Tag Archives: Job Seekers

Articles for job seekers

No — I Won’t Supply My References Before The First Interview


I agree. I think this practice runs the risk of companies contacting references without the candidate preparing them for what to emphasize (always within their ability to ethically do so!), or even giving notice. References are job search treasure, and must be cherished and protected. It also has the potential to be a sneaky way for companies to gather other names of people to solicit for employment. And depending on how long you’ve been employed, you may want to customize the reference list you give depending on the interview and the directions taken while you were there.

And I’m only semi-cynical in predicting this, but at some point I can see health testing, even DNA testing… all as a condition of being considered for employment. DNA testing brings to mind this cartoon:

Job Search Humor Cartoon


And yes, I have this gene.  (Some would doubtless opine a deplorable excess thereof…)

4 Behavioral Interview Questions That Reveal What a Job Candidate Is Really Like


Insights from the interviewer’s playbook. Good stuff. Related:

5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate


With respect to the fourth question specifically: while the question itself is quite legitimate and can lead to great insights, I believe the implicit assumption that if the candidate can’t think of anything then the candidate is assumed to be the one with the problem, is not legitimate. I call BS. There are, sadly, some very bad people in management out there (recall the “conventional wisdom” that people leave managers, not companies) – to de facto assume that problems always reside with the employee, and never with the person’s manager (or the company in general), is naïve. And another question, which I think is actually a very good one, so prepare:

How You Answer This Interview Question Reveals Your True Character


Anyone can “song and dance” their way through an interview and shine. This is a “penetrating” question and gets to a person’s character. I like it; one can train for skill, one can inspire and motivate for attitude… but one cannot implant ethics, integrity, or basic character (at best one can get someone to stick to the “letter of the law” out of fear of punishment, but GOOD behavior and GOOD character – that’s inherent in a person). And it’s actually a good question to ask of a hiring manager too!!

How A Story Database Will Make You More Persuasive


Written for sales, but also vital for job seekers. Stories ENGAGE not just factually, but EMOTIONALLY. The trick is to get in front of someone – a human! – who is willing to have a conversation and listen to your stories… and also have the perception to jump to what your background and stories could do for them.

The tech that hiring managers are using to screen all of your social media posts


I wonder… this could be a good software for someone to purchase, and then have people pay to screen their SM presence. And I have to wonder – I don’t have a FB account. Does that affect me positively, or negatively? I do find this to be a “catch-22”: too much SM presence, and that’s bad, too much of the “wrong” content, that’s bad, not enough or even if you’re not on SM altogether, that’s bad too. In my first essay on this, I came up with a quote which I think very much applies to vetting people through their SM presence:

“Hiring managers and human resources people search the internet for indications about a candidate’s personality, character, opinions, and human failings – and then are shocked and horrified to discover candidates have personalities, characters, opinions, and human failings.”

Consulting Firms: Strike back & stir the pot


Always good stuff from Nick Corcodilos! 

Networking Tips for Awkward People


Good overview thoughts. Especially if, like many technically-oriented people, you tend to not be comfortable in social settings.

7 Toxic Traits Of A Bad Employer


I’ve said this before: if you have time, search on LinkedIn for people who used to work at the company, and see if they’ll answer some questions. Also, if you are a member of related professional societies, ask around. Companies develop reputations. And if you know some good recruiters in the space, they also can be a good place to get off-the-record scuttlebutt. (One recruiter I know told me about a company they’d FIRED as a client because of all the negative feedback about the company they’d received from potential candidates – one of whom actually said “I’d rather be homeless than work for that place.”) 

9 Scary Reasons Overqualified Job Seekers are Rejected


Which only highlights the value of networking in and having conversations with decision-makers. Get to someone who can see beyond the scariness of someone “overqualified” to what you could do for them. And at the risk of shameless self-promotion, consider changing the rules of the game entirely with these thoughts:

The “O” Word 2


Don’t Overshare: What Not to Say During a Job Interview


It used to be, with people building careers at one company over decades, that friendships formed with so much time spent with the same people for so long. (Aside: growing up, my parents would often hold dinner parties; guests were, very regularly, co-workers from either – sometimes both – of my parents’ places of work… even in my next-generation case, some of my still-close friends come from former employers). In interviews “back then”, personal details would come out in anticipation of that long-term relationship. That’s done and in-the-past these days. Today, always ask yourself if the details you are about to share really are their business (and, potentially, could be things held against you for employment purposes, or as potential “leverage” against you should you join).

The most important trait for a successful job search


An absolutely key ingredient.




I am a senior-level Mechanical Engineer with, primarily, a background in plastics where I started my career. I am seeking a full-time engineering role, ideally in medical devices or defense, from Burlington MA to Concord NH, as a:

  • Plastics Design Engineer / Project Engineer
  • New Product Introduction / Design-Manufacturing handoff
  • Cost Reduction “Tiger Team” Engineer
  • Manufacturing / Process Engineer

For those interested, you can see some target companies on my blog:

Target Companies


And please do look at my portfolio of things I’ve done, and topical (i.e., engineering / manufacturing) essays I’ve written:



And lastly, I do urge you to “Pay it forward” yourself. I don’t NEED to post articles, job leads, etc. I WANT to do it because it’s a way to help people. Character matters. As I said in my essay:

The Hairs-Breadth Challenge


“Life is about helping people; if you aren’t elevating others, you’re diminishing yourself.”

Job Search Article Aggregate (November 23, 2014)

If you tweet one of the links here, please include me in your tweet – and consider following me:


Please mention my blog to others if you like what you see:


Do check out my prior “article aggregate” posts – hopefully something there is of use to you.

(Plug: If you really like this aggregate – and consider that I put a fair amount of time into this! – please check out my SRG page; buy from my affiliates who pay me a commission. Or, if you’re not feeling commercial, consider giving to one of the charities I support.)


Note: About Me and the kind of places I’m looking for work. And some background on why I put the effort into this kind of thing.





Job-Seeker, How Much Abuse Will You Take?


** Look at the comments. Almost to a person – at least, last time I looked – everyone is agreeing with Liz. And something that I noted in the comments: I don’t see, as yet, a single defense of “the way things are”.






30 Reasons Your Job Search is Taking Way Too Long


** Do you recognize yourself in any of these?

Job hunting in a recession – new tactics revealed


** Adapt what you do, or die.

How to Look For a Job If It’s Been 10+ Years Since You’ve Had To


** If you’ve been out of the job-search mix for a while and you’re just now looking… it’s a whole new world

20 Most Common Job Search Mistakes


** Solid compilation with a lot of links.

Absolutely Abby is on a mission to inspire & educate one million job seekers via a cross county tour


** An interesting campaign that, IMHO, sounds worthwhile.

What to Do if Your Major Has a High Unemployment Rate


** Good for everyone, but especially new grads.






Tips for Job Seekers 40+


** Video.

Hired Today, Gone Tomorrow


** Leverage this; odds are you have a house, family, ties to the community… and therefore offer stability.

Over 50? Personal Branding Is for Boomers, Too!


** A must-read.

Job Search: 5 Ways to Turn Your Age Into an Asset


** Job-search judo.






How you can network smarter at conferences


** I understand structured networking; it has benefits. But an APP?

The Best and Worst Times to Reach Out to Your Network


** The time to dig your well is before you are thirsty.

5 Ways To Make Networking Work For YOU!


** Good advice.

Networking for what you want, or settling with job boards


** Amen.

Mining Mom’s Network for Your New Grad Job Search


** Family and friends are an excellent networking source… and very underutilized.

The No. 1 Thing That Will Improve Your LinkedIn Networking


** I am occasionally guilty; I try to customize each connection request.

5 Tips For Effective Phone Networking


** One addition: Repeat your phone number.






Does Your Cover Letter Make These 5 Critical Mistakes?


** I agree; take time to identify a potential hiring manager.

Cover Letter Help That Gets the Job


** A cover letter can help clarify; it can also be a place to explain and entice.

Are Cover Letters a Waste of Time?


** If you’re submitting to an ATS, they’re secondary. If you can write to a human, they’re necessary.






Your Resume Is A Sales Document


** Exactly right!

Resume Writing: Your Opening


** I keep saying this: a resume is a marketing document, nothing more. That’s not to say I recommend falsehoods – of course not. But it needs to catch attention.

What About That Gap On Your Resume?


** The only issue: finding the name of that hiring manager that has the pain. This is not always simple.

Resume Mistakes Job Seekers Make


** Solid advice.

The Keyword Mistakes that Send Your Resumes into the Black Hole


** Insights into beating the ATS.

45 Power Adverbs to Sprinkle in Your Resume


** Interesting, but why do I have the feeling we’re going from steak to sizzle?






7 ways to manage your nerves during an interview


** Very much a factor.

How to Tell Your Story in Job Interviews


** Facts inform; stories engage. If you understand that difference you’re a huge step up.

Interviewing? Do Your Homework!


** NO question you need to be aware of what the company does.

Ace Your Next Behavioral Job Interview


** There’s a fine line. Prepare, certainly, but you can come across as “canned”.

Job Candidates: Here’s What to Ask in Interviews


** I agree – asking questions is good. But in my experience you don’t get that much of a chance to do so.

Job Interview- Ways to Stand Out.


** It’s all about differentiation.

Invited To A Job Interview? Read This First!


** Be shrewd.






Is Google Ruining Your Job Opportunities?


** They don’t even bother to check that something “objectionable” is YOU? IMHO this disproves, utterly, the claim of a “shortage”.

How to Land a Face-to-Face Interview


** Consistency, I agree. However, once can get so bogged down in this that you never do the other things you need to do.

5 Ways to Visually Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile using Professional Portfolio


** At what point does sizzle replace steak?

What are the best ways to score a job interview using social media?


** LinkedIn is the 800-pound gorilla; the rest are, IMHO, small fry as far as being found by employers.

How To Get and Use Your Own Domain Name


** I really need to look into this.






Attending Job Fairs – Secrets from a Recruiter


** I don’t typically go to job fairs. IMHO they’re a waste of time… from the standpoint of getting your resume to someone in a company. Even if you’re there in person you’re still one of a gazillion. No, the reason to go to them is to meet other people standing in line, at the lunch area, etc.

5 Websites Job Seekers Should Know About


** Not sure about some of these, but I definitely endorse alumni sites (and meetings).

5 Ways to Separate Yourself as a Job Seeker


** Nothing overly new.

10 Powerful Body Language Tips for the New Year


** I agree with a lot, but I still think the “power posing” thing is, well, silly.

Breaking the rules in your job search


** There are advantages to being a maverick. And… disadvantages. I’m a big believer in straight-forward candor, not being rude, but telling things straight and giving my honest opinion and advice. It’s surprising how often being a straight-shooter puts people off.

People Just Want a Shot…An Opportunity


** People want a shot, and to be treated fairly.

How To Deal With Rejection


** Remember, in the words of Saint Gretzky: “One hundred percent of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in.”

How Impressive Is Your Elevator Pitch?


** An elevator pitch is a hook, not a novel. Leave ’em wanting more.

Your Unique Value Proposition – the key to landing your next job


** What differentiates you from everyone else – whether in networking, in an interview, in a conversation, etc.

Job Search Do’s and Don’ts for the Modern Job Hopper


** If you have a “cover company”, or just a series of contracts while looking for full-time work, lump them together.






Off-the-wall interview questions this CEO asks every job candidate


** Some penetrating questions from hiring managers.

How to Identify and Secure Top Talent Before Your Competitors Grab ‘Em!


** Think like a fisherman if you want to be caught.

Could You Answer These 9 Unique Job Interview Questions?


** Hmmmm.






Salary Negotiation Tips for Every Age Group


** In my – limited – experience, salary.com tends to give high numbers.

Managing candidates’ salary expectations


** And a perspective from the other side of the table.

Negotiating for the Compensation You Deserve


** It’s a black art. Just remember that it’s an employer’s market, so your leverage is not as good as in a boom time.

The Art of Salary Negotiation During the Job Interview


** Good advice, but… 1% unemployment? In what industry???

Find Out How Much You’re Worth To Employers


** Ultimately, you’re worth what you accept. There IS NO impartial value.