.

Okay, it's your choice. It's always your choice.

Maybe you didn't choose to leave your job, to change everything, to lose what you had. But you can choose what you do about it.

But taking that deserved time off would be a good thing, right?

Maybe...but you can't get too comfortable with can't turn your break into an overextended denial vacation.

Maybe after a couple weeks or so it would be time to get back to work.

The work of finding your next job, making your next opportunity, getting back into the thick of things...back to the land of the living.

Start with open discussions with your family and your friends. Share your thoughts and your feelings and ask for their advice, their help. Make it okay for both you and your family to be open about how you all feel.

No blame, no wrongdoing, just healing and help...and all help is welcome...even if the help sounds less than helpful, it is someone trying to help...and we all need help.

Negative feelings are to be acknowledged, but not embraced. Positive feelings are to be celebrated and shared.

It's about taking action, about doing something, anything to keep moving, to find and go after that next chapter. It is more difficult to hold onto negative thoughts and feelings when you are active and involved.

Don't be a problem dweller. Be a problem solver.

Okay, start with that break, that time off. Maybe you already have. Maybe it's time to get back to work. Maybe you don't have a choice and you HAVE to get back to work. Well, get started!

Make a plan. What is your goal? What kind of job are you looking for? What are your objectives? Set up your daily schedule. What are your deadlines? Assemble your team -- your family and your friends. Identify your targets -- make a list of the companies you want to contact, to connect with. Start looking for those companies on the Internet -- in the job banks, on their websites, in the news. And look for contacts with those companies with the help of your family and your friends.

And get help wherever you can.

I will be creating a number of online groups over the next few weeks including a group on LinkedIn. Join me there and elsewhere.

And I and JVS are not alone in being there for you.

I will be posting names and info about groups and resources that can help you.

And please share your thoughts and concerns and questions with me and others through your comments on my posts.

The appearance and content of this blog will change from time to time as I try to find my/our voice. Your feedback is wanted.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's the hold up?

Why the delay?

It has been over three weeks since I started this blog and this is only the second entry.

What keeps us from doing what needs to be done?

What is keeping YOU from looking for your next job?

I got stuck because of two things.

Too many demands with too little time...many, many phone calls, emails, meetings and every caller, every emailer wants to be the most important.

And is what I blog good enough, important enough, for someone, anyone to pay attention?

How about you?

How are you managing your job search work, your job search time and all the other demands of life? What are your priorities? How did you handle all those demands when you were working the 40, 50 or more hours every week?

And why haven't you sent out your resume or set up that meeting yet? Is your resume not good enough? Are you not sure if you will make the best impression when you go to that meeting? Are you not prepared?

Well, forget all that.

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." George S. Patton

Do something, anything, now, every day, to keep moving. Something now is better than nothing now.

Take action. Your progress is measured by the number of mistakes you make.

"The man who makes no mistake does not usually make anything." Edward Phelps

By the way, even if you write the perfect resume, only as little as one out of twenty, that's 5%, of resumes ever get read by any real person. That's a 95% chance your perfect resume will go nowhere. That's the resume you worked so hard to perfect...perfect, but neglected and ignored.

Oh, yeah, the odds for your not-so-perfect, maybe even crappy, resume being read by a real person are at least as good as, if not better, than your perfect resume.

It's better to work on making good contacts, connections to the right people, than to work on making your resume perfect.

A construction foreman told me he hired a young man who came to the work site and handed him this resume.


The young man's secret? He went to the work site. He made himself visable. He made the right impression with the right person.

Stop worrying about being perfect and get out there and meet people. Every day. Make at least that your priority.

And don't forget to come over here to JVS in Southfield any Monday evening at 6:30pm or Thursday afternoon at 1:30pm to meet and get help from even more people.

We will be looking out for you.

Email me at
Next post: Getting started...first steps

Monday, April 6, 2009

Something Happened

Something happened.

I did not really love my job, but some things about it I liked. And I got paid so I could have a family, a home, a car, and do fun things and buy stuff I enjoyed. And I was safe from really, really bad things happening.

Then something happened.

I was worried for a long time. Maybe not the kind of worry that you think about every day, but the kind that nags you when you aren't thinking about anything in particular. I was worried when I heard talk about other people losing their jobs. But I was happy it wasn't me. And then, for a little while, I wasn't as worried.

But then something happened.

I did not believe it at first. I had been working so very, very hard to keep my job. Harder than ever in my life. But they did not see, they did not care. It was just so unfair.

Something happened and I lost my job.

Give me a break.

At first I just wanted a break, to be left alone. I had been working so hard, worrying so hard, I needed time off. Time to think, time to recover, time to feel better. My family, my friends, everybody else needed to understand that. But they did not always understand. Sure, they did not want it to happen. I did not want it to happen. But it did.

I needed a break.

No need to worry. Things will be okay. I was a valued employee. I am a hard worker. I give 100%...and more. Some company will be lucky to have me work for them. When they get my application, see my resume, they will want to talk to me. They will want to offer me the job. But they did not offer me the job, the interview, or even the time of day.

I needed a break.

Just give me a chance. Let me talk to you. I will tell you what you need to hear. I know I am perfect for the job. You will see.

Where is my break?

I do not need your help. I just need a job.

But the people who have the jobs are not helping me. What is their problem? If they give me a job, I can help them. But they do not seem to want my help. What is wrong with them? Is there something wrong with me? Am I not good enough? It is just so unfair.

I became worried. Then I was scared. Then I felt confused...and lost...and helpless...

Then I thought that maybe I do need help. Maybe I could use some help. And when I did admit that, when I opened myself to help, I found help at JVS. And when I accepted help, any and all help given, accepted it with an open heart and mind, I found more help. And when I appreciated that help, when I was thankful for that help, I found even more help. And when I began to help others, I found help everywhere.

And then something happened.

I have begun to help myself and I am no longer helpless.

And good things are beginning to happen once again.

You can find help at: