You’re the reason why you don’t have a job

job interview

Over the past few months, I have had a lot of job openings. These positions have been for various jobs, ranging from personal assistants to inside sales representatives.

During my short experience of hunting for qualified candidates, I have learned one really important thing about you: the only reason why you don’t have a job is because of you. So, get out of your own way!

If your jaw didn’t drop, maybe it will after you read this:

Create a good resume

When you’re submitting your resume, make sure it is short and to the point. You would be amazed at how many 5-page resumes I got when I posted an ad for a personal assistant on Monster.com.

Look, I understand that for some of you with a ton of work experience it’s hard to fit everything on one page, but ideally your goal should be to have no more than two pages. You see, when employers have to read more than two pages, they think you’re trying too hard. Not only are you coming across as desperate, but it kind of brings the question as to why you’ve never been able to keep a stable job.

The other thing to keep in mind before submitting a resume is to check for grammar and spelling errors. Small mistakes like that show potential employers that you won’t be thorough with your work, which is a huge turn off.

Be personal

I hate it when someone submits a job application, and all it says is:

To Whom It May Concern:
Attached is my resume. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Do you think I am really going to respond to Jennifer? No way. If she couldn’t spend one minute to personalize her resume for me, how can I trust her to deal with my customers? Show some enthusiasm, talk a bit about yourself and why you would be a good candidate for the job. A simple cover letter can go a long way.

You have to sell yourself, but don’t go overboard. If you’ve been blessed with good looks, don’t include sexy pictures of yourself. And yes, this has happened to me numerous times. It’s simply degrading! I am not going to hire someone based on her (or his, for that matter) looks. I am looking to hire people that can make me more money.

Do your homework

If you know that I am looking for a developer, make sure you do a bit of research on my company and the requirements for my job opening. Your resume should be tailored to my opening instead of being a display of your entire skill set.

Last week, I got hit by someone who said they were an excellent developer and wanted to work for KISSmetrics. I told them to email support@kissmetrics.com with their resume because we are always looking for talented developers to join our team.

But once the KISSmetrics team looked at the resume, we noticed that it was tailored more around that person’s marketing background instead of his/her developer skills.

So, when you apply for jobs, make sure that you pitch yourself for the job opening specifically. Typically, no one is looking for a jack-of-all-trades because we know it doesn’t exist.

Be on time

If you did everything else right and you get an in-person interview, make sure you are on time. You would be surprised at the number of people who blew me off once they had already agreed to the time. They were either late or just didn’t show up.

Time is money, and a potential employer won’t hire you if you can’t come on time.

If you happen to have an emergency and can’t make it, call and email the employer letting him or her know that you can’t make it and why. The chances of you not getting the job will probably increase, but at least you won’t look like a big flake.

Don’t lie

The biggest mistake you can make is lie during an interview. You should assume that your future boss isn’t dumb. After all, he or she must have done something right to get to that position. So, if you lie, chances are you will be caught.

Tell the truth even if it can hurt you. It’s our nature to try to make ourselves look the best we can. So, when someone asks if you can do something and you can’t, be honest, but do say you are willing to learn.

If you get caught in a lie, I’ll guarantee that you won’t be hired. If you made it this far, don’t blow it by telling a small lie.

Follow up

I have had a good number of candidates that were perfect for my job openings. They went through all the steps correctly, but they forgot to do one really important thing – follow up.

If I tell you that you are hired, then make sure you get back to me. You’ll be amazed at how many people just disappeared off the face of the earth after I agreed to hire them. When I finally figured out why, it wasn’t because they didn’t like my company or found a better position, it’s because their personal life distracted them.

Get your priorities straight. If you can’t, the least you can do is to let the employer know that you can’t work for him/her, instead of leaving the employer hanging. It’s just common courtesy.

Conclusion

I know, the economy is bad and you can’t find a job, right? Stop blaming the economy because there are a ton of job openings. You just have to look for them. Most of the people I know who own companies, including me, are all hiring. The hardest thing that we are experiencing is that we can’t find people who are hungry, scrappy, and smart.

If you think you are hungry, scrappy, and smart, here is the best way you can get a job:

  1. Leverage your network – companies are more likely to hire people that are referred to them. We hate wasting time on bad hires, so we’d rather reduce our risk and go with a recommendation.
  2. Don’t wait for an opening – the biggest mistake you can make is to only apply to companies that have job openings. If you really feel you can help a company grow and you see that the company is making mistakes, hit these people up and tell them all the things they need to fix. You will be surprised at how many companies will hire you when you do that. You will probably even get paid more.
  3. Don’t be shy – what’s best for the company is typically what’s best for you. Don’t beat around the bush when you are in an interview. You’re more likely to get a job if you are upfront and tell things how they are. Don’t make the mistake of telling me what I want to hear. Instead, tell me what’s best for my business.

So, what do you think? Why are people struggling to find jobs?

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Comments

  1. Spot on Neil. Few things to add on:

    1. A cover letter is worth a thousand words. The resume never can sum up in a few bullets what you are capable of. Remember that you should also cater this to the specific job. I throw away templates. Template cover letter = McDonald’s worker.

    2. Follow-up: Be creative and figure out a way to make yourself stand out. If you really, really want to be a part of an organization make that known and transparent in the interview and follow-up.

    3. Money. Everyone needs to live and pay bills. I get that as an employer. But what value are you going to provide me, my organization and most importantly my customers? This needs to be clear.

    4. Entitlement. Times are rough, sorry the days of a 30 stint with a full retirement package are not really there anymore. Your 4-6 year degree give you no entitlement. Just training and tools to use. Be natural, honest and show value on how you can apply those tools and become an asset to the organization, not a liability.

  2. Another factor you have to consider is the area you live in. The competition to get a job is higher especially for professional positions. There are jobs available, it’s just that most people aren’t willing to take lower level positions and be under paid for their skills.
    I agree though, it’s all up to the individual. If you keep looking consistently you’ll find a job.
    The only thing is that I’m trying to get rid of my
    job ;)

  3. I 100% agree with the “don’t only talk to companies that advertise job openings” point. While I work as a SEM consultant, I’ve been able to open many doors by simply sending the client a micro-audit of their site with some suggestions. It’s often far more than their “current” SEM team member has offered (if they exist.) They start seeing problems solved and can easily picture you doing this for their clients. It also shows you’re willing to put your skills on the line and spend a bit of time demonstrating your interest.

  4. Excellent summary and I couldn’t agree more!

    One other thing for interviewees – ask for the job! Yes, you are interviewing and we get that you want the job, but for pete’s sake make sure you say you really want the job and how you can make the company better, not just how it would be good for you.

    • Very important point. The realization of whether there is a mutually beneficial relationship that can result from employing a candidate quickly becomes apparent when the interviewer simply asks “where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years?” And most candidates will sometimes forget that the employer wants to hear you say that you will grow with THEIR company, not: “go back to school for a master’s program, open my own business” and etc. This gives the impression that you are considering employment as a short-term goal, and really, using them as a stepping stone towards other things. Great point Clay. Make sure you let them know that you want this job, and that it will stay that way. Employers invest in long term employees.

    • Very true…. people forget the most simple things. Just like when you’re closing a sale. Don’t ask, don’t expect.

  5. Although mine aren’t the traditional interviews done in person, I hire people from classified ads online to do writing for me and am surprised at how many people don’t personalize their message.

    I give my name in the ad and only about 50% of them will start off with “Hi Kevin” or something using my name… it just seems like common sense to personalize it a little bit to stand out.

  6. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are looking for jobs and are not being successful in their search and the common thread is that they don’t know what they want. They don’t know what industry they want to work in, they don’t know what kind of job they want, they don’t know anything. They say “they’ll do anything” or “they want to work in the any industry but the one they’re currently in” but they have no specifics which leads to too wide of a job hunt and too vague of resumes/cover letters.

    I knew what kind of job I wanted, I knew what kind of company I wanted to work for and in what region(s). That allowed me to build a resume and a skill set that I knew would help me get that kind of job. I first had to figure out what I wanted.

    I also wasn’t afraid to ask for help with my resume, or for a reference from respected industry vet.

  7. While I agree that individuals need to learn more job search skills, there are plenty of problems with employers trying to implement the suggestions here.

    Resume — one or two pages? Even if you have only worked for five years, that would be tough. Isn’t the purpose of the resume to provide information to a potential employer that show you can help companies reach their goals and produce results? If you take out too many results to get to one page — especially results that match the job description — why would you get an interview?

    Sure, the top page needs to be a great summary of skills and accomplishments. But to hold it to two pages is arbitrary and you’ll miss great candidates.

    Be personal. Sure. How many jobs out there even have personal contact information for the employer? If it does, great, but if the job description doesn’t, it’s tough to be personal. And, by the way, even if a candidate is personal, if an employer sends back one of those robot, automatically generated “this e-mail address isn’t monitored” responses to your resume, a candidate gets no reinforcement to be personal.

    Do your homework. Mostly spot on here. I’d just note that applicants have a horrific time trying to address poorly written job descriptions — either ones that don’t describe the job or ones that require walking-on-water job skills to be considered for an entry level position. How much of your “not doing homework” is because your job description sucks?

    Not yours, Neil, since I didn’t see them, but go read 50 job descriptions for a personal assistant position or project manager position and see if you can get past the Corporate Speak and figure out what you actually have to do…and fifty job descriptions or more are what candidates read to determine if they have the right stuff to apply for a job.

    Job applicants on the whole do a poor job of doing things right in a job search — they don’t have to use those skills every day like they use Microsoft Office skills, so they do them poorly or never learned how to do them.

    But employers need an equal amount of criticism here as well — poor job descriptions, impossible or poorly described job skills needed, poor communication to applicants, and managers that don’t know how to interview are just a few.

    If you are really looking for talent to help reach your business goals, companies need to try the hiring process on themselves and see what blockades they put in front of great candidates with these practices.

    As a previous CEO of Avis used to say: If you want to see what your customers put up with in your company, try contacting your company through the avenues you provide. Then wonder how they could stay your customer…

    • Thank you so much for eloquently stating what I was thinking. To be honest, this writer sounds like someone I would never want to work for, as he seems to think he is infallible. Sounds like a typical bad manager with an inflated ego. “You should assume that your future boss isn’t dumb because he or she must have done something right to get to that position.” Or, how about they hung around long enough to fall into it? “Typically, no one is looking for a jack-of-all-trades because we know it doesn’t exist.” That’s an awfully broad statement. I have skills in a number of areas, all of which I went into knowing nothing about and I have to say that now, I’m pretty damn good at.

      • I used to think that being a jack-of-all-trades meant being a master of nothing, but it was a good kick in the pants when I realized that through the 10,000+ hours of useful practice at it, I did become an expert at it.

        I didn’t choose that path because I was incapable of becoming an expert in a subject area, but because I have such varied interests that I want to absorb and understand an entire spectrum.

        The trouble is quantifying the intangible and getting past the keyword-stuffed resumes tweaked specifically to match the requisition.

      • There’s no ego, I’m simply talking about the fact that I’ve worked with many employees and I’ve spoken to many successful people who have done 100x what I’ve done. Being a jack of all trades isn’t necessary… it’s better to hire 5 people that do 1 thing each like masters, then 1 person that does 5 things.

    • I understand what you are saying Scot, and there are simple ways to get past most of your objections. For instance, a simple phone call will give you the name of the person to address and can clarify any details you need to know about the job description.

    • Glad I am not the only one here who is liable to branded a “Negative Creep.” Since that is what everyone is, who does not follow the true believer corporate dogma (To “Value Add” and To “Multi-Task). Do these people realize that they sound like total douche bags? I think not. Sure, every profession has jargon. But this is more like Scientology. Somewhere, there has to be a backlash when people get angry enough.

    • I get what you’re saying and at the same time there are just too many applicants and in order to beat em, you need to be more clear, concise, and clever. That’s not even covering the part about you being more convincing and persuasive. You can keep doing the industry norm.

    • Standing ovation, really. It’s particularly difficult to address employers personally when there is no contact information just a general description of the job and a masked email. Not to mention, these days I’ve been coming across many job posts where the company itself isn’t listed. As a job seeker I will not apply to a job post where I’m not being told who I’m even going to work for. A resume is incredibly personal it has my email address, my phone number, and even address so there is absolutely no chance I feel comfortable requesting employment when someone posts out a vague job description with no link back to a website, a company phone number, or address of the company itself.

      Also, I came across an article on AP the other day revealing that on average there are three applicants per job opening (given the current economy). This means employers are getting lazy about recruiting new talent which ultimately will reflect on the average job applicant. You would make less effort to obtain a job where the job recruiter isn’t putting much work into something as simple as the job description (I have seen numerous grammatical mistakes on legitimate job postings too!).

      As for interviews. Having recently graduated from college and going through numerous interviews I must say from first hand experience, many “HR reps” or “job recruiters” don’t know how to interview. At one point, I had an interviewer pull me into a small room (after making me wait for about an hour) sit down with me and ask me word for word the questions she had written down even if I had already addressed them in previous answers.

      I treat interviews like first dates. If you have a terrible person interview me, believe you me- I will NOT follow up with that company. I think I received most of my offers from these type of employers and there isn’t a chance I would like to carry out whatever position makes their employees become so “zombie-like,” and impersonal.

      In sum, job posting and job seeking requires work from both sides and it’s those participants that take the easy road out that end up frustrating good employers and good employees. So no, you’re not always to blame for not getting the position but if you haven’t primped yourself up for the job search, this article creates a good starting plan.

  8. I totally understand what you’re getting out here, but here’s my POV as someone who was on the job hunt doing all the things you–and a ton of other people–have outlined above: sometimes the reason why you don’t have a job is not because you’re not doing enough but because of the employer/recruiter, too.

    What it comes down to is a number of things:

    1) Personality – does the job seeker fit within the corporate culture? As much as you can research the company, if you and job seeker #2 come equipped with the same skills but job seeker #2 has better chemistry than you do, job seeker #2 will get the job.

    2) Does the company and/or hiring manager know what they want? This applies to marketing roles more than tech roles where you hire for hard skills, but I have been in a number of interviews where the employer does not know what they want, either out of the role itself or the person and they change their expectations, and they kind of person they want to fill the role, throughout the interview process. It happens.

    3) Every employer and hiring manager is different — as you mentioned you prefer people to do their homework. I totally agree, but what about those people who post confidential job posts without the name of a hiring manager? Kind of a shot the dark. Every hiring manager is different and wants people to apply in different ways. I understand that. And one way to level the playing field is by writing a blog post outlining exactly what they’re looking for–which is what you just did.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, but if you’re an employer having a hard time finding the right talent, do your job seekers a favor and outline ‘exactly’ what you’re looking for. You’ll save yourself and job seekers a lot of time.

    • I think it might be worth while to point out that the HR recruiter is the one who’s supposed to be the professional in the deal. It’s my expectation that everyone should WANT the job seeker to the amateur– I mean, really think about that for a moment! :)

      I was talking to an HR manager I’d met with about a year ago. Then he was pretty cocky about how soon he expected to be employed again, and he had all the usual nostrums about how to get a job with a great resume and a lot of networking. Today, he’s given up his search and is trying to start a business because the root problem is that not enough positions are available for everyone to have a job.

    • I don’t think that’s the issue, at least from experience. People are just getting in their own way from what I noticed.

  9. Being a student, this post gonna help me to find the best job for me. I like the thing you mentioned above and the most “Do your Homework” part.
    Thanks for the post Neil.

  10. Nice post Neil. One thing I would add as a compliment to passion is hustle. In this day in age with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora, and Google search bar, there is no reason not to know everything about the company you are applying to work for. This includes key employees, core focus, financial position of company, culture, etc. Further, using these channels should open your eyes to other potential job opportunities. The information at your disposal is huge.

  11. “The other thing to keep in mind before submitting a resume is to check for grammar and spelling errors. . .”

    A few paragraphs earlier:

    “If you’re* jaw didn’t drop. . .”

    *your

    Great read, though! Just found a bit of humor there :-)

  12. I agree with you 100% . The other thing I see among people I know who are unemployed, they are not thinking out of the box. they may not find what they were doing before but that doesn’t mean that is all they are qualified for. I know someone in a dead-end hotel job and she could do well at an internet travel company but doesn’t feel she is good because she doesn’t know the internet. She knows the ends and outs of hotels she is considered an insider. I spoke with someone who said she could make double what she is now if she tried.

  13. I would agree that it must be frustrating for many folks in a position to hire to have to sort through the “chaff” to get to the “wheat”. However, as has been suggested in other comments, I have run into problems during my own job hunts (I’m working now; for myself on the side and part-time for a company) – and I did everything you’ve suggested in your post. Much of the time the average job hunter runs into recruiters or staffing companies that have become the de-facto HR departments for all types of companies, large and small. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to interview with Betty B. Bimbo (who doesn’t know what HTML is, much less know anything about it); who’s job is to screen out people before she’ll ok them to then go interview for her client company. Result: many of us have to endure a level of “interviewing” with an idiot before getting to the real interviews. You don’t mention this here, so I’m sure your company (and many others) don’t use staffing outfits – just a point I wanted to make. Recruiters and staffing companies have mucked up the job hunt process for those out in the trenches – and I’m not sure they’re doing potential employers much good, either.

  14. Hi Neil, i liked this one “I am not going to hire someone based on their looks, I am looking to hire people that can make me more money’. But sadly there are many crooks out there who don’t abide by this rule.

    • At my previous job, all of my male coworkers were swooning at the idea of a beautiful young woman as a potential hire after they saw her come in for an interview. Apparently, guys were “breaking their necks” outside the building (Downtown Seattle) while she was entering. Long story short, I’m glad that these coworkers were not in charge of the hiring decision.

      Supposedly she did not do well at the interview and in fact, from what I heard, blew it.

    • Yeah, there are always going to be exceptions.. but we can’t really do anything about that. As long as you’re doing the right thing, that’s what counts.

  15. David Robert Hogg :

    No offense Neil but what kind of people are you bringing in for interviews? “If I tell you that you are hired, then make sure you get back to me” — you’re having trouble with people not responding after you tell them they have a job? I’m not sure this falls under the category, “Look, I know the economy is bad.”

  16. Very true about how people go about applying for jobs. The best way is to be who you really are on your CV, there’s no point pumping your self up on the CV, as it will always catch you out. I find if someone is genuine, and their work is good, there’s a very good chance that they will get hired.

    • Honesty is a great value to embody both in person and on paper. Some of my colleagues use the dirty tactic of bolstering their resumes with skills they really do not have, or have little experience with.

      Can you imagine if one of the skills you lied about having was one of the factors that were used in your hiring decision? Imagine trying to perform that skill on the actual job, and giving your employer the cold realization that you in fact can’t do the job.

      It is always better to be truthful. Great point Wasim.

      • Not true not true. If people would believe you when you say you will pick up a program like Quickbooks or Salesforce easily, I wouldn’t lie. In fact I have seen demonstrations online. It is NOT hard. I WILL get it just like I learned all the other 50 programs on my resume. I can’t help it if the people you are interviewing are stupid. Most people CAN learn on the job. It is not rocket science.

      • Better before than later.. that’s for sure. Plus, most people would respect those that are upfront and interested in learning.

    • You just gotta push it and hustle your butt off.

  17. Niel this was awesome… This is may be your experience but i can say this deserves 2 big Thumbs up!

    i think think this is the time when we (including me if i am applying for the job) should stop blaming the worst economy but should work in to the stuff from my end like optimizing the CV and all.

    The only thing where i don’t agree is don’t wait for the openings. i guess this is rude to tell the company that these are the places where you are wrong and i can fix it. i believe that one should wait for the openings and then apply this is bit ethical to go…

    • Moosa,

      Totally agreee with you! =) People must start to treat looking for a job, a “full-time job”!

    • I know I have typos on blog posts like this, but I hope YOUR cover letters are better than this. Complete gibberish. Sorry.

    • I don’t think it’s rude, it shows that someone is aggressive and not passive.

    • The comments here are proving as interesting as the article itself. I think what Neil is not necessarily suggesting to point out the bad aspects of a company but rather make the company aware there are areas of improvement and who better than you to help this process.

      Once you’ve acquired a skill set that is not necessarily abundant among job seekers, you can begin sending out unsolicited cover letters to companies you would like to hire you. I think this topic probably deserves a new post in itself as it is very time consuming but with the right tools and research could result very rewarding for the seeker. Nevertheless, personally, I would recommend doing this only if you have a stable situation because it does take time and it is not necessarily a quick fix for those who need the job asap.

  18. Your CV is least considered sometimes though you have mentioned all your achievements in that. What is look for is- how you perform on stage during an interview. It doesn’t matter how well and beautifully you have decorated your CV, candidates are judged by many other factors.

  19. Edinburgh Driving School :

    These are some great tips. Applying to companies that are not explicitly looking for employees can really pay off.

  20. It amazes me that someone wouldn’t get back to you after being offered a job, just for random personal reasons. Wow.

    But yeah, as Scot Herrick said, it’s hard to be personal to a company when so many companies are incredibly impersonal to job-seekers. A job listing full of corporate-speak and a form-letter acknowledgement send a message that that’s what they want back, and it feels like a risk to take a different, personal approach.

  21. I totally agree about personalized Email while applying for a job :)

    great article, just like others :)

  22. Very true Neil. The followup is the most important one imho. It’s typically indicative of what kind of discipline that individual possesses.

  23. Great Article Neil- Being in the staffing industry for nearly 14 years, and business owner, I can say you are 100% correct, however when our schools, youth sports, gov’t, teach our kids they are “entitled” to stuff (everyone gets a trophy) this is what you get, a society who does not understand, what it takes in the “real world” to succeed… Great article, and struck a chord with me, which is what content marketing is all about… Best to ALL, Brian-

  24. pls find out why dont you find right people for job. finding right resources for your company is tough job. think for solution and make your next post. I have few great tips, people from best IT companies are working for me.

  25. Yo Neil – Happy New Year!

    Great advice for job seekers here – and you’re right – rather than place blame or come up with excuses of why you can’t get a job, you need to step up your game… those that do will get the jobs – love it!

  26. One more piece of advise for job seekers: be enthusiastic on the phone. I have NOT requested further, in-person interviews for half a dozen people simply because their phone skills were terrible.

    • Common problem. Sometimes could be attributed to the fact that somebody just woke up, is sick, or simply is shy/timid and doesn’t have good phone skills. Depending on the job you are hiring for, I wouldn’t place too much importance unless using the phone on a daily, rigorous basis was an important job function. But yes, overall, even if phone skills aren’t important for the job, phone skills are a plus to have in general regardless.

    • Good point… energy and enthusiasm is gold!

  27. Its good! Have you read a book called “Your Marketing Sucks”? This post reminds me about how many people need to take a step back and evaluate how they are marketing (themselves in this case) from the perspective of their consumer (potential employer)

  28. Like they say. It is a job to find a job!

  29. Hey Neil,

    This dropped in my inbox today (I’m based in the UK) and the timing was incredible. We had literally just written an article on our blog on the frustrations we faced whilst reviewing cover letters for our roles. There was a real slackness in the applications.

    “The hardest thing that we are experiencing is that we can’t find people who are hungry, scrappy, and smart” – This is very true. There’s a perception that there are no student jobs at the moment but we have plenty of amazing opportunites posted on our job board, but there just doesn’t seem to be the quality candidates with a real hunger.

  30. Neil, you’ve reduced me to near speechlessness– a rare condition for me!

    First let me say that your points are well taken. A good resume that is well laid out and eloquent, speaking to the position desired is invaluable. Your other points are also irrefutable except for one thing– they miss the goal of getting a great person into the position. The process of appealing to the sensibilities of the recruiter have become more important than the ability to do the job.

    And that is wrong! The goal of the hiring process is not to please someone in HR or even the hiring manager. The BUSINESS purpose is to find a productive person to fill the position, that will contribute to the company’s bottom line.

    Most job descriptions don’t really talk about what the company needs done, and are useless in helping an applicant align what they have actually accomplished with the needs of the position. If you’re looking for a surgeon, do you look for someone with the buzzwords or someone who’s successfully completed surgeries similar to what you need?

    Thinking about resume length for a moment– I have a career that spans more than 40 years in High Tech. The things I’ve accomplished are really interesting and reveal a lot about me as a person, but I can’t tell you about it because it would be way more than 2 pages and goes back more than 20 years.

    Interestingly, you will probably want to know about my MBA in Marketing and HR Management, and my BS in Business Management even though they *might* have been earned 40+ years ago. Why?

    Many managers and HR departments won’t hire “overqualified” applicants because of an old wives tale that highly qualified workers are harder to manage. News flash– they are not, but they must be managed differently. If anything studies show that (unsurprisingly) overqualified workers tend to be more productive and do higher quality work. And they do stay on just as long as their less qualified coworkers. According to some statistics *most* American workers are overqualified for their current job; would you let them go because they are overqualified? Why not? All the arguments about applicants now apply to these workers.

    The current process also ignores the fact that people are not interchangeable gears. Each person has unique abilities and gifts that suit them for particular activities and disadvantage them at others. I have a friend with Augsberger’s Syndrome (a form of autism). It helps him to be brilliant at software development, but it disadvantages him interacting with people because he can’t read their emotional state. He has a really hard time with interviews because he misses the emotional cues most of the rest of us “get”. Yet, once hired, he solves problems that no one else has figured out. Wouldn’t you want to hire him if that was your need?

    Then there’s the helpful hint: “The no hire decision is made within just a few seconds of meeting you, even if no words have been exchanged.” So now, is that decision based on logic and critical thinking or is it just an excuse to be prejudiced and hire “beautiful” (read, “people I like”) people?

    The final insult is to blame unemployment on the unemployed. Here in Oregon there are something more than 210,000 people unemployed and the last statistic I can find shows like 15,000 job openings (about 30% open more than 6 months). Even if every opening were filled that leaves 195,000 who’s failure to find employment can in no way be their fault.

    It’s a great provocative title but it only serves to promote the false image that all or even most unemployed are either incompetent or just kicking back and cashing their unemployment checks. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    • PS — I know I’ve brought up several things you didn’t address in your article; I just wanted to address some of the issues that make your headline “You’re the reason why you don’t have a job” untrue.

      • I believe that a person not having a job is their own fault, not someone else’s.

        • It’s right Neil.. But sometimes it happens that selection of a candidate becomes unfair and because of which candidate is not selected even though he is eligible for the same. It is my though as I have gone through it.

        • I hear what you both mean. Both Paul and yourself are looking for a solution to the problem- unemployment and jobs not being filled. However there are different approaches. What Paul is saying is that telling an unemployed individual that it is their fault they are unemployed is like adding salt to the wound. There is no single-formula-for-all solution for this problem but the way in which matters are addressed is important.

          Basically the idea, “you wouldn’t kick a puppy when it’s down!” falls in play here. I do recognize you’re providing valuable information and are attempting to motivate the unemployed. Kudos on that, but word choice has been playing against you as is visible from some of these comments.

    • Hi,
      I do understand about what are you talking,but:

      You said:”The final insult is to blame unemployment on the unemployed”
      Let’s be honest, how many percent of unemployed really try to find a job? Or it is easier to say ,it is a bad economy and blame everybody and everything else ,than them self!
      (The exception proves the rule)

      About your friend with “Augsberger’s Syndrome “( i really know what it is) be personal!
      He can submitt it in his resume,maybe with some description of it. Who want his WORK he will do not mind.It is being profesional!

      About “overqualified” – i do understand it and agree and not agree,because it is not excuse to not have a job,it is just not easy.

      Anyway ,it is good te hear some other vision ,thx

    • You said it alright. The m.o. of recruiters today is to compile an incredibly long list of qualifications for the job. If the applicant is missing even one of these things (even if it can be learned in ten minutes by someone who is not a complete moron) that person is screened out. If the person meets EVERY SINGLE qualification, but is too old. Forget it. Your example of the guy with autism is true. Some people are just terrible in interviews because they can not spout these dull buzz words with any conviction whatsoever. Oftentimes, the person who knows the intricacies of the job is not the one doing the screening. They are simply evaluating every candidate based on the percentage or words in the resume that match with the advertisement.

      Just stupid!

    • There are too many people who don’t treat being unemployed as a “real job”. If you don’t have one, it’s your job to get one. Even though there isn’t a job for everyone, most people just aren’t willing to look or try. Then when they try and fail, they quit. You need to focus on improving your skills and push it.

  31. Some people are bad at looking for jobs, sure. That’s not the main reason so many can’t find jobs.

    It’s mainly due to too many looking, and not enough openings. Anyone without experience finds it hard to find a job. Anyone without a degree finds it hard to find a job. Anyone with the wrong experience finds it hard to find a job. Anyone fully-qualified, but in a field that’s vanished, finds it hard to find a job… All this makes under-employment high.

    I see what you are trying to do, but to me, you come across as myopic and insensitive.

    • I understand that there aren’t as many jobs as there use to be, but that’s still no excuse. There are always opportunities, even if it’s over the web. There a unlimted ways to make money

  32. I have a few rules for job searching:

    1) I never look outside of my immediate network, I’ll work an introduction chain that is 3 or 4 deep, but I never step outside the network.

    2) My goal is to ask enough questions at the end of the interview that the interviewer has spoken for 45% of the interview. Let them tell you their story. Ask them why they work there and why they enjoy it.

  33. Another reason people don’t get hired, age discrimination. Those of us over 50 are looked upon as just waiting for retirement and not useful, in the US. We are not our parents who were out of shape, not well educated and not energetic at this age. We may have graying hair that hair color does not cover, but we work hard, ask questions and take on extra work. We do not call of because our kids are sick, our kids are grown and gone. But, this does not chage the perception of business owners and managers in the US. I am employed by the way. I work hard at my job and work long and odd hours that a younger person would not work.

    • Know watcha mean. I worked a lot of extra hours because my boss used to waste everyones time with useless meetings. Guess what? Got sacked anyway. Hope you can hang on to your job. Don’t spend an extra penny again ever. And maybe move someplace cheap.

    • I don’t deny that that discrimination exists… it’s unfortunate, I agree.

  34. Great article. It’s so hard to get good employees. Businesses, especially small ones, don’t have the money these days to pay people who are not going to do pull their weight.

  35. Great advice Neil.
    I would like to add this for after you get hired.
    I learn years ago when I just enter the work force. Do your Job to your best ability, No matter the reward It pays off in the end one way or the other. A lot of people work just enough to fill the job their have. When one should be filling the job He/She wants. I made it from pushing carts in Home Depot parking lot to Running the building in less than 2 years with that lesson at age 20. When I left the Company to start My own Business I apply the same philosophy and the rewards turned out just as great. I try to teach my New Hires that and some get it some don’t.

  36. Hi Neil,
    I somehow partially disagree with your statement “pitch yourself for the job opening and not stuff that the company is looking for” Bigger companies have different hiring policy. Hiring executives tries to match the resume according to the company needs before they call. I believe tailoring resume according to job requirements is very important.q

  37. Bang on! I would like to add a point here

    Mention clearly in subject line about the position you are applying for. Very often we have two three openings and at times guys just write CV in resume. or CV for JOB in resume. Unless you read the email, you can not shortlist it or forward to the receptive dept/people

    I am sure your article will help several guys who are looking for job

  38. Yep, I am running an internet business in Europe, and it is exactly the same here…

    Seems like “people” are more interested about how much they can win, but not very on the value they can provide…

    We are on the “Celbrity” age, “I am a star”, “Give me a million buck, and maybe I will give a smile, but, do not count on it”.

    You receive the life you deserve…

    I have hired more than 40 people within 2 years, and the first 3 months are great, after, it goes down…

  39. Yup. You’re so right when you’re saying about Being personal.

    I just didn’t personalize my resume. But now after I read this post I really understand this.

    It’s really very important To Be Personal And To Show Your Enthusiasm!

    Thanks for great advices, Neil. It’s a pleasure to read such posts with practical davices.

  40. “It’s a great provocative title but it only serves to promote the false image that all or even most unemployed are either incompetent or just kicking back and cashing their unemployment checks. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

    Thank you for saying what I wanted to say in a much more eloquent way.

    While this post has some good points, overall it sounds like it is written by someone who is young, clueless, but thinks they know everything. I don’t care what your resume says or how many companies you run- blaming unemployment solely on the unemployed makes you sound like a narrow minded idiot who couldn’t see or understand the big picture if it was drawn in crayon and narrated by Big Bird.

    Thank goodness I don’t have to work for someone like you, it must be very frustrating to anyone who is a critical thinker. But then again, working for anyone would be frustrating for me- which is why I’m the boss.

    Get off your high horse and be glad you are not in the position of needing work. You can write an informative article without being offensive and insensitive.

    • “But then again, working for anyone would be frustrating for me- which is why I’m the boss.”

      Look, working for others isn’t for everyone I get it. But blaming someone else or the “economy” is just an excuse. Anyone can get a job regardless of the lack of opportunities. If someone really wanted to make money, they could easily put the time, energy, and effort and make it happen.

      • AliceInWonderland :

        Hi Neil,

        I’m sure in a lot of ways you are a great and fun person. However, saying that every person who is unemployed is 100% their fault is close minded and an attitude I usually see in rich people…rich people who have either forgotten what it’s like to struggle or never went through financial hard times (as the old saying goes a person born with a silver spoon in their mouths). It can be a very complicated story as to why that person is unable to find a job no matter how hard they try. In some cases, the person could just have really bad luck. It is true that some people just don’t really want a job blaming anything that they can to stay unemployed, but those numbers are much fewer then you probably think.

        Most people want to work and hope they can find a job that is somehow satisfying in some way. Currently, I am unemployed by choice. I have burnt out so bad in what is now my past career that I could no longer do the work. Thanks to my husband, I am able to stay unemployed while I train in a new career. I will tell you one thing, I HATE being unemployed.

        I truly hope that Star Trek comes true. That one day, we will no longer have to depend on money to survive (I have it partially figured out how this concept could work). But, until then, Neil, I hope you sit back and take a close look at the different financial situations people from all parts of the country (and the world) are in, and the many variables and reasons as to why.

        • I do understand that everyone isn’t born with a golden spoon. I myself wasn’t and I still remember the days of being poor. I haven’t had money for the majority of my life and I still live beneath my means. Because of my memories of being poor, that’s probably the number 1 reason I donate a lot of my income each year.

          As for finding a job, there are always situations that cause people to not be able to find a job. But for the majority of the people out there, I really think this article applies to them.

          I’m happy that you are taking a break and finding your new path. I think that is a smart move as it sucks to be burned out. Best of luck with your new career.

          • AliceInWonderLand :

            Hi Neil,

            Thanks. And congrats on being successful. I’m curious. Let’s say everyone followed your advice and tried to get a job in the best possible way for them. Are there enough jobs to employ everyone? If not, how could these jobs be created? Economics is a really big mystery to me, so I’m not too sure how there could be a job for everyone over the age of 21.

            Later.

            • To be honest, I am not 100% either. By no means am I an expert in economics. Assuming everyone followed the advice and produced good results for their employers, companies should also be making more money. So it should help create more jobs as well.

  41. Great article, Neil! With the economy in shambles and record unemployment, I’ve been hiring . . . except every time I hire someone, they turn out to be unreliable. It baffles me. Either they are unresponsive prior to hire as you’ve discussed, or once you take them on, they fail to live up to your expectations or their promises. Now I am working with contract developers, but it shouldn’t really matter.

    I’ve been through this enough times to know that this isn’t just a fluke, but a trend.

    Perhaps the developers that I hire are simply overcommiting themselves to more projects then they can handle. Either way, it is a sad state of affairs when you can’t find a good coder who is going to live up to the simple expectation of showing up or following up.

    What I do know is that it is long past time to move past the freelancers in hope that the employees out there are better. We’ll see . . .

    • I know what you mean… it’s not easy finding the right person, I would agree. I prefer to go after people who authentic and have an interest in hustling. I’m not looking for 1000 people to be that way, just a few. It’s very hard though to say the least.

  42. “Do your homework”
    To the point:)
    And that means, think about:
    1.What do you want yourself?
    2.What IS the job you want?
    3.What THEY want/need?
    4.What you can offer to them?
    5. Is IT truly what you want?

    If you are honest with yourself and go to the point,you can get any job you really want( in your one segment ,offcourse). I came to your: “Don’t lie”
    When you lie to other,first of all you lie to yourself:)

    Great post,I like it:)

    Btw: it is not only about get the job,it is also about keep it!

    P.S. Some of the reason that people can struggling:
    – do not know to make a choice
    – try to present them BETTER than they really are and not the best of them.
    – do not go to the point
    – personal problems
    – low confidence
    …. and many other

    P.P.S. With some tricky questions,you can find who is the person you want have in your comany :)

  43. Enjoyed the cartoon. I agree with writing only a basic message with your resume is not going to get the attention of an employer. Personalization is key, as you stated, to capture the attention of the employer.

  44. Of course the best way to get a job is through networking through colleagues.

  45. Hey good post , this is exaclty why I will never work for someone else lol. I rather work for my self then go through all that !

  46. I’ve worked for fortune 500 companies and as CEO of my own company. While working for my previous employer, I interviewed thousands of people, and my biggest pet peeve was people who didnt bother to show for an interview. Back when the job market was great, i would actually double book people knowing that there was a high chance one wouldnt show up. I remembered every single person who burned my time. There are not enough bridges in the world to burn even one.

    Now that I am running my own company, I have people begging me for an interview, with this terrible job market, and they still don’t show up.

    One important tip:

    Hit one business that you would love to work for, hand deliver your resume. If they are not hiring, get info on someone that person knows in the same industry (you will be suprised how willing they will be to help you). Before you leave, ask permission to mention their name (again they will usually say its ok). Now you have an inside name and a referral to your next company. Do this a few times, collecting names. By your 4th or 5th company, the person you approach will feel they have to meet with you because all their competitors sent you there.

    Works like a charm every time.

    • Mike,

      I think that is such a great tip. I’d be curious to see if this really works, or if you know someone that has had success with this style of applying?

      I mean, I can’t imagine this working at a place like, say, Amazon.com. I’m pretty sure you can’t hand deliver your resume to someone as a first-time applier. In fact, they would probably hate that.

      So perhaps your advice would apply to smaller companies…

    • Wow… that’s some amazing advice… thank you for sharing that. I definitely agree and that’s the type of mindset one should have.

  47. Absolutely agree. These tips are standard for any professional who is job hunting. You need to approach every interview like it is your last shot, every cover letter like it’s the most important document you’ve ever written, and do your homework on the company!

  48. Good points Neil! Yes, a person has to rightly sell himself for getting that dream job. When a company has a vacancy then it gets a huge number of applicants and checking all of them can be a very tedious process. If your cover letter is interesting and youcan show that you will be an asset to the company then you will definitely succeed in the job hunting business.

  49. This article highlight the truth. Winners does what losers won’t and pay the prices and that other don’t. If you want it, you need to go the extra mile!

  50. Agreed! One thing that irritates me too are people who have jobs but slacks off, nonetheless, and worries getting fired! I think more people should realized that though opportunities are out there, if they don’t seized it and become stewards of it, they’re in for a downward slide.

  51. Only 2 Page Resume ? Neil don’t you think so it’s difficult for experienced candidate to express his/her all projects work detail with general details beacause Resume considers as a First Impresssion so what do you suggest for same ?

    • 2 pages is enough… if you have more, I suggest you condense it with the most relevant information.

      • This can be tough for people with job instability – either through bad luck (lay offs, corp. restructuring, yadda yadda). What would you recommend for people that have had say, 10 jobs in the past 4 years? That would be difficult to condense if a lot of the duties are “relevant”

        What is your view on interviewers being turned off by candidates who appear to be serial job-hoppers when in reality they weren’t?

        • I would use your best and most relevant experiences for the job you’re applying for.

          I get that some people really aren’t, but unfortunately it’s going to appear that way if you’re not actually talking to the person face to face.

    • Try to put only the most important information in you resume and tell more at the interview. The resume is just a door for the big challenge which is the interview and for that you have to be better prepares.

  52. Hey Neil

    Gr8 post. All the views you gave were good and the one which i feel is more important is being on time. If we are late then we tend to create a bad impression on our discipline and will affect the image.

    Lakshmi

    • Being late is probably one of the worst things you can do for an interview.

      • Being late means that you don’t really care about that job and the employer will think the same. Still, if you are fully qualified for the job and you know how to convince them you can still get the job, after all, they are looking for something to get the job done.

        • Well they say first impressions are the most important… not being on time for your interview is probably the worst thing that will affect you getting that job.

  53. Once again great post & tips for job seekers. Well, I’d like to add outer personality of dressing sense. If you are coming for the interview make sure that you dressed properly. Most of the times we see that candidates who are coming for the interview wears unprofessional clothes which left bad impression on your interviewer. Don’t wear t-shirt or jeans while coming for the interview. Make sure to comb your hair, polish your shoes & to be in clean clothes. Outer personality also reflects your style of living.

    Thanks.

  54. If, job seekers, who have gone on countless interviews feel stressful, you should shift your ideas from doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    • Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Change it up.

      • I hear the expression quite a bit. In fact, I think “changing it up” at interviews is something you learn by actually just going to many interviews. You learn to be more comfortable and to really just have a conversation – this keeps things fresh and spontaneous, so your reactions and answers sound more natural.

        I remember when I first started interviewing for jobs, I would “memorize” answers – so when you didn’t memorize it correctly, it would be so obvious that I was just being a robot. Definitely good advice here.

  55. “Get your priorities straight. If you can’t, the least you can do is to let the employer know that you can’t work for them, instead of leaving them hanging. It’s just common courtesy.”

    You are right, I would never do that. (And I have never EVER not shown up for an interview). But plenty of employers have had me jumping through hoops for a week, telling me that “It is between you and one other person….we will DEFINITELY let you know either way.” What happens? I follow up once or twice. No response. It becomes obvious that they are ducking me because they are too cowardly to send an email or leave a phone message. I will bet a million dollars you have wasted some poor saps time with that routine.

    You are an A-hole. There are plenty of people out there who do all the right things and they don’t even get interviews. I know what you are thinking: My attitude sucks! Maybe you are even correct. However, I can write a pretty good cover letter. I am not getting enterviews for office manager or administrative jobs because I am too old (meaning I am not in my mid 20’s). I suppose when you are in your 40’s you are supposed to report to the the nearest concentration camp and march yourself right into the gas chamber.

    If you can’t find qualified people you are not looking. Most likely you have a preconcieved notion of the age of the person you want to hire. You can kiss my ass.

  56. I wish I had been able to read this a year ago, or even a few months. I thought I had been doing everything properly with personalizing the cover letter and resume, but my resume was/is probably too long. I failed at following up with the positions, too, because when I was a manager and was hiring, I contacted the people I wanted to hire within a day of interviewing them. People don’t operate the way I expect them to.

    I’m going to finish reading all of these comments and then go back to work on my resume. However, if people happen to need some assistance with writing, editing, or other virtual assistant-like work, send me a message. I would be glad to help you out with your projects.

  57. Thanks for sharing that… it’s a common misconception that it isn’t nice, one just needs to shift their mindset on it.

  58. Simply amazing article Neil. My wife and I have recently decided to make a shift in our career paths. We each worked up a killer 1 page resume for each type of job we were applying for (sales, marketing, online marketing, chemistry, etc.). We wrote specific cover letters for each position too. We did reuse some parts, but the person reading could definitely tell it was personalize.

    We both had to turn down interviews because we had so many responses. We were each offered several jobs before deciding which one to take.

    Anyone that says there aren’t jobs out there isn’t looking. The biggest thing that my wife and I noticed is sometimes you have to look a little outside of your experience; figure out how what you’ve done in the past will help you get a different job in the future.

  59. Following-up with an email is something that is actually missed by many candidates. I remember hiring for a position and it came down to 3 candidates. We gave the job to the person who thanked us for our time and sent 4 of my team members a personal post interview email.

  60. i think everywhere its the same!its difficult for everyone for job opportunitys. ( i laugh a lot with the above photo! )

  61. The resume is just the door for the real interview. If you don’t know how to open the door than you have no chance to get inside.

  62. I totally agree. I am still in college and I would be applying for internships very soon. At my college we have a “career center” and you can turn in your resume and then the school would send it out all the companies that are available and that apply to your major. When the career center held a seminar, the speaker basically said the same things you are saying so you definitely know exactly what you are talking about. Listen to him guys! Thank you

  63. I would like to add one more thing – Don’t forget to send a thank you letter very next day of interview. I will show that you really appreciate the efforts of employer and you really want to work for the company. It has worked for me already :)

  64. resume makes the first attraction, so it should be attractive with grand appearance of resume model.

    • Yes, but at the same time, it should be simple.

    • You should definitely structure to have all the basis of a resume without any extra bells or whistles.

      • but most often because of the resume structure some of the candidates got dis qualified, so do you have any suggestions for that also for each department work the resume will differ, for example in seo field, the resume will be totally different from the normal resume, m i right?

    • The photograph you are pinning to your resume should show your face clearly. If you are applying for any modeling job then prior best modeling photographs would add value to job application and selection. So keep ready your best photographs in the folder.
      Contact details containing your name, address, cell no. and email address is essential for future interactions.
      Objective in applying for modeling job is important aspect to be included in the resume.
      Professional experience highlighting modeling assignments you have completed in different field or shows should be shown in Job Summary.
      Past modeling experiences are very important to show your adaptability in front of audience, camera shot, lightning and your style during the course of modeling shows.
      The training and education are other important points that should be included in the resume to show you have enough talent for the modeling assignments.
      The resume should clearly highlight any awards and achievements bestowed on you during modeling shows.
      You should also include references and appreciations for your excellent modeling assignments.

  65. Follow-up is one of the key things. When all goes well, people tend to forget about it, and it can easily be a deal breaker. It’s one more chance to create an extra good impression in the matter of minutes.

  66. Its easy to have job but very tough to maintain job because these are so many issues take place while doing job such as Ego, time , leaves etc but if you can manage all these thinks then you can do any job easily else start your own business

  67. You have to be ready for any damn question or situation while you are giving an interview. You never know when and what interviewer will ask. The main important things are your confidence and presence of mind and how you handle some difficult situations. If you are good to it then you will never find any problem in getting job. Of course knowledge is important as well.

    • I think it is possible to be confident without knowing the answer for all questions. I think it is better to say straight that you don’t have the answer than trying to come up with something. This way, you are not spending time on your incompetence, rather, move on to another topic where you can still impress.

  68. Oh, so now I know where to start again.. Yes I agree that a good resume and good cover page is really important when applying for a position. It also requires a lot of understanding on the position you are applying to so when the interview comes, you’ll know what to answer.. nice tips.

    • Exactly… if you don’t prepare, you’re preparing to fail. That’s really what it comes down to at the end of the day. Get your head straight, do the homework, and have a positive attitude.

  69. Really i praise your talent in such a nice post.Are we geared to be successful at an early age.does our upbringing play the biggest part. and is it possible to change from a loser into a winner.Thanks

  70. Your right, I have done a few interviews in my time and some of the things people say are unbelievable! And as for resume’s, I had one guy with about 30 years of job history on his resume and he was only 22 years old!

  71. Niche Marketing Internet – Anyone have any idea how to find the profitable niche marketing internet and what would be the criterion I should look into in order to get profitable Niche Keyword.Thanks

  72. I love this post.The real truth is that the financial planning industry largely overlooks the fact that creating an End of Life Plan needs to be a part of a sound comprehensive financial plan.

  73. Hi Neil,

    Good points. I tend to treat the cover letter and CV as sales letters in that I orient each document to how I can benefit the employer. In fact I noticed this tactic was so effective I even ran a business writing CVs for other people for a while.

    Thanks!

    Pete

  74. You talk about common courtesy to follow up once the candidate is hired, but how about the company itself? I noticed some companies fail to inform the candidates if they have been rejected for some reason. Shouldn’t they have the ‘common courtesy’ to inform them instead of ‘leaving them hanging’? It goes two ways you know.

    • I totally agree with you on that. Leaving a person hanging simply sucks. However, even with that said, at the end of the day, you just got to keep on moving. It’s really a survival of the fittest at this point.

    • Totally agreed. Read my comment below. I of course have a job and am looking to switch to a different field. That said, companies should never just ignore applications. It leaves a very bad impression of the company. They could at least write back saying the position is no longer available or something.

  75. I read this post while it was still new and actually applied some of the tips for my job application. It was an opening for HTML Programmer + Search Engine Optimizer for a company I barely know.

    I sent in my resume with a really nice cover letter mentioning their weaknesses and how I can be of help in these areas. For instance, their social media profile was very poor. I wrote I could build up their social image.

    It didn’t matter. They never replied. I tried calling them up 4 times within the following week. They didn’t once pick up their phone. What shitty people!

  76. Many Resumes formats are available in online just choose the best one among them and create your profile because the resume attracts the eye then yours

  77. All the points you have mentioned above are valid, also I would like to add one more point here is “patience” because where ever you go for an interview first thing they will check you patience, I had experience in many interviews, I have asked to wait for 3-5 hrs to attend each interviews

    • Are you serious how unprofessional I would have left after 30 minutes.

      You don’t have to bowl down and worship an employer who is not even paying you.

  78. I know too many people with this problem. They don’t expand and try to look in areas that are great but arn’t the norm.

    • Sometimes people are just stuck in their own head.

      • I have been trying to get my friend out of the hotel business and into the online area and I have an in for her with her background she could really exceed and not have as much stress but she is not wanted to try. I know it would make her more money and build her confidence and experience level but just can’t seem to get through to her.

  79. Try to be smart or pretend to be smart because world needs that kind of attitude only

  80. None of this shit works, its all in who you know.

  81. Lol, I agree with “latest entertainment news”, a huge part of impressing people is making it look like you know a lot more than you do. Trying to seem smarter than you really are is ultimately key to many things like getting a job or sealing a deal.

  82. Pretty basic stuff but yes i agree. Getting a job is though these days and we can’t let ourselves get in the way.

  83. Shivam pandey :

    or else try be your own BOSS, go out and startup

  84. I wrote an article similar to this about helping college grads find and get jobs. I agree with all of this, but I think another big factor that will help you get a job is to put your personality out there. Most times it is not just about what you know, personality goes a long way. Smiling and firm handshakes can definitely show employers that you are a confident easy going person, which will show them that you are an easy person to work with.

  85. Scanning on your previous articles. A bit familiar with your advises but the last part — Follow up. Funny but true. And about submitting the resume. The content of the resume, if ever you have a lot of experience, should be related to what position you are applying to. If you’re applying for a programmer, you don’t need to put you have been baby sitting (just an example, but sometimes there are people who does this).

  86. great tips! It is always good to have a short resume rather than a long one as the potential employers have to go through lot of resumes , a lengthy one does means that one is trying too hard. Being on time and following up is highly important too. Also don’t wait for the job vacancies to come to you. I got my first job after i dropped my resume at the office of reputed media group on a casual visit to their office.

  87. Ryan Rossiter :

    Dear Neil,

    I agree with most of what you are saying in principle, but I also believe that your acceptance for a job application happens for a reason. From my experience, the successful interviews were in which I felt comfortable; the interviewers gave off a vibe that they wanted ME! Also, those I didn’t feel like I could be myself, I failed. However, I will implement the follow-up definitely, but asking questions at the end is also important; it shows how engaged you are.

    Now I’m asking for your advice here;

    I’m currently working part-time as a glass collector in a pub whilst in my final year of a MSc in mathematics, plus I am also studying accountancy through a Home Learning College, as I want to become a chartered accountant in the future. I have an interview with the UK National Audit Office for their graduate accountancy scheme, but I’m worried that they would ‘look down’ at me being a ‘glass collector’, so I call myself a ‘maintenance coordinator’. My job also involves ensuring the Health and Safety of the pub by cleaning, brushing up glass, unblocking pipes, changing barrels, loading up stock, plus other tasks, so I feel that ‘maintenance coordinator’ is a more accurate description of my job, but would you recommend me doing this?

    Thank you for reading my message.

  88. Everything you said in this post is true. I really like when you said don’t wait for an opening. People can miss out because not all jobs post their openings in the newspaper or even the net.

  89. Awsome post and straight to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to hire some professional writers? Thanks :)

  90. Hello,
    I’m working as a recruiter for a U.S staffing company and what I have experienced is there are ample jobs for candidates having experience but those who are fresher’s find it difficult to get a job.
    No doubt there are opportunities for them as well but what I have noticed is if a student has graduated from Science and if hes getting job in Marketing he doesn’t takes up..the employer must have seen something that’s why he hired him for marketing but this is not understood by today’s graduates. I think flexibility is the key to the ‘lock’ of ‘job finding’. Now I don’t mean to be flexible all the way just be in the mold for your initial phase and once you have settled gained experience, knowledge than hit the top company’s and sell yourself.
    Now how can a resume play a part in getting a job to a fresher? I’m very much influenced by point number 2 in the conclusion. That’s the thing where all the fresher’s lack and sometimes the experienced one’s.
    Tips and views how fresher’s should market themselves will be highly appreciated.

  91. Absolutely, we (job seekers) can always do more, of course. And we should always be looking for ways to improve ourselves and our chances of landing a job.

    But, it is perfectly appropriate and accurate to say that finding a job right now is much, much harder than it should be for a reason; and that reason is governments. Many thousands, possibly millions of people cannot work simply because of minimum wage laws. Businesses aren’t allowed to employ them. People are afraid of working for cash because it’s a ‘crime’, and could result in inprisonment. Also, it’s a numbers game. A big numbers game. You are now competing against so many more people, thousands more per job. I applied for a part-time supermarket job last year. It received 2,500 applications in two days. There are MANY more people looking for work than official figures would have us believe. For example, in the UK it’s supposedly around 2.6 million. This is nonsense. It’s at least double that amount.

    These are details. look at the wider picture and it’s clear that economies of productive and brilliant people all over the world have been wrecked by governments giving license to banks to print money and expand credit, luring people and businesses into debt traps which they cannot escape.

    It will not get any better for future generations either. They will struggle to even match the standard of living enjoyed by their parents and grand parents because of the inflation and higher taxes they will inevitably have to endure in order to pay off moutainous national debts run up by politicians they never knew existed.

    It’s sound advice you’ve given here, and it’s right to encourage people to look at themselves to improve their chances, but let’s have some appropriate empathy and sympathy for the unemployed all over the world; who in fact are victims of the delusions of the ruling political elite.

  92. hey neil,
    totally agree with you on all the points. great tips you have mentioned. one must follow these.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  93. Doesn’t choosing prospective employees who immediately let you down sort of call into question your competency as decision maker ..and thus undermine the whole premise of this article?

    ..maybe I missread something.

  94. The problem of the matter is sheer numbers of applicants: for every 100 apps theres going to be at least 10 flawless and relevant apps to the point where its a lottery as to whether you get an interview or not.  In my view, having the perfect CV does nothing to gain an interview in a recession and show the real person, highlighting the need to consider no more effort than before.

    In my field, IT, keywords are still king, unfortunately.  20 yrs count for nothing unless it contains buzzwords from 2011.  This is ridiculous, and I simply don’t think the ROI for continued learning is worth it even in a recession.   Add to that, staffing companies control about 90% openings here in the UK, meaning that you are at the mercy of inexperienced recruiters who have no knowledge of the industry that are selling, and possibly having a unearned degree of shortlisting to boot.

    It’s great that Neil has created this article but he and people like him are as much of the problem as the jobseekers themselves.

    I consider myself lucky at 48, my house is paid up and I have a large amount of money to easily survive into retirement. I want to work, but I simply will not jump through hoops to do it.  I already have a good enough CV. If it isn’t, then it is not the employer I would want to work for (which in part explains why some employees leave after a short tenure)

    The other key issue which hasn’t been covered is that everyone is unique, some with great hobby skills which are self fulfilling.  With so much emphasis of “making the employer happy”, we all lose sight of the importance to enjoy life.

    Rule of is that if you believe in yourself, it matters little what the employer thinks.

    Daniel in UK

  95. The mistake some people made when looking for a job was that they should not be looking for a job. These were people who thought that the world owed them a living or that they were indispensable to the world. They had the idea that they are choosing their employers and not the other way round.

  96. @aaron.

    No. There will always be masters of deception. Ever more so in a recession.

    You see, there’s no downside for these purveyors of deception?

  97. Interesting point, i think in the UK we have a different work culture..and have alot more flexible / contractor labour force.

    i.e. i change jobs every 6-12months because thats when the project ends. that doesnt mean i’m not reliable and hate that attitude to workers who have moved around – it stinks!

    I and many contractors i know have a superb track record of delivery within a short timescale and don’t need a permanent job as they are confident in their abilities to go to any organisation and deliver a project on time and in budget.

    If i was hiring i’d want to know why someone spent 5years in the same position doing the same thing with no progression? Lack of ambition perhaps..

  98. There are MANY more people looking for work than official figures would have us believe.

  99. Yes, many are looking but not all are doing it in anger. The main reason being stupid questions.

    Tell you the truth, I am very suspicious of employers in this economy. I hate looking for work mainly due to the attitude of the interviewer: usually dispatching exasperating questions designed to annoy.

    If this is the mode they are following, I conclude the interview.

  100. Bobby Boucher :

    There’s no magic bullet for high supply and low demand.

  101. I applied for a job its almost a week.once I applied I got a reply from a hr that they will mail me the current opportunities.but still I didn’t get any feedback from them.
    I want to know how much time it takes to process a resume?

    • Pinky, there is no solid answer to this question. The best thing you can do is reach out the employer and ask if they have read your resume. A rule of thumb is to follow up in a week and a half.

  102. If you’ve done office parties or corporate work,
    make sure to mention that as well. his comic roles in movies like Hungama,
    Waqt: The Race against Time, Malamaal. If it feels weird coming out of your mouth, fake it.

  103. What if I don’t have a stable working experiences to state on my resume, what can I do to impress the employees with my cover letter? Since I reckon I can’t explain the reasons on my cover letter, otherwise it would be a long story.

  104. Neil

    I hope all is going well for you.

    I agree with some of your comments, some not at all.

    First, creating a Great resume is subjective. One Hiring manager may round file a resume that another person would put in the short list. Go to Amazon and type in Resume and look at the diversity of opinions.

    Yes, things should be spell checked, etc. Still too much variation.

    Next problem is “customizing” each cover letter and resume. One thing most people who hire must not remotely understand is all the applicant wants to do is turn that piece of paper into a job. Full stop. That’s all.

    Customizing doesn’t sound too bad the first couple jobs you apply for. Try it for 5 or 6 months, then let me know if it doesn’t burn you out.

    To top it all off, even if you write a great resume, customize a cover letter, fill out the paper application with perfect penmanship and actually be qualified for the job, you still may hear NOTHING.

    After all that work, a person can’t spare 5 minutes to respond to someone, explaining to them what they did wrong or why you didn’t select them?

    For the record, I have hired people before and it really isn’t hard to do.

  105. Lots of truth here, yes. On the other hand, I can see that my job hunt to get my foot back in the door of a finance company and resumption of my career aspirations will be a struggle. Case in point, I had a phone interview with an HR recruiter for a well known company. The position is an entry level, customer service, call center role, which I had done previously for the same company, except never stayed a bit longer to attain my series 7 and 63 licenses. The people on par with my experience, and who stayed, got those licenses; I left the company to help my mother, who was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer, leaving her in much pain, crippled, etc. for five years until she passed last Valentine’s. My brother and I, the only family I have, also just lost our father at the end of June. So for the duration after graduating with high honors with a BS in Finance in 2009, I have been out of the work force, being a full time caregiver; mom never drove so was completely dependent. We have very little family in the states and would never put our parents in a nursing home for the rest of their lives. I will never apologize to any would be employer for that.
    The major problem, and one that scares me about my future, is that this woman whom phone interviewed me, had little if any empathy toward my reasons, and didn’t seem to connect my honors graduation in the field with hard work, aptitude, ability, passion, etc. She went so far as to say that I was “inexperienced” for the role, an “entry level” one, and that basically if I had “a” job right now, I would get a face to face interview with a hiring manager for this position. She also went so far as to insinuate that my student debt was somehow delinquent, which her own biased head made up! There are NO delinquencies on my credit report and I pay my bills on time. She heard what she wanted to because she just didn’t like me, and tried to make a fool out of me, telling me that I was “inexperienced” for entry level finance work. She also said that the position had nothing to do with investments, after I told her that was part of my career goals, when in fact the posting clearly speaks of dealing with “brokerage accounts”, which equal investments. The series 7and 63 exams allow you to market all securities to clients, etc. SHE was the idiot on the other end with obviously very little knowledge of finance, but essentially told me that I knew nothing about finance, the license exams, the job at hand, etc. Needless to say I wrote her a kind yet blunt email thanking her for the phone interview, but pointing out that she was very wrong in her decision and seemed to discriminate against me for the break from work due to a horrible and hellish illness with my soul mate, my mother. I was almost made to feel as if I had committed a felony. I will NEVER apologize for that as I was blessed to be near mom during the last years here.
    So, the big question is, how do I effectively sell myself to a potential employer given my situation? If there are going to be these cold robotic monkeys working for HR, whom obviously have not yet been touched by life’s tragedies given their lack of empathy, ones who are conducting these impersonal preliminary phone “interviews”, speaking to me and others like myself because they “thought my experience and skills” on my resume were a match for the job, but “spit” in my face by putting down my knowledge, education and previous experience'; well then, I may, God forbid, be left homeless one day. What kind of sick and cold heartless world do we live in? I suppose that I will have to stand on my head and do special tricks to be considered for a position If you don’t know “someone” or “someone that knows someone”, you will struggle badly, no matter your intelligence, skills, talent, potential, or educational background, however stellar it may be. I am, frankly, VERY afraid. Good luck to all who are struggling and don’t have connections.

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  108. This might, in part, be true.

    BUT! It might also have something to do with the fact that there’s a kajillion-to-one job-seeker to job-opening ratio (rough estimate) right now. Things are getting a teensy bit real in the competitive job market these days, in case you guys hadn’t heard.

    The Onion tells the story better than I can, with their “‘I Would Be Absolutely Perfect For This,’ Report 1,400 People Looking At Same Job Posting”.

    http://www.theonion.com/video/i-would-be-absolutely-perfect-for-this-report-1400,32982/

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